Aufheben 12 (2004)

Oil Wars and World Orders New and Old
While the American-led interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s were presented as ‘humanitarian wars’, it was hard to disguise the fact that the invasion of Iraq was primarily motivated by a drive to reassert American power, and in particular its control over the world’s oil supplies. However, in reasserting its power, America has exposed serious fault lines within the 'international (bourgeois) community'. Indeed, in finishing off the job that his father had left done Bush Jnr ended up undermining the New World Order that Bush Snr had proclaimed with his war on Iraq. In this article we seek to place the recent Gulf War in the context of the evolving geo-political-economy that has shaped American foreign policy since the Iran-Iraq conflict.
Appendix: Oil Wars and New World Orders in Historical Context

A Phenomenal Anti-War Movement?
The movement against the war on Iraq was larger and more exciting than other recent anti-war movements. This article focuses on the organization and character of the movement in the UK, and describes how some of the dynamics of the movement as a whole were played out in one UK city, where we were involved. We argue that the feeling that what happened was challenging lay not so much in the nature of the actions, but rather in the number and variety of people brought into the movement and in the failure of the liberal peace movement to exercise the usual control.

Communist Theory: Beyond the Ultra-Left? A Reply to TC
In our last issue, we carried an article by the French group Théorie Communiste (TC) which offered a critique of our articles on decadence theory. Like ourselves, for TC the theory of the ultra-left is a basic reference point and at the same time something which we attempt to go beyond. TC argued that we fail to escape the classic ultra-left objectivism-subjectism problematic. In our reply, we acknowledge some of their criticisms, but question features of their own analysis, in particular their distinction between 'early' and 'late' Marx, and their periodization of capital in terms of the real and formal subsumption of labour to capital.

Review Article:
Hotlines: ‘We have Ways of Making you Talk!’
For the last three years, the German collective Kolinko have been engaged in a project of workers' inquiry. Researching class struggle (or lack of it) through working in call centres, Kolinko locate their project in the tradition of operaismo, and argue for workers' inquiry as a key strategy for revolutionaries today. This article addresses some of the issues thrown up by the tension between inquiry and intervention, including the question as to the role (if any) for ‘revolutionary’ groups.