No Blood For Oil!
Essays on Energy, Class Struggle and War 1998–2016
“Caffentzis is a practical philosopher and a pure teacher. His reasoning even at its most abstract always tends to the political. The street is his class room. The apothegm becomes the slogan, thought has its telos in action. Or conversely, the slogan (say No Blood for Oil ) becomes the starting point of reasoning which develops with the variation, iteration, and counterpoint of a Bach fugue. Its beauty lies not with the teacher but the student (you and I). This is truly vulgar Marxism, that is, it is a critique by, with, and for the vulgus, or common people (again, you and I). The word essay means an attempt, but these succeed. They succeed as addresses, as rules, as axioms, as maxims elucidating the double mystery: on one side is the sphinx, the schizoid reasoning, the tricks behind our backs, the cipher text, the code, and the fetish. On the other side are the actualities of class war the cruelties, the homelessness, the return of plagues, the sinking boats, the drowning children, the factory fires, the poisoned rivers, the collapsing mines. While the oil industry is the concrete universal of contemporary capitalism, the condition of oil and the condition of capitalism are not the same. He elucidates the foundational concepts of Marx s critique of political economy commodity, constant capital, rent, dead labor, surplus value, and the dynamic relations depending on these concepts the falling rate of profit or the organic composition of capital. These provide the monads of understanding, the irreducible elements of our situation. A moral-political black hole haunts the center, Value, whose quantified expressions as money commit the sin of naturalization but are hidden by trumpery and enforced by drones in the sky, by nuclear holocaust, by militarized police and policing military. Like the fool to its folly, Capital continuously returns to its vomit, offering us only an acocalypse of heat-death.” — Peter Linebaugh, author of The Magna Carta Manifesto
“In this meticulous Marxist analysis of the role of energy within the class struggle, George Caffentzis deployment of both the labor theory of value and detailed historical analysis provides us with vital, indeed, indispensable new insights. A follow-up to Midnight Notes Midnight Oil: Work, Energy, War, 1973 1992, this new set of essays, written over the last two decades, builds on the analysis contained in that earlier volume. The essays deepen and widen our understanding of the connections between capital s efforts to use both our own and natural sources of energy against us and our struggles to refuse both forms of exploitation. Some of these essays dive deep into Marx s theory, highlighting what remains essential, while not hesitating to point to lacunae. In the process, he takes up recent debates about the adaptation of old categories to new phenomena, such as the meanings and importance of commons in this period. Others analyze the forces driving key players in the class war swirling throughout the world, from wars in energy-exporting areas to battles within energy-importing ones, and from traditional hydrocarbon terrains of struggle to contemporary conflicts over the roles of alternative energy development. Both his theoretical contributions and his perceptive historical insights provide much needed weapons for our efforts to see beneath and overcome the illusions cloaking neoliberal strategies of austerity and war. The book is essential reading for all those engaged in the struggle against neoliberalism and for humanity.” — Harry Cleaver, author of Reading Capital Politically
“The papers in this collection are weapons we use to deconstruct the politics of war and oil, to uncover the multilayered class meaning of contemporary energy policy, and are the treasure that gives us a different sense of alternatives. Caffentzis’ critical understanding dissolves the fatalism of peak-oil arguments and posits our struggles to reclaim the commons as the real limit of capitalist use of energy.” — Massimo de Angelis, author of The Beginning of History
6 x 9 inches, paperbound, 338 pp.