Jacques Camatte

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Jacques Camatte is a French writer who once was a Marxist theoretician and member of the International Communist Party, a primarily Italian left communist organisation under the influence of Amadeo Bordiga, which denounced the USSR as capitalist and aimed to rebuild an anti-Stalinist Leninism. Following theses of the early Italian Communist Party (under Bordiga's leadership), it refused all participation in the electoral system and generally considered democracy a perversion of class struggle and a means of oppression. Camatte left the ICP in 1966 to protest against its "activist" turn, and to defend the purity of revolutionary theory in his journal Invariance.

After collecting and publishing a great amount of historical documents from left communist currents, and analysing the most recently discovered writings of Marx, in the early-1970s Camatte abandoned the Marxist perspective. He decided instead that capitalism had succeeded in shaping humanity to its profit, and that every kind of "revolution" was thus impossible; that the working class was nothing more than an aspect of capital, unable to supersede its situation; that any future revolutionary movement would basically consist of a struggle between humanity and capital itself, rather than between classes; and that capital has become totalitarian in structure, leaving nowhere and no one outside its domesticating influence. This pessimism about revolutionary perspective is accompanied by the idea that we can "leave the world" and live closer to nature, and stop harming children and distorting their naturally sane spirit.

These views came to influence the anarcho-primitivists, who developed aspects of Camatte's line of argument in the journal Fifth Estate in the late-1970s and early-1980s.[1]


  1. ^ Steve Millett, ed. by Jonathan Purkis (2004). Changing anarchism : anarchist theory and practice in a global age. Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press. pp. 79ff. ISBN 0719066948.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • This World We Must Leave and Other Essays, ed. Alex Trotter (Brooklyn: Autonomedia, 1995)

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