Alfred Sohn-Rethel: Intellectual and Manual Labour: A Critique of Epistemology (1970–) [DE, EN, ES, PT]

3 May 2014, dusan

In this book, the economist and philosopher Alfred Sohn-Rethel attempts to “establish the relationship between the capitalist commodity form and the origin of the distinction between manual and intellectual labor. His theory of knowledge is constructed after an elaborate consideration and criticism of two schools of thought. On the one hand, he criticizes the effort of bourgeois science to assert the independent nature of science and to formulate ahistorical laws of the development of knowledge in terms of non-empirical, metaphysical characteristics of Reason. On the other hand, he also challenges orthodox Marxist theories of ideology in which knowledge is viewed as mechanistically derived from activity in the economic base.” (from a review by Gilda Zwerman, Theory and Society, 1982)

German edition
First published by Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main, 1970
Revised and expanded edition published by VCH, Weinheim, 1989
ISBN 352717690X
226 pages
via discofiasko

English edition
Publisher Macmillan, 1978
ISBN 0333230450
216 pages
via jlw

Commentary: Alberto Toscano (2005), N Pepperell (2007), David Black (2009), David Black (2013), Joseph Belbruno (2012), Ross Wolfe (2014).

New English edition in preparation

Geistige und körperliche Arbeit (German, revised ed., 1970/1989)
Intellectual and Manual Labour (English, 1978, 7 MB, OCR’d version added on 2014-5-4 via Marcell Mars)
Trabajo intelectual y trabajo manual (Spanish, 1979)
Trabalho espiritual e corporal (Portuguese, trans. Cesare Giuseppe Galvan, HTML, undated, unpaginated)

Michael T. Taussig: The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (1980/2010)

9 July 2012, dusan

In this classic book, Michael Taussig explores the social significance of the devil in the folklore of contemporary plantation workers and miners in South America. Grounding his analysis in Marxist theory, Taussig finds that the fetishization of evil, in the image of the devil, mediates the conflict between precapitalist and capitalist modes of objectifying the human condition. He links traditional narratives of the devil-pact, in which the soul is bartered for illusory or transitory power, with the way in which production in capitalist economies causes workers to become alienated from the commodities they produce. A new chapter for this anniversary edition features a discussion of Walter Benjamin and Georges Bataille that extends Taussig’s ideas about the devil-pact metaphor.

30th Anniversary Edition
With a new chapter by the author
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, 2010
ISBN 0807871338, 9780807871331
296 pages

google books


The Red Specter. Journal of Agitation and Enlightenment 1 (2010) [English/Spanish]

19 February 2011, dusan

Published on the occassion of exhibition Critical Fetishes. Residues of General Economy at CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid, May – August 2010, curated by The Red Specter (Through its Commissariat of Public Enlightenment: Mariana Botey, Helena Chávez Mac Gregor and Cuauhtémoc Medina).

Editors of issue 1: Ekaterina Álvarez Romero and Cuauhtémoc Medina
English translations: Christopher Fraga, Lorna Scott Fox
Spanish translations: Manuel Hernández, Jaime Soler Frost

PDF, HTML, Issuu (English)
PDF, HTML, Issuu (Spanish)