Marx, Wertkritik and the Illusions of State, Politics and Law

Dies ist ein Gastbeitrag von Klaus Kempter. Er ist Teil des Symposiums „Constitutions of Value“ (Projekt 03) und wurde zuvor auf dem Verfassungsblog veröffentlicht.

Wertkritik is a critical theory developed first and foremost by Robert Kurz (1943-2012), which claims to capture the totality of modern societies in the tradition of Marxian thought. Marx made value the central category, the fulcrum not only of his economic critique, but of his entire social analysis, and this is what Wertkritik refers to. Turning away from the traditional Marxism of class struggle, labor movement and the post-Hegelian philosophy of history, Wertkritik emphasizes the revolutionary socio-scientific insights that Marx unfolded in his critique of political economy: the concept of modernity associated with commodity-producing society as well as the idea of the value of commodities that valorizes itself, always striving for its own increase. This is the idea of the “automatic subject” of society, constituted by human beings by their daily actions, but at the same time subjecting them totally and making them mere functionaries of an anonymous, unconscious process that is out of their control.