Aufheben 9 (Autumn 2000)


A Commune in Chiapas? Mexico and the Zapatista Revolution
Since the occupation of January 1994, many have projected their hopes onto this 'exotic' struggle against 'neo-liberalism'. We examine the nature of the Zapatista uprising by moving beyond the bluster of the EZLN communiqués, on which so many base their analysis. Not proletarian, yet not entirely peasant, the Zapatistas' political ideas are riven with contradictions. We reject the academics' argument of Zapatismo's centrality as the new revolutionary subject, just as we reject the assertions of the 'ultra-left' that because the Zapatistas do not have a communist programme they are simply complicit with capital. We see the Zapatistas as a moment in the struggle to replace the reified community of capital with the real human community. Their battle for land against the rancheros and latifundistas reminds us of capital's (permanent) transitions rather than its apparent permanence.

What was the USSR?
Towards a Theory of the Deformation of Value under State Capitalism Part IV

In the final part of our series, we present a value-analysis to show how the USSR was, as the Trotskyists argue, a transitional form; but, against the Trotskyists and following Bordiga, our analysis shows that it was in transition to capitalism. The forced transition to capitalism in the USSR meant that the circuit of productive capital subordinated the circuits of money and commodity capital. Capital therefore did not find its most adequate expression in the expansion of value through the purely quantitative and universal form of money but rather in the expansion of value through the qualitative and particular forms of use-values. The dislocation between the capitalist nature of production and its appearance as a society based on commodity-exchange entailed the deformation of value and the defective content of use-values. This dislocation both provided the basis for the persistence of the distinctly non-capitalist features of the USSR and led to the ultimate decline and disintegration of the USSR.

Intakes: 'Back to the Situationist International'
Gilles Dauvé's Critique of the Situationist International is one of the more important texts on the Situationists. We reprint below an update to the text which is due to be published in Greek by TPTG.