The Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London invites you to:
Value, Money and Crisis:
A Workshop on the Work of Hans-Georg Backhaus
Presentations by Riccardo Bellofiore and Tommaso Redolfi Riva, responses by Chris Arthur and Werner Bonefeld
4 June 2012
Room 137, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London
Hans-Georg Backhaus is one of the most provocative thinkers of the Frankfurt School. Together with Helmut Reichelt, Alfred Schmidt, and Hans-Jürgen Krahl, he was at the origin of the Neue Marx-Lektüre. Building on Adorno’s critical sociology, Backhaus has been engaged in a problematization of the Marxian critique of political economy which takes seriously its roots in Hegel’s Logic. Questioning orthodox Marxism and Engels’s legacy, he has advanced a whole-scale reconstruction of Marxian theory, confronting the inconsistencies in Das Kapital, and rescuing Marxism as a critical theory of society. The most important of his essays were collected in Dialektik der Wertform: Untersuchungen zur marxschen Okonomiekritik (The Dialectic of the Value Form: Investigations into Marx’s Critique of Economics) by the German publisher ça ira. Very few of them are available in English, but the seminal contributions (in particular his 4-part Materials for the Reconstruction of Marx’s Theory of Value) have now been published in Italian under the editorship of Bellofiore and Redolfi Riva. At the core of Backhaus’s reconstructive project is the uniqueness of Marx in building the only monetary theory of value available to us, together with a full recognition of the fetish character and the displaced/perverted nature of contradictory capitalist reality. Backhaus’s contributions put the question of the ‘constitution’ of capitalist social ‘objectivity’ once again on the agenda of Marxian theory and politics. They are essential today for anyone preoccupied with building an analysis of the crisis – one that would not only depart radically from mainstream economic theory, but go far deeper than Neo-Ricardianism and Keynesianism.
Riccardo Bellofiore has published books on Marx, Luxemburg, Minsky, Napoleoni, globalization, and the current economic crisis. With Giovanna Vertova he has a FB page, Economisti di classe. He teaches at the University of Bergamo, Italy.
Tommaso Redolfi Riva studied Philosophy and History of Political Economy in the Universities of Pisa and Florence. Together with Riccardo Bellofiore he is the editor of Hans Georg Backhaus, Dialettica della forma di valore, Roma, 2009.
Chris Arthur is the author of The New Dialectic and Marx’s Capital.
Werner Bonefeld teaches at the University of York. He recently edited Subverting the Present, Imagining the Future: Insurrection, Movement, Commons.