Autonomism

What work has made us become

Last summer, The New York Times ran a front-page story on the latest craze in corporate team building: juice cleansing. ‘It was a week when we were slammed, and we just needed to pull together as a community’, explains an employee who recently embarked on the three-day-long, liquid-only diet. The cleanse, which entails replacing your typical three meals a day with vital ‘living food’ juices, promises the salutary effects of prolonged energy, heightened alertness, and increased productivity.

Infecting capitalism with the common: The class process, communication, and surplus

The call for this special issue poses the communism of capital as a question, a matter open to investigation as well as the possibilities of the imagination. At the same time, there seems to be a belief that we have witnessed the capture of the common by capitalism (Casarino, 2008). I am sympathetic to this claim even as I believe it overstates the case. A close examination of specific instances of communism within capital, I argue, reveals moments of the common undermining capital.

The spectre of anarchism

David Eden’s Autonomy: Capitalism, class and politics is the first book-length general study of autonomist Marxism, or what he calls ‘the perspective of autonomy’ (11). A large and detailed analysis, Eden’s book covers the work of three sub-traditions within autonomist thought, which he organizes geographically (across Italy, the US and the UK). He begins by discussing the ideas of Paolo Virno and Antonio Negri, before moving onto the authors grouped within the Midnight Notes Collective (MNC) and finishing with an appraisal of the work of John Holloway.

Recomposing precarity: Notes on the laboured politics of class composition

In Precarious rhapsody (2009) Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi argues that autonomous political movements in Italy in 1977 marked an important turning point in moving beyond modernity with its concomitant trends of progressive modernisation and class conflict as the driving motor of social transformation. Putting aside the epochal claims contained in this claim it is interesting to reflect on the role played by the notion of precarity in this description[1].

The state of things

Today we live in a vastly transformed state of things: the artifice of artefacts is evident all around us. A parliament of communicationtechnologies, from RFIDS to Bluetooth devices, constantly exchange information and network all around and through us. Wireless networks of communication, control, and cooperation proliferate in mysterious ways, all speaking an infra-language of organization, inscribing new techniques of governance.

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