• Labor Value and Labor as Value, Temps critiques

    The Performative Discourse of Power With its attacks against state handouts and its rejection of guaranteed income, Macron’s speech of November 9th on labor value (or on labor “as value”) was little more than a rehearsal of what Jospin1 had said back in 1998 during the Movement of the Unemployed, which terminated in 2001 with the creation of an employment bonus that would be gradually transformed into added work time after 2006. It also replicated Sarkozy’s famous “Work more and earn (...)

  • Demonstrations Against the Health Pass…a Non-Movement?, Temps critiques

    Translators’ Introduction: From a non-European perspective, the ongoing European movements against the "vaccine passport" might be as difficult to grasp as the sight of French gendarmes, armed with both gun and QR code reader, surrounding a crowd of bus riders they’ve forced to de-board, or the same cops gathered around an outdoor dining area in Marseille scanning every customer’s vaccine card. Below, we’ve translated the analysis of the ongoing French demonstrations against the health (...)

  • The Increasingly Blurry Boundaries Between Politics, Poetry and Advertising, Larry Cohen

    How should we interpret the election of Joe Biden, and especially the way it was staged? Left-leaning public opinion in the United States has by and large rejoiced at what some view as a re-affirmation of democracy, and others as a victory in the never-ending (and above all ritual) struggle against fascism. The following text offers a very different take on the recent events in the United States. Amanda Gorman, a twenty-two-year-old Black poet, apparently stole the show at the (...)

  • These Forces Which Make Up and Rebuild the Struggles Around Retirement, Temps critiques

    A movement that cannot be reduced to that of pensions Since December 5, 2019, the strike has returned, while since La Nuit Debout, the movement against the labor law and the “Yellow Vests” event, this form of struggle appeared to be on the backburner except for the last strike at the sncf—and with it union-type demonstrations. The forces that make up the current movement about pensions meet up with, but also collide with other forces which either precede them (the movement of yellow (...)

  • The gilets jaunes, an analyser of the reproduction of capitalist social relations, Temps critiques

    Now with a little hindsight, we can ask ourselves the question of what links a movement such as the yellow vests can maintain with what we have called “the revolution of capital”.1 One cannot say that it is the product of capital, because that would be close to a truism. It also cannot be said that it is the expression of capital, because the revolution of capital is not a ‘subject’, but a process of forces tending towards what we have called capitalised society. There are forces that go (...)

  • What can remain from the yellow vests, Temps critiques

    We said in March that the movement had reached a crest. What about today that the number of demonstrators, and those present at the General Assemblies, declines, that the roundabouts are not recovered? How can one continue to say: “We will not give up anything”, without being in denial of the weakening of the movement? It is for all of these reasons that it seems appropriate to us to evoke a simple question: what can remain of a movement like this? This is a question that requires leaving (...)

  • Yellow vests: On the edge, Temps critiques

    A ridge, a line marking a limit, that accompanies all uprisings because, by definition, we do not know when and how they are going to fall. What makes us glimpse this phase is that the yellow vests’ movement is today stranded before several pitfalls that were nevertheless its strength yesterday. If it does not allow itself to be defined, it does not define itself If the yellow vests’ movement does not define itself, it is because it is not (anti-Semitic, anti-migrant, sexist, (...)

  • The envy of the French Revolution of the Yellow Vests, Temps critiques

    From the first occupations of roundabouts, highway tolls, commercial areas, during street and square demonstrations, the emblems of the French Revolution are present and openly expressed by the Yellow vests. Tricolour flags, Phrygian caps, guillotines and the singing of the Marseillaise set the tone and punctuate the various forms of struggle. In meetings and on social networks circulate strategic slogans and modes of political action which, for the majority, make reference to the strong (...)

  • A yellow costume that creates community, Temps critiques

    The movement of the yellow vests seems to confirm a break in the historical thread of class struggles. It had already been initiated world-wide by the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement and the movements of the Squares, all of which had been at the head of mobilizations of demands concerning liberties, equality, living conditions in general; employment more than working conditions. It is also for this reason that these movements were addressed much more to the State than to employers, (...)

  • Reading notes on the book Capital as Power, Jacques Wajnsztejn

    There are many sim­i­lar­i­ties between the theses of Nitzan and Bichler and those of Temps Critiques so we deemed it appro­priate to examine their book fur­ther. First of all a critique of the law of value… This is quite log­ical since they too rely on Castoriadis during his 1960-1965 period

  • On the politics of capital, Temps critiques

    This text can be seen as a theoretical counterpoint to the notes on Capital as power1 and to the paper ‘La valeur n’est pas une catégorie explicative’ [Value is not an explanatory category] in this issue (Temps Critiques No 17). Why return to these two points? Probably because we have come full circle. Indeed, while the roll-out of value – especially since the 19th century – had matched with the progressive autonomisation of the economy (Polanyi’s ‘disembeddedness’ in The Great (...)

  • After the Revolution of Capital, Jacques Wajnsztejn

    The slightly provocative title, indicates the historical moment from which we begin: the defeat of the last global revolutionary assault of the 1960-1970s. This assault marked the extreme limit of a classist and proletarian politics, especially in the example of the Italian ‘Hot Autumn’ (1969)1. Nonetheless, this last assault already comprised an understanding of the need for a revolution on a human basis2, for a critique of work and for the supersession of classes, as was noticeable in (...)

  • Some Reflections on the Student and High School Student Movement, Jacques Wajnsztejn

    Description The CIP, unlike the 1986 Devaquet Bill, didn’t come from the Department of Education but the Department of Labor. This is an important difference, because the whole society was symbolically affected through one measure which, while only directly concerned with the young, heralded a series of measures within the framework of a law on employment which continue to threaten a number of social protection laws inherited from the 1936 Popular Front government. Despite these wide (...)

  • The State is us: what does the fight against CIP teach us?, Jean-Louis Rocca

    The anti-CIP movement has brought out a certain number of new elements in the government/society relationship and in the behavior of the State. It has notably demonstrated aspects at once consensual and post-consensual of the present situation. Consensual because the demand concerned a specific measure and that the legitimacy of the political system was never really questioned, Once more there was an absence of the idea of a radical alternative. But, at the same time, and in contrast to (...)