While Criticism &c. categorically and definitively rejects the position that capital is the self-developing subject of history, the French revolutionary thinker Jacques Camatte—the former Bordigist who developed ideas along this line—deserves a higher profile than the one he currently enjoys. As Loren Goldner pointed out in a review of Moishe Postone’s Time, Labor and Social Domination (New Politics, Summer 2006), Camatte developed in the 1970s some aspects of the ideas that Postone (who suffers from no similar lack of attention) is acclaimed for today. Camatte’s work has not been extensively translated into English. He was introduced to American readers by Fredy Perlman in 1975 with the publication of The Wandering of Humanity. Note that Perlman leaves the German Gemeinwesen untranslated in the text—in translations of Marx’s 1844 manuscripts it is typically translated as species being. A year later, a group called New Space (one of the many under-chronicled small U.S. libertarian left groups of the 1960s and 1970s) published an essay by Camatte and a co-thinker called On Organization. Autonomedia published a valuable collection of Camatte’s work with an introduction by Alex Trotter in 1995 (Trotter problematically translates Gemeinwesen as “human essence”) titled This World We Must Leave. This edition was described as the first of a series of three, but unfortunately, nothing else has appeared. An excellent review of the book by David Black (“Has Capital Autonomized Itself From Humanity?“) appeared in the British Marxist-Humanist journal Hobgoblin in 1999, which provoked a brief response from Camatte (“Comment From Jacques Camatte“) from France. Community and Communism in Russia, another important work by Camatte was translated and published in by David Brown in Britain in 1978. This pamphlet is mentioned in passing in Marcel van der Linden’s Western Marxism and the Soviet Union. Camatte maintains a web site with an abundance of writings from his journal, Invariance, that call out for translation into English. Who will undertake this important task?
The HathiTrust Digital Library contains scans of On Organization and Community and Communism in Russia. Both are classified with an Open Access copyright status, so anyone should be able to download the full PDFs. Both the Marxists Internet Archive and Libcom.org feature some writings by Camatte.