Aufheben 4 (Summer 1995)

Kill or Chill? Analysis of the Opposition to the Criminal Justice Bill
Last year, the threat of the Criminal Justice Bill galvanised thousands of people to take various forms of action against the state. It also brought very different oppositional elements together in a common practical relationship, many for the first time. In this issue, we examine the possibilities of these struggles.

1 Sign of the Times: Monetarism, the Crisis of Representation, and the CJB
The struggles around the 1994 Criminal Justice Act are notable for their relative independence from the Labour Party and the left. The same national and global economic conditions that have enabled certain oppositional lifestyles to flourish have deprived the traditional forms of mediation and recuperation of their bargaining power.

2 From Campaign to Movement: Latent and Manifest Contradictions
As the opposition to the Criminal Justice Bill began to organize itself, latent internal contradictions became increasingly apparent. Contradictions have been revealed not just between the subjects attempting to enact their antagonism to the state and those attempting to represent them; there have also been massive contradictions within both 'fluffy' and militant-liberal individuals, in terms of both their words and their actions. The national demonstrations have expressed both the highest points of the struggle (the Hyde Park riot) and the serious limitations of the perspective of some of those involved.

3 Into the Void: From Single-Issue Campaign to Anti-Capitalist Movement?
Despite the language of 'rights' that has so far predominated, the movement which has emerged in opposition to the CJB contains within it tendencies which posit the dissolution of this alienated world of rights; their experiences in organising against the CJB and the new law itself have often contributed to the development of such tendencies. The road protesters' refusal of democracy, the squatters' refusal of property rights, and the ravers' pursuit of autonomy: all these suggest the possibility of these particular campaigns going beyond themselves into general anti-capitalist struggle.

Decadence: The Theory of Decline or the Decline of Theory? Part III
In this, the long-waited concluding part to our odyssey through the history of theories of capitalist decline, we interrogate the account offered by the Radical Chains group. Despite their attempts to beyond a classical Marxist theory of decline by supplementing it with autonomism, they still end up with an objectivist theory. All attempts to periodize capitalism into objective progressive and decadent phases seek capital's doom not in proletarian self-activity but in the forms capitalist socialization. Such theories are therefore themselves doomed to fail the struggle of the proletariat.

Review Article:
Civilisation and its Latest Discontents

Fredy Perlman's influential book Against His-tory, Against Leviathan! expresses the position of the new 'primitivist' current in which the enemy is not capital but progress. Going beyond leftist notions of the basic neutrality of technology is a step in the right direction; but seeing all technology as essentially alienating is a mystification. Since it is itself an expression in theory of a radical setback, primitivism contributes little to the practical problem we all face of overthrowing capitalism.