summer 2004

The Theory of Decline or the Decline of Theory?

In this issue, a series of articles in three parts from Aufheben offers an introduction to and a critique of the ‘decadence theories’, a clean break with some classical Marxist currents that don’t see the importance of class struggle for the abolition of capitalism. Two articles by Karl Korsch and Anton Pannekoek give additional arguments to the discussion on decadence. This issue also includes reviews of Kolinko’s Hotlines and Beverly J. Silver’s Forces of Labor and introduces a new series of formerly untranslated texts by Marx/Engels. In this issue we start with the preface to the second Russian edition of the Manifesto.


Past Decline and Beyond: An Introduction
Marx did not produce any specific theory of crisis. However, the phenomenon of crisis is one immanent moment of his general theoretical-practical project on capitalism and its overthrow.

Aufheben: The Theory of Decline or the Decline of Theory?

Preface to the Swedish Translation 2004
The writing of the Aufheben articles on the ‘theory of decadence’ which appeared between 1993 and 1995 was a process of learning and questioning for us.

Part I
We are subjects faced with the objective reality of capitalism. Capitalism appears as a world out of control – the denial of control over our lives. But it is also a world in crisis. How do we relate to this crisis?

Part II
The subject of this article is the theory that capitalism is in decline or decay. This characterisation of ‘the epoch’ is associated with the schema…

Part III
As our more patient and devoted readers will know, the subject of this article is the theory that capitalism is in decline. In the previous two issues, we traced out in detail the development of the theory of the decline of capitalism which has emerged amongst Marxists and revolutionaries over the last hundred years.

Korsch and Pannekoek on the Theory of Crisis

Karl Korsch: About Some Principle Conditions for a Materialist Discussion on the Theory of Crisis
Sorry, no English version is available on the Internet at present. However, Korsch’s text can be found in Douglas Kellner (ed.), Karl Korsch: Revolutionary Theory, Austin 1977

Anton Pannekoek: The Theory of the Collapse of Capitalism
‘The question of the necessity and the inevitability of the collapse of capitalism, and the way in which this is to be understood, is the most important of all questions for the working class and its understanding and tactics.’


The Globalisation of Capital and Class Struggle in a Historical Perspective
Review of Beverly J. Silver’s Forces of Labor. Sorry, no English version available.

Call Centers and Militant Inquiries: A Discussion
Call centers are a new form of low-paid office-work organised after industrial patterns that are growing quick. The ‘callcenterification’ involves unstable work-relations, but also new conditions for struggle, which are challenging to analyse.

Marx/Engels series

Marx and Engels on the Russian Question
Preface to the Second Russian Edition of the Manifesto

From this issue on we shall publish original writings by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that until now haven’t been translated into Swedish but earn more attention.


Immediate Freedom for the May Day Demonstrators in Iran
Sorry, no English version available.