History and Obstinacy
If Marx’s opus Capital provided the foundational account of the forces of production in all of their objective, machine formats, what happens when the concepts of political economy are applied not to dead labor, but to its living counterpart, the human subject? The result is Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt’s History and Obstinacy, a groundbreaking archaeology of the labor power that has been cultivated in the human body over the last two thousand years. Supplementing classical political economy with the insights of fields ranging from psychoanalysis and phenomenology to evolutionary anthropology and systems theory, History and Obstinacy reaches down into the deepest strata of unconscious thought, genetic memory, and cellular life to examine the complex ecology of expropriation and resistance.
First published in German 1981, and never before translated into English, this epochal collaboration between Kluge and Negt has now been edited, expanded, and updated by the authors in response to global developments of the last decade to create an entirely new analysis of “the capitalism within us.”
About the Authors
Alexander Kluge is an author and filmmaker, known for launching the New German Cinema in the early 1960s.
Oskar Negt is Professor of Sociology at the Universität Hannover. Early in his career, he was a student of Theodor Adorno and assistant to Jürgen Habermas.
About the Editor
Devin Fore is Associate Professor in the Department of German at Princeton University.