Auteur: Postone, Moishe
Titel: Anti-Semitism and National Socialism
Authors who are oriented towards Marx like the Chicago sociology professor Moishe Postone have shown how and why the interest capital and other aspects of bourgeois society are associated with Jews in a paranoid and delusional way. Resulting from such paranoid and delusional projections is a form of fetishistic anti-capitalism, which eventually ends up biologizing capitalism as international Jewry. Postone argues that anti-Semitism is unlike other forms of racism because it projects enormous global and “invisible” power to a “Jewish conspiracy.” National Socialism saw itself as reasserting the importance of the concrete dimension, which includes technology and industrial production which are seen as part and parcel of “healthy organic social life.” Fascism saw itself “at one with the workers and peasants” against finance capital and as part of an international revolt against the bourgeois order. Accordingly, Postone reacts strongly to any mechanical separation between finance and industrial capital, which is all too pervasive in the “anti-globalisation” movement – a case of leftism infected with rightwing populism. Postone situates his argument within his analysis of the categories of Marx’s ‘Capital’. What characterises the commodity form is that it is constituted by labour, exists in an objectified form and it has a dualistic character - both a physical and a value form. Whereas material wealth is mediated by knowledge, social organization and natural conditions, value is constituted only by the expenditure of human labour time. For Postone, Marx’s analysis is of an abstract structure of domination in which there is increasing fragmentation of individual labour (and individual existence) and “a blind runaway developmental logic.” Because of the dual aspect of the category it becomes ideologically possible to separate off the concrete, as being in some way socially “natural,” from the abstract, which is seen as impinging on the concrete and distorting it. This opposition allows us to understand the “modernity” of National Socialism. Rejecting the old base-superstructure model of “Traditional Marxism,” Postone takes from Lukacs the idea that commodity production is not just a structured form of social practice, but is also a structuring principle of consciousness: a form of both social subjectivity and objectivity. Postone rejects however Lukacs’ notion of mass proletarian class consciousness as the identity of subject and object. Postone argues that the accumulation of socially general knowledge renders proletarian labour increasingly anachronistic, although he recognizes that because of its dualistic nature (value and use-value; abstract and concrete labour) commodity production has to reconstitute labour in order to continue. But Postone refuses to grant labour any historical subjectivity; rather, he sees the subject as capital.
2000, 24 pag., Euro 2,65
Chronos Publications, London, ISBN Without
This page last updated on: 13-1-2015