Critical Thought
Mapping the Terrain
Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
For my uncle and fellow Marxist Ralph Kleinman
Horizontal Rule
Table of Contents
  1. I. autonomism, communization theory, and open Marxism: Although autonomism (Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, αὐτονομισμό, au̓tonomismó from αὐτονομία, au̓tonomía, “autonomy”; or Modern Greek/Néa Ellēniká, αυτονομισμός, autonomismós, from αυτονομίας, autonomías, “autonomy”) originated as a libertarian Marxist current, present–day approaches vary from Marxist to anarchist. Poststructuralism has been added to some of the newer versions of the perspective (“post–autonomism”). Both autonomous/autonomist Marxists and anarcho–autonomists place a priority on spontaneous direct action (“spontaneism”) over organized activity.
    ROAR, published by the ROAR Collective, is an online periodical which presents autonomist perspectives. Aufheben is a journal which includes considerations of autonomism. Like many other libertarian socialists, autonomists have tended to strongly favor direct over representative democracy. The Italian terms for autonomism are «autonomia» (MP3 audio file), “autonomy,” and «operaismo» (MP3 audio file), “workerism.” The German term is „Autonomen“ (MP3 audio file), “autonomous.” Communization theory and open Marxism draw upon autonomism and other libertarian socialist perspectives.
    “The defense of social struggle at the expense of political action leads many of the autonomists to promote the expansion of an ‘anti-power’ outside the boundaries of bourgeois institutions. They proclaim this alternative will be constructed by means of direct democracy, with horizontal methods and by avoiding all types of hierarchies. But they do not present evidence of the implementation of these proposals, nor do they take into account the obstacles that confront these mechanisms.
    “These difficulties have been, for example, recognized by many autonomist militants who have participated in the neighborhood assemblies in Argentina. That experience proved that the absence of rules of procedure and the lack of criteria for adopting majority decisions were as damaging as doing without an elected and accountable leadership.”
    [Claudio Katz, “Problems of Autonomism.” International Socialist Review. Issue 44, November–December 2005. Online edition. No pagination.]
    “… the dynamic of the rehab squatter movement was based first and foremost on the ‘radical’ forces that made use of the political power vacuum to occupy a substantial number of houses in the shortest possible time, thereby ensuring a level of conflict potential that largely prevented immediate evictions. Such strategies were focused on confrontation, and benefited at the same time from public acceptance and support, which resulted from the long ‘work of fermentation’ by citizens’ action groups and tenants’ representative offices and their strategy, which was largely aimed at negotiation and mediation. Soon, however, the conflict between a political course of confrontation, on the one hand, and the strategic pursuit of alternative urban political goals on the other, came to the fore. By the time the issue of legalization of houses arose, conflicts between ‘negotiators’ and ‘non-negotiators’ could no longer be covered up: the faction that could be attributed to the alternative movement wanted to hold on to the houses and was increasingly prepared to put this interest before an earlier consensus – no negotiation until ‘political’ prisoners were released, and an ‘overall solution’ for all squatted houses. The contingent of ‘non-negotiators’ began to differentiate themselves from the alternative movement by referring to themselves as ‘autonomists’ …, and accused negotiators of giving up the political struggle and of resorting to the mere preservation of their own spaces.” [Andrej Holm and Armin Kuhn, “Squatting and Urban Renewal: The Interaction of the Squatters’ Movement and the Strategies or Urban Structuring in Berlin.” Squatting in Europe: Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles. Squatting Europe Kollective, editor. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2013. Page 161-184.]
    “The Western middle class can still determine to a certain extent where we want to work, thanks to new technologies such as the computer and the mobile phone, both of which played a central role in this development. As such, they are both perfect media for the new revolutionary life of neoliberal capitalism. They constitute a technological and work-related revolution in themselves; thanks to them, you can transcend the bureaucracy and hierarchy of the Fordist work process in favour of autonomy and freedom.” [Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen. Crisis to Insurrection: Notes on the ongoing collapse. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2015. Page 59.]
    “Today, autonomism and anarchism have become almost interchangeable, but their historical origins are rather different. Autonomists in Italy emerged as a left splinter from the Communist Party, initially coming together as micro-parties before adopting more horizontal approaches. This happened via the mediation of operaismo or ‘workerism,’ an approach focused on workplace struggles. The language of autonomism and post-autonomism to this day has remained inflected with a rhetoric of communism and class struggle which strongly indicates its origins in Marxism. It was rooted in close analyses and empirically-based accounts of the changing situation of workplace and social struggles, and was formulated by a group of activist-intellectuals who were direct participants in the events they described.” [Andrew Robinson, “Autonomism: The future of activism?” Ceasefire Magazine. October 8th, 2010. Online publication. No pagination.]
    “… a quite different politics from the technocratic social democracy of the more recent, established conception: a post-Trotskyist, anti-authoritarian communist politics of groups, from the Left Opposition in France in the mid-1960s to the post-autonomia [post-autonomism] of the 1990s.” [Peter Osborne, “Problematizing Disciplinarity, Transdisciplinary Problematics.” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 32, number 5–6, September 2015. Pages 3-35.]
    “The incessant engagement with, and reworking of [Karl] Marx a little of which I have shown in relation to the real subsumption thesis – was driven less by a sense of an autonomous tradition, a ‘revolutionary history,’ than by a need to put his work to use, to rework it in particular circumstances in an engagement with determining social relations.” [Nicholas Thoburn, “Autonomous Production?: On Negri’s ‘New Synthesis.’” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 18, number 5, October 2001. Pages 75-96.]
    “The rejection of its hegemony did not mean, however, the immediate severance of all ties to the historic left. Indeed, the first phase of struggles in 1967 saw student actions whose leaders – hotly asserting the movement’s autonomy from the left parties – were often still nominal members of the latter or their youth federations. Various justifications were then offered for this peculiar relationship.” [Steve Wright. Storming Heaven: Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism. London and Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press. 2002. Page 91.]
    “Moderate moralists and ethicists judge literature by normative standards; moderate autonomists make two independent judgements, one normative and one informative; radical autonomists judge literature in terms of abstracted form (or perhaps ‘beauty’) and neither the normative nor the informative value feature. For the moderate autonomist, a moral defect is thus never an aesthetic defect because ‘moral defect’ belongs to the moral-normative judgement and ‘aesthetic defect’ to the literary-informative judgement. Unlike the radical autonomist, the moderate autonomist can make moral judgements of literature without being inconsistent.” [Rafe McGregor, “Moderate Autonomism Revisited.” Ethical Perspectives. Volume 20, number 3, 2013. Pages 403-426.]
    “Although we have often drawn on autonomist insights and fully acknowledge the richness of the debates within autonomism, the concerns that we have around how autonomism actually functions in South African struggles turn on four key points …: (1) the Manicheanism of the idea of the multitude vs the empire; (2) the idea that complete ontological redemption is found within the multitude; (3) the inability to think dialectically; (4) the horror at organization and leadership.” [Ashwin Desai and Richard Pithouse, “Sanction all revolts: a reply to Rebecca Pointer.” Journal of Asian and African Studies. Volume 39, number 4, August 2004. Pages 295-314.]
    “… while anarchists of all stripes point to autonomy and self-determination as central ethical values, anarchists tend to conceptualize them in terms of personal (and not universal) freedom. By contrast, contemporary social anarchists often cite autonomist Marxism (a.k.a. ‘Autonomia’) as a significant influence have adopted its concept of autonomy, which differs fundamentally from the egoist version characteristic of lifestyle anarchism. According to the autonomists, autonomy is not only ‘freedom, but an anthropological growth that causes an accumulation of desires, of necessities, principally, a collective phenomenon, it is deeply cooperative. Autonomy is of the common.’” [Heather Gautney, “Political Organization on the Global Left.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology. Volume 51, 2007. Pages 150-182.]
    “For most Marxists, and Marxist economists in particular, the distinction between productive and unproductive labour is of key importance, essential to a proper understanding of variables such as the rates of surplus value and profit, and hence of capitalism’s development and tendency towards crisis. Indeed, those who deny this distinction are frequently portrayed as of dubious adherence to Marxism’s central tenets and, in particular, to the labour theory of value.…
    “Yet, a number of Marxists working outside of the economics discipline, and many of those outside of Marxist orthodoxy — in particular those within the tradition of autonomia (‘autonomist’ Marxism) — have allowed the distinction to fall by the wayside. For them such a distinction is (implicitly) illusory ….”
    [David Harvie, “All Labour Produces Value For Capital And We All Struggle Against Value.” The Commoner: A Web Journal for Other Values. Number 10, spring/summer 2005. Pages 132-171.]
    “Although the anarchist critique of authority may provide an understanding of the problems of Communism as they existed in the countries controlled by the Soviet Union, libertarian Marxism and other currents of Left thought undoubtedly contain important insights as well. To name one, the Marxist ability to analyze the economic forces at work in the existing world system (exemplified in the work of Immanuel Wallerstein and Monthly Review) has no parallel in anarchist thought. Judging from the movement’s posters and activists’ ideas, Rosa Luxemburg (a turn of the century Marxist with an incisive and radical critique of [Vladimir] Lenin, as well as a deep appreciation for the autonomy of popular movements) is as highly regarded as any political figure.…
    “Just as there is no central organization, no single ideology is vital to the Autonomen, but this does not mean that the movement is atheoretical or a antitheoretical. Activists there read—or at least have read—Left classics from [Mikhail] Bakunin and [Karl] Marx to [Chairman] Mao and [Herbert] Marcuse. Although they seem to agree on very little, the Autonomen have a profound critique of authoritarian socialism and refuse to permit [Joseph] Stalin posters and paraphernalia at their annual May Day demonstrations.”
    [Georgy Katsiaficas. The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2006. Page 214.]
    “Whereas the Workers Opposition proposed that the trade unions must have real autonomous power in the economy, [Leon] Trotsky argued that they now simply existed to help administer the factories in the interests of the state and party.” [Tim Wohlforth, “Transition to the Transition.” New Left Review. Series I, number 130, November–December 1981. Pages 67-81.]
    “Autonomist marxism sees the struggle of the working class as the driver of capitalist development. In the ’[19]70s capital started to attack the concentrations of working class power that some have called the mass worker. It attacked on three fronts. It started to break up the rigidities imposed on production by working class militancy using technology to de-skill the workers and reconfigure the factory layout. It started to relocate some productive capacity to smaller sites, sub-contracting the work to other companies. And it used the state to impose crisis upon the working class. It was largely successful in its project and as the ’[19]80s developed, defeat followed defeat for the working class. A political composition forged in battle was dismantled and discarded. It seems to this old car industry worker that it wasn’t only capital that discarded us but that quite a number of communist intellectuals turned their backs on us, too. The consequence is that now we have a generation of anti-capitalists who don’t know how to engage with the working class. Despite being surrounded by the class they seem more interested in what goes on in the Mexican jungle, or prefer to go to Genoa and Seattle and give the state machine an opportunity to practice crowd control.” [Brian Ashton. The Factory Without Walls. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2006. Page 2.]
    “In his discussion of the general intellect, [Karl] Marx … suggested that the prioritizing of planning, technology and science advances objectified knowledge. This increases productivity so that paid labour becomes an ever-decreasing element of production as capital escapes living labour through the use of science and technology …. This development means that the ‘social individual’ emerges as ‘the foundation-stone of production and of wealth’ and social life comes under the increasing control of the general intellect through fixed capital. Autonomist theorists later altered and expanded this insight to argue that the social individual – made up of people within each of whom is a collectively formed pre-individual (shared language, social cooperation, affect, aesthetics, perception or cognition) and the individuated elements of the actual person – becomes the means of production …. In this amended rendition, people become ‘fixed capital’ … and come under the (incomplete) control of the general intellect through beliefs, knowledge, taste, experiences, feelings and routines.” [Gerard Hanlon, “Digging deeper towards capricious management: ‘Personal traits become part of the means of production.’” Human Relations. Volume 70, number 2, February 2017. Pages 168-174.]
    “… I would argue that some movements, including the global justice movement, understand and even explicitly define their collective identity in terms of diversity, heterogeneity and inclusivity. Autonomous activists in the global justice movement and other movements such as the British anti-roads movement or radical eco-movements (in theory if not always in practice) reject ideological purity and fixed identities on principle ….” [Cristina Flesher Fominaya, “Collective Identity in Social Movements: Central Concepts and Debates.” Sociology Compass. Volume 4, number 6, 2010. Pages 393-404.]
    “… extractivism has not gone unchallenged since anti-mining protests are on the rise. The protests are not merely local-oriented but have lately become the main social movement and social conflict in Greece. Local communities increasingly affected by exploration and extractive industry in Halkidiki and Northern Greece in general are leading a social movement that strongly doubts and acts against this extractive-based development model. The social movement is supported by Left parties and organisations, anarchist and autonomist groups, NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], environmental organisations and by most neighbouring local communities. The success of the social movement is based on having managed to make this issue a major issue of the public political debate, organising and informing all directly affected people, and developing a strong and stable technical, economic and political knowledge on the subject – to act and argue against the company’s development plans.” [Alexis Charitsis and Geo Velegrakis, “The energy sector in Greece: industrialization, privatisation and social resistance.” Energy Policy and Resource Extractivism: Resistances and alternatives. Marlis Gensler, editor. Brussels, Belgium: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. 2013. Pages 21-27.]
    “… to put it in the language of the Italian autonomist thinkers, the process of class composition is always a process of decomposition and recomposition.
    “It is perhaps not surprising that the representations of labor often seem more solid and enduring than the labor process itself. We remain caught in the class maps we inherited from family, school, and movies. No matter what our position in the class structuring of the population, our class images are usually a generation behind the realities of class formation, behind the forces of capitalism that are reshaping the working population. Unfortunately, this is often true of the images held by the political representatives of labor, the leaders and militants of labor parties, unions, and associations.”
    [Michael Denning, “Representing Global Labor.” Social Text. Volume 25, number 3, fall 2007. Pages 125-145.]
    “From the point of view of technical composition, valorizing information enters the cybernetic machine and is transformed into a sort of machinic knowledge. Specifically, it is the numerical dimension of cybernetics that is able to encode workers’ knowledge into digital bits and consequently transform digital bits into numbers for economic planning …. In other words, operating as a numerical interface between the domain of labor and capital, cybernetics transforms information into surplus value. The Marxian ‘organic’ distinction can easily be imagined and applied here: living information is understood as continuously produced by workers to be turned into dead information crystallized into machinery and the whole bureaucratic apparatus.” [Matteo Pasquinelli, “To Anticipate and Accelerate: Italian Operaismo and Reading Marx’s Notion of the Organic Composition of Capital.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 26, number 2, 2014. Pages 178-192.]
    “The years of the rise of the network society were initially framed by operaismo as a linguistic turn of labour rather than as a technological turn. Operaismo has always put the primacy of the antagonism of labour at the centre of its political ontology.” [Matteo Pasquinelli, “Italian Operaismo and the Information Machine.” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 32, number 3, 2014. Pages 49-68.]
    “Tomislav Tomasevic – an activist-scholar working for the Institute for Political Ecology, in Croatia – also highlighted the importance the commons for reinventing the left, internationally. Tomasevic described how the idea of the commons is expanding as a very useful framework for emancipatory struggles that integrates the essential values of the left with environmental concerns and other urgent issues of our times. He explained how this concept was rediscovered by activists after some nonradical thinkers, in particular the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in Economics Elinor Ostrom, ‘had empirically demonstrated how natural resources can be fairly and sustainably sustained without the market and the state.’ The new and autonomist left has expanded the original and narrow understanding of the commons ‘well beyond natural resources, to include cultural, knowledge and digital commons.’” [Daniel Chavez. The New Politics Research Agenda Workshop Report: Amsterdam, 13-14 February. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Public Alternatives Project of the Transnational Institute. 2016. Page 22.]
    1. horizontal and vertical autonomism (Antoni Abat Ninet as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He distinguishes between these two “directions” of power in autonomous organization.
      “To avoid misunderstandings or ambiguous meanings, we will say that the term ‘horizontal autonomism’ refers to the mechanisms of interaction and communication between the Autonomous Communities not only in a theoretical-normative sense, but also in a governmental and/ or practical manner. In this sense, the State of the Spanish Autonomous Communities contains not only vertical relationships between the central government and the regional governments (‘vertical autonomism’), but also relationships and interactions between the Autonomous Communities themselves. These relationships are also important in dealings between the different spheres of power within the Spanish Autonomous State. In this same context, the patterns of communication, interaction, and influence between the Autonomous Communities reflect the existence of what we have defined as ‘horizontal autonomism’, affects the form of territorial organization of the Spanish State, and will likely establish the beginning of a new evolutionary stage of this form of territorial organization.” [Antoni Abat Ninet, “Territorial Checking and Balance: The Change of the Spanish State Territorial Organization by Subconstitutional Rules.” Beijing Law Review. Volume 3, January 2012. Pages 7-13.]
      “To avoid misunderstandings or ambiguous meanings we will say that with the term ‘Horizontal Autonomism’ we are referring to the mechanisms and ways of interaction and communication between the Autonomous Communities, in a theoretical-normative branch, but also in a governmental and / or practical one. In this sense, in the State of the Spanish Autonomous Communities there are not only vertical relationships between the central government and the regional governments (‘vertical autonomism’), but also there are relationships and interactions between the Autonomous Communities. These relationships are also important dealings between the different spheres of power within the Spanish Autonomous State. In this same context, the patterns of communication, interaction and influence between the Autonomous Communities reflects the existence of what we have defined as ‘horizontal autonomism,’ that affects the form of territorial organization of the Spanish state and probably will establish the beginning of a new evolutionary stage of this form of territorial organization.” [Antoni Abat Ninet, “‘Horizontal Autonomism’ as a source of law. The change of the Spanish State territorial organization by subconstitutional rules.” Privately published. February 13th, 2009. Pages 1-20. Retrieved on February 5th, 2017.]
    2. traveling autonomous zone (Rob los Ricos as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He discusses temporary autonomous zone which move, nomadically, from place to place.
      “I have a fascination about nomadism that led me to scheming about Travelling Autonomous Zones.
      “Perhaps the greatest example of a Traveling Autonomous Zone would be an ocean-going one. A sixty-foot long yacht could easily contain a commune of twelve people. The ship could spend most of its time in international waters, beyond the laws and borders of most nations. The opportunities for organizational mayhem are incredible in the open sea: pirate radio, clandestine landings, disrupting whaling and other mammalian massacres by commercial fishers, not to mention ferrying outlaw activists to places of relative safety. The only times the ship would have to come into contact with nations would be to stock up on supplies (fresh water, food, medicine, etc.), and the necessity of such contact could be reduced by a resourceful crew. In times of bad weather a harbor would be a desirable place to be.
      “On land, a bus or small caravan of vehicles could transport TAZ [temporary autonomous zone] from one area of liberation to another as time and necessity dictate. The members could transport materials from region to region (things like ‘zines and other literature, clothing, small trade items, etc.).
      “This would be an extremely valuable resource for the anarchist community, as it might lend itself to more secure distribution (though somewhat slower) than the U.S. mail. Also, it seems that nomadic bands are more naturally resistant to hierarchy than stationary communities. Several such rolling communities could expand for events such as national or regional gatherings, and would also create propaganda merely by passing through rural areas that have little experience beyond their own communities.
      “Of course, this visibility would also be a danger, as it might attract the attention of unwanted, watchful eyes. Still, it would be better to travel in numbers than to do it alone.
      “In areas where there is not a strong squatting movement, the squats could move from one place to another as their presence became more noticeable than is comfortable for the squatters. By moving from one campsite to the next, anarcho-campers would be difficult to keep up with, even in the anarchist community. These problems are easily overcome by using available technology, such as radios or cellular phones.
      “All in all, ‘temporary’ or ‘traveling’ autonomous zones can easily be created by people with the will to do them. In this way, a clear demonstration about how non-state communities could function would do more to educate people about mutual aid and cooperation than almost any other vehicle for the promotion of anarchist ideas. It’s one thing to think/talk/ write about your beliefs, but it is much more meaningful to actually enact them!”
      [Rob los Ricos. Traveling Autonomous Zone. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1993. Pages 1-2.]
    3. autonomist working–class value practices (Beverley Skeggs): Skeggs, a sociologist, considers how, from an autonomist standpoint, personhood can be imagined differently.
      “Drawing upon three different empirical research projects the paper builds on my previous critique of the self as a classed concept to develop a different perspective on value. It argues that an analysis of autonomist working-class sociality offers us ways to imagine personhood and person value that are often imperceptible to the bourgeois gaze.…
      “… We can … build a picture of an autonomist working-class set of values that produce different relationships, different forms of attention, different desires and very different value practices. For, as [Karl] Marx notes, ‘The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions which determine their production’ ….
      “… Different circuits and exchange mechanisms exist, some enable capital/s accumulation; others exist alongside and others are autonomist, based on reciprocity, care, shared understandings of injustice, insecurity, precarity. All these values circulate through the person as they face capitalism in very different directions.”
      [Beverley Skeggs, “Imagining personhood differently: person value and autonomist working-class value practices.” The Sociological Review. Volume 59, number 3, September 2011. Pages 496-513.]
    4. politico–philosophical framework for communicative action and rationality (Marcelo Lopes de Souza as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an autonomist approach to urban planning and management.
      “Autonomy is here regarded precisely as the central principle and parameter for the analysis and evaluation of processes and strategies of social change, including urban development.…
      “The aim of this paper is to contribute to this operationalisation, specifically considering the role of urban planning and management in the realisation of urban development. After this task is addressed in the second section, the third section compares the presented autonomist approach with two current approaches to urban planning and management in the Anglophone world.…
      “The central task for an autonomist approach to urban planning and management in the next years is twofold. It is necessary to contribute to the critical refinement of positive strategies and experiences, such as Porto Alegre’s [in Brazil] participatory budgeting, which means that we must be able not only to discuss and suggest ‘technical’ improvements, but also to avoid problems such as the overestimation of the power of plans and laws, the underestimation of socio-political factors and, last but not least, the overestimation of the degree of compatibility between capitalism and representative democracy on the one hand, and social justice and citizen control on the other hand. However, we must also be able to learn from such experiences, in the ‘North’ as well as in the ‘South’, and especially from the people on the ground, in a dialogical manner. In a very deep sense, autonomist strategies of social change must be committed, above all, to communicative action and rationality, subordinating instrumental rationality and ‘strategic action’ (in a Habermasian sense). On the other hand, the most consequent politico-philosophical framework for communicative action and rationality is the project of autonomy in its Castoriadian sense.”
      [Marcelo Lopes de Souza, “Urban Development on the Basis of Autonomy: a Politico-philosophical and Ethical Framework for Urban Planning and Management.” Ethics, Place and Environment. Volume 3, number 2, 2000. Pages 187-201.]
    5. ideology of territorial order and institutional design (Jaime Lluch as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Based upon an empirical study, Lluch develops a theory of autonomism.
      “I seek to sketch the general contours of a theory of autonomism as an ideology of territorial order and institutional design.…
      “The empirical investigation we have conducted into the attitudes and discourse of the militants of four autonomist parties has yielded a rich bounty of data, which we can use to establish the general contours of autonomism as an ideology of territorial order and institutional design.
      “… Autonomism is one of the varieties of minority-nation nationalism. Most autonomist movements are part of the national movements of sub-state national societies. Automomists have a strong sense of identification with their sub-state national society as their nation, although some do have dual identities. Autonomism is the political orientation of the autonomist nationalist component of these national movements, and its two rivals are independentist nationalism and pro-federation nationalism. Thus, the difference between regionalism and autonomism is that the latter is typically espoused by nationalist parties, while the former not necessarily so.”
      [Jaime Lluch, “Towards a Theory of Autonomism.” Working paper number 197. Collegio Carlo Alberto. Moncalieri, Italy. January, 2011. Pages 1-39.]
    6. common assembly (Elise Danielle Thorburn): She proposes an organizational system, as assembly, based upon autonomism.
      “In order to demonstrate the value of the assembly as an organisational formation coherent in the contemporary, I will begin by laying the theoretical terrain on which I want to situate this struggle. The political and theoretical tradition of operaismo or Autonomist Marxism contribute to an understanding of revolution as, by necessity, driven by the producers and reproducers of the social and economic realm; workers, broadly construed. With this theoretical toolbox in hand, the specific historical and contemporary instantiations of the assembly as a constituted political organisation of the common can be made clearer. The possibility that the assembly form holds for potential models of post-party politics comes to life. The assembly form has been used very recently in a variety of struggles, some of which I have direct experience of, and it is from this perspective of experiential knowledge that I wish to write.” [Elise Danielle Thorburn, “A Common Assembly: Multitude, Assemblies, and a New Politics of the Common.” Interface: a journal for and about social movements. Volume 4, number 2, November 2012. Pages 254-279.]
      “What I want to argue specifically … is that in the contemporary conjuncture of those modes of class struggle organization that previously prevailed (particularly the party model, both revolutionary and parliamentary, the vanguard and the bureaucratic trade union model) should no longer be considered either as the exclusive representatives of working-class political activity, or as the hegemonic form of working-class struggle. Rather, I want to point to an emergent political institution; that of the assembly. I am not interested in drawing a surgical line between the compositions of the class and the tactics used – it is clear that there is a flow to history and one form, model and era bleeds into the other. Rather, what I am curious about, in terms of how we conceive of workers’ control movements in the present, is where we see ourselves in the circulation of struggles.” [Elise Danielle Thorburn, “Workers’ Assemblies: New Formations in the Organization of Labor and the Struggle against Capitalism.” An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy. Dario Azzellini, editor. London: Zed Books. 2015. Pages 92-109.]
    7. commodification of experience (Anna-Maria Murtola): Examining a type of “biopolitical exploitation,” Murtola combines the insights of autonomist Marxism and the early thought of the Frankfurt School.
      “Although the commodification of experience has been a long-standing concern for critical scholars, today the breadth and depth of this practice and the conscious manipulation involved is unparalleled. In this paper I analyse contemporary commodification of experience drawing on insights from the early Frankfurt school and autonomist thought. In doing so, I show how contemporary commodification of experience, understood in particular in terms of expropriation of the affective common, comprises a form of biopolitical exploitation that is part of broader biopolitical struggles in which capital seeks to draw the entirety of human life into its circuit of valorization. Although the critique of the Frankfurt school remains important, the variety of forms of experience for sale today warrants a broader politico-economic analysis in light of historical changes in the logic of accumulation and the operation of the commodity-form, which autonomist thought can help illuminate.…
      “This paper is concerned with a social reality in which attempts are made to turn most any form of human experience into a commodity or a means of capital accumulation. Here commodification refers to processes whereby elements hitherto not explicitly part of the capitalist apparatus are brought into the sphere of the circulation of capital, including our innermost being and shared sociality. It analyses this reality drawing on ideas from two theoretical traditions – Frankfurt school critical theory and autonomist thought – both of which provide conceptual tools for grasping the situation.”
      [Anna-Maria Murtola, “Experience, Commodification, Biopolitics.” Critical Sociology. Volume 40, number 6, 2014. Pages 835-854.]
    8. Empire (Antonio Negri as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Michael Hardt): These two scholars develop a post–autonomist (or poststructural autonomist) approach to the dominance of Empire in modernity.
      “Numerous republican political projects in modernity assumed mobility as a privileged terrain for struggle and organization: from the so-called Socians of the Renaissance (Tuscan and Lombard artisans and apostles of the Reform who, banished from their own country, fomented sedition against the Catholic nations of Europe, from Italy to Poland) up to the seventeenth-century sects that organized trans-Atlantic voyages in response to the massacres in Europe; and from the agitators of the IWW [Industrial Workers of the World] across the United States in the 1910s up to the European autonomists in the 1970s. In these modern examples, mobility became an active politics and established a political position.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Empire. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 2000. Page 214.]
      “Even when labor is subjugated by capital it always necessarily maintains its own autonomy, and this is ever more clearly true today with respect to the new immaterial, cooperative, and collaborative forms of labor. This relationship is not isolated to the economic terrain but, as we will argue later, spills over into the biopolitical terrain of society as a whole, including military conflicts. In any case, we should recognize here that even in asymmetrical conflicts victory in terms of complete domination is not possible. All that can be achieved is a provisional and limited maintenance of control and order that must constantly be policed and preserved. Counterinsurgency is a full-time job.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire. New York: The Penguin Press imprint of Penguin Group. 2004. Page 54.]
      “The most significant event of the first decade of the new millennium nium for geopolitics may be the definitive failure of unilateralism. At the end of the last millennium a genuinely new global situation had emerged, which set in motion new processes of governance and began gan to establish new structures of global order. A new Empire was being formed that was qualitatively different from the previously existing imperialisms, which had been based primarily on the power of nation-states. Instead of engaging directly the formation of Empire, pire, however, the dominant forces on the global scene, the U.S. government ernment in particular, denied and repressed the novelty, conjuring up specters from the past, forcing dead figures of political rule to stumble across the stage and replay outdated dreams of grandeur. Ambitions of imperialist conquest, nationalist glory, unilateral decision sion making, and global leadership were all revived, with horrifyingly ingly real violence. Within the United States, where these fantasies were most powerful, what had seemed in the past to be alternatives—isolationism, imperialism, and internationalism—were resuscitated citated and woven together, turning out merely to be different faces of the same project, all stitched together with the thread of U.S. exceptionalism. ceptionalism. It took only a few years, though, for these ghostly figures ures to collapse in a lifeless heap. The financial and economic crisis of the early twenty-first century delivered the final blow to U.S. imperialist perialist glory. By the end of the decade there was general recognition of the military, political, and economic failures of unilateralism. There is no choice now but to confront head-on the formation of Empire.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Commonwealth. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 2009. Pages 203-204.]
      “With this shift [in capitalist work relations] the primary engagement between capitalist and worker also changes. No longer is the typical scene of exploitation the capitalist overseeing the factor, directing and disciplining the worker in order to generate a profit. Today the capitalist is farther removed from the scene, and workers generate wealth more autonomously. The capitalist accumulates wealth primarily through rent, not profit—this rent most often takes a financial form and is guaranteed through financial instruments. This is where debt enters the picture, as a weapon to maintain and control the relationship of production and exploitation. Exploitation today is based primarily not on (equal or unequal) exchange but on debt, that is, on the fact that the 99 percent of the population is subject—owes work, owes money, owes obedience—to the 1 percent.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Declaration. New York: Argo Navis Author Services imprint of The Perseus Books Group. 2012. Ebook edition.]
      “If social production subsumes circulation and poses it as productive circulation—and therefore also proposes at this level an equally profound and extensive conception of the movement of the working class—in sum, if all of that is given, we must proceed to see how [Karl] Marx works on this Canvas and what results he draws concerning the fundamental problems that we have posed. Does there thus exist an area of expansion for the socialized class that the level of antagonism has rendered independent? To say that Marx resolved this problem would be (as we have recalled) false. But that takes nothing from the fact that Marx constantly comes close to the solution, that he is expressly looking for it. Furthermore, it is true that the results of this research are partial. But we must add that, if we have only approximations that are essentially negative, if they take form primarily in the analysis of the new contradictions that socialized capital has engendered, it is always easy to see that these are nOt residual results, not simply negations of the positive definition of capital and of its development. These are scattered elements, but nevertheless true, of a compact class reality that we have begun, through the contradictions, to grasp. Their episodic character does not prevent them from being significant. It is thus time to examine how, in the face of and in the interior of productive circulation, the subject—as proletarian subject—conquers autonomous space and dynamics.” [Antonio Negri. Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons on the Grundrisse. Harry Cleaver, Michael Ryan, and Maurizio Viano, translators. Jim Fleming, editor. Brooklyn, New York: Autonomedia. 1991. Page 177.]
      “… [The] notion of autonomy of proletarian emancipation, born out of the particularity of the subject, had to be discovered as a refusal of any preconceived generality, any burden of idealism and humanism that could be ascribed to the proletariat as such. [Vladimir] Lenin’s affirmation of this notion gave great intensity to his Marxism, but this concept of the proletariat as a particular class was completely forgotten after Lenin, by social democrats and Marxist theorists alike, with their watered-down versions at the service of the pacific road to socialism. Sometimes this was done astutely, for instance, when, accompanying theoretical declarations in honor of the classics and tradition, they placed their emphasis on the general emancipating function of the actions of the proletariat. And from this, they moved toward the issue of alliances, the reaffirmation of the generality of workers’ comportment. But this is all false, practically and theoretically. The particularity of workers’ interests, the autonomous particularity of the interests of the working class, is absolutely irreducible and can only increase its autonomous particularity and turn into dictatorship.” [Antonio Negri. Factor of Strategy: Thirty-Three Lessons on Lenin. Arianna Bove, translator. New York: Columbia University Press. 2014. Pages 281-282.]
      “The autonomy of the political is relative; it is a limited concept, and it is always subordinate to specific ends that are not formal, of realization or of expression of power, but are rather those of political, economic, military domination, etc. Now, I understand war in terms of emancipation from an autonomy of the political subordinated to capitalist economic interests. And I understand the possibility of war as resistance, as the fundamental right of resistance of the individual and the multitude, as a fact of democracy. In this sense, [George W.] Bush is a great champion of the autonomy of the political: he has reproduced it as a trivial reading of the relations of force that evade every consideration of the antagonisms and tendencies of the proletarian innovation of life. In this sense, Machiavelli was never a proponent of the autonomy of the political.” [Antonio Negri. Goodbye Mr. Socialism. Peter Thomas, translator. New York: Seven Stories Press. 2008. Pages 55-56.]
      “The organisation of the revolts [the Arab spring] resembles what we have seen for more than a decade from Seattle to Buenos Aires and Genoa and Cochabamba, Bolivia: a horizontal network that has no single, central leader. Traditional opposition bodies can participate in this network but cannot direct it. Outside observers have tried to designate a leader for the Egyptian revolts since their inception: maybe it’s Mohamed ElBaradei, maybe Google’s head of marketing, Wael Ghonim. They fear that the Muslim Brotherhood or some other body will take control of events. What they don’t understand is that the multitude is able to organise itself without a centre – that the imposition of a leader or being co-opted by a traditional organisation would undermine its power. The prevalence in the revolts of social network tools, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, are symptoms, not causes, of this structure. These are the modes of expression of an intelligent population capable of organising autonomously.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, “Comment: Arabs are democracy’s new pioneers: The leaderless Middle East uprisings can inspire freedom movements as Latin America did before.” The Guardian. London newspaper. February 25th, 2011.]
      “The power of all individual or limited subjects to think and act autonomously corresponds proportionally to the relation between their powers and the power of nature as a whole.… The fact that the power of the world outside of us so far surpasses our own power means that we are affected by others much more than we affect the world or even autonomously affect ourselves, and thus, our capacity for sovereign decision-making is minimal too.” [Michael Hardt, “The Power to be Affected.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. Volume 28, number 3, September 2015. Pages 215-222.]
      “Everyone may possess in some sense the capacities for autonomy, but current social conditions prevent the majority from activating them and require instead their obedience. Exodus thus means a collective project to overturn the existing structures of hierarchy and obedience and render active the thinking and action of all. Linking these two senses of the exit from minority, in other words, conjoins the striving for autonomy with that for democracy. The enlightenment role of intellectuals, as well as political leaders, thus becomes something much more than critique: to destroy their own minority status, or to generalize to others the powers çf autonomous thought and action they exercise.” [Michael Hardt, “The Militancy of Theory.” The South Atlantic Quarterly. Volume 110, number 1, winter 2011. Pages 19-35.]
      “The composition of the proletariat now presents itself as an autonomous force proper to it (as aversive element). Drawing back from any dialectical relation with capital, the composition presents itself in the combination of subsumption and antagonism, of displacement and asymmetry, as a structure of self-valorization. The underscored elements—co-operation and productivity—rise to the surface of the current definition of the paradigm of co-operation, and thus in the paradigm’s specific activity of self-valorization.… But one should add that the solidity of the notion of composition is not in any way subjected to a historicist influence—of whatever origin— whatever the nature of this historicism, be it idealist or materialist, which in Ranke as in Engels, in Croce as in Gramsci, is still subject to a dialectic of continuity. Not at all. Displacement, irreversibility, the rules of subsumption and antagonism are in force here. So that even with respect to the paradigms of class composition and the temporal practice that support them, we find ourselves here before difference.
      1. Undifferentiated worker (1848-70). Time as natural envelope, the time of the proletarian-slave.
      2. Professional worker (1870-1917). Time as timepiece. Time as dialectical mediation. The time of the product.
      3. Mass worker (1917-68). Time flux. The time of production.
      4. Social-multinational worker (1968 onwards). Time as structure, social time. The time of reappropriation and self-valorization.”
      [Antonio Negri. Time for Revolution. Matteo Mandarini, translator. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Pic. 2013. Pages 75-76.]
      “What makes Michael Hardt’s and Toni Negri’s Empire … and Multitude … such refreshing reading is that we are dealing with books that refer to and function as the moment of theoretical reflection of-if this word were not to be polluted by its recent use in the Iraq intervention context, one would be almost tempted to say: are embedded in-an actual global movement of anticapitalist resistance: one can sense, behind the written lines, the smells and sounds of Seattle, Genoa, and Zapatistas. So their limitation is simultaneously the limitation of the actual movement.” [Slavoj Žižek, “Multitude, Surplus, and Envy.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 19, number 1, January 2007. Pages 46-58.]
      “The book Empire famously presents the contemporary world system as one in which power is decentred – an assertion that has, of late, been subjected to increased questioning. Whatever the truth of the matter, the time has come to examine critically the various threads stemming from operaismo in a similarly decentred way. Above all, this will mean judging each on its own merits as a contribution to comprehending contemporary global power relations as a whole – not simply those entailing ‘some guiding lights’ – and so in terms of how each such thread can best contribute to the collective project of ‘damag[ing] and bringing down the adversary.’” [Steve Wright, “Mapping Pathways within Italian Autonomist Marxism: A Preliminary Survey.” Historical Materialism. Volume 16, issue 4, 2008. Pages 111-140.]
      “This essay is a critique of immaterial and affective labor, cognitive capitalism and other terms that have been theorized by postautonomous thinkers such as Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Maurizzio Lazzarato, and others. According to these thinkers, under the new wave of financial capitalism, labor has become immaterial and capitalism has become more dependent on cognitive processes in order to enclose external labor and material and symbolic commons.…
      “… in the first part of the essay I will critically examine this and other similar claims of Italian postautonomist thinkers—a loose label that I use to analyze a range of interrelated concepts that include ‘immaterial labor,’ ‘the affective turn,’ ‘cognitive capitalism,’ ‘the commons,’ etc.”
      [Luis Martín-Cabrera, “The Potentiality of the Commons: A Materialist Critique of Cognitive Capitalism from the Cyberbracer@s to the Ley Sinde.” Hispanic Review. Volume 80, number 4, fall 2012. Pages 583-605.]
      “The periodising drive in [Antonio] Negri’s work has been the subject of much critical attention, being variously faulted for its partiality, abstraction, teleology and one-dimensionality. Some have even regarded it as a form of prophetism – a verdict to which we shall return. Negri’s work is indeed identifiable with a parade of hegemonic figures of antagonistic labour-power: professional worker, mass worker, social worker, immaterial labourer, cognitive worker, multitude (with the last three or even four in many ways melding together into the ‘postmodern’ figure of antagonism).” [Alberto Toscano, “The Sensuous Religion of the Multitude: Art and Abstraction in Negri.” Third Text. Volume 23, issue 4, July, 2009. Pages 369-382.]
      “We will not fall into the banal error of believing that certain theories are unilaterally influencing the movement. The theories spread insofar as they serve specific interests and respond to specific needs. Empire by [Antonio] Negri and [Michael] Hardt is an exemplary book in this sense. Together with the elaborations of their “diplomatic” French cousins, its pages offer the most intelligent version of the left wing of capital.” [Crisso and Odoteo. Barbarians: the disordered insurgence. Wolfi Landstreicher, translator. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2003. Page 5.]
      “The Empire is present everywhere, but doesn’t govern anywhere. Its military invincibility shines in the sun dazzling its obsequious admirers. But its foundations are rotten. The social order within its borders is constantly called into question. In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall was presented as the symbolic act that would ratify the end of the “cold war” between the two opposed super-powers, the dawn of a new era of peace and stability. The unification of the planet under a single model of life, the private capitalist model, was supposed to guarantee the definitive banishing of all conflict. In a certain sense, one could say that the very opposite has happened. In modern history, there have never been so many violent conflicts bathing the world in blood as after 1989. If up to then, the various armies were in a state of permanent readiness, now they are in continuous mobilization. The military forces no longer spend their time training, but rather fighting on the field. War has gone from cold to hot, in some places boiling, and it is generalizing itself. Only now the slaughter dictated by the state is no longer called war, but rather police actions. Having extended itself everywhere, the Empire no longer has external enemies from which to defend itself, only internal enemies to control and repress. As the servants of the Empire love to remind us, there is no longer an outside; there is only an inside. But this inside is literally imploding.” [Crisso and Odoteo. Barbarians: the disordered insurgence. Wolfi Landstreicher, translator. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2003. Pages 10-11.]
      “This article provides a critical examination of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s and John Holloway’s theory of revolutionary subjectivity, and does so by applying their theories to the Occupy movement of 2011. Its central argument is that one should avoid collapsing ‘autonomist’ and ‘open’ Marxism, for whilst both approaches share [Mario] Tronti’s insistence on the constituent role of class struggle, and also share an emphasis on a prefigurative politics that engages a nonhierarchical and highly participatory politics, there nevertheless remain some significant differences between their approaches. Ultimately, when applied to the Occupy movement, whilst their theory isn’t entirely unproblematic, I will argue that Hardt and Negri’s ‘autonomist’ approach offers the stronger interpretation, due mainly to their revised historical materialism.…
      “For Hardt and Negri the technical changes in class composition offer possibilities for the multitude’s future political re-composition, and once again here the theory of self-valorisation returns to the fore, particularly for rethinking the nature of social (or common) wealth. Whilst Hardt and Negri accept that immaterial labour remains as exploited as its industrial predecessor, they claim that the former has the potential for a radical autonomy; one that can dispense with the need for centralised oversight and, more importantly, continually ‘exceeds the bounds set in its employment by capital’ ….”
      [Oliver Harrison, “Occupy: ‘Struggles for the common’ or an ‘anti-politics of dignity’? Reflections on Hardt and Negri and John Holloway.” Capital & Class. Volume 40, number 3, October 2016. Pages 495-510.]
      “[Francis] Fukuyama has deemed the book’s [Multitude’s] theoretical grounds ‘confused,’ and even tried to enroll Antonio Gramsci as a critic to the authors’ [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s] autonomist interpretation of Marxism, obviously omitting to specify that the ‘institutions’ that Gramsci thought necessary to the progress of the people’s cause were first and foremost the European Communist Parties. The same, I think, is true even for some self-proclaimed Marxists, like Timothy Brennan, who dismissed the long tradition of Italian communist autonomism as an idiosyncratic and ultimately theoretically untranslatable reference. The fact that all three volumes retrace autonomist modes of political organization in their historical occurrences in places as diverse as Chiapas, the French banlieues [suburbs or outskirts] or Argentina cannot alter a position that articulates itself from a refusal deeply rooted in a solidly entrenched system of reference.” [Giuseppina Mecchia, “Foreign Theories: On the Completion of the Empire Trilogy.” Minnesota Review. Volume 75, fall 2010. Pages 133-142.]
      “The history of Italy’s heterodox left is a rich one, steeped in political experimentation and theoretical overhauls. Perhaps its most formative phase took place between the early [19]60’s and late [19]70’s; a period that saw the emergence of workerism (operaismo) and its development into workers’ autonomy (autonomia operaia). The theoretical lineage that leads to the development of [Antonio] Negri’s peculiar brand of Marxism is too extensive to deal with adequately here. However, we may summarise that central to workerism are the following theses, which directly inform the origins and development of Negri’s work: 1) labour and its struggles against capital are the principle determinations of the latter’s development; and 2) capital has reached a specific historical stage of socialisation which brings with it new potentialities of working class self-liberation.” [Ben Polhill, “Antonio Negri’s Social Ontology of Real Subsumption.” The Devil’s Party: Marx, Theory and Philosophy. Tom Bunyard, editor. Raleigh, North Carolina: Lulu Publishing. 2009. Creative Commons. Pages 31-36.]
    9. multitude (Paolo Virno as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an autonomist approach to “contemporary forms of life.”
      “I maintain that the concept of ‘multitude,’ as opposed to the more familiar concept of ‘people,’ is a crucial tool for every careful analysis of the contemporary public sphere. One must keep in mind that the choice between ‘people’ and ‘multitude’ was at the heart of the practical controversies (the establishing of centralized modern States, religious wars, etc.) and of the theoretical-philosophical controversies of the seventeenth century. These two competing concepts, forged in the fires of intense clashes, played a primary role in the definition of the political-social categories of the modern era. It was the notion of ‘people’ which prevailed. ‘Multitude’ is the losing term, the concept which got the worst of it. In describing the forms of associative life and of the public spirit of the newly constituted great States, one no longer spoke of multitude, but of people. But we need to ask whether, today, at the end of a long cycle, the old dispute has not been opened up once again; whether, today, now that the political theory of the modern era is going through a radical crisis, this once defeated notion is not displaying extraordinary vitality, thus taking its dramatic revenge.” [Paolo Virno. A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life. Isabella Bertoletti, James Cascaito, and Andrea Casson, translators. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2004. Page 21.]
      “Today what has always been true has become evident: the individual (with his or her autonomy) is a point of eventful arrival, not an incontrovertible point of departure. He or she is the point of arrival of a complex process of individuation, the individuation of universal productive forces, anonymous structures, preindividual modes of being. The autonomy of the individual is, if you want, the result of the political struggle, the stakes of the class conflict in post-Fordism.” [Paolo Virno, “Interview with Paolo Virno.” Branden W. Joseph, interviewer. Alessia Ricciardi, translator. Grey Room. Number 21, fall 2005. Pages 26-37.]
      “… is there any way to bridge these different social classes [in Greece] in one analytical tool and as one political agent? Yes, is the answer of the proponents of the notion of the Multitude. Having its roots in Italian Autonomist Marxism and in thinkers such as Paolo Virno and Antonio Negri, the Multitude could be described as a social subject unifying those living and working under capital, which has the potential to become the bearer of social change in the globalized era of the 21ˢᵗ century …. As [Michael] Hardt and Negri elaborate, the Multitude can be posed as: ‘all those who work under the rule of capital and thus potentially as the class of those who refuse the rule of capital. … The Multitude gives the concept of the proletariat its fullest definition as all those who labour and produce under the rule of capital’ …. Thus, the Multitude, as a class concept, is a broadened notion of the proletariat that specifically relates to the era of immaterial labour (others naming this period as post-industrial, post-Fordist or the information age).” [Nikos Sotirakopoulos and George Sotiropoulos, “‘Direct democracy now!’: The Greek indignados and the present cycle of struggles.” Current Sociology. Volume 61, number 4, 2013. Pages 443-456.]
      “… autonomous activity is not a thin and suffocating residue but takes root beyond wage earners’ submission (or at least to one side of it). It represents the future: what follows and opposes the factory. Moreover, instead of being marked by idiocy and powerlessness, the relation to nature takes the form of an intelligent experience, precisely because it comes after the experience of the factory.…
      “… one can experience prophetically the effects of the inexistence, or even worse of the ineffectiveness, of the reserve wage-army as an instrument for the compression of the worker’s wage. The same situation will repeat itself on a large scale with the welfare state. Income no longer exclusively depends on the donation of wage-labor; in fact, this donation is accepted or denied in strict relation to an eventual income otherwise obtained (it does not matter whether through the receipt of state assistance or the performance of autonomous activities). [Karl] Marx turns to the ‘frontier’ to justify the high salaries, the scandal, and the cross of American capitalism at its debut.”
      [Paolo Virno, “About Exodus.” Alessia Ricciardi, translator. Grey Room. Number 21, fall 2005. Pages 17-20.]
    10. perspective of autonomy (David Eden): He combines the approaches taken by various autonomist Marxists into what he refers to as “the perspective of autonomy.”
      “My central task is to see how three related tendencies of what I call here the perspective of autonomy can aid in the development of emancipatory anti-capitalist politics. This effort rests on the claim that overcoming capitalism is both desirable and possible. As such its core premise is out of joint with the prevailing commonsense of the day. Today the accepted position in relation to the viability of capitalism is one of two variations. Firstly that capitalism, especially in its liberal democratic mode, is taken as the only and best of all possible worlds. Until the recent ‘Global Financial Crisis’ the very term capitalism had started to disappear from our vocabulary – as if simply stating its name would create the idea that there are other possible systems or forms of social organisation. Even with the return of capitalism to public discourse, this discourse has been most often one of how to save capitalism as all other possibilities are considered worse. The second variation may express a critique of how things are, but excludes the possibility that there is anything we can really do about it. Both the possibility of other societies and the very existences of subjects and struggles that can create them are dismissed. Apparently such hopes disappeared somewhere between the Gulag and the Shopping Mall. We the ‘spectacle’ (or as objects of study) they do not carry the banners of the Internationale but rather of the atavistic claims of communalisms, identity and religion. Or else they appear only as victims to be saved by humanitarian intervention so they can be transformed into orderly liberal citizens.” [David Eden. Autonomy: Capitalism, Class and Politics. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company. 2012. Pages 10-11.]
      “Here I present different voices that radically rework the idea of class and attempt to revive its emancipatory potential – and do so in ways that make it refreshing and strange. Each voice – Antonio Negri and Paulo Virno, the Midnight Notes Collective and John Holloway – is, in the broadest sense, part a tendency of ‘the perspective of autonomy’ or ‘Autonomist Marxism.’” [David Eden. Autonomy: Capitalism, Class and Politics. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company. 2012. Page 17.]
      “This thesis is a critical engagement with the work of John Holloway, the Midnight Notes Collective and Antonio Negri and Paulo Virno. All these authors are part of ‘the perspective of autonomy,’ a heterodox tendency of communist thought that aims to understand capitalism from the point of view of labour’s rebellious self-activity. These authors can be broken into three more specific tendencies: against (John Holloway), outside (the Midnight Notes Collective), and beyond (Antonio Negri and Paulo Virno). Here I present the analysis and politics of each, as well as critical reflections on their limitations and failings. Each tendency provides refreshing understandings of capitalism and struggle, which helps us revive a communist understanding of our condition. Yet in all three tendencies we see the recurring error of trying to stretch their insights too far: as an explanation for ‘everything’ and in the hope of providing an objective basis for proletarian solidarity. This limits their ability to suggest paths forward for the creation of militant forms of activity. It is the hope that this study will help the development of better understandings of capitalism, class and struggle and contribute to the development of emancipatory politics.” [David Eden. Against, Outside & Beyond: The Perspective of Autonomy in the 21ˢᵗ Century. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). The Australian National University. April, 2008. Page III.]
      “… [One] issue I want to raise concerns [David] Eden’s chapters on the (potential) practical applications of autonomist theory, and serves to bring this review full circle. Whilst these chapters contain a number of useful insights, they contain little on the precise forms of organisation that these autonomisms advocate in their movements beyond/ outside/against capitalism. This is, of course, a flaw with the source material rather than Eden himself: whilst all of the book’s subjects are (rightly, in my view) critical of neo-Leninism’s insistence on vertical organisation, they generally stop short of analysing or proposing specific organisational forms: theory and practice remain split, rather than merging incompossibly in praxis. Eden may be right in suggesting that anarchism has a tendency to be ‘unrounded and absorbed in its own ideology’; and I think a focus on horizontalism-at-all-costs is unhelpful, but the anarchist tradition’s focus on the micropolitics of organisation has much to offer communists in their quest to abolish the present state of things, rather than simply grasping the ‘real, existing material conditions’ of our world.” [David M. Bell, “Autonomy: Capitalism, Class and Politics.” Review article. Capital & Class. Volume 37, number 3, October 2013. Pages 519-521.]
      “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.’ A large and detailed analysis, [David] 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. Each section is divided into three chapters: two outlining the theories of the respective authors and a third offering several points of critique.” [Thomas Swann, “The spectre of anarchism.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 3, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 675-681.]
    11. LIES (FLOC): It is a self–described communist and “autonomous feminist project.” See also the LIES Journal.
      “We, the authors of this piece, are four individuals who have been involved in the LIES collective — an autonomous feminist project composed of only non-cis-men — for the past 1-2 years. Some of us have had longer experience with autonomous organizing through other political projects, along lines of gender (‘women only,’ or ‘queers and trans people only’) and/or race (‘people of color only,’ or ‘women of color only’). For others of us LIES was our first experience in a group with stated grounds for autonomy. Some of us rarely organized or socialized with cis men before this project began, while others still remain in organizing projects and social relationships with cis men. Our experiences are varied geographically, temporally, experientially. Furthermore, this essay is particular to its authors, who together form only a part of the LIES collective.
      “LIES itself emerged out of the shifting friendships formed, more often than not, in the midst of our engagement with social movements and political milieus: engagements that ultimately exposed us, both individually and collectively, to physical violence and social exclusion. On top of that, we kept wanting more from our political engagements, wanting to focus on the totality of all the relations that constitute us. The point is, we didn’t begin to engage with the idea of working together without cis men as a mere theoretical interest. For some of us, we did it out of necessity; for others, it presented itself as a way to circumvent an impasse. Autonomy was contextual, practical; it emerged gradually, through time spent together, meetings, phone calls, shared experiences of disappointment, of intimacy, of betrayal, of violence — the material conditions that make us who we are.”
      [FLOC, “To make many lines, to form many bonds: Thoughts on Autonomous Organizing.” LIES: A Journal of Materialist Feminism. Volume 2, August 2015. Creative Commons. Pages 57-70.]
    12. radical autonomy (Gene Ray): In Ray’s interpretation of autonomism, the process of revolution resolves social antagonisms and replaces class relations.
      “Radical autonomy is without doubt a revolutionary category. Probably, it is the best one we have. Its ideal of self-realisation in free socialised creation is substantially the same content that the young [Karl] Marx elaborated luminously as ‘true communism’: that real education of our socialised senses and human potentials that releases development in all directions and produces people who are not painters but ‘sometimes engage in painting among other activities.’ Such a vision would be conditioned on a revolutionary process, but one that so far has not appeared in an adequate form anywhere in history. For, according to this theory, the revolutionary process that resolves social antagonism and supersedes class relations would be the same one that dissolves the division of labour and makes the state wither away. The political practice that would prove this true has yet to be found. But if it were, the problems of art as a specialised activity would resolve themselves. In the meantime the struggle continues.” [Gene Ray, “Antinomies of Autonomism: On Art, Instrumentality and Radical Struggle.” Third Text. Volume 23, issue 5, September 2009. Pages 537-546.]
    13. critical perspective on brands (Adam Arvidsson as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Arvidsson develops an autonomous Marxist perspective on brand management.
      “Brands are … a good illustration of how, as Gabriel Tarde … suggested long ago, more or less autonomous public communication has become a direct source of economic value. This principle – the reliance on autonomously produced externalities as a source of surplus value and profits – makes the brand a paradigmatic embodiment of the logic of informational capitalism.…
      “… With a particular brand I can act, feel and be in a particular way. With a Macintosh computer I can become a particular kind of person, and form particular kinds of relations to others. A brand is thus nothing less than the propertied ‘frame of action,’ to use Erving Goffman’s … term. This context becomes valuable in economic terms, it acquires brand equity, when it is able to reliably produce certain forms of attention, through the subsumption or (which is the same thing) management of essentially autonomous communicative processes.”
      [Adam Arvidsson. Brands: Meaning and value in media culture. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2006. Pages 7-8.]
      “This article proposes a critical perspectives on brands based on recent developments within Marxist thought. It argues that brands build on the immaterial labour of consumers: their ability to create an ethical surplus (a social bond, a shared experience, a common identity) through productive communication. This labour is generally free in the sense that it is both un-paid and more or less autonomous. Contemporary brand management consists in a series of techniques by means of which such free labor is managed so that it comes to produce desirable and valuable outcomes. By thus making productive communication unfold on the plateau of brands, the enhanced ability of the contemporary multitude to produce a common social world is exploited as a source of surplus value.…
      “Both as innovation and as reproduction, the productivity of consumers adds to the propertied form of life that is the brand. In both cases brand management feeds off the ‘reservoir’ of autonomous immaterial labour that evolves outside of the domain of the firm. By thus subsuming the productivity of the social, brand management works to ensure that the productivity of consumers becomes productive labour.”
      [Adam Arvidsson, “Brands: A critical perspective.” Journal of Consumer Culture. Volume 5, number 2, July 2005. Pages 235-258.]
      “We need to recognize that people have changed, that competitive individualism, self-branding and an entrepreneurial mentality are, by now, normal features of life.” [Adam Arvidsson, “Thinking beyond neo-liberalism: A response to Detlev Zwick.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 3, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 407-412.]
      “For a couple of decades now, sociologists and consumer researchers have pointed to the active and reflexive processes by which needs and desires are articulated, as consumers reappropriate the programmed – in [Hannah] Arendt’s sense of that term – elements of consumer society and re-elaborate and recreate them according to their own more or less autonomous ideas and visions.
      “In fact in the last decades we have seen the emergence and consolidation of a range of practices where the boundary between consumption and production is blurred and where both practices fuse into new forms of public action. These range from the value that consumers create around brands and products in their more or less creative and more or less orchestrated forms of interaction, via pursuits like Open Source and Free Software that involve thousands of participants in productive practices that are often motivated by allegiance to particular values or a particular ethos, rather than by direct monetary rewards ….”
      [Adam Arvidsson, “The potential of consumer publics.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 2, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 367-391.]
      “… as Tom Peters keeps pointing out, cynicism keeps lurking under the surface, and to avoid it one must constantly motivate oneself — preferably by chanting self help mantras — into keep believing in the sanctity of one’s own success. The cynicism is a clear and present danger that needs to be constantly exorcised. And how could it be otherwise if personal branding is a matter of devising and impersonating one’s own authentic self, in order to cultivate an authenticity that in the end serves the purpose of packaging one’s ever more generic skills and competences in ways that are, in themselves, generic and commonplace? The branded self needs to be distinct in its blandness, unique in its generic combination of values like ‘success, trustworthiness, engagement, empathy, commitment, curiosity, interest creativity’ etc. You need to stand out and be different while remaining compatible with everybody else. But there is interesting evidence that suggests that personal brands are evolving into something quite different. Personal brands are increasingly becoming public devices.” [Adam Arvidsson, “Public brands and the entrepreneurial ethics.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 14, number 1, 2014. Creative Commons. Pages 119-124.]
      “… brands not only illustrate the importance of information as a carrier of value; they also provide a tangible example of how such valuable information is produced through autonomous processes of productive interaction that might lend themselves to partial appropriation, but that can seldom be entirely commanded or controlled. This way, brands give a good illustration of what many now consider the key principle of informational (or ‘cognitive’) capital: that value tends to depend less on the direct exploitation of commanded labor, and more on the appropriation of productive externalities in the form of socialized General Intellect ….” [Adam Arvidsson. The Logic of the Brand. Trento, Italy: Department of Sociology and Social Research at University of Trento. 2007. Page 10.]
      “When sociologist Adam Arvidsson writes about marketing and consumption we should pay attention. His 2005 essay ‘Brands: A critical perspective’ and his 2006 book Brands: Meaning and value in media culture have become seminal pieces in the field I call the critical cultural studies of marketing, which includes scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines such as critical management studies, sociology, history, marketing, media and cultural studies …. By drawing on post-Marxist and autonomist theory – hitherto considered rather obscure intellectual traditions – Arvidsson has been able to provide a highly original account of how brands function in the age of post-Fordist capitalism, making him one of the most important critical theorists of brands.” [Detlev Zwick, “Utopias of ethical economy: A response to Adam Arvidsson.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 2, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 393-405.]
    14. autonomous forms of social cooperation (Adam Arvidsson): He examines event marketing’s “autonomous communicative productivity of the public.”
      “… in the growing event-marketing sector that this article will focus on, it appears that creativity is mostly produced outside of the advertising agency or ‘event bureau’ itself: in relatively autonomous forms of social cooperation that unfold in the urban environment.
      “The real productive force becomes not so much the creative class of art directors and advertising executives, but the mostly unemployed ‘mass intellectuality’ … of the urban arts, design, music and fashion scenes. At least in the case of event-marketing (but increasingly advertising in general) it is this creative proletariat that stands for an important part of the value-added of creative production.…
      “… Event marketing entails working with the autonomous communicative productivity of the public …, rather than trying to override it through advertising and propaganda.”
      [Adam Arvidsson, “Creative Class or Administrative Class?: On Advertising and the ‘Underground.’” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 8-23.]
    15. autonomist model of political communication (Nicholas Thoburn): Thoburn considers “the primacy of struggle” in what he refers to as “minor politics.”
      “… is there an autonomist model of political communication? … My provisional answer is that an autonomist model of political communication needs to have a close association with the kinds of immersive, intensive, and collective expression of which Futur Antérieur was an example, what I have … characterized as a ‘minor politics’ …. Books, even solitary writers, are not alien to this politics, but the seductions and constraints of the manifesto, the textbook, and the book commodity must be attended to and carefully handled, even if the occasional work of synthesis certainly has its uses. For if the autonomist current has any real point of consistency, it is surely that the primacy of struggle in any one conjunction is discerned, assessed, and modulated through a critical immanence with that struggle, not through concepts abstracted from it and generalized as idea-commodities.” [Nicholas Thoburn, “Is there an Autonomist Model of Political Communication?” Journal of Communication Inquiry. Volume 35, number 4, 2011. Pages 335-341.]
    16. chain factory (Ōsugi Sakae [Japanese, 大杉栄, Ōsugi Sakae as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): He develops a metaphor concerning the struggle for autonomy from enchainment.
      “Late one night I awoke with a start and found myself in a strange place.
      “As far as I could see there were countless people busily working away at something. They are fashioning chains.
      “The fellow beside me wrapped a rather long length of chain around himself and passed one end of it to the chap beside him. The second fellow lengthened the chain further, wrapped it around himself and, once again, passed it to another chap sitting diagonally from him. While this is happening, the first chap takes the end of another chain from the fellow beside him, and, as before, lengthens it and wraps it once around himself, and then passes the end to the chap sitting diagonally from him. This goes on and on, with everyone doing the same thing, and at a dizzying pace.
      “All of them have chains wrapped around their midsections ten to twenty times, and at first glance it seems that they are completely immobilized, but their hands and feet are free enough to forge the chain and wrap it around their bodies. They work so intently. There isn’t a sign of bother on any of their faces. They actually look happy as they work.
      “But all is not what it seems. Ten places from me a chap shouted something as he tossed away the end of a chain. But then, another fellow, who was standing near, but also with chains wrapped around his body, gruffly approached him and clubbed him three or four times with the large truncheon he was carrying. Everyone near the clubbed chap cried out in glee. The clubbed chap, crying, picks up the end of the chain, fashions a small link and joins it, forges another link, and joins that one. And after a while, the tears on his face had all dried away.
      “In places there are slightly more refined men – standing, once again, with chains wrapped around their midsections – talking incessantly in shrill voices, like what one would hear from a phonograph. They speak at length with difficult words and complicated reasoning, saying something to the effect of ‘the chains protect us; the chains are a sacred object that frees us.’ Everyone listens intently.
      “And in the middle of this expansive factory are a group splendid-looking fellows—perhaps the family that owns this factory—lounging on sofas, smoking what seem to be cigars. Their smoke rings sometimes gently waft past the faces of the workers, making them choke uncomfortably.
      “As I dwelt upon how strange this place was, I felt my own joints begin to ache. I look down to find my own body wrapped ten to twenty times in chains. I busily attend to linking the chains. I was also, as is to be expected, another worker at this factory.…
      “As I cast the chains and bind myself with them, their reality is unavoidable; it is just, and it is my own fate.
      “I must cease the casting of my own chains. I must cease the binding of my body. I must break the chains that bind me. I must also create a new self, a new reality, a new sense of justice, a new fate.…
      “The larger part of what I refer to as unknown is located in humans themselves. It is with the development of life itself. It is with the power of life itself. More specifically, it lies with the efforts to realize one’s potential, to realize one’s autonomy, to struggle tirelessly for that development, and all of the effort put into that struggle.…
      “My hopes rested on myself alone. They rested only on the scant minority that come to realize their own power and autonomy, go through their own revolutions to some extent, and put forth all they can to achieve their own betterment.…
      “This struggle is a demonstration of our power. It is the touchstone of our personal autonomy. We are the magnets who draw the slothful within our sphere of influence and transform them into warriors.”
      [Ōsugi Sakae. The Chain Factory. Adam Goodwin, translator. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2017. Pages 1-4.]
    17. autonomous re–interpretation of Marxism (John Holloway): Holloway, an autonomist and an open Marxist, develops a Marxist autonomism. He considers state power in everyday life, examines the Marxian dialectic, and argues that Marxism has lost its sense of moral outrage and its focus on struggle.
      “The autonomist re-interpretation of Marxism has its roots in the upsurge of factory struggle in Italy in the 1960s, which led to a re-reading of Capital, putting particular emphasis on a part which generally been neglected by ‘Marxist economists,’ namely the long analysis in Volume I of the development of the labour process in the factories. In this discussion, [Karl] Marx shows that capital is constantly forced to struggle with the ‘refractory hand of labour’ and that it is this struggle which determines changes in factory organisation and technical innovation. Thus, for Marx, automation is ‘animated by the longing to reduce to a minimum the resistance offered by that repellent yet elastic natural barrier, man.’. Consequently, ‘it would be possible to write quite a history of the inventions, made since 1830, for the sole purpose of supplying capital with weapons against the revolts of the working class.’” [John Holloway. Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press LLC. 2010. Ebook edition.]
      “There is indeed an endlessness in negation, but it is not the endlessness of a circle. It is rather the endlessness of the struggle for communism: even when the conditions for a power-free society are created, it will always be necessary to struggle against the recrudescence of power-over. There can be no positive dialectic, no final synthesis in which all contradictions are resolved. If capitalism is to be understood as a process rather than as a state of being, even when human potential is so clogged up, how much more must this be true of a society in which human power-to is liberated.
      “But there is more to be said than that. We are not caught in an endlessly recursive circle simply because our existence is not recursive or circular. Our scream-against is a scream-against-oppression, and in that sense it is shaped by oppression; but there is more than that, for the scream-against-oppression is a scream against the negation of ourselves, of our humanity, of our power-to create. Non-identity is the core of our scream, but to say ‘we are not’ is not just a dark void. To negate Is-ness is to assert becoming, movement, creation, the emancipation of power-to. We are not, we do not be, we become.”
      [John Holloway. Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press LLC. 2010. Ebook edition.]
      “The state (or any fetishised form) involves a particular way of organising social relations, of subordinating relations between people to relations between things—a way that impedes the recognition and assumption of social human subjectivity. It would be lovely to turn our backs completely on the state and money, but generally we cannot do that …. Most of us have to engage with the state and other capitalist forms in some way; but the question is, how do we do it? We recognise their specifically capitalist character; we criticise their form. We struggle in-and-against-and-beyond those forms; we try to see our own struggle as asymmetrical to the forms of capitalism; we try to establish other forms of organisation, forms that subordinate relations between things to relations between people.” [John Holloway, “Change the World Without Taking Power.” Capital & Class. Volume 29, number 1, spring 2005. Pages 39-42.]
      “When we talk or write, it is all too easy to forget that the beginning was not the word, but the scream. Faced with the destruction of human lives by capitalism, a scream of sadness, a scream of horror, above all a scream of anger, of refusal: NO. The starting point of theoretical reflection is opposition. negativity, struggle.
      “The role of theory is to elaborate that scream, to express its trength and to contribute to its power, to show how the sream resonates through society and to contribute to that resonance.
      “That is the origin of Marxism, not just of [Karl] Marx’s Marxism, but presumably of our own interest in Marxism. The appeal of Marxism lies in its claim to be a theory of struggle, of opposition, of negation. But that is not what Marxism has become.…
      “… Marxism has lost its scream. Class struggle remains a category, but the simple statement at the start of the Communist manifesto, that ‘the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle’ is in fact abandoned.”
      [John Holloway, “In the Beginning was the Scream.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 11, winter 1991. Pages 69-77.]
      “All that remains is Marxism. Marxism as a scream of anger, Marxism as a theory of struggle, the Marxism of a long subterranean, oppositional tradition. At last it is clear that there is no other way that Marxism can be understood. But that too is in danger. Not the scream of anger, not the struggle, but their Marxist articulation.
      “The scream pierces through the triumphalism of the politicians and the media. The fall of ‘communism’ does nothing to still the scream of a world in agony, the scream of a world in struggle. But there is a real danger that, with the collapse of ‘Marxism,’ the struggle against the existing order will take increasingly divisive forms (religious, nationalistic, even fascist). These are forms of struggle that scream with the anger of the world, but turn that anger not against the oppressors, but against others of the oppressed: ‘rebellion rushing doun the wrong road, stom blowing doun the wrong tree.’ By turning anger against the oppressed such struggles not only have results that are horrific in themselves: they end up confirming the power of capital, the power of the comfortable, of those for whom anger is simply irrational.”
      [John Holloway, “The Freeing of Marx.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 14, 1993. Pages 17-21.]
      “The development of new forms of working class struggle is the counterpart of the development of the state itself. The growth of the ‘welfare state’ and ‘state intervention’ and the rise in state employment have meant an increasing permeation of daily life by the state. Over a quarter of the working population in Britain are now employed by the state and are in everyday contact with the state as their employer. For many of these (especially those employed in the public service rather than the nationalised industries), the fact that they are employed by the state (rather than by an individual capital) is of fundamental importance for the nature of their daily activity. But clearly it is not only state employees who are affected: workers not employed by the state come into much more frequent direct contact with the state apparatus than was previously the case. This is most obviously true of the various activities affecting the reproduction of labour power: education, health, social welfare, housing — all these bring the worker into constant direct contact with the various parts of the state apparatus. This is also true of the immediate sphere of production. Although the immediate antagonist for workers employed by individual capitals is still the individual capitalist, the relation between capitalist and worker is increasingly influenced by the state: through pay policy, the granting of subsidies and loans conditional on ‘good behaviour,’ planning agreements, safety regulations etc. For more and more socialists, the state has become a problem of everyday practice.” [John Holloway, “The State and Everyday Struggle.” The State Debate. Simon Clarke, editor. Houndmills, Basingstoke, England: Macmillan Academic and Professional Ltd. 1991. Pages 225-259.]
      “The activity that we reject is usually seen as being part of a system, part of a more or less coherent pattern of imposed activity, a system of domination. Many, not all, autonomous movements refer to the rejected pattern of activity as capitalism: they see themselves as being anticapitalist. The distinctive feature of the autonomist approach, however, is that it involves not just hostility to capital in general, but to the specific life activity imposed by capitalism here and now and an attempt to oppose capital by acting in a different way. Against capitalist activity we set a different activity that seeks to follow a different logic.” [John Holloway, “Cracks and the Crisis of Abstract Labour.” Antipode. Volume 42, number 4, 2010. Pages 909-923.]
      “The force of autonomist theory is that it starts explicitly from the subject, from the working class. It proclaims itself to be a theory of struggle, rather than a theory of the framework of struggle, as mainstream Marxism had become. It sees working-class struggle as the driving force of social development, the key to the changing forms of capitalism. It suggests a way of thinking about society in terms of our potential rather than in terms of the oppressive power of capital, and thus immediately opens up the perspective of a revolutionary transformation of society through the unfolding of our creative energy. Where orthodox theory closes, the autonomist impulse opens.
      “There has, however, always been a tension at the heart of the autonomist project. On the one hand, struggle is negative, struggle-against, a constantly shifting, never-defined against-ness, always moving against-and-beyond the definitions of capitalist oppression. A theory founded in struggle must be a negative theory, a theory of negation. This does not mean that it is not important to understand the changing forms of class struggle, but a theory of struggle implies that these must be understood as just that, changing forms, forms which do not stand still, which cannot be pinned down and defined, forms of struggle which constantly negate themselves, forms which do not contain, but overflow. Like struggle itself, a theory of struggle is negative, open, anti-definitional.”
      [John Holloway, “Going in the Wrong Direction; Or, Mephistopheles – Not Saint Francis of Assisi.” Historical Materialism. Volume 10, number 1, 2002. Pages 79-91.]
      “As a continuation of his previous work, Holloway invites us to reflect on the weakness of what is conceived of as inalterably powerful, i.e. capital. He suggests that, in this world, it is only humans (rather than the fetishised forms of their work) who retain the capacity to create and change the world: ‘It is labour alone which constitutes social reality. There is no external force; our own power is confronted by nothing but our own power, albeit in alienated form’ ‘. Capitalist contradictions are in no way external, but are in fact inhabited subjectivity.” [Ana C. Dinerstein, “On John Holloway’s Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today.” Review article. Capital & Class. Volume 29, number 1, spring 2005. Pages 13-17.]
      “In his latest book, Change the World without Taking Power (Hereafter, Change the World), John Holloway … provides a much needed attempt to fill that gap [in discussions of revolutionary subjectivity]. According to Holloway, the critical investigation of the fetishised social forms of capitalist society is not an abstract, academic discussion, but must be seen as a necessary moment in our radically transformative practice aiming at the negation of alienated social life.” [Guido Starosta, “Commodity Fetishism and Revolutionary Subjectivity: A Symposium on John Holloway’s Change the World without Taking Power. Editorial Introduction.” Historical Materialism. Volume 13, number 4, 2005. Pages 161-168.]
      “John Holloway’s Change the World Without Taking Power stands alongside [Antonio] Hardt and [Michael] Negri’s Empire as one of the two key texts of contemporary autonomist Marxism. This does not mean that the two books represent identical positions. Holloway makes much more of an effort to make his ideas accessible than Hardt and Negri do (although not wholly successfully). There are also important substantive differences: Holloway offers a cogent critique of Empire, to which Hardt and Negri, regrettably, have not responded in their new book Multitude.
      “Finally, the philosophical frameworks of the two books are quite different. Hardt and Negri rely on a Deleuzian vitalism that celebrates the fullness of Being. Holloway, by contrast, privileges negativity …. Hardt and Negri are anti-humanist Marxists for whom [Baruch] Spinoza is the great anti-Hegel. But for Holloway, Marxism is a tributary of ‘negative thought’: it is the tradition of [Georg] Lukács and the early Frankfurt school that provides the most important theoretical thread connecting this tradition to the present.”
      [Alex Callinicos, “Sympathy for the devil?: John Holloway’s Mephistophelian Marxism.” Capital & Class. Volume 29, number 1, 2005. Pages 17-19.]
      “John Holloway’s book [Change the World Without Taking Power] is a remarkable essay, thought-provoking and truly radical in the original sense of the word, of ‘going to the root of the problem.’ Whatever its problems and weaknesses, it brings to the fore, in an impressive way, the critical and subversive power of negativity. Its aim is ambitious and topical: ‘sharpening the Marxist critique of capitalism.’ …
      “One of my main objections to Holloway’s discussion of the issue of power, anti-power and counter-power is its extremely abstract character. He mentions the importance of memory for resistance, but there is very little memory, very little history in his arguments; very little discussion of the merits or limits of the real historical revolutionary movements either Marxist, anarchist or Zapatista, since 1917.”
      [Michael Löwy, “To change the world we need revolutionary democracy.” Capital & Class. Volume 29, number 1, March 2005. Pages 22-24.]
    18. coöperative university (Joss Winn): He develops a autonomist Marxist approach to the university.
      “I begin this article by discussing the recent work of academics and activists to identify the advantages and issues relating to co-operative forms of higher education, and then focus on the ‘worker co-operative’ organisational form and its applicability and suitability to the governance of and practices within higher educational institutions. Finally, I align the values and principles of worker co-ops with the critical pedagogic framework of ‘Student as Producer.’ Throughout I employ the work of Karl Marx to theorise the role of labour and property in a ‘co-operative university,’ drawing particularly on later Marxist writers who argue that Marx’s labour theory of value should be understood as a critique of labour under capitalism, rather than one developed from the standpoint of labour.…
      “The discussion is grounded in Marx’s social theory and method: a historical materialist, dialectical and categorical critique of capitalism. Marx’s work is useful here because he developed a rigorous critique of political economy that remains relevant today. He identified co-operation as fundamental to the capitalist mode of production, yet regarded worker co-operatives as the most progressive organisational form, attacking the ‘groundwork’ of capital, i.e. labour and private property, through worker autonomy and democracy.”
      [Joss Winn, “The co-operative university: Labour, property and pedagogy.” Power & Education. Volume 7, number 1, 2015. Pages 39-55.]
    19. machinic intellectuals (Jack Bratich): He develops an autonomist Marxist perspective on intellectual labor and laborers.
      “Put simply, we are in an era of embedded intellectuals. What can we make of this new condition?
      “I address this question by evaluating recent tendencies in the academy, especially in the field of communications studies. Using the theoretical lens of autonomist Marxism, I examine intellectual labor, the working of the general intellect, as a means to think through these conditions and offer some conceptual devices for understanding new potentials for radical subjectivity.…
      “… [The] emphasis on circuitry should remind us of the opening discussion about embedded intellectuals. The academic’s role in providing the factory of immaterial laborers and in developing new knowledges, skills, and competencies define its specificity in this general circuitry. Academics now can be reconfigured as embedded, but no longer within already existing institutions.…
      “… I propose thinking of the embedded intellectual as a machinic intellectual (MI). This would dispel the romantic and overly humanistic notion of [Antonio] Gramsci’s organic intellectual. It would also acknowledge the role of technology in the general intellect. Unlike the passive connotations of ‘embedded,’ machinic has an active and productive sense. The Machinic Intellectual also does not represent: it is not an external synthesizing mechanism determining the true interests of a people. Rather it is more of an immanent translator, an exchanger as [Michel] Foucault puts it, and attractor. Keeping with the circuitry concept, we could also add: conductor, amplifier, resistor, insulator, capacitor, incapacitor, integrator, modulator, even circuit breaker.”
      [Jack Bratich, “Fragments on Machinic Intellectuals.” Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization. Stevphen Shukaitis and David Graeber with Erika Biddle, editors. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2007. Pages 137-154.]
    20. autonomous spaces of imagination and creativity (Natalie Fenton): She develops an approach to autonomism, including autonomist Marxism.
      “Political action understood simply as the delivery of a homogeneous ideal (such as a democratic public sphere) removes uncertainty and unknowability and reduces politics to the ‘administration of things’ …. It is seen as removing creativity from political action and ultimately sustaining the status quo. Contemporary political activists talk of constructing autonomous spaces of imagination and creativity that are contingent, open and unpredictable – an attempt to escape ideological politics and move to a dialogical politics where we continually acknowledge difference and learn from others. The political premise is one of anti-reductionism that refuses a monological process or vision. Such forms of resistance are often united by a shared perception of an injustice rather than a common, determinate vision of a ‘better world’ that may follow.
      “But, as feminist theorists have noted …, for political efficacy there must be more than the apparent freedom that comes with embracing difference and diversity, more than just an increase of instances of mediated protest or opposition. Even if we accept the possibility for fragmented and multiple oppositional groupings that can create their own political interventions via the internet, we still have to broach the next stage: How will a politics of solidarity in difference be realized and sustained? Social solidarity can be described as a morality of co-operation, the ability of individuals to identify with one another in a spirit of mutuality and reciprocity without individual advantage or compulsion, leading to a network of individuals or secondary institutions that involve the creation of social and political bonds such as the anti-globalization movement. There must be a commitment to the value of difference that goes beyond a simple respect and involves an inclusive politics of voice and representation. It also requires a non-essentialist conceptualization of the political subject as made up of manifold, fluid identities that mirror the multiple differentiations of groups.”
      [Natalie Fenton. Digital, Political, Radical. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2016. Pages 106-107.]
      “Just as there are different ways of conceiving of the political subject, so there are different ways of conceiving of autonomy. The conceptualization and enactment of autonomy in the networked sociality of contemporary radical politics has been forged through a connection to anarchism, the autonomous movement and autonomous Marxism.” [Natalie Fenton. Digital, Political, Radical. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2016. Page 152.]
    21. the art of organizing hope (Ana Cecilia Dinerstein): She develops a rubric—consisting of four modes of autonomous praxis—for utilizing autonomism.
      “Self-determination … means different things to indigenous and nonindigenous collectivities. While for non-indigenous people, autonomy is an ‘emancipatory’ project, for indigenous people, emancipation is inevitably a decolonising project. A decolonising project requires the praxis of autonomous organising that not only rejects the state and capital but also defeats internal colonialism and coloniality: ‘there can not be discourse of decolonization, no theory of decolonization, without a decolonizing praxis. Indigenous struggles are mediated by a struggle against oppression, violence and legislation that inform the existing form of internal colonialism’ …. As [Marisol] de la Cadena … suggests indigenous politics are not ‘ethnic politics’ vis-à-vis ‘politics.’ It is about recognition of alternative forms of politics that correspond to the historical formation of indigeneity and, as such, ‘exceeds the notion of politics as usual, that is, an arena populated by rational human beings disputing the power to represent others vis-à-vis the state’ ….
      “Bearing these three issues in mind, i.e. the fragmented understanding of autonomy, the problems of its universalisation, and the dilemma surrounding the relation with the state I propose an alternative demarcation of the problem of autonomy. I reorganise, rephrase and pose the question about autonomy in a different fashion. To that end, by connecting autonomy and hope, I offer a definition of autonomy as the art of organising hope. The art of organising hope that entails four simultaneous modes: negation, creation, contradiction and the production of excess. Autonomy and hope are my entry points to a wider discussion about the political significance of autonomy for radical change in historical socio-political, cultural and economic context, and how differences between indigenous and non-indigenous praxis require that we address unsatisfactory categories used to explain contemporary forms of autonomous organising.”
      [Ana Cecilia Dinerstein. The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St Martin’s Press LLC. 2015. Page 13.]
      “Autonomy has a long and contested history. While some see it as a central goal for grassroots organizations and social movements, others see it as a futile exercise. This thought-provoking book makes a timely and important contribution to this debate. Drawing on the humanist philosophy of Ernst Bloch, Ana Dinerstein identifies four modes of autonomous praxis – negating, creating, contradicting and exceeding – and places them in the ‘key of hope.’ From this perspective, ‘negating’ is understood as the rejection of given realities; ‘creating’ involves establishing concrete utopias; ‘contradicting’ relates to negotiating and challenging appropriation; and ‘exceeding’ concerns prefiguration or the pursuit of ‘an unrealised or an existing-oppressed reality.’ These four modes provide the basis of what the author calls ‘the art of organising hope’ or, more precisely and poetically, ‘the art of using knowledge creatively and politically to weave dreams out of misery, against the odds, amidst brutal state violence, endemic poverty, desperate hunger and social devastation.’” [Geoff Goodwin, “The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope.” Review article. Radical Americas. Volume 1, number 1, 2016. Pages 85-88.]
    22. political economy of punishment (Alessandro De Giorgi as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an autonomist Marxist approach to post–Fordism.
      “… starting from the concept of multitude, we will see that what at first sight appears as the inadequacy of the disciplinary techniques to exercise control over the contemporary productive system, can also be described (taking the point of view of the post-Fordist labour force) as a surplus expressed by the object of control (the new social labour force) toward the disciplinary dispositives: a new dimension of work irreducible to the processes of normalisation and subjectivation imposed by disciplinary technologies of power.
      “But before approaching these conclusions, it is necessary to situate these transformations within a broader theoretical framework. The political economy of punishment seems to offer such a framework. This is a critical orientation – inspired by Marxian Foucauldian analyses – which emerged within the sociology of punishment in the 1970s, with the aim of investigating the relationships between the economy and penal control. As we shall see, this critical tradition has concentrated mainly on the relationship between the prison and the factory and between unemployment and imprisonment, describing in particular the connections between the labour market and penal policies in a Fordist scenario. In this respect, some of its assumptions seem to be outdated, given the recent transformations of the economy and social control. However, the critical tools forged by the political economy of punishment – both through the historical reconstruction of the birth of the prison and through the analysis of the contemporary relationships connecting the economy and punishment – are an important starting point, from which we can move in order to identify some new directions for a critique of post-Fordist social control.”
      [Alessandro De Giorgi. Re-Thinking the Political Economy of Punishment: Perspectives on Post-Fordism and Penal Politics. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company. 2006. Page xiii-xiv.]
      “… the term post-Fordism will be used to analyse some recent transformations of work and production, as they have been debated in the 1990s within the Italian ‘Autonomist Marxism’. This is a neo-Marxist (and to some extent a ‘post-Marxist’) stream of thought which emerged during the 1960s, and 1970s as an alternative to more ‘orthodox’ Marxist approaches. Influenced by [Karl] Marx’s Grundrisse rather than by Capital, and by [Louis] Althusser’s structuralism rather than by Antonio Gramsci’s concept of ‘hegemony,’ Autonomist Marxism played an important role in the class struggles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, both in Italy and in continental Europe.” [Alessandro De Giorgi. Re-Thinking the Political Economy of Punishment: Perspectives on Post-Fordism and Penal Politics. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company. 2006. Page 42.]
      “Post-Fordism is a term used to summarize the discussions around changes associated with the crises of capitalism experienced in industrial societies. It is seen to emerge as a response to the conditions of the 1970s, where Fordism as a means of production and the regime of accumulation became unstable. Post-Fordism did not replace Fordism, but it simply represented an alternative framework for approaching systems of capitalist accumulation.…
      “Fordism referred to the mode of production that emerged from the car industry in the 1900s. Fordist production, named after Henry Ford, could be characterized by supply chain production, where a large volume of a small number of goods were produced based on (a) forecasts, (b) scale economies, (c) Talyorist work practices (fragmentation and standardization of work tasks, which led to the de-skilling of workers), and (d) vertical integration where the entire production process was based on one site.…
      “In contrast to Fordism, post-Fordism was characterized by demand-driven production, where small volumes of a greater variety of products were created based on (a) demand; (b) scope economies; (c) processes of continuous improvement, providing both variety and flexibility in the production process; (d) neo-Taylorist work practices; and (e) vertical disintegration (e.g., outsourcing, subcontracting, and offshoring). Variants of post-Fordist theory have emerged, with emphasis on different elements of change in the system of production, including the French regulation school, flexible specialization, and neo-Schumpeterianism.”
      [Jennifer Ferreira, “Post-Fordism.” The SAGE Encyclopedia of Economics and Society. Frederick F. Wherry and Juliet B. Schor, editors. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc. SAGE Knowledge (online resource). 2015.]
      “Fordist capitalism, i.e. the hegemonic structure which had imposed itself as internationally dominant after the Second World War under the leadership of the USA, regardless of national differences and a lack of simultaneity, has been in a crisis since the seventies …. The immediate phase is characterized by serious argument about fundamentally reforming society, i.e. the imposition of a ‘post-Fordist’ mode of accumulation and regulation. The Fordist phase of capitalism was marked by the imposition of Taylorist labour processes in important sectors, associated with a considerable extension of wage labour (by repressing subsistence-economic forms of production in the agricultural and domestic sector); whilst at the same time making labour conditions relatively similar (‘employee society’). The industrial mass production of consumer goods became the basis for an extensive capitalization of the sphere of reproduction, i.e. the reproduction of the work forces became the integral part of the reproduction of capital on the basis of a generalized consumer model. Great advances in productivity and the linking of mass incomes to productivity increases facilitated strong growth in the national product and the general standard of living. The forced capitalization of the sphere of production and reproduction led to the accelerated disintegration of the traditional sociocultural milieux.” [Josef Esser and Joachim Hirsch, “The Crisis of Fordism and the Dimensions of a ‘Post-Fordist’ Regional and Urban Structure.” Post-Fordism: A Reader. Ash Amin, editor. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc. 2003. Pages 71-97.]
    23. critical cultural translation (Leticia Sabsay): She develops an autonomist approach to the autonomy of women’s bodies.
      “… [There is] the question of what is at stake when trying to determine what relation to our bodies and ourselves might count as an expression of our autonomy, an expression which it is noted, is a precondition for being considered a subject having rights.
      “This question cannot have an answer in advance, but rather, seems to move us indispensably toward the practices of genuine cultural translation, leading to redefinitions of all these terms.…
      “What do I mean by genuine or critical cultural translation? Simply put, a process by which, for instance, the presumptions as to what ‘autonomy’ is and how it might be expressed, are not predefined in advance.
      “After all, if freedom depends on a notion of autonomy that proves to be exclusionary, while also pivotal to state violence and the logic of othering, it should be worth our rethinking the terms in which both freedom and autonomy are defined.…
      “A process of critical translation would have to go further than just expanding or diversifying a particular already predefined field, whether this might be women’s political freedom, sexual human rights, or liberal democracy. Rather, it would have to re-articulate all the categories that structure whatever field is at stake.
      “Similarly, it would have to give an account of the fact that the logic of othering is always already present in the categories that shape the political subject, as it clearly is in the case of autonomy. If we do not take critical translations seriously, what is conceived as political will remain already delineated by an orientalist logic, and the promise of citizenship after orientalism will never be fulfilled.”
      [Leticia Sabsay, “The promise of citizenship: autonomy and abject choices.” OpenDemocracy. Newspaper. March 24th, 2014.]
    24. rise of the machines (Gavin Mueller): He applies an apparent autonomist Marxist to an examination of how automation is maintaining capitalist control over labor.
      “Despite having written more than a century ago, Karl Marx has a lot of pertinent observations on the introduction of machines into the labor process. In spite of a few positive remarks about bourgeois productive forces in his early years, he was no techno-utopian — for him, the relationship between labor and machines was one of ‘direct antagonism.’ The machine was ‘a power inimical’ to the worker, created ‘for the sole purpose of supplying capital with weapons against the revolts of the working class’ — and here Marx singles out the self-acting mule, an early example of automation. His pronouncement is clear: ‘the instrument of labor becomes the means of enslaving, exploiting, and impoverishing the laborer; the social combination and organization of labor-processes is turned into an organized mode of crushing out the workman’s individual vitality, freedom, and independence.’” [Gavin Mueller, “The Rise of the Machines: Automation isn’t freeing us from work — it’s keeping us under capitalist control.” Jacobin: Reason in Revolt. Issue 10, spring 2013. Pages 11-14.]
    25. flexible future (Gavin Mueller): He examines the “puppet–show” of reality TV.
      “The first thing you have to realize when you’re watching reality TV – hell, any TV – is that everyone is on the job. So before we consider weighty concepts such as representation, desire, and whose hair is fake, we must start from the fundamentals: TV is a bunch of people trying to survive under the conditions of capitalism, and in that way are pretty much like the rest of us. As [Karl] Marx reminds us, capital isn’t just money, it’s a social relationship. Wage labor is compulsory. Work is experienced as social domination, which is a term that aptly describes the crap they put entertainment workers through.…
      “That reality TV is capital’s puppet-show for a labor regime is supported by how many shows are explicitly about jobs themselves, something that goes all the way back to the reality urtext Cops.”
      [Gavin Mueller, “Reality TV and the Flexible Future.” Jacobin: Reason in Revolt. Issue 6, spring 2012. Pages 51-57.]
    26. worker socialism (Mansoor Hekmat [Persian/Fārsī, مَنْصُور حِکْمَت, Manṣūr Ḥikmat]; born, Zhoobin Razani [Persian/Fārsī, ژُوبِین رَازَانِی, Žūbīn Rāzānī]): Hekmat’s workerism (or, arguably, autonomism) focuses primarily on freedom. His approach is examined on the websites: Mansoor Hekmat Works, Mansoor Hekmat Works (another website), and Worker–communist Party Hekmatist (Persian/Fārsī, حِزْبِ کُمُونِیسْتِ کَارْگَرِیِ اِیرَان ـ حِکْمَتِیسْت, Ḥizb-i Kumūnīst-i Kāgar-i ʾIyrān–Ḥikmatīst).
      “Bourgeois communisms and bourgeois socialisms, in all their offshoots and sects, have reached an impasse and are in their last throes. This impasse and collapse, however, is taking place not under the pressure of radical, worker socialism, which at present lacks social coherence and power, but in the face of the offensive of the Right wing of the international bourgeoisie. The degeneration and disintegration of bourgeois socialisms, whether in the form of the Chinese and Soviet experience, the fate of Social Democracy and Eurocommunism, or the anti-imperialist populism in countries under imperialist domination, in the immediate term leads not to the strengthening of worker socialism but to the political and ideological coherence of the bourgeoisie against socialism and workers’ revolution.…
      “From the viewpoint of the working class and the cause of worker socialism, this general trend of the development of capitalism has, without doubt, created much more favourable objective conditions. The proletarian ranks have swelled and for the great majority of the labouring masses all over the world proletarian identity has taken priority over national, ethnic and racial identity. On the other hand, the immense growth of technology and the productive forces of humanity, the extent of socialisation and internationalisation of production, and the striking advances brought about by the electronic revolution in communications, information, data collection and assessment, etc., have made the creation of a society based on common ownership and collective control over the means of production and the labour process, conscious production on the basis of the needs of citizens, and the creation of a truly international human society, an immediately realisable and accessible objective.…
      “It may be asked how it is that the defeat of bourgeois socialism can be considered a negative development from the viewpoint of the working class. Is not worker communism itself aiming to smash and drive to dead end the bourgeois socialism and pseudo-Marxism which has so restrained the workers’ revolutionary movement? Should not the present impasse of non-proletarian socialisms be seen as an important step forward? No doubt every advance of worker communism and every expression by the working class under the banner of revolutionary socialism would amount to the isolation and the weakening of influence of bourgeois socialism. Again, there is no doubt that in a historical long-term the inability of the bourgeoisie in appropriating the slogan and ideals of socialism will facilitate the cause of worker socialism. But that does not mean that every setback of non-proletarian socialism is necessarily tantamount, immediately and automatically, to the strengthening of worker communism. Especially in the present case it is not at all so. The important point here is to analyse the concrete situation under which this regression of non-proletarian socialism has taken place. What we are witnessing today is a universal turn, on a social scale, to the Right, the impasse of the quasi-socialist reformism of the Left wing of the bourgeoisie in the face of the objective economic developments, in the face of the offensive of the New Right. Before we consider the difficulties that this regression places in the way of communism and workers’ revolution, it is necessary to review briefly the main factors contributing to this crisis.”
      [Mansoor Hekmat. The International Situation and State of Communism. Web. Privately published. December, 1988.]
      “… democracy, in the sense that is said to have triumphed today, is not the antithesis of injustice and despotism. All it means is that there now exists a national assembly of representatives of sort on the basis of general – and not necessarily free – elections. This is certainly preferable to the open rule of the army and the police, for even the lip service paid by the bourgeoisie to a politically and intellectually free society provide possibilities for the working class, the deprived strata, and freedom seekers. But this does not go so far as to call for jubilation. The essential features of bourgeois governments in Asian, African, and South American countries, i.e. the prohibition or serious limitation of activity of socialist and working-class organisations, the limitation of the freedom of speech, political activity, organisation and protest, the existence of a formidable and suppressive military and police apparatus operating above the law, a judiciary servile to the government, the lack of ensured social and political rights for the individual, the prevalence of torture, the existence of capital punishment, and, to sum up, the helplessness and disenfranchisement of the citizen in regard to the power of the state, have remained intact. One can name and consider each and every country from Oceania and South East Asia to North Africa and South America.…
      “I hope you do not expect me to come up with a definition of ‘real’ or ‘genuine’ democracy! In my system of thought as a socialist and Marxist, democracy does not constitute a key concept. We speak of freedom, rather. And that is a pivotal concept for us. But democracy, as I have said before, is a particular class interpretation, a specific, historically determined understanding of the broader concept of freedom. Democracy is a category through which a certain section of human society has, at a certain point in history, envisaged the broader concept of freedom. My interpretation of democracy can therefore only be an objective and historical one. A liberal or a democrat, for whom democracy constitutes an ideal, might give an ‘internal’ or subjective interpretation and say what she or he believes real democracy is or is not. But a Marxist, in my opinion, should elaborate the historical and practical significance of democracy and its social function.
      “Democracy, not as a term in this or that old treatise, but as a reality confronting people in contemporary society, is a product of the rise of capitalism. Democracy is the bourgeois view of freedom. I do not mean at all that there is only one version of democracy, or that historically it is only the bourgeoisie that has pursued or formulated democracy. As it happens, particularly for the last two generations, democracy has been sought after by the subjugated classes and layers, and been variously defined and interpreted by the intellectuals and movements of these classes and layers. This does not reflect the non-bourgeois character of this concept. Quite the contrary; it bears out the domination of bourgeois ideology and terminology over the struggle for freedom and liberation as a whole. Bourgeois society has succeeded in substituting the concept of freedom and the struggle for it by that of democracy. By so doing it has managed to pre-determine the extent of the onset of subjugated classes in their search for freedom, as well as the eventual shape of their victory. You fight for freedom and, upon ‘victory,’ are given parliament and ‘pluralism.’”
      [Mansoor Hekmat. Democracy: Interpretations and Realities. Web. Privately published. 1993.]
      “The appalling September 11, 2001 terrorist crimes against humanity and the slaughter of thousands of innocent people in America has pushed the world to the brink of one of the darkest and bloodiest eras of contemporary history. What the American administration calls an international war on terrorists is in fact the world's entry into a new and destructive phase in the international war of terrorists.
      “At opposing poles of this bloody conflict stand the two main international camps of terrorism, which have left their bloody mark on the lives of two generations. At one pole, there stands the most enormous machinery of state terrorism and international intimidation and blackmail. This camp includes the American government and ruling elite, the only force, which has used nuclear bombs against people, reducing hundreds of thousands of innocent and unsuspecting people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki into ashes within seconds. A state that slaughtered millions in Vietnam and razed and ruined their country for many years by chemical bombardments. It includes NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] and coalitions of Western governments who from Iraq to Yugoslavia, have destroyed people’s homes, schools and hospitals and have taken ransom the bread and medicine of millions of children. It includes the Israeli bourgeoisie and state. They occupy, seize, slaughter and deprive. They bomb and shell refugee camps and shoot scared ten-year-old children taking shelter in their fathers’ arms and at school gates. From Hiroshima and Vietnam to Grenada and Iraq, from the killing fields in Indonesia and Chile to the slaughterhouses of Palestine, the track record of this international pole of state terrorism and imperialist intimidation is obvious and irrefutable for all the world to see.”
      [Mansoor Hekmat. The World After September 11. Maryam Namazie and Fariborz Pooya, translators. Web. Privately published. 2001. No pagination.]
      “… [Mansoor] Hekmat rejected the socialisms of the Soviet Union, China and the east European bloc. He also rejected the engagements of Marxists in guerrilla warfare, as well as those who articulated social democratic or Trotskyist solutions. He saw all of them as lacking humanism, and that essential Marxist concept of radicalism.” [Haleh Afshar, “Mansoor Hekmat.” Obituary. The Guardian (newspaper). July 20th, 2002. Retrieved on May 16th, 2017.]
      “… [Mansoor Hekmat’s] Marxism had no kinship with the existing Marxism. Russian and Chinese communism, the guerrilla warfare movement, social democracy and Trotskyism were all themselves the subject of criticism by Mansoor Hekmat’s communism. Contrary to these distorted accounts of Marxism, he began directly from [Karl] Marx, and brought back to Marxism its humanism and radicalism.…
      “In Iran today communism and the left are identified with worker-communism. The Worker-communist Party is a powerful and decisive force in Iranian politics and in the movement to overthrow the Islamic Republic regime in Iran. Mansoor Hekmat’s works are the beginning of an elaborated, radical Marxism in Iran and the revival and development of Marx’s humanist and radical communism in the contemporary world. But the growth and influence of Mansoor Hekmat’s workercommunism will not be confined to our era and our generation. As long as there is injustice, inequality, poverty and exploitation in the world, Mansoor Hekmat and the worker-communist movement, whose banner he raised, will live on.”
      [Editor, “Mansoor Hekmat.” Obituary. Weekly Worker. Number 442, July 25th, 2002. Page 3.]
      “Following a long and heated debate within the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI), the majority of the members the Central Committee of the WPI in a statement issued on August 24, 2004, announced their resignation and the formation of the Worker-communist Party of Iran-Hekmatist.
      “For most of the members, supporters and those who had been following the progress of the WPI, this event was met with disbelief and disappointment. As it is the case with most political splits, the real differences take a while to become clear and manifest themselves in terms of political stance and practices.
      “Now, more than one year after the split, the WPI-Hekmatist Party has established itself as a credible, radical and a maximalist political entity. Against all the odds and in the face adverse difficulties the Hekmatist party has managed to repair some of the damages inflicted on the Worker-communism movement and raise the banner of Worker-communism and advocate and practice the kind of communist policies that were developed and practiced by Mansoor Hekmat.
      “The Middle East is in turmoil. Iran is on the verge of a major upheaval. The Islamic regime is on its last leg. All the political forces, both internal and external are intervening to shape the direction of the political development in Iran to their own advantage. A window of opportunity has opened up for the working class and the communists to challenge the bourgeois forces and start the process of a permanent revolution leading to the establishment of a socialist state.”
      [Editor, “Editor’s note.” Komonist/Communist: A monthly paper by the Worker-communist Party of Iran-Hekmatist. Issue 1, December 2005. Pages 1-2.]
    27. generative dialogue (Sarah E. Dempsey and David Carlone): They propose a “relational constructionist” and dialogical approach to autonomist Marxism.
      “… the multiple, thin, and conflicting conceptions of communication found within autonomist Marxist thought minimizes important distinctions between communication as mere expression and communication as the structuring of experience.…
      “… Generative dialogue has the capacity to break existing forms of consent unlike naïve models of communication emphasizing simple expression. Developing a sharper analytic of generative dialogue is critical to the realization of the new forms of democratic collectivity called for within autonomist thought.…
      “… Qualitative differences exist between a model of communication as the reproduction of already existing meanings versus a model of communication as the structuring of experience or as a process of reclaiming suppressed conflicts. The example of generative dialogue demonstrates that communicative practices are multiple, able to function more or less politically within contemporary capitalisms.…
      “Our discussion of generative dialogue highlights the need to enrich autonomist Marxist accounts with a model of communication that sees perception and experience as arising in highly political and contingent ways. Here, communicative action centralizes the reclaiming of suppressed conflict as a critical component of any political project. Insights from generative dialogue imbue autonomist Marxist approaches with a richer conception of communication.…
      “… We argue that generative dialogue is capable of producing forms of collective action able to overcome problematic processes of consent and meaning formation.…
      “Generative dialogue usefully informs the vision of collective political action found within autonomist Marxist thinking. Generative dialogue is grounded in a politically attentive relational constructivist (PARC) account of communication ….
      “Generative dialogue brings a focus to the very interaction processes by which such meanings came to be rather than simply on the manner of their expression and coordination.… Generative dialogue is aimed at enabling more inclusive, participatory forms of communication that can be considered productive in the sense that they allow for the recovery of conflict and otherness. When combined with the account of capitalism found within autonomist Marxist conceptions, generative dialogue addresses the need to flesh out the interaction systems needed to enact the common.”
      [Sarah E. Dempsey and David Carlone, “Autonomist Marxism and the Contributions of Generative Dialogue.” Communication and the Economy: History, Value, and Agency. Joshua S. Hanan and Mark Hayward, editors. Oxford, England, and New York: Peter Lang. 2014. Pages 45-66.]
      “Generative transformation fulfils the activist objectives of critical research on discourse. Critical researchers engage in change by enriching and complicating organisational discourse where new concepts and practices for organisational members become possible. This might include creative euphemisms … or rearticulations …. Emergent discourses might resist, transform, or otherwise allow organisational participants the possibility to generate new meanings, practices, and ways of organising. Methods for encouraging generative transformations vary; however, all focus on finding ways for organisational participants to play with and invent alternative discourses that generate the possibility of discovering new ways of interacting towards a more positive future.
      “… Defining generative dialogue as coherent and integrated discourse that engages difference, emphasises affirmation, includes repetitive discursive scenarios, and generates reflexivity that leads to the development of bonds among individuals, they argue that this form of talk, rather than inattention to others or blame, can promote more effective forms of organising. This focus on discourse is important because it considers how talk at the local level can have real consequences for organisational life.”
      [Stanley Deetz and John G. McClellan, “Critical studies.” The Handbook of Business Discourse. Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini, editor. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press, Ltd. 2009. Pages 119-131.]
    28. libertarian ecosocialism (John Michael Colón, Mason Herson-Hord, Katie S. Horvath, Dayton Martindale, and Matthew Porges): Grounded in autonomist Marxism and other frameworks, the authors propose a new system to replace the current capitalist world order.
      “By meeting communal needs and channeling our communities’ collective action through organs of radical democracy, we aim to develop institutions that can both build popular power against unresponsive oligarchy and be the very replacements for capitalism that the Left is so frequently criticized for failing to envision. This next system we imagine is a libertarian ecosocialism grounded in the direct participation of citizens rather than the unaccountable authority of elites; in the social ownership of the economy rather than exploitation; in the equality of human beings rather than the social hierarchies of race, gender, nationality, and class; in the defense of our common home and its nonhuman inhabitants rather than unfettered environmental destruction; and in the restoration of community rather than isolation. Above all else, our aim is to lay out a framework for crafting such a society from the ground up—to, as the Wobblies declared, build the new world in the shell of the old.…
      “In our view, the answer to political change lies between the utopians and [Karl] Marx. There is some truth to Marx’s claim that describing a desired future is a waste of time; devising complex utopias does little to guide us politically or strategically if it is divorced from the process through which such ideas could feasibly come about. Yet neither can we sit by critiquing the current economic and political landscape while we wait for ‘inevitable’ revolution. The next-system vision spelled out here can and must be enacted in our communities today as an essential, intermediate step toward realizing a revolutionary vision for the planet.…
      “Our organizing vision has roots from across the history of revolutionary movements for freedom and justice. We draw our inspiration and intellectual development from, among others, autonomist Marxism, Zapatismo, the alt-globalization movement, the New Anarchists, the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, the Alinskyist community organizing tradition, asset-based community development, anarcho-syndicalism, council communism, social ecology, and the movement for a social solidarity economy.”
      [John Michael Colón, Mason Herson-Hord, Katie S. Horvath, Dayton Martindale, and Matthew Porges. Community, Democracy, and Mutual Aid: Toward Dual Power and Beyond. Washington, D.C.: The Next System Project. 2016. Pages 2-3 and 8.]
    29. subjective Marxism (Derek Wall): According to Wall, autonomists focus on how regular people, instead of being puppets of capital, can compel changes in the capitalist system.
      “… autonomism is a form of ‘subjective’ rather than ‘objective’ Marxism. Autonomists argue that ordinary people, rather than being the puppets of the capitalist system, jerked up and down by its mechanisms as it lurches through crisis, instead force capitalism to change. Such power is not the power that can only create a revolution in the future, when the productive forces are ‘ripe’, but is a power that workers exercise on a day-to-day basis.…
      “Autonomists argue that emerging capitalism first faced the professional worker. This worker is highly skilled and operates complex and sophisticated machinery; one thinks of print workers who set type by hand before the introduction of computer technology. Such workers are in a strong position to push up wages and conditions, and given their power may see no necessity for capitalist management.”
      [Derek Wall. Economics After Capitalism: A Guide to the Ruins and a Road to the Future. New York: Pluto Press. 2015. Kindle edition.]
    30. autonomist hypothesis (Jason Read): He develops an autonomist Marxist approach to “the micro–politics of capital.”
      “The autonomist Marxism (or Operaismo) of [Mario] Tronti, [Antonio] Negri, [Paolo] Virno, and Mariarosa Dalla Costa … plays a fundamental role in developing this book.… For the most part post-structuralism and post-Marxism have completely overlooked autonomist Marxism, the only significant exception being [Gilles] Deleuze and [Félix] Guattari who draw from Tronti and Negri in significant ways.” [Jason Read. The Micro-Politics of Capital: Marx and the Prehistory of the Present. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 2003. Page 13.]
      “According to the autonomist hypothesis the transformation of capital, its extension into new spaces and technologies, is the effect and displacement of prior conflicts. The modern high-tech productive processes conceal and maintain the traces of past struggles. The capitalist mode of production is transformed by these struggles, and as it changes the very terms of conflict change as well. Thus, as I will argue in the following chapters, the autonomist hypothesis makes it possible to extend and transform the antiquated schema of class struggle into the contemporary networks and relations of twenty-first-century capital. As with the example of the struggle of the working day, these contemporary struggles increasingly involve contestations over subjectivity, over how the knowledges, desires, and relations of labor are to be utilized or exploited. As I argue …, antagonism ‘against capital’ nowadays is often framed around the expropriation and exploitation of social activity at its most basic level: of knowledge, desire, and communication.
      “If the autonomist hypothesis seems too difficult to reconcile with much of what has been written under the official name of Marxism, a discourse that despite its (over)stated intention to overthrow capitalism seems to almost masochistically delight in the image of the pervasive power of capital, it is because excavating this perspective requires a critical strategy of reading. It requires a sort of symptomatic reading that can extract the figure and force of antagonism in such passages as the pages [Karl] Marx devotes to ‘primitive accumulation’ (the violence necessary to destroy precapitalist social relations), the struggle over the length of the working day, and the conflict over machinery. In these passages, which constitute something of a minor logic of Marx’s writing, there is an analysis of the manner in which the subjectivity of the working class, the demands and desires of what Marx at times calls ‘living labor,’ functions as both the condition and limit to the development of the capitalist mode of production.”
      [Jason Read. The Micro-Politics of Capital: Marx and the Prehistory of the Present. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 2003. Page 14.]
    31. self–activity of the working class (Werner Bonefeld as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He distinguishes autonomist from structuralist approaches.
      “Unlike the theoretical suppression of class struggle in structuralist approaches, autonomist approaches place at their centre the self-activity of the working class. Class struggle is seen as primary. The emphasis is on labour’s revolutionary power. Autonomist approaches take as their starting point the Marxian notion that all social relations are essentially practical. In that emphasis lies an important difference from structure-centred approaches. The difficulty inherent in ‘autonomist’ approaches is not that ‘labour’ is seen as being primary but that this notion is not developed to its radical solution.…
      “Structuralist and autonomist approaches understand the contradictory constitution of capitalism in terms of two externally related things: in structuralism the contradiction obtains in the form of structural inadequacies andlor dysfunctionalities as between different regions such as the ‘economic’ and ‘political’; in autonomism the contradiction obtains between the autonomy of the revolutionary subject and the capitalist system. Neither autonomism nor structuralism see the contradictory character of capital in and through the constitutive power of labour, a constitutive power which exists in and against and beyond capital. Both the theoretical suppression of labour, as in structuralist approaches, and the theoretical subjectification of labour, as in autonomist approaches, fail to reconcile objectivity with subjectivity and vice versa.”
      [Werner Bonefeld, “Human Practice and Perversion: Between Autonomy and Structure.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 15, 1994. Pages 43-52.]
    32. autonomist analysis (Nick Dyer-Witherford): Dyer-Witherford develops autonomist Marxist approaches to a variety of subjects.
      “At the heart of autonomist analysis lies [Karl] Marx’s familiar analysis of the relation between labour and capital: a relation of exploitation in which workers, separated from the means of production, are compelled to sell the living labour power from which the capitalist extracts surplus value. In elaborating this account, however, most Western Marxisms have tended to emphasise only the dominant and inexorable logic of capital, to a degree such that its accumulative logic, unfolding according to ineluctable (even if finally self-destructive) laws, figures as the unilateral force shaping the contemporary world. The autonomists’ re-discovery—startling enough that Yves Moulier terms it a ‘Copernican inversion’ in post-war Marxism—was that Marx’s analysis affirms the power, not of capital, but of the creative human energy Marx called ‘labour’—‘the living, form-giving flame’ constitutive of society.…
      “Autonomist analysis understands capitalism as a collision between two opposing vectors—capital’s exploitation of labour and worker’s resistance to that exploitation. Its perspective on technology, correspondingly, has two aspects. The first is an analysis of technoscience as an instrument of capitalist domination—a rereading aimed at shattering scientific socialism’s myth of automatic scientific progress. The second, however, looks at the situation from the other side, and analyses the ways in which struggles against class can overcome capital’s technological control.…
      “Resistance and reappropriation, sabotage and invention power, are, in autonomist analysis, both parts of the repertoire of struggle—although different authors, at different times and contexts, may put more emphasis on one than another. Unlike scientific socialists, autonomists find no inherently progressive logic in technological development. But unlike neo-Luddites they do not perceive only a monolithic capitalist control over scientific innovation. Rather, their insistence on the perpetually contested nature of the labour-capital relation and the basic independence of human creativity tends away from attribution of fixed political valencies to machinery and towards a focus on possibilities for counterappropriation, refunctioning, and ‘detournement.’”
      [Nick Dyer-Witheford. Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-technology Capitalism. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 1999. Ebook edition.]
      1. information society theory: Dyer-Witheford “argues for the pertinence of autonomist Marxism to an era of computerised capital and postmodern culture.”
        “This paper argues for the pertinence of autonomist Marxism to an era of computerised capital and postmodern culture. Broadly speaking, ‘autonomist Marxism’ designates that tradition of Marxism which places at its centre the self-activity of the working class – a tradition with deep historical roots and wide international diffusion. However, perhaps its most developed contemporary expression, and the one I shall focus on here, is that arising out of the struggles of Italian workers, students and feminists during the 1960s and 70s and formulated in the work of such revolutionary intellectuals as Raniero Panzieri, Mario Tronti, Sergio Bologna, Mariarosa Dalla Costa, Francois [sic; Franco] Berardi, and Antonio Negri. When in 1979 the ferment of the Italian New Left was violently repressed under the pretext of counterinsurgency against the Red Brigades the development of this innovative body of theory was abruptly interrupted, and subsequently the heretical tenor of its positions – anathema to neoliberals, Soviet-style nomenklatura and social democrats alike – has ensured it a subterranean existence, even on the left. Yet despite the destruction of the movement in which it was originally based, this strand of autonomist Marxism has continued to develop, undergoing new mutations and making fresh connections.…
        “Information society theory is a doctrine of ‘autonomous technology,’ … presenting information technologies as the prime movers propelling the economics, culture, and politics of the future. If certain Marxisms have difficulty contesting such determinism this is surely because of a partial complicity in its premises. ‘Scientific socialists’ who perceive the forces of production as a motor of history relentlessly smashing through anachronistic social relations are ill-equipped to answer a counter-theory which appropriates their own logic and turns it against them, depicting socialism itself as a fetter on the machinemade march of progress. It is no coincidence that several postindustrial gurus are past students of historical materialism who have learnt only too well from Marx’s … aphorism that ‘The handmill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill with the industrial capitalist’ – and do not hesitate to extrapolate a new epoch based on the microcomputer and communications satellite.”
        [Nick Dyer-Witheford, “Autonomist Marxism and the Information Society.” Capital & Class. Volume 18, number 1, spring 1994. Pages 85-125.]
      2. revolt of the global value–subjects: Dyer-Witheford, in his autonomist Marxist analysis, asks, Whose value or values will win?
        “With no pretence to a final word, this paper develops a perspective on globalization struggles based in the tradition of autonomist Marxism.… It then goes on, within a broadly autonomist perspective, to propose the category of ‘global value subjects’ as an instrument to analyze the movements I term ‘the new combinations.’ To explain the composition of these movements I discuss the dimensions of what autonomists call the ‘global factory,’ then sketch the significance of [Karl] Marx’s concepts of ‘general intellect’ and ‘species being’—‘global brain’ and ‘global body’—for theorizing the role of computer networks and biotechnologies in their struggles. Turning to consider the possible responses of capital to the new combinations, I suggest these responses include the danger of resort to ‘global war.’ ….
        “… The problematic that ‘global value subjects’ identifies is thus both how the variegated value-creating capacity of subjectivity is corralled by the world market and how subjects search and struggle for alternatives. In this sense, it points to a social indeterminacy—to lines of struggles. The roots of the term ‘value’ lie in the Latin valore—to be strong—a genealogy that points to the issues of whose or what’s goals and priorities will have sufficient social power to prevail. To talk of ‘global value subjects’ is to raise the question ‘what value’ or ‘whose value’—or ‘whose values will win.’ ‘Global’ acknowledges both the international dimensions of this contestation, and also, insofar as ‘global’ can be taken as suggesting an enveloping, totalizing, or englobing condition, its multidimensional scope, fought across numerous ‘life ranges.’”
        [Nick Dyer-Witheford, “The New Combinations: Revolt of the Global Value-Subjects.” CR: The New Centennial Review. Volume 1, number 3, winter 2001. Pages 155-200.]
      3. cyber–Marx: Dyer-Witheford develops an autonomist Marxist examination of the interface between “high–technology capitalism” and struggle.
        “… I use the autonomist concept of ‘cycles of struggle’ to offer an historical analysis that locates the origins of the information society in the conflict between labour and capital, and examines current controversies about class composition in a digitalised era.” [Nick Dyer-Witheford. Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-technology Capitalism. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 1999. Page 20.]
        “The central feature of … [the] latest phase is the increasing level of automation, and, in particular, the replacement of industrial workers by cybernetic systems and continuous flow processes based on automatic control. This brings with it a series of interrelated developments, which reverberate through the capitalist economy. These include a shift of living labour from the actual treatment of raw materials to preparatory or supervisory functions; new developments in organised research and university education; a speed up in production and a consequent pressure for more effective inventory control, market research and demand management; and increasingly large, and increasingly quickly obsolete, investments in large technological systems. These developments in turn generate a compulsion to introduce exact planning of production not only within each enterprise but also within the economy as a whole—leading to more state intervention. All of these changes, however, relate back to the overwhelming imperative of capitalism, the maintenance of the rate of profit.” [Nick Dyer-Witheford. Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-technology Capitalism. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 1999. Ebook edition.]
      4. cognitive capitalism: Dyer-Witheford examines “the commercial appropriation of general intellect.”
        “Let us call the commercial appropriation of general intellect ‘cognitive capitalism.’ The absorption of universities into cognitive capitalism has not been a smooth path, but the outcome of a cycle of struggles. Its origins lie in the post-war expansion of universities to provide the expanding strata of managers, technocrats and scientists required by high Fordist capitalism. The influx of these student cadres initiated the transition from the ‘ivory tower’ model to the functional ‘multiversity,’ a model that is in many ways the forerunner of today’s Corporate U. The transition, however, was traumatic. From Paris to California the ‘1968’ generation of students, the first mass intake given the time and space of higher education to reflect on their life trajectory, defected from the cruelties and conformities of the industrial-military complex they were meant to serve. Their insurgencies in turn became a vital node in a circulation of social unrest that linked the mass workers of industrial factories, the emergence of new social movements, guerrilla wars in Vietnam and elsewhere.” [Nick Dyer-Witheford, “Cognitive Capitalism and the Contested Campus.” European Journal of Higher Arts Education. Issue 2, February 2005. Pages 71-93.]
      5. new commonism: Dyer-Witheford with Greig de Peuter develop a Marxist approach which focuses upon “a circulation of commons.”
        “If the human is passing, neither a regression to tbe atavistic divisions of the prehuman, realised today as ‘ethnic cleansings,’ or a triumphalist celebration of a posthumanism whose high-technology requirements come at the expense of millions wbo want, not for implants and nanotechnologies, but for water, medicine, and food, are an emancipatory option. Rather, it is time to say that tbe prehuman, human and posthuman have all, as categories inextricably tied to the historic inequalities of tbe world market, had their day. Tbe cancellation of these inequalities demands a new ‘commonism,’ a project neither of goddesses, nor of cyborgs, nor even of humans, but, instead, of species beings.” [Nick Dyer-Witheford, “1844/2004/2044: The Return of Species-Being.” Historical Materialism. Volume 12, number 4, 2004. Pages 3-25.]
        “Our essay’s perspective is Marxist, but one informed by other traditions of anti-capitalism present in both commons and cooperative struggles.…
        “To speak of the circulation of the common is to propose connecting eco-social, labour, and networked commons to reinforce and enable one another, creating a circuit in which the common goods and services produced by associations at one point in the circuit provide inputs and resources for associations at another …. So, for example, we can envisage large-scale eco-social planning seeding various worker cooperatives and associative enterprises, which then in turn generate the goods and services required for ecological, public health, and welfare planning—including the non-rivalrous networked commons, a pool of free knowledge and innovation to be used in turn in the planning and production of the eco-social and labour commons.
        “The three moments in our model of the circulation of the commons—ecological, labour and network or communicational—map onto the three moments of the circulation of capital—financial, industrial, and mercantile—yet also signal a profound alteration in their logic.…
        “… a circulation of commons can only arise from the circulation of struggles, that is, from social experiments created in resistance to the expanding circulation of capital. As we noted at the outset, fights for commons—terrestrial, networked, labour—are underway. The circulation of the common is a forward projection of these contests; it is a concept of emergence. If capital is an immense heap of commodities, commonism, as we envisage it, will be a multiplication of commons. The idea of the circulation of the commons proposes a systemic transformation, but starts small, with cellular model of commons and association that is simple, even rudimentary. It then scales, at levels from the domestic to the municipal to the planetary. The totality it envisages is a multiplicitous one—a complex, composite non-capitalist society composed by an interaction of different kinds of commons with distinct, specific logics.…
        [Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter, “Commons and Cooperatives.” Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action. Volume 4, number 1, summer 2010. Pages 30-56.]
        “Species-being movements contest the corporate trajectory of both digital and bio-technologies. In the case of new media this contestation often, but not always, takes the form of reappropriation. In the case of biotechnologies it often, but not always, takes the form of a refusal of high-technology life engineering. What is common is the attempt to intervene from below in technoscientific life-alteration, and to open channels for it other than those determined by commodification.” [Nick Dyer-Witheford, “Species-Being and the New Commonism: Notes on an Interrupted Cycle of Struggles” The Commoner: A Web Journal for Other Values. Number 11, spring 2006. Pages 15-32.]
        “One of the more sustained renditions of a new commons is the notion of ‘commonism’ elaborated by [Nick] Dyer-Witheford …, who, in a number of articles has sought to promote the concept of commonism as a way to avoid the bad history of authoritarian state communism, while, at the same time, providing an antidote to centralised planning and the restrictions of private property through new forms of collective ownership. An important aspect of the notion of commonism is the way in which it connects with issues of technological production in the context of Open Education and Open Educational Resources.…
        “With its focus on exchange rather than production, commonism not only replays the consumerist limits of the Open Education and Open Educational Resources movement, but also, ironically, is in danger of replicating the forms of social regulation it is attempting to avoid: Socialism. If Socialism is ‘the collective ownership of the means of production and economic planning in an industrialised context’ …, then commonism looks very much like the latest form of socialist society. Notwithstanding the fact that commonism attempts to privilege one form of planning over another, radical and democratic rather than centralised and repressive, without a fundamental exposition of the processes through which capitalist society is (re)produced, these instructions look normative and contingent rather than determined by a progressive materially grounded social project ….”
        [Mike Neary and Joss Winn, “Open education: Common(s), commonism and the new common wealth.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 12, number 4, November 2012. Pages 406-422.]
        “There is a need (as necessary now as ever) to think through what we—non-elite, exploited, oppressed—want, and how we might get it. There is an urgency to pursue constructive approaches to meet common needs. For many, the constructive vision and practice of meeting social needs (individual and collective) is expressed as commonism—an aspiration of mutual aid, sharing, and common good, or common wealth collectively determined and arrived at. According to autonomist theorist Nick Dyer-Witheford, the term commonsim is a useful way to discuss the goals and aspirations of oppositional movements, the movement of movements, because it returns to social struggle the emphasis on commonality—a common wealth—that has been lost in the histories of previous movements that subsumed the commons within mechanisms of state control, regulation, and accounting—namely communism.…
        “The reference to the commons means the collective lands and resources to which all have had access in meeting human social needs for almost all of human history on the planet. It speaks to the rootedness of humans as part of nature—an ecological as well as social consciousness. For commonists, the reference means even more specifically the common lands and resources that sustained peasant life in England in Western Europe historically, but which were stolen through violent (and legalized) practices of enclosure—in processes which [Karl] Marx calls primitive accumulation— running from the late middle ages up through the present …. Today, Dyer-Witheford speaks of “an ecological commons (of water, atmosphere, fisheries and forests); a social commons (of public provisions for welfare, health, education and so on); a networked commons (of access to the means of communication)” …. These are the bases for sustaining human social life and development. They are in many cases, too, the outcomes of collective human labor, or collective human care (of land, water, education, and health).”
        [Jeff Shantz. Commonist Tendencies: Mutual Aid Beyond Communism. Brooklyn, New York: Punctum Books. 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 2-3.]
    33. commons–creating society (Johannes Euler as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an approach to the commons, and to “a radically different form of society,” which allows for freedom from domination.
      “Commons will be conceptualized as a counterpart to the commodity form based on self-organization and autonomy. This makes it possible to present commons as the potential foundation for a radically different form of society based on needs-orientation, self-determination, decentralized ex-ante mediation, and structural communality. The ideas presented here can serve to go beyond conventional thinking and challenge much of conventional science and politics. It can be taken as an important approach for future radical thinking and critical activity.…
      “One way to imagine … a form of mediation based on indirect reciprocity can be observed with Wikipedia and is called stigmergy.… Ultimately, stigmergy is a sign-based organizational mechanism that makes communication and dispersion of information (i.e. on tasks and their completion) possible without the necessity of personal, time, or spatial meetings. The aim of the stigmergic method is the coherent and comprehensive organization of local actions, or put differently: merging micro-activities to create macro-coherence ….
      “Polycentricity could be considered appropriate for structures of such complex decentralized network systems based on indirect reciprocity.… Polycentric systems are based on partial dependence and allow for a high degree of flexibility. This makes it very appropriate for the multi-dimensional plurality and concrete distinctiveness of the commons. Stigmergic mediation and polycentric connectivity could thus be the foundation for a commons-creating society that creates its own basis (commons-based commons creation) and allows for decentralized, self-planned, and self-organized production structurally free of domination.”
      [Johannes Euler, “Commons-creating Society: On the Radical German Commons Discourse.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 48, number 1, 2016. Pages 83-110.]
    34. new social protagonism (Colectivo Situaciones as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, i.e., Collective Situations): They examine “the autonomization of the market.”
      “The hypothesis from and upon which we work here is constituted as a site of polemics, ruptures, and continuities with respect to the struggles of the seventies and the post-dictatorship period. We affirm the emergence of a collection of practices and languages that give way to a new type of intervention in the social and political sphere. Here we find a social protagonism that operates by bringing together dimensions of existence in their entirety; this is a consequence of a more significant historical rupture with respect to the myths of determinism and progress characteristic of modernity.” [Colectivo Situaciones. 19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism. Nate Holdren and Sebastián Touza, translators. Jay Blair, Malav Kanuga, and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2011. Page 24.]
      “We are interested in describing an epochal shift: namely of the ruptures that we are witnessing. We don’t seek to be exhaustive. The sole criterion is to situate the significance of the changes of the material conditions in which the world is inhabited and produced in order to interrogate the meaning of our own existences. This work, we announce, proposes to think the emergence of a new social protagonism. From this standpoint we aim to understand the constitution of the contemporary market society and of a fabric of postdisciplinary power that spontaneously produces subjected subjectivities – as the philosopher Louis Althusser called them – although no longer in the form of interpellation by state institutions, as was the case previously, but through the direct intervention of capital flows, forms of consumption and the society of the spectacle. This perspective permits us to rapidly describe the landscape over which the new social protagonism carries out an ethical operation. This means a passage – a laborious one – toward the reappropriation of these conditions of departure such that these original circumstances no longer operate as a determination, but rather as conditions to be assumed that permits us a passage to the act. This sovereignty over the situation itself implies as well a certain capacity to cut out a space-time. This cutout is, in turn, the condition – and product – of the emergence of sense (it is this operation that we call situation).” [Colectivo Situaciones. 19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism. Nate Holdren and Sebastián Touza, translators. Jay Blair, Malav Kanuga, and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2011. Page 31.]
      “Today the principle of domination is the autonomization of the market, capital flows, and the (macro)economy with respect to the institutions charged – until now – with regulating them. Thus, neoliberalism constitutes a displacement of the proper political terrain of domination and a substitution of this principle.” [Colectivo Situaciones. 19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism. Nate Holdren and Sebastián Touza, translators. Jay Blair, Malav Kanuga, and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2011. Page 91.]
      “The thesis, then, is that the new social protagonism works against the background of the market … at the height of neoliberalism, producing an ethics capable of inhabiting and producing the world beyond the strategies inherited from the previous political subjectivity.” [Colectivo Situaciones. 19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism. Nate Holdren and Sebastián Touza, translators. Jay Blair, Malav Kanuga, and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2011. Page 93.]
      “These texts were engraved by the materiality and the urgency of events that have transformed us. We have a wish: that the active connection between these pages and many others manage to escape the fate of the academic text, the political pamphlet, and all aestheticizing pretension, in order to form part of this moment of foundation of a new social protagonism capable of bringing to life the experience of revolution.” [Colectivo Situaciones. 19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism. Nate Holdren and Sebastián Touza, translators. Jay Blair, Malav Kanuga, and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2011. Page 216.]
      “It is clear that, as a politics, the new social protagonism – or counterpower – would not give place to just one more politics, but rather to one founded in the most positive features of some experiments of resistance such as horizontality, autonomy, and multiplicity. These authentic keys to counterpower were thus taken as universal and abstract answers – an ideology – apt for an a priori resolution of the dilemmas of the every situation.” [Colectivo Situaciones. 19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism. Nate Holdren and Sebastián Touza, translators. Jay Blair, Malav Kanuga, and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2011. Page 243.]
    35. research militancy (Colectivo Situaciones): They develop an autonomist and a militant approach to the practice of research.
      “In our experience, the labor of dissolving ossifying ideological cement (be it autonomist, horizontalist, situationist, or multiple) has turned out to be decisive. We hold that idealization is a destructive force. A real, contradictory, rich, and always conflicted experience is placed on the one-dimensional pedestal of the redeeming ideal. Operations are idealized, permitting the experience/experiment to produce an existence. This is, then, transformed into an example to apply anytime and anywhere, as a new set of a priori principles. It is then asked to be able to confirm this ideal for everyone.” [Colectivo Situaciones, “Something More on Research Militancy: Footnotes on Procedures and (In)Decisions.” Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization. Stevphen Shukaitis and David Graeber with Erika Biddle, editors. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2007. Pages 73-93.]
    36. multiplication of labor (Sandro Mezzadra as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Brett Neilson): They develop an autonomist approach to “the intensification of labor processes.”
      “The multiplication of labor … is a conceptual tool for investigating the composition of living labor in a situation characterized by a high degree of heterogeneity. In part it refers to the intensification of labor processes and the tendency for work to colonize the time of life. It also attempts to grasp the subjective implications of the diversification and heterogenization of workforces that are the other side of the growing relevance of social cooperation in contemporary capitalism. The concept of the multiplication of labor is therefore meant to accompany as well as supplement the more familiar concept of the division of labor, be it technical, social, or international.
      “By inverting this classical notion from political economy, we want above all to question the orthodoxy that categorizes the global spectrum of labor according to international divisions or stable configurations such as the three worlds model or those elaborated around binaries such as center/periphery or North/South. We also seek to rethink the categories by which the hierarchization of labor is specified within labor markets, however they may be defined or bordered. Our discussion of old and new theories of the international division of labor from the point of view of the Marxian analysis of the world market … shows that the geographical disruption lying at the heart of contemporary global processes needs to be analyzed not just in terms of division. More important, we argue, is the multiplication of scales, zones, and channels that undermines the stability of global space. Speaking of a multiplication of labor provides an angle from which these dynamics can be analyzed in terms of their consequences for the subjective composition of living labor. This requires a careful investigation of the processes of legal and political constitution of labor markets, within which migrant labor plays a crucial role today.”
      [Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson. Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2013. Pages 21-22.]
      “As you may know, the critique of any linear understanding of the ‘tendency’ has been an important part of my work in the last years, making my position within the ‘post-workerist’ debate quite peculiar. If you take for instance the concepts of formal and real subsumption, I have tried to challenge any simple rendering of their relation in terms of a kind of necessary ‘transition’ from the first to the latter, emphasizing what Marx himself writes about formal subsumption as the ‘general form of any capitalist production process.’ This led me to focus on the multifarious ways in which formal subsumption (with the specific extraction of ‘absolute surplus value’ through extension of the working day characterizing it) reproduces itself within any capitalist ‘transition.’ This is part of the problems that Brett Neilson and I investigate through the concept of the ‘multiplication of labor,’ emphasizing the constitutive heterogeneity of living labor as well as the articulation of different labor regimes and forms of exploitation. This is an approach that leads us very far away from attempts to locate the ‘hegemony’ of a certain section of labor that have unquestionably characterized the development of workerism and more recently ‘post-workerist’ debates (which does not mean to deny of course that under specific conditions there are struggles that are more relevant than others).
      “It is important to say that speaking about the multiplication and heterogeneity of labor does not mean for me and Brett celebrating ‘difference’ or even ‘fragmentation.’ It rather points to the existence of a myriad points of potential conflict and struggle, while at the same time requalifying the problem of a political composition of struggles within and against the capital relation. Against this background, I am convinced that the concept of tendency retains its importance and validity once it is shaken free of the ‘progressivist’ and ‘historicist’ aspects that you rightly mentioned.”
      [Sandro Mezzadra, “The Multiplication of Labor: An Interview.” Viewpoint Magazine. Issue 3, September 2013. Online publication. Creative Commons. No pagination.]
    37. border as method (Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson): They develop an autonomist approach to “the topology of global space and borders.”
      “The research hypothesis that we call border as method offers a fertile ground upon which to test the potentiality and the limits of the topological approach. In this article we present our hypothesis and address three questions relevant for topology. First, we ask how the topological approach can be applied within the heterogeneous space of globalization, which we argue does not obey the dialectic of inclusion and exclusion. Second, we address the claim of neutrality that is often linked to the topological approach. Our point is that in mapping a space of flows and porous borders, the topological approach must be grasped in its ambivalence; it can become a tool for control as well as a tool for the expansion of freedom and equality. Finally, we argue that it is useful, perhaps even necessary, to locate the topological approach on the border, investigating concrete practices of border crossing that challenge the very possibility of a neutral mapping.…
      “What we would like to emphasize here is that the specific connection between labour and citizenship that culminated in social citizenship has played a very important role in shaping the whole imaginary of western sociology, including its ‘methodological nationalism’ and basic sociological concepts that were formulated in ways that take for granted the existence of bounded social and political spaces. We understand topology as an attempt to come to terms with the problematic undoing of these bounded spaces. This is what makes the topological approach particularly challenging and productive from the point of view of our research perspective of border as method.”
      [Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, “Between Inclusion and Exclusion: On the Topology of Global Space and Borders.” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 29, number 4/5, July 2012. Pages 58-75.]
    38. workers’ inquiry (Jamie Woodcock, Alisa Del Re as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, and others): Woodcock proposes an updated autonomist approach for critiquing the capitalist system and “investigating the workplace.” Del Re examines reproductive labor.
      “The varied tradition of workers… inquiry is a rich one.… There are significant changes that require attention: new forms of work, the impact of neoliberalism, the possibilities for resistance and organisation all pose serious challenges for Marxists and the left more generally.
      “The workers’ inquiry provides a potential means to do this. By combining the insights of previous attempts – from [Karl] Marx, the Johnson-Forest Tendency, Socialisme ou Barbarie [Socialism or Barbarity], and Operaismo [workerism, i.e., autonomism] – with the tools of contemporary academia – sociological and ethnographic methods and the insights of participatory action research for example – it is possible to sketch out an inquiry for today.… There needs to be an initial stage, like that of the inquiry ‘from above’ discussed by the Italian Workerists, where the aim is to develop theoretical insights and access to a workplace. This should be followed by a detailed investigation of the workplace itself, either through auto-ethnographic methods or with contact with workers. The aim is to move towards an inquiry ‘from below,’ a form of co-research that breaks down the separation between researcher and subject. At its core the project is one of knowledge production and political organisation, and there has to be an awareness of this tension. The workers’ inquiry cannot simply be limited to an academic tool for refreshing theory. This connexion between theory and practice is crucial for both the component parts.
      “A contemporary inquiry can draw on many more tools than either Marx or the later attempts had at their disposal. There are a number of digital resources that can be used: online surveys, discussions boards, and blogs. These methods make it significantly easier to collect and share experiences of workplaces. The prevalence of these also lowers the barriers to writing, and it is a much more common experience now to write, even if briefly on social media. This greatly widens the potential scope, both in terms of how inquiries can be conducted, but also where and by or with whom.
      “What are needed are more attempts at workers’ inquiries: either where we work ourselves, or where we have contact with workers. They should follow on from Marx’s … call for a ‘ruthless criticism of the existing order, ruthless in that it will shrink neither from its own discoveries, nor from conflict with the powers that be.’ This is the foundation for the workers’ inquiry today: the importance of studying exploitation and resistance in the workplace and why this has to be closely tied to a project for the radical transformation of society.”
      [Jamie Woodcock, “The Workers’ Inquiry from Trotskyism to Operaismo: a political methodology for investigating the workplace.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 14, number 3, 2014. Creative Commons. Pages 493-513.]
      “Contrary to the theories of the gift, it does not seem to me possible to return to valorizing exchange for free. And neither is valorizing by paying half as much for that misunderstood activity covered under the term ‘care.’ Nor is what is at stake to find means of inclusion, of considering women specifically: instead it is a question of taking the characteristics of life and the historical memory of women into consideration, producing an idea of society as a whole, starting from their strategic position and from the totality of their lives. Workers’ inquiry requires contact with and knowledge of the subjects of production, for the construction of an organizational and political project. Today women demonstrate that another world is possible, without having to pass through the need to construct a knowledge of the relationships of exploitation: everything is evident, all we need to do is want to see it, to ‘start with oneself.’ According to Alain Touraine, ‘Women are, so to speak, privileged, because today to do politics means to reconcile public and private. Female demands are global, they have an inclusive discourse.’” [Alisa Del Re, “Workers’ Inquiry and Reproductive Labor.” Viewpoint Magazine. Issue 3, September 2013. Online publication. Creative Commons. No pagination.]
    39. militant workers’ inquiry (Andrea Cavazzini as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Stéphane Pihet as pronounced in this MP3 audio file):
      “The moments of ‘return to class’ – to its conditions, its utterances, its struggles, and its disinclination to struggle, or at least to struggle in the way political directors consider the most appropriate – have been, through the course of the 20ᵗʰ century, characterized by a particularly radical recourse to inquiry, as operator of a political process and a relationship between militancy and social classes, beyond the limits of simple sociological research, to aim at a transformation, even a conversion (in the literal sense of the reorientation of the mind), of the workers’ movement starting from a balance sheet of its impasses. By this movement of ‘return’ to the concrete of proletarian existence, some attempts have been able to entirely rethink the meaning of notions like ‘dictatorship of the proletariat,’ ‘organization,’ ‘class struggle’; and some new analyses have been elaborated dealing with the capitalist mode of production, on its internal dynamics, on its capacity to transform collective life and assimilate opposition. Inquiry has therefore powerfully contributed to placing at the center of Marxist, neo-Marxist, or post-Marxist theory, not only the critique of traditional forms of militancy, but above all the polarity between Capital as permanent revolution and steel cage, and Class as the irreducible and virtual place of a different constitution of social relations.
      “This ‘dualist’ formulation which focuses on the opposition and structural irreducibility between Capital and Proletariat explicitly distances itself from one interpretation of what we are trying to think, which is situated within a sociologizing approach that militant workers’ inquiry, in its various incarnations, rightly positioned itself against: that is to say, assuming that the proletariat would present itself as a class by naming itself first according to the similarity of the elements of a set which it composes according to previously fixed economic and juridical categories, and which could retranslate itself in tables or statistics, which signify in turn that social classes precede their relations rather than being their result.”
      [Andrea Cavazzini and Stéphane Pihet, “Introduction to the Study of Militant Workers’ Inquiry.” Viewpoint Magazine. Issue 3, September 2013. Online publication. Creative Commons. No pagination.]
    40. workers’ inquiry 2.0 (Brian A. Brown and Anabel Quan-Haase as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): They conduct an autonomist inquiry of “social media contexts.”
      “Beginning in the 1950s, Italian autonomist Marxists had similar desires to that of [Karl] Marx’s, but found themselves in distinctively different historical circumstances. While the mode and relations of production had changed significantly …, the need to speak with and consult workers so as to gain insight into the technical and political circumstances of the workplace remained a central concern for autonomists. Adapting their methods of gathering information regarding the level of exploitation in the factories of Italy and the consciousness of the workers toiling therein was therefore necessary. Taking a much more direct approach than Marx, autonomists infiltrated the industrial factories – sometimes even got jobs therein—and conducted their research alongside the workers and from within the factory itself.…
      “One of the central parallels between Marx’s ‘A Workers’ Inquiry’ and co-research is the concentration on the factory as the central site of study. Both methods focus on conducting research with individuals who work within the physical infrastructure of a factory in the hopes of making the conditions of their exploitation overt and, ultimately, leading toward changing these conditions. Marx contacted the workers via a publication distributed to the factories. By contrast, co-researchers went directly to the sites of production and infiltrated the factory in order to obtain information regarding the level of exploitation and the preparedness of the workers to struggle against it. Because large numbers of workers were concentrated in geographically specific locations – working en masse at regular and predictable hours, and on jobs that could be observed or described first hand – the factory was the obvious place to start any inquiry into labour relations.”
      [Brian A. Brown and Anabel Quan-Haase, “‘A Workers’ Inquiry 2.0’: An Ethnographic Method for the Study of Produsage in Social Media Contexts.” tripleC: Cognition, Communication, Co-operation. Volume 10, number 2, 2012. Pages 488-508.]
    41. project of the orator–machine (Matthew S. May): He develops an autonomist Marxist approach using the speech delivered by William D. Hayward at Cooper Union in New York, New York.
      “The project of the orator-machine is attached to a communist politics insofar as it breaks down or interrupts the circuitry of machines through which labor power is converted into capital. More precisely, communism affirms something of itself through an orator-machine that renders speech making a weapon of class struggle. In this regard, the [William D.] Haywood speech is illustrative of an autonomist philosophy and practice of class struggle that bypasses our usual concern with the mediation between civil society and the state and should be read instead as part of a political ontology of class becoming.
      “Put another way, the orator-machine works by restricting or amplifying the flows of sabotage (that interrupt the conversion of labor power) and then sending them spiraling out across the concatenation of machines of capitalist society …. The orator-machine does not stand outside of, or in a transcendent position in relation to, the transformations in the collective of which she is a part but rather works to activate the surplus potential of knowledge, desires, and capacities forged in the process of struggle, across different configurations of audiences.…
      “The move to displace the governing unity of a working-class subject in the process of production is echoed in the most recent autonomist Marxist philosophy and, indeed, in the recent debates about rhetorical materialism (partly carried out in the pages of this journal).”
      [Matthew S. May, “Orator-Machine: Autonomist Marxism and William D. ‘Big Bill’ Haywood’s Cooper Union Address.” Philosophy & Rhetoric. Volume 45, number 4, 2012. Pages 429-451.]
      “It was the rumble of just applause that gave me courage and strength when I was in the same position as the men in whose behalf we are appealing to you tonight. I feel that my life must have been preserved by you for such occasions as this; and I feel now that it is not me to whom you are giving this magnificent reception, but the principles for which I stand. (Applause). Your applause is but an echo of your hearts, but an echo of your own desires; and you realize that the men who are in jail at Lawrence, are in jail because they are fighting your battles. I felt that when I was in jail in Boise. And I know that without the united action of the workingmen and women of New York City, of the state of New York, of the United States of America and of the world, instead of appealing to you here tonight on behalf of Ettor and Giovannitti, my comrades and I would have been judicially murdered by the authorities of the State of Idaho.…
      “Get used to the manner in which a revolutionary strike is conducted. Figure in your own mindsas to what it is going to amount to. Remember,, there were as many as 50,000 people, men, women and children on relief during the latter part of that strike, and something less than $80,000 to take care of them for ten weeks. So they handled the finances well. They handled their strike committee well.”
      [William D. Hayward. Speech of Wm. D. Hayward on the Case of Ettor and Giovanatti: Cooper Union, New York. Lawrence, Massachusetts: Ettor-Giovanatti Defense Committee. 1912. Pages 1-16.]
    42. political economy of the restaurant (Emma Dowling): Based upon Dowling’s own autobiographical account of working in a restaurant, she presents an autonomist examination of the “dining experience.”
      “One of the major contributions of the operaista tradition is the concept – and hands-on investigation – of class compostion. A detailed analysis of the real conditions of workers today is necessary to validate any analysis of contemporary capitalism, as well as its potential sites of struggle; only thus can the concepts of immaterial and affective labour be useful politically. This article is a contribution to such an effort.…
      The Political Economy of the Restaurant
      “… I argued that the affective worker cannot be seen out of context of the labour process that he or she is part of. In the restaurant that forms the basis of my inquiry here, the affective work of the waitress could not be done without the labour of the person who cleans the uniforms and all the linen, the chef, the kitchen porter, the drinks dispenser, or for that matter, any of the material labour involved with creating the interior of the restaurant (the tables, chairs, plates, glasses, sound system etc). All of the labour process is subject to specific measuring processes, the rationale of which is the maximisation of profit for the restaurant and the correspondent minimisation of cost. For this reason, it seems to me that we cannot so quickly do away with the idea that the process creating socially necessary labour time constitutes the exchange value (even of immaterial labour) and that this value is a site of struggle. Whilst there are different aspects to the way that when we look at the aggregate worker, socially necessary labour time remains a vital measure of all of the manual and immaterial labour that goes into producing the product of the dining experience with all its components.”
      [Emma Dowling, “Producing the Dining Experience: Measure, Subjectivity and the Affective Worker.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 117-132.]
    43. autonomous public space (Mark Coté and Jennifer Pybus): They examine immaterial labor with specific reference to the MySpace social networking website.
      “So what happens when aspects of immaterial labour become the quotidian activities of youth in a place of their own? For many who are hanging out on MySpace, the site has come to represent a refuge, particularly for the younger users seeking lines of flight from the controlled confines of home and school. This space is not under ‘adult authority’ and thus can be considered an autonomous public space in which users can interact and ‘chill’ with their friends …. We posit that … immaterial labour can act as a guidebook for the efficacious forging of such social networks. Thus we can read how the ‘work’ of hanging out on MySpace ‘constitutes itself in immediately collective forms that exist only in the form of networks and flows’ …. There are ‘entrepreneurial skills’ necessary for forging effective links, especially if you want to enter the stratosphere of MySpace popularity.” [Mark Coté and Jennifer Pybus, “Learning to Immaterial Labour 2.0: MySpace and Social Networks.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 88-106.]
    44. new class composition (Steve Wright): He describes the autonomist focus on “the mass worker.”
      “What makes Operaismo [workerism, i.e., autonomism] and the various circles that emerged from it of interest and relevance today? The originality of classical Workerism in the sixties and seventies lay in its commitment to rethink political practice in the light of new problems thrown up by the post-war social compact in Italy, problems that the mainstream of the local left and labour movement too often seemed unable to comprehend. Foremost amongst these problems was the historical specificity of the relation between capital and labour: in the Italian case, the rise of what the Operaisti [workerists, i.e., autonomists] called a new class composition, centred upon the mass worker employed in Taylorist [‘scientifically’ managed] production regimes.” [Steve Wright, “Back to the Future: Italian Workerists Reflect Upon the Operaista Project.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 270-281.]
    45. co–research (Antonio Conti as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and others): They propose an autonomist approach to research.
      “Co-research is an evocative term that alludes to a move beyond the classical sociological separation between interviewer and interviewee. Contrary to the claim of populist versions of inquiry, this is not done in the name of an ideological egalitarianism; rather it aims to build a process on the coordinates of the common and of singularity: a common process of multiple singularities in different positions and with different knowledge, rooted in the Italian tradition of Operaismo [workerism, i.e., autonomism] of the 1960s and 1970s …. In the 1950s, when the Italian Communist Party and trade unions claimed that all was quiet in the factories, various groups of Operaista [workerist, i.e., autonomist] militants started to employ the methods of co-research to bring to the surface, connect and organise the mass workers’ underground forms of insubordination and resistance that were often aimed at saving energy and avoiding work, and would eventually explode the regime of control and wage labour in the following decade.” [Antonio Conti, Anna Curcio, Alberto De Nicola, Paolo Do, Serena Fredda, Margherita Emiletti, Serena Orazi, Gigi Roggero, Davide Sacco, Giuliana Visco, “The Anamorphosis of Living Labour.” Arianna Bove, translator. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 78-87.]
    46. free labor (Tiziana Terranova as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): The author presents an autonomist Marxist approach to the Internet. Foster was among those individuals who worked “for free” on America Online (though never joining a class action legal suit).
      “… [I consider] the phenomenon of ‘free labour’ – that is the tendency of users to become actively involved in the production of content and software for the Internet. The difficulties inherent in the relationship between such forms of volunteer and unpaid technocultural production and our understanding of contemporary capitalism will be a central focus of the chapter. In order to understand this relation I will draw on the Marxist notion of ‘real subsumption’ of society under capitalism. In particular, I will follow the Autonomist Marxist suggestion that the extension of production to the totality of a social system (the ‘social factory’ thesis) is related to the emergence of a ‘general intellect’ and ‘mass intellectuality’ pointing to capital’s incapacity to absorb the creative powers of labour that it has effectively unleashed.” [Tiziana Terranova. Information Culture: Politics for the Information Age. London and Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pluto Press. 2004. Page 4.]
      “… we call … [the] excessive activity that makes the Internet a thriving and hyperactive medium ‘free labour’ – a feature of the cultural economy at large, and an important, yet unacknowledged, source of value in advanced capitalist societies. By looking at the Internet as a specific instance of the fundamental role played by free labour, we will also highlight the connections between the ‘digital economy’ and what the Italian autonomists have called the ‘social factory’ (or ‘society–factory’). The ‘society–factory’ describes a process whereby ‘work processes have shifted from the factory to society, thereby setting in motion a truly complex machine.’ Simultaneously voluntarily given and unwaged, enjoyed and exploited, free labour on the Net includes the activity of building web sites, modifying software packages, reading and participating in mailing lists and building virtual spaces. Far from being an ‘unreal,’ empty space, the Internet is animated by cultural and technical labour through and through, a continuous production of value which is completely immanent in the flows of the network society at large.” [Tiziana Terranova. Information Culture: Politics for the Information Age. London and Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pluto Press. 2004. Pages 73-74.]
      “Tiziana Terranova … impressively draws upon Autonomist theory, cybernetics, and information theory in her book Information Culture: Politics for the Information Age. Therein she develops a similar thesis that she called ‘free labour’ – namely, that free labour is a central feature of both the internet and informationalized economy.” [Mark Coté and Jennifer Pybus, “Learning to Immaterial Labour 2.0: MySpace and Social Networks.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 88-106.]
    47. autonomization of expression (Maurizio Lazzarato as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Lazzarato, an Italian autonomist, develops numerous applications of the concept of “autonomy.”
      “The separation, the autonomization, of expression begins to develop with the emergence of life. With plants and animals ‘form’ is transmitted through codes that create complex molecules and reproductive systems of species which begin to autonomize and to separate from ‘substance.’
      “With human behavior, signifying semiologies, and asignifying semiotics, transmission no longer depends on genetic codes but on learning, memories, languages, symbols, diagrams, graphs, equations, and so on, in other words, on semiotics functioning according to an autonomous syntax and strata of expression. In semiologies of signification, unlike natural encodings, expression and content maintain a relationship of interpretation, reference, and signification.…
      “The establishment of a language and of a system of dominant significations is always first of all a political operation before it is a linguistic or semantic one. A certain type of language and certain modes of individuated semiotization and subjectivation are necessary in order to stabilize the social field disrupted by capitalist deterritorialization, a deterritorialization which undermines previous subjectivities, forms of life, and institutions. Stabilization entails the predominance of a national language, carrying with it the laws and modes of functioning of incipient capitalism over dialects, exceptional languages, and modes of infantile, ‘pathological,’ and artistic expression. The national language reduces them to marginality by bringing them ‘before the court of dominant syntaxes, semantics, and pragmatics.’”
      [Maurizio Lazzarato. Signs and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity. Joshua David Jordan, translator. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2014. Pages 67-68.]
      1. logic of autonomous and independent series of possible worlds: Lazzarato argues that “difference is the motor of the cooperation between minds.”
        “Sympathy, confidence and reciprocal possession are presuppositions of the constitution of the world and the self because difference is the motor of the cooperation between minds. Difference acts in another way than competition and contradiction, the evolutionary principles of practice and liberal theories. Difference unfolds its power of creation and construction through sympathetic co-production, confidence and love but not through acting and coordinating egoisms. Two contrary terms can pass their contradiction only by the definitive victory of one over the other, while two different terms can combine their heterogeneity by hybridization. The fertility of the logic of difference results from its capacity to make heterogeneous forces to encounter, coproduce and co-adapt the forces that do not oppose according to the logic of contraries, but to develop themselves in a logic of autonomous and independent series of possible worlds.” [Maurizio Lazzarato, “From Capital-Labour to Capital-Life.” Valerie Fournier, Akseli Virtanen, and Jussi Vähämäki, translators. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 4, number 3, 2004. Pages 187-208.]
      2. radical autonomy of the productive synergies of immaterial labor: Lazzarato examines “the dominant form” of “polymorphous self-employed autonomous work.”
        “I believe that an analysis of immaterial labor and a description of its organization can lead us beyond the presuppositions of business theory—whether in its neoclassical school or its systems theory school. It can lead us to define, at a territorial level, a space for a radical autonomy of the productive synergies of immaterial labor. We can thus move against the old schools of thought to establish, decisively, the viewpoint of an ‘anthropo-sociology’ that is constitutive.
        “Once this viewpoint comes to dominate within social production, we find that we have an interruption in the continuity of models of production. By this I mean that, unlike the position held by many theoreticians of post-Fordism, I do not believe that this new labor power is merely functional to a new historical phase of capitalism and its processes of accumulation and reproduction. This labor power is the product of a ‘silent revolution’ taking place within the anthropological realities of work and within the reconfiguration of its meanings. Waged labor and direct subjugation (to organization) no longer constitute the principal form of the contractual relationship between capitalist and worker. A polymorphous self-employed autonomous work has emerged as the dominant form, a kind of ‘intellectual worker’ who is him- or herself an entrepreneur, inserted within a market that is constantly shifting and within networks that are changeable in time and space.”
        [Maurizio Lazzarato, “Immaterial Labor.” Paul Colilli and Ed Emory, translators. Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics. Paolo Virno and Michael Hardt, editors. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1996. Pages 132-147.]
        “Within LPT [labor process theory] it is well established that the labour process depends upon consent and on the active cooperation of employees … but [Maurizio] Lazzarato goes further. He suggests that this is not only a case of consenting to cooperate in the production of commodities or the deliveries of services, but of actively cooperating in the production of the social relations that production depends upon. What is at stake is the production of collective subjectivity and ongoing social relations that can be drawn upon in future production. In this sense the problematic of social reproduction – discussed in terms of the production of subjectivity by Foucauldian LPT … or in terms of the ‘production of organization’ … – becomes a political economic development as well as an analytical observation.” [Steffen Böhm and Chris Land, “The new ‘hidden abode’: reflections on value and labour in the new economy.” The Sociological Review. Volume 60, issue 2, May 2013. Pages 217-240.]
      3. process of subjectivation: Lazzarato presents an autonomist approach to “the neoliberal logic of the enterprise.”
        “… the cultural industry, the social sciences and the media are precisely those criticized and actively opposed by the counter-conducts seeking to escape the subjection ([assujettissement) of the wage-earner and ‘human capital’ by the neoliberal logic of the enterprise. What this … illustrates is that the stake in this and other struggles is not that of deficits in social insurance or problems with productivity, but the government of conducts, that is, the problem of the control over a ‘labour force,’ control to secure its subjection as ‘human capital’ within the frame of ‘enterprise society.’ In societies founded on insecurity, the escape from both hypermodernization and neo-archaisms is a condition for opening up and experimenting with a process of subjectivation which is autonomous and independent.” [Maurizio Lazzarato, “Neoliberalism in Action: Inequality, Insecurity and the Reconstitution of the Social.” Couze Venn, translator. Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 26, number 6, November 2009. Pages 109-133.]
      4. relative autonomy of the communicative machine: Lazzarato offers an autonomist examination of the the ways in which the media facilitated the rise of right–wing despotism in Italy.
        “When Silvio Berlusconi won the elections in 1994, the international press unleashed an avalanche of not particularly well-meaning commentary, while the left and the democrats expressed their own understandable indignation.…
        “… The social machine, the productive machine, the communicative machine, and the political machine are tending to become articulations of a single process: capitalist domination of the real, of the whole of the real. The different machines all function on the same plane of immanence, on the ‘body without organs’ of money-Capital, of which they are only ‘modes attributes.’ The relative autonomy of the communicative machine, we once used to say to account for its relationship with capitalism relative autonomy that permitted forms of despotic, and thus specifically capitalist, subordination like ‘propaganda’), has given to the complete ‘deterritorialization’ (decoding) of the flows communication, their semantic contents and their traditional speakers, by the logic of the market. market. Berlusconi’s enterprise is a mechanism [dispositivo] that actually allows us to observe how the enterprise become the ‘soul’ of those forms of communication that once followed indirectly from it: journalism, (‘independent’ or state-run) news, cinema, sports, game shows, etc. Italy, they say, is a political laboratory, but it must immediately be added that it is a laboratory in which the forms of governability of this new capitalist configuration are being tested. In fact, in the figure of Berlusconi one can no longer distinguish the entrepreneur (who assures the production of surplus-value), the media boss (who produces public opinion), and the politician (who organizes public space). Instead of hierarchically arranged, these functions reciprocally presuppose each other.”
        [Maurizio Lazzarato, “Strategies of the Political Entrepreneur.” Timothy S. Murphy, translator. SubStance. Volume 36, number 1, issue 112, 2007. Pages 86-97.]
      5. autonomy and subordination: Lazzarto examines the subject of “art and work” and associated dualities.
        “… art is a specific activity that suspends the usual spatio-temporal connections and coordinates of sensory experience—an experience characterized by the dualisms of activity and passivity, form and material, feeling and understanding. These dualisms (defined by [Jacques] Rancière as the ‘distribution of the sensible’) are political in the sense that they divide and hierarchize society through relations of domination. Such relations organize the power of people who stem from the realm of ‘refined culture’ (activity) over those who are from the sphere of ‘simple nature’ (passivity); it consolidates the power of leisured people (freedom) over working people (necessity), as well as the power of the intellectual working class (autonomy) over the manual working class (subordination).
        “This idea of art, which is derived from Romanticism, promises to abolish the separation between ‘pleasure’ and ‘work,’ activity and passivity, autonomy and subordination, by means of two different methods: the first (engaged art, or art-become-life) acts politically by dissolving the separation between art and life, and thereby suppressing itself as an independent activity. The second (art for art’s sake, sovereign art) acts politically by jealously defending this very separation as a guarantee of independence from the world of commodities, markets, and the capitalist economy.”
        [Maurizio Lazzarato, “Art et travail/Art and work.” Mark Heffernan, translator. Parachute: Contemporary Art Magazine. Number 122, April–June 2006. Pages 84-93.]
      6. automatic production of the image: Lazzarato develops an autonomist approach to digital technologies.
        “Like cinema before them, electronic and digital technologies are ‘mechanics’ of the automatic production of the image. Taking up an intuition of Gilbert Simondon’s, rather than defining them as simple externalizations of the individual’s senses (like the lens with respect to the eye), they can be understood as ‘motors’ endowed with a ‘relative autonomy’ from man. Unlike mechanical and thermodynamic motors, which convey kinetic and potential energy ‘from outside’ …, these motors accumulate and produce duration and time and thus affective energy.…
        “With these motors of affective energy, the image, withdrawn from the hand of man, acquires a mobility and a ‘relative autonomy’ that cannot fail to extricate memory and imagination from the inert schemas that characterize image production, thereby increasing their capacity for creation. By penetrating into the inner workings of perception, memory and imagination, electronic and digital technology, and the forms of knowledge [savoirs] they imply, take us to the limits of the cognition [connaissance] and action organized by intellect, imposing a change of paradigm that prepares a different relation between consciousness and intelligence, body and mind.”
        [Maurizio Lazzarato, “Machines to Crystallize Time.” Matthew Hyland and Alberto Toscano, translators. Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 24, number 6, November 2007. Pages 93-122.]
      7. reversal of reification: Lazzarato considers the mechanism of power which makes revolution possible.
        “Marxism has conceptualized the living, resistance, and power according to an ontology of the subject/object relation, transferring this relation into politics in the form of the capitalist/worker relation of exploitation. According to this tradition, the living presents itself as labor (‘living labor’), that is, as producer of the world and of history. Power is the mechanism that brings about the metamorphosis of the ‘living’ into its opposite: ‘dead’ labor. The subject objectifies itself, reifies itself in a product, a work, and thereby becomes the slave of what it has produced. To come to life again, to once more become the master of its destiny and affirm itself as the subject of history, it has to effect a reversal of reification: the revolution is the reversal of the reversal, the subjectification of dead labor, the metamorphosis of the object into the subject.” [Maurizio Lazzarato, “From the Revolutions of Capitalism.” Max Henninger, translator. SubStance. Volume 36, number 1, issue 112, 2007. Pages 98-105.]
    48. antifa (Emmi Bevensee, Mark Bray, and many others): Bevensee, for instance, outlines an a transformative approach to peace–making by challenging fascist ideology. Antifa is an acronym for antifascism. This autonomist movement, which includes both anarchists and Marxists, is not a single, monolithic organization. Some people in antifa may engage in violent praxis. Others do not.
      “… we must … think about long-term transformative anti-fascist projects if we hope to build towards a positive peace. To be clear, I am not talking about some rubbish liberal vision of fascists and minorities and anarchists living side by side happily. I’m talking about upending and challenging the roots of fascist ideology in our cultures in an attempt to, rather than try to push it back forever, end it completely. I would like fascist ideology and affiliation to be one of those things that even an average Joe and Jane scoff at as being childishly naive and brutally cruel. Building this kind of transformative and long-term strategy requires building relationships across massive political divides and also supporting academic-activists and decolonizing indigenous resistance writers such as Enāēmaehkiw Thupaq Kesīqnaeh who stay on the front lines of anti-fascist research while also being embedded in movements.” [Emmi Bevensee. Towards a Tranformative Anti-Fascism: The Relevance of Radicalized Peacebuilding to Antifa Praxis. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2016. Page 13.]
      “Some antifa groups are more Marxist while others are more anarchist or antiauthoritarian. In the United States, most have been anarchist or antiauthoritarian since the emergence of modern antifa under the name Anti-Racist Action (ARA) in the late eighties. To some extent the predominance of one faction over the other can be discerned in a group’s flag logo: whether the red flag is in front of the black or vice versa (or whether both flags are black). In other cases, one of the two flags can be substituted with the flag of a national liberation movement or a black flag can be paired with a purple flag to represent feminist antifa or a pink flag for queer antifa, etc. Despite such differences, the antifa I interviewed agreed that such ideological differences are usually subsumed in a more general strategic agreement on how to combat the common enemy.” [Mark Bray. Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook. Brooklyn, New York, and London: Melville Publishing House. 2017. Kindle edition.]
    49. autonomous workers’ movement (Geronimo): The author examines the growth of this movement in Italy.
      “Eventually, the traditional trade unions managed to reintegrate the autonomous workers’ movement through a change of union politics. Many grassroots committees were incorporated into the union structure on the lowest level. Partly, this was a consequence of the leadership vacuum within the autonomous workers’ movement in the fall of 1969. This allowed the traditional unions to gain a foothold in the autonomous struggles.…
      “Clashes continued in the North Italian factories, but the militancy was past its peak. The ruling class had created a reactionary climate in the country, blatantly blaming the actions of secret service agents on the autonomous left—for example, a bombing that left sixteen people dead in a Milan bank in late 1969. This strategy united different groups of Italy’s diverse social strata in their opposition to the revolutionaries: the unemployed of Southern Italy, small farmers, the rural proletariat, the urban middle class, and others.
      “Despite the reactionary backlash, the autonomous workers’ movement still controlled parts of the production process in the big factories. This led to targeted campaigns of several years that aimed at decentralizing the production process to undermine the autonomous workers’ influence.”
      [Geronimo. Fire and Flames: A History of the German Autonomist Movement. Gabriel Kuhn, translator. Oakland, California: PM Press. 2012. Page 42.]
    50. autonomist critique of neoliberal school reform (Graham B. Slater and C. Bradford Griggs): They apply autonomist Marxism to Common Core.
      “In this article, we argue that the durability of standards-based neoliberal school reform faces educators with the challenge of developing political tactics and critical pedagogies that are driven by the latent potentiality and transformative agency of students, teachers, and marginalized educational communities. Much of the educational literature analyzing the Common Core has emphasized its potentially problematic outcomes and deleterious effects on students’ educational experiences, and public discourse has largely proceeded on welltraveled conservative and liberal grounds that forefront concerns with the extent of federal control over public education. What has been discussed less are the theoretical lessons that the Common Core can teach critical educators about educational politics and oppositional struggle in the neoliberal era. To expose in this article some theoretical implications of the struggle over the Common Core, we study it from an autonomist Marxist perspective. A key insight of the autonomist tradition has been the thesis that many of the most devastating reforms in capitalist societies have (1) been direct responses to the transformative power of labor, and (2) appeared to be palliative measures, but, in practice serve to fortify the rule of capital ….” [Graham B. Slater and C. Bradford Griggs, “Standardization and Subjection: An Autonomist Critique of Neoliberal School Reform.” Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. Volume 37, number 5, October 2015. Pages 438-459.]
    51. class autonomy (Johannes Agnoli as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): This German Marxist autonomist examines “a movement of labor against capital.”
      “The autonomy I mean is class autonomy.… This form of autonomy has two meanings: First, it is a class movement, a movement of labor against capital, a movement of workers as subjects of production against workers as objects of valorization. At the same time, autonomy goes beyond the workplace: it describes a mass movement against the capitalist reduction of everyone to consumer objects. In both cases, autonomy means an attempt to free oneself from the logic of capital.… Autonomy does not mean to reject the principle of organization. It means to reject a certain form of organization: a form that prioritizes the interests of the organization over the interests of the class.” [Johannes Agnoli in Geronimo. Fire and Flames: A History of the German Autonomist Movement. Gabriel Kuhn, translator. Oakland, California: PM Press. 2012. Pages 19-20.]
    52. proletarian democracy (Henri Weber as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): While advocating for a workers’ democracy, he develops an autonomist critique of bourgeois democracy and parliamentarism.
      “The Marxist critique of the formal character of bourgeois democracy does not stop at considerations of the inequality of social classes before the law-inequality that could be corrected by compensatory measures Above all it is a demonstration and critique of the process by which the bourgeois State—representative democracy included—atomizes, tranquilizes, vampirized the social body, stripping it even of the capacities for self-administration which it conceals, to concentrate all its power in its diverse mechanisms.
      “The realization of the principles of the proletarian democracy—effective control of elected officials sanctioned by their permanent resolvability, rotation of elective functions, etc.—implies the grounding of political power in the actual collectivities: the business and the neighborhood community; enforced functional units in which people recognize each other, act and live together, and thus can really define common positions and make them stick.
      “For this reason between the proletarian democracy and the bourgeois democracy lies not continuity but institutional rupture. The institutions, the procedures, and the personnel who for centuries served to depoliticize society are now inadequate to the rediffusion of power throughout the social domain, for the demise of the State, the self-organization of ‘associated producers.’
      “To forego this rupture in favor of the integration of parliamentary councils is to choose bourgeois parliamentarism instead of socialist democracy.”
      [Henri Weber, “In the Beginning was Gramsci.” Daniel Moshenberg, translator. Autonomia: Post-Political Politics. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 1980. Pages 84-91.]
    53. autonomous spokes (Naomi Klein): Klein, a Canadian–American anti–globalization activist and a correspondent for The Intercept, proposes autonomist approaches to anticorporate protests and other subjects. See the dedicated website for her book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. Listen to Klein speak about How to Resist Trump’s Shock Doctrine (MP3 audio file), or watch the video either on YouTube or on The Intercept.
      “The Washington-based research center TeleGeography has taken it upon itself to map out the architecture of the Internet as if it were the solar system. Recently, TeleGeography pronounced that the Internet is not one giant web but a network of ‘hubs and spokes.’ The hubs are the centers of activity, the spokes the links to other centers, which are autonomous but interconnected.
      “It seems like a perfect description of the protests in Seattle and Washington, DC. These mass convergences were activist hubs, made up of hundreds, possibly thousands, of autonomous spokes. During the demonstrations, the spokes took the form of ‘affinity groups’ of between five and twenty protesters, each of which elected a spokesperson to represent them at regular ‘spokescouncil’ meetings. Although the affinity groups agreed to abide by a set of nonviolence principles, they also functioned as discrete units, with the power to make their own strategic decisions. At some rallies, activists carry actual cloth webs to symbolize their movement. When it’s time for a meeting, they lay the web on the ground, call out ‘all spokes on the web’ and the structure becomes a street-level boardroom.…
      “The hubs and spokes model is more than a tactic used at protests; the protests are themselves made up of ‘coalitions of coalitions,’ to borrow a phrase from Kevin Danaher of Global Exchange. Each anticorporate campaign is made up of many groups, mostly NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], labor unions, students and anarchists. They use the Internet, as well as more traditional organizing tools, to do everything from cataloguing the latest transgressions of the World Bank to bombarding Shell Oil with faxes and e-mails to distributing ready-to-download antisweatshop leaflets for protests at Nike Town. The groups remain autonomous, but their international coordination is deft and, to their targets, frequently devastating.”
      [Naomi Klein, “The Vision Thing: ‘This conference is not like other conferences.’” The Nation. June 22nd, 2000. Pagination unknown.]
      “… the ‘new autonomism’ [is] exemplified in the work of Naomi Klein and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.… The two strands of autonomist thought I will look at take quite different approaches to this question: on the one hand Klein’s work on the dynamics of corporate branding is marked by a certain scepticism towards the possibility of drawing the different strands of protest together into a constituent body, while on the other, Hardt and Negri maintain that the diversity of the protest movements which emerged in the 1990s is a result of the shift from ‘industrial’ to ‘biopolitical’ production, and that consequently the anti-capitalist movement should be understood as an expression of the general intellect of the new proletariat, or ‘multitude.’ In the final section I will argue that Klein’s preference for mobile and contingent linkages between disparate movements gestures towards what I, in the spirit of Jacques Derrida’s reading of [Karl] Marx, have called ‘aporetic’ [Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, ἀπορητικός, a̓porētikós, ‘doubtful,’ ‘deadlocked,’ or ‘undecidable’] anti-capitalism.…
      “… while we might want to question the possible complicities of Klein’s approach to the anti-capitalist movement—for at times she appears to invoke something like the immanent identity of Hardt and Negri’s multitude—her work does, I think, remain sensitive to the aporetic relationship between capital, difference and political ontology.”
      [Ross Abbinnett, “Untimely Agitations: Derrida, Klein and Hardt & Negri on the Idea of Anti-Capitalism.” Journal for Cultural Research. Volume 11, number 1, January 2007. Pages 41-56.]
      1. the world we need: Klein develops a perspective on the road to a better future.
        “… there is an important way in which [President Donald J.] Trump is not shocking. He is the entirely predictable, indeed clichéd outcome of ubiquitous ideas and trends that should have been stopped long ago. Which is why, even if this nightmarish presidency were to end tomorrow, the political conditions that produced it, and which are producing replicas around the world, will remain to be confronted. With US vice president Mike Pence or House speaker Paul Ryan waiting in the wings, and a Democratic Party establishment also enmeshed with the billionaire class, the world we need won’t be won just by replacing the current occupant of the Oval Office.” [Naomi Klein. No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2017. Page 13.]
        “The [Donald J.] Trump administration does not choose between amping up law and order, attacking women’s reproductive rights, escalating foreign conflicts, scapegoating immigrants, setting off a fossil fuel frenzy, and otherwise deregulating the economy in the interests of the super-rich. They are proceeding on all these fronts (and others) simultaneously, knowing them to be component parts of the singular project of ‘making America great again.’
        “Which is why any opposition that is serious about taking on Trump, or other far-right forces like him around the world, must embrace the task of telling a new history of how we ended up here, in this perilous moment. A history that compellingly shows the role played by the politics of division and separation. Racial divisions. Class divisions. Gender divisions. Citizenship divisions.
        “And a false division between humans and the natural world.
        “Only then will it become possible to truly come together to win the world we need.”
        [Naomi Klein. No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2017. Page 93.]
        “Beginning in the 1990s, I was part of a global movement warning that corporate free trade agreements, and the model of global commerce they accelerated, were leading to a level of human dispossession and environmental destruction that would rapidly be untenable. It was a multigenerational movement that spanned dozens of countries and sectors, bringing together nonprofit organizations, radical anarchists, Indigenous communities, churches, trade unions, and more. It was messy, ideologically inchoate, imperfect—but it was also large and, for a time, powerful enough to clock some major wins.” [Naomi Klein. No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2017. Page 100.]
      2. Blockadia: Klein examines and critiques the global resistance movement against fossil fuel companies.
        “What’s up is that this area is no longer a Greek vacationland, though the tourists still crowd the white-washed resorts and oceanfront tavernas, with their blue-checked tablecloths and floors sticky with ouzo. This is an outpost of a territory some have taken to calling ‘Blockadia.’ Blockadia is not a specific location on a map but rather a roving transnational conflict zone that is cropping up with increasing frequency and intensity wherever extractive projects are attempting to dig and drill, whether for open-pit mines, or gas fracking, or tar sands oil pipelines.…
        “What unites these increasingly interconnected pockets of resistance is the sheer ambition of the mining and fossil fuel companies: the fact that in their quest for high-priced commodities and higher-risk ‘unconventional’ fuels, they are pushing relentlessly into countless new territories, regardless of the impact on the local ecology (in particular, local water systems), as well as the fact that many of the industrial activities in question have neither been adequately tested nor regulated, yet have already shown themselves to be extraordinarily accident-prone.
        “What unites Blockadia too is the fact the people at the forefront—packing local council meetings, marching in capital cities, being hauled off in police vans, even putting their bodies between the earth-movers and earth—do not look much like your typical activist, nor do the people in one Blockadia site resemble those in another. Rather, they each look like the places where they live, and they look like everyone: the local shop owners, the university professors, the high school students, the grandmothers.”
        [Naomi Klein. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. New York: Simon & Schuster. 2014. Page 305.]
        “Welcome to the front lines of the climate movement—the ‘roving transnational conflict zone’ Naomi Klein calls Blockadia. Blockadia takes many forms. In its most successful incarnations, it becomes law: France, Bulgaria, and (tentatively, as of this writing) Germany; three U.S. states (New York, Vermont, and Maryland); and dozens of municipalities across the United States have responded to activists’ calls by banning fracking outright.” [Colin Kinniburgh, ”The Fracktivists.” Dissent. Online magazine. Summer, 2015.]
        “… the climate movement needs to have one hell of a comeback. For this to happen, the left is going to have to learn from the right. [Climate] Denialists gained traction by making climate about economics: action will destroy capitalism, they have claimed, killing jobs and sending prices soaring. But at a time when a growing number of people agree with the protesters at Occupy Wall Street, many of whom argue that capitalism-as-usual is itself the cause of lost jobs and debt slavery, there is a unique opportunity to seize the economic terrain from the right. This would require making a persuasive case that the real solutions to the climate crisis are also our best hope of building a much more enlightened economic system— one that closes deep inequalities, strengthens and transforms the public sphere, generates plentiful, dignified work and radically reins in corporate power. It would also require a shift away from the notion that climate action is just one issue on a laundry list of worthy causes vying for progressive attention. Just as climate denialism has become a core identity issue on the right, utterly entwined with defending current systems of power and wealth, the scientific reality of climate change must, for progressives, occupy a central place in a coherent narrative about the perils of unrestrained greed and the need for real alternatives.” [Naomi Klein, “Capitalism vs. the Climate.” The Nation. November 9th, 2011. Pagination unknown.]
        “The point is, today everyone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control. Unfettered greed has trashed the global economy. And it is trashing the natural world as well. We are overfishing our oceans, polluting our water with fracking and deepwater drilling, turning to the dirtiest forms of energy on the planet, like the Alberta tar sands. And the atmosphere cannot absorb the amount of carbon we are putting into it, creating dangerous warming. The new normal is serial disasters: economic and ecological.” [Naomi Klein, “Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now.” The Nation. October 6th, 2011. Pagination unknown.]
      3. slow branding of university life: Klein examines the growing alliance between academia and capitalism.
        “As an undergraduate in the late eighties and early nineties, I was one of those students who took a while to wake up to the slow branding of university life. And I can say from personal experience that it’s not that we didn’t notice the growing corporate presence on campus—we even complained about it sometimes. It’s just that we couldn’t get particularly worked up about it. We knew the fast-food chains were setting up their stalls in the library and that profs in the applied sciences were getting awfully cozy with pharmaceutical companies, but finding out exactly what was going on in the boardrooms and labs would have required a lot of legwork, and, frankly, we were busy. We were fighting about whether Jews would be allowed in the racial equality caucus at the campus women’s centre, and why the meeting to discuss it was scheduled at the same time as the lesbian and gay caucus—were the organizers implying that there were no Jewish lesbians? No black bisexuals?
        “In the outside world, the politics of race, gender and sexuality remained tied to more concrete, pressing issues, like pay equity, same-sex spousal rights and police violence, and these serious movements were – and continue to be – a genuine threat to the economic and social order. But somehow, they didn’t seem terribly glamorous to students on many university campuses, for whom identity politics had evolved by the late eighties into something quite different.”
        [Naomi Klein. No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. Toronto, Ontario: Vintage Canada imprint of Random House Canada Limited. 2009. Page 107.]
      4. disaster capitalism: Klein’s tour de force examines how crises, sometimes themselves produced by capitalism, are savagely harnassed to expand capitalism even further.
        “I call … orchestrated raids on the public sphere in the wake of catastrophic events, combined with the treatment of disasters as exciting market opportunities, ‘disaster capitalism.’” [Naomi Klein. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Metropolitan Book imprint of Henry Holt and Company. 2007. Page 6.]
        “Most people who survive a devastating disaster want the opposite of a clean slate: they want to salvage whatever they can and begin repairing what was not destroyed; they want to reaffirm their relatedness to the places that formed them. ‘When I rebuild the city I feel like I’m rebuilding myself,’ said Cassandra Andrews, a resident of New Orleans’ heavily damaged Lower Ninth Ward, as she cleared away debris after the storm. But disaster capitalists have no interest in repairing what was. In Iraq, Sri Lanka and New Orleans, the process deceptively called ‘reconstruction’ began with finishing the job of the original disaster by erasing what was left of the public sphere and rooted communities, then quickly moving to replace them with a kind of corporate New Jerusalem—all before the victims of war or natural disaster were able to regroup and stake their claims to what was theirs.” [Naomi Klein. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Metropolitan Book imprint of Henry Holt and Company. 2007. Page 8.]
        “After each new disaster, it’s tempting to imagine that the loss of life and productivity will finally serve as a wake-up call, provoking the political class to launch some kind of ‘new New Deal.’ In fact, the opposite is taking place: disasters have become the preferred moments for advancing a vision of a ruthlessly divided world, one in which the very idea of a public sphere has no place at all. Call it disaster capitalism. Every time a new crisis hits—even when the crisis itself is the direct by-product of free-market ideology—the fear and disorientation that follow are harnessed for radical social and economic re-engineering. Each new shock is midwife to a new course of economic shock therapy. The end result is the same kind of unapologetic partition between the included and the excluded, the protected and the damned, that is on display in Baghdad.” [Naomi Klein, “Disaster Capitalism: The New Economy of Catastrophe.” Harpers. October, 2007. Pages 47-58.]
        “… 150 years after Marx, how has capitalism managed to maintain its grip? What economic policies and social strategies have enabled multi-national corporations and global financial institutions to achieve such hegemony over our lives? Canadian journalist, researcher and activist Naomi Klein has written a seminal work in answering these questions. The Shock Doctrine – The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is an extraordinarily important work for every trade unionist. Klein’s extensive research and brilliant analysis explains the events which have changed millions of lives from Chile to Iraq, from South Africa to China, and from Sri Lanka to New Orleans.” [Jim MacFarlan, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” Review article. Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society. Volume 11, autumn 2007. Pages 80-82.]
      5. reclaiming the commons: Klein discusses movements of opposition which are are working to reclaim “communal spaces.”
        “… there are oppositional threads, taking form in many different campaigns and movements. The spirit they share is a radical reclaiming of the commons. As our communal spaces—town squares, streets, schools, farms, plants—are displaced by the ballooning marketplace, a spirit of resistance is taking hold around the world. People are reclaiming bits of nature and of culture, and saying ‘this is going to be public space.’ American students are kicking ads out of the classrooms. European environmentalists and ravers are throwing parties at busy intersections. Landless Thai peasants are planting organic vegetables on over-irrigated golf courses. Bolivian workers are reversing the privatization of their water supply.” [Naomi Klein, “Reclaiming the Commons.” New Left Review. Series II, number 9, May–June 2001. Pages 82-89.]
      6. shock politics: Klein examines the rise to power of President Donald J. Trump. There is a dedicated website for the book.
        “Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I’ve had a strange feeling. It’s not just that he’s applying shock politics to the most powerful and heavily armed nation on earth. It’s more than that. In books, documentary films, and investigative reporting, I have documented a range of trends: the rise of Superbrands, the expanding power of private wealth over the political system, the global imposition of neoliberalism, often using racism and fear of the ‘other’ as a potent tool, the damaging impacts of corporate free trade, and the deep hold that climate change denial has taken on the right side of the political spectrum. And as I began to research Trump, he started to seem to me like Frankenstein’s monster, sewn together out of the body parts of all of these and many other dangerous trends.” [Naomi Klein. No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2017. Page 5.]
      7. globalization debate: Klein considers the various players, and their disagreements, within the anti–globalization movement.
        “Of course, there are disagreements— about the role of the nation-state, about whether capitalism is redeemable, about the speed with which change should occur. But within most of these miniature movements, there is an emerging consensus that decentralizing power and building community-based decision-making potential—whether through unions, neighbourhoods, farms, villages, anarchist collectives or aboriginal self-government—is essential to countering the might of multinational corporations.” [Naomi Klein. Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate. Debra Ann Levy, editor. New York: Picador imprint of Macmillan Publishing. 2007. Page 33.]
        “So how do you extract coherence from a movement filled with anarchists, whose greatest tactical strength so far has been its similarity to a swarm of mosquitoes? Maybe, as with the Internet, the best approach is to learn to surf the structures that are emerging organically. Perhaps what is needed is not a single political party but better links among the affinity groups; perhaps rather than moving toward more centralization, what is needed is further radical decentralization.
        “When critics say that the protesters lack vision, they are really objecting to a lack of an overarching revolutionary philosophy—like Marxism, democratic socialism, deep ecology or social anarchy—that they all agree on. That is absolutely true, and for this we should be extraordinarily thankful. At the moment, the anti-corporate street activists are ringed by would-be leaders, eager for the opportunity to enlist activists as foot soldiers for their particular vision.”
        [Naomi Klein. Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate. Debra Ann Levy, editor. New York: Picador imprint of Macmillan Publishing. 2007. Page 41.]
        “Among most anarchists—who are doing a great deal of the grass-roots organising and who got online long before the more established left—direct democracy, transparency and community self-determination are not lofty political goals; they are fundamental tenets governing their own organisations. Yet many of the key NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], though they may share the anarchists’ ideas about democracy in theory, are themselves organised as traditional hierarchies. They are run by charismatic leaders and executive boards, while their members send them money and cheer from the sidelines.” [Naomi Klein, “Does protest need a vision?” New Statesman. Volume 129, number 4493, July 2000. Pages 23-25.]
        “Naomi Klein is arguably the most visible face of the anti-globalization movement. In this collection of essays [Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate], dating from the Revolution in Seattle to the repressive aftereffects of the war on terror, one would have expected to see some evolution in her thought to match what should have been the corresponding maturity of the movement. Instead, just as the anti-globalization movement seems to be on the ropes—struggling to find a coherent message to unify the disparate groups constituting it, and to resolve the inherent paradoxes of the anti-globalization message—so does Klein’s book frustrate for its lack of a sophisticated understanding of economics and culture. Since these are journalistic pieces, one doesn’t expect the second coming of Immanuel Wallerstein or Perry Anderson. Allowance must also be made for Klein’s lack of formal economics education (one hopes she is making every effort to correct that deficiency this semester at the London School of Economics).” [Anis Shivani, “The Miseducation of Naomi Klein.” CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names. November 25th, 2002. Online publication. No pagination.]
    54. autoreduction (Eddy Cherki as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Michel Wieviorka as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): They consider the autonomist practice of reducing, at an agreed–upon level, the prices of public services, electricity, or housing or, on the other hand, the productivity rates of factories.
      “To consider the new developments in social struggle within Western Europe since 1968, one must turn to Italy. The organization of the Worker’s Movement, of ten on a mass scale, has assumed original forms. Urban struggles have led to organized union and political neighborhood actions with stakes tied to consumption.
      “From this point of view, the autoreduction movement, which began in Turin [Italy] in the fall of 1974, constitutes a development of the utmost importance. Autoreduction is the act by which consumers, in the area of consumption, and workers, in the area of production, take it upon themselves to reduce, at a collectively determined level, the price of public services, housing, electricity; or in the factory, the rate of productivity.…
      “Autoreduction was not practiced by isolated militants: it was organized, and this is a fundamental point, by unions which brought their active support and simultaneously imposed a coherent line of action. Such a position would have been unthinkable a few years earlier: it strongly suggests a breakthrough, of certain themes of the extreme left We should, however, assess the scope of this breakthrough: the autoreduction of regional transportation has always been a localized phenomenon involving merely the machinery of local metallurgical unions, for a set objective. At no time was it a question of generalizing the movement on a national scale.”
      [Eddy Cherki and Michel Wieviorka, “Autoreduction Movements in Turin.” Elizabeth A. Bowman, translator. Autonomia: Post-Political Politics. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 1980. Pages 72-78.]
    55. autonomous movement (Christian Marazzi as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He discusses the heterogeneity of autonomism.
      “Whis issue is purposely problematic, the choice of materials hardly unified. It is in fact crucial to understand that what is called ‘autonomous movement’ (movimento autonomo) is anything but homogeneous. It is comprised of many different and sometimes opposing experiences. It includes organizational and theoretical paths which may be traced back to a single ‘origin’ (the so-called Italian ‘workerism’) but this doesn’t mean that they can be grouped today under the same definition. Gathered here, then, are political contributions from people who have had nothing to do with one another for years; who have chosen different political outlooks and activities. The Italian State, by herding together those it has arrested (and those it still wants to arrest) into the same blind alley, tries to play down the differences and the specific attitudes within the Movement. There is a reason for this: it is exactly these political differences, the internal variety of the autonomous movement, that allowed it to grow.” [Christian Marazzi in Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, “The Return of Politics.” Peter Caravetta and John Johnston, translators. Autonomia: Post-Political Politics. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 1980. Pages 8-21.]
    56. guaranteeism (Oreste Scalzone as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an autonomist approach to armed struggles.
      “A name can be given to the well-knit web, to the system at struggles which has given life to the strongest and most extensive fabric of social counterpower which can be recalled in recent years in the capitalistic metropolis: guaranteeism.
      “By the term ‘guaranteeism’ is meant a sanction-formalization (synonymous with ‘fait accompli’) of the whole of the victories realized by proletarian struggles (on the level of wage, working conditions, social services).…
      “It is easy to see that such a dualism cannot last forever; at a certain point, the stagnating balance of power collapses. At a certain point in the development of the clash between classes, guaranteeism ends up constituting a restraint, a limit to the development of the general level of social antagonism It is necessary, then, to take the initiative in breaking the ‘stalemate,’ in order to go beyond a mere struggle of resistance. Escape from the realm at guarantee ism means resumption at the offensive. That will require, inevitably, a phase of political conflict with the majority of the ‘traditional’ working-class sectors. For, if it is true that guaranteeism has expanded beyond the frontier of the factory, it is likewise true that there – in the ‘classical’ area of salary negotiations – it has repeatedly shown its strength and its continuity.”
      [Oreste Scalzone, “From Guaranteeism to Armed Politics.” James Cascaito, translator. Autonomia: Post-Political Politics. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 1980. Pages 80-83.]
    57. autonomous struggle (Sergio Bologna as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an approach to Italian autonomist struggles.
      “… [Consider] the case of the transport workers …. Once again the ‘party system’ and the trade unions function as command over the labour force. The struggles of the railway workers were treated in the same harsh manner as those of the hospital workers, but the fact that the Union in question has had a long (and some would say glorious) historical tradition made it all the more striking — the way this Union was rejected when it tried to take control of the workforce and impose the policies of austerity. Whether for good or ill, in the hospitals the autonomous struggle has also sparked a process of unionization.…
      “The strength and — at the same time — the limits of the autonomous struggle for redress of the last decade in Italy (and, in particular, the richness and the poverty of the unforgettable ‘troubled autumn’) lie in this ambiguity, in this relative ‘compatibility’ — compatibility with the persistence of the capitalistic social form as such — of a dynamics of struggle which is, rather incompatible with any particular form, with any level of development determined by it. This the source of the ambiguous destiny of a complete historical arc of struggles: their capacity to promote and to polarize class autonomy and their simultaneous inability to bring it to power.”
      [Sergio Bologna, “The Tribe of Moles.” Red Notes, translator. Autonomia: Post-Political Politics. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 1980. Pages 36-61.]
      “The Feltrinelli library was founded in 1949 by Gian Giacomo, then aged 23, who came from a rich timber-trading family. He wanted to create a library which would offer a critical alternative to the then current way of writing history, still deeply influenced by Stalinist party models. It was no accident that people like Gianni Bosio, the founder of the ‘history from below’ movement in Italy, and Theo Pinkus, the Swiss second-hand book seller who died not long ago, were amongst the first to help realize the project of a library designed neither for specialists nor for bureaucrats. From the mid 1950s until the early 1960s, a group of young historians and economists undertook the task of building up good scholarly collections of library and archive material. They were mainly drawn from the left wing of the Italian Socialist party (Partito Socialista Italiano). Amongst them were such international experts on the history of contemporary Germany and the Third Reich as Enzo Collotti. The Institute and Library ‘G. G. Feltrinelli’ became a centre of study not only of the workers’ movement but also of the period of the Enlightenment and of the Italian Risorgimento.” [Sergio Bologna, “Feltrinelli Library in Milan Threatened with Closure.” History Workshop. Number 32, autumn 1991. Pages 236-237.]
      “… in 1969 … the operaist (workerist) political elite brought a strategy into the 1968 movement which was to win, while other anti-authoritarian elites were effectively defeated and marginalised. It was in 1969 when the whole movement found itself in front of the gates of FIAT that we had won. The victory of the workerist tendency forced the whole of the students’ movement to measure itself with workers’ struggles. The workerist tendency was much more advanced, stronger from an intellectual viewpoint, (and) it had a greater political know-how because it knew about the workers’ struggles, while the other tendencies didn’t. So, it succeeded in having a dialogue with the workers’ struggles and with the history of the workers’ struggles while the others didn’t. At this point, also the mass movement, the workers’ movement, which had been mobilised by the old political militants, saw (the arrival of) a second generation of workers. Thus, various political generations of workers were formed in the factories.” [Sergio Bologna in Patrick Cuninghame, “For an Analysis of Autonomia: An Interview with Sergio Bologna.” Left History. Volume 7, number 2, 2000. Pages 89-102.]
    58. boredom (Michael E. Gardiner): He develops an autonomist Marxist perspective on this subject.
      “Bifo [Franco Berardi] says the desiring body and its affects cannot be forever sidelined, reduced to an abstract fragment of disposable time, endlessly recodified and reprogrammed. It rebels, and not always in a ‘nice’ way, insofar as the spectre of a ‘postmodern fascism’ is ever-present. Despite individual differences, autonomists seem in full agreement that what we really need at the present conjuncture is not ‘full employment’, the usual mantra of the left. To pursue this goal would simply add more fuel to the all-consuming fire of semiocapitalism: by investing the totality of our affective and mental energies in work, what withers on the vine is genuine human contact, eroticism, and empathy. Instead, we should encourage the widespread refusal of work, because in order to repair the social fabric, we require a ‘massive reduction in work-time, a prodigious liberation of life from the social factory’ …. Our argument, however tentative, is that certain manifestations of boredom ‘sanction’ this refusal, but in largely pre-conscious or autonomic ways, which is perhaps not surprising if Bifo is correct in suggesting that subjedification now operates at the level of techno-social automatisms and the seduction of desire, rather than through overt coercion or ideological persuasion. The question then becomes: how do we interrupt the social investment of desire in the obsessive repetitions of hyper-work and hyper-consumption? Can we create different valences of affect in which pleasures and enjoyments can unfold at our own pace, and on our own terms, leading to what Bifo calls a ‘happy singularization of the self’ ….” [Michael E. Gardiner, “The Multitude Strikes Back?: Boredom in an Age of Semiocapitalism.” New Formations. Volume 82, spring 2014. Pages 29-46.]
    59. autonomist Marxist analysis (Harry Cleaver): He distinguishes an autonomist Marxist analysis from a “traditional orthodox Marxist” analysis.
      “We might take the current moves in Europe and North America toward the creation of free trade zones. Traditional orthodox Marxist analyses tend to attempt to understand such moves in terms of the internal laws of capitalist development, as a response to the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, or as a response to the exhaustion of a regime of regulation, or as another clever move in intercapitalist competition on a world scale. None of these considerations contains much, if anything, in the way of an analysis of worker power, and therefore little sense of where we are and how we might deal with the situation. An autonomist Marxist analysis, by contrast, which began with an assessment of the current crisis of capitalism in terms of the failure of previous capitalist strategies to contain and instrumentalize workers’ power would provide such a point of departure. For example, the increased mobility of fixed capital associated with free trade (e.g. production facilities are moved from country A to country B because the products can now be shipped back to country A) can be seen as a response to the mobility and power of workers (e.g. the autonomous movement of immigrants and the rigidifications and costs imposed by workers in countries of heavy fixed capital investment). Not only does such an analysis link the ‘free trade’ issue to others, such as ‘racism’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ but it suggests a political strategy of the circulation of struggle between groups whose power has been responsible for the crisis. And as fixed capital moves, it also suggests a parallel strategy of accelerating the circulation of struggle through the changing material. Thus, when we find that in North America coalitions of hundreds of groups of those in struggle in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico are linking up in new forms of continental scale organization--but not through the traditional means of trade unions or parties—we should be neither surprised nor attempt to push such organization into old molds. On the contrary, a new continental class composition calls for new forms of organization and we are prepared to participate in its construction.” [Harry Cleaver. Autonomy, Work, and Refusal: An Interview With Harry Cleaver. Berkeley, California: Anarchist Zine Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2015. No pagination.]
    60. autonomous self–activity (Linda Martín Alcoff as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and José Alcoff as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): The Alcoffs present a detailed explanation of autonomism. They also explain why autonomism is “a form of Marxism.”
      “Often misidentified by anarchists as a Marxist deviation, and by Marxists as a form of anarchism, autonomism is something in between: a form of Marxism with a strong bent toward localism, horizontal decision-making, and anti-authoritarianism.…
      “Autonomism is a growing force in the global left. Less a theory than a practice with an organizational bent toward localism, self-management and horizontal methods of decision making, autonomism is an important influence in the ‘movements of the squares’: from Puerto del Sol in Madrid to Tahrir Square in Cairo to Gezi Parki in Istanbul to Occupy encampments in New York, Lagos, Oakland, and Hong Kong. Like ‘Occupy’ itself, autonomism has become a meme, without textual or organizational centers, absent any foundational origin, yet spreading globally. There are, and have always been, multiple lefts: autonomism has been steadily expanding its share of left uprisings throughout the world.…
      “There is debate about whether Rosa Luxemburg can be counted as an autonomist, but there is no doubt that her own critiques of Leninism were a central influence.…
      “… Autonomism’s commitment to localism, autogestion, and prefiguration should not be confused, however, with anarchism’s belief in the possibility of doing away with government altogether. Autonomists generally consider themselves Marxists ….
      “Autonomists differ perhaps most fundamentally with anarchists over the meaning of the idea of autonomy itself. For autonomists, autonomy is understood to be a social relation, not an individual self-generated capacity or intrinsic moral or political value. Autonomism’s focus is on the autonomy of the exploited classes, rather than on the autonomy of individuals (while it is the focus on the latter that sometimes brings left-wing anarchism and right-wing libertarianism into an alliance). Autonomists are not aiming for the liberation of the ego from a repressive state; … ‘there is nothing less autonomous than an ego’ ….
      “The ideas of liberation often associated with anarchists assume a negative concept of freedom, or the idea that freedom is maximized by the removal of constraints. Thus, the idea is that if we remove indirect governance forms, the interference of capitalist power and its militarist enforcement, freedom can be maximized. In contrast, autonomism is clear that freedom requires the positive reorganization of social relations and structures, even the conscious cultivation and development of certain political and social virtues and dispositions.…
      “… Autonomous self-activity is not the single spark that will light a prairie fire, but it remains a critically important form of action that feeds civil society and will help shape the next social formation.”
      [Linda Martín Alcoff and José Alcoff, “Autonomism in Theory and Practice.” Science & Society. Volume 79, number 2, April 2015. Pages 221-242.]
      “Identified as anarchist by Marxists and as Marxist by anarchists, autonomism, in the Alcoffs’ presentation [Linda and José Alcoffs’ article, ‘Autonomism in Theory and Practice’], grew out of an early 20ᵗʰ-century ‘anti-authoritarian tendency within communism.’ Autonomism comes to fruition in the 1960s, when crises in the Leninist parties and disillusion with the Soviet model of socialism opened the way for the resurgence of more locally oriented and anti-authoritarian communist politics. At the heart of autonomism, the Alcoffs identify its distinctive conception of autonomy as a social relation between class actors, rather than a moral property of individual persons. Nonetheless, autonomism’s grounding in a localist approach to organizing raises … the question …: how to conceive a revolutionary transition without the necessarily coercive force of state power?
      “The state as a centralized form of organization and authority has always been a primary concern of anarchist analysis, while for Marxists it is capital that is the core issue, and not the state as such, conceived as an instrumentality of class rule.”
      [John P. Pittman, “Introduction: Red on Black Marxist Encounters with Anarchism.” Science & Society. Volume 79, number 2, April 2015. Pages 148-152.]
    61. mediation of the class struggle (Mithun Bantwal Rao [Hindī, मिथुन बंतवाल रओ, Mithuna Baṃtavāla Rao as pronounced in this MP3 audio file], Joost Jongerden as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, Pieter Lemmens as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, and Guido Ruivenkamp as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): They develop “a provisional outline of an autonomist view on technology.”
      “We argue that autonomist Marxism offers an alternative understanding of how to conceptualize the power of technology: instead of understanding the representative political realm as the arena of struggle, resistance is placed back in the productive circuit, the locus originalis of the power of antagonism. Another great commentator of capitalism, Michel Foucault, once remarked that ‘[w]here there is power, there is resistance’ …, but giving meaning to this truism is less trivial than it may seem. In the next section, we will review how this has been done in postphenomenology and critical theory of technology, focusing on the works of the figureheads [Peter-Paul] Verbeek (who gives a Foucauldian reading) and [Andrew] Feenberg (who bases his view on [Herbert] Marcuse). Instead of understanding their approaches as radically opposed, it is argued that their views are largely congenial to each other in their pragmatism for construing the good life. In particular, we take issue with the claim made in postphenomenology that Marxist approaches cannot account for the technical constitution of human subjectivity. Thereafter, we propose an alternative way of understanding power/resistance by drawing on the incorporation of Foucault’s work within the autonomist tradition, focusing on the Marxist interpretation given to his notion of biopower. The result of this will be a provisional outline of an autonomist view on technology: the mediation of the class struggle.…
      “Autonomist Marxism is that school of Marxism centered on the class struggle …, as opposed to more conventional political economist readings of [Karl] Marx focused on capital accumulation, or philosophical ones such as those of the Frankfurt School …. Class, per definition, is the relation of a social group to the means of production, and class antagonism comes to the fore when a class constitutes itself as engaging in struggle, as resisting.… This primacy in politico-economic analysis of the class struggle from the perspective of labor and the constitution of the working class as agent of resistance form the cornerstones of 1960s and 1970s Italian operaismo or workerism, out of which present day (post) Autonomia (and post-Operaismo as well) branched.”
      [Mithun Bantwal Rao, Joost Jongerden, Pieter Lemmens, and Guido Ruivenkamp, “Technological Mediation and Power: Postphenomenology, Critical Theory, and Autonomist Marxism.” Philosophy & Technology. Volume 28, number 3, September 2015. Pages 449-474.]
    62. many–headed hydra (Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker): They present an approach to historical oppression which resembles autonomist Marxist theory.
      “[Francis] Bacon’s advertisement for a holy war was … a call for several types of genocide, which found its sanction in biblical and classical antiquity. Bacon thereby gave form to the formless, as the groups he named embodied a monstrous, many-headed hydra. But who were these groups? And why did he recommend holy war against them? …
      “The answers to these questions may be found by continuing the analysis, begun in the previous chapter, of the processes of expropriation, exploitation, and colonization in the era of [Walter] Raleigh and Bacon. We argue that the many expropriations of the day—of the commons by enclosure and conquest, of time by the puritanical abolition of holidays, of the body by child stealing and the burning of women, and of knowledge by the destruction of guilds and assaults on paganism—gave rise to new kinds of workers in a new kind of slavery, enforced directly by terror. We also suggest that the emergence of cooperation among workers, in new ways and on a new scale, facilitated new forms of self-organization among them, which was alarming to the ruling class of the day. Bacon saw the new combinations of workers as monstrous and used the myth of the many-headed hydra to develop his theory of monstrosity, a subtle, thinly veiled policy of terror and genocide. The idiom of monstrosity would gain special relevance with the emergence of a revolutionary movement in England in the 1640s, in which the proletarian forces opposed by Bacon would play a critical part.”
      [Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker. The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press. 2002. Page 40.]
      “If some used the biblical concept of ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ to give form to the formless, others saw the amorphous class as a many-headed hydra and conjured Hercules to terrorize and destroy the beast, especially during the revolutionary circumstances of the 1640s, when the incipient class began to find new means of self-organization. Paradoxically, the worst sites of oppression and terror offered opportunity for collaboration. For example, the prison, like the shipwreck, was something of a leveller, where the radical protestant, the sturdy rogue, the redundant craftsman, the Catholic recusant, the wild Irishman, the commonist, and the cutpurse met on roughly equal terms.” Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker. The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press. 2002. Page 60.]
      The Many-Headed Hydra [by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker] was published the same year as Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire. Produced in isolation from each other, they both confirm the creative power of the multitude, a century or two apart, against the transnational globalizers. Empire introduced to many Anglophone scholars for the first time the precepts of autonomist Marxist theory but was, in fact, a poor introduction to them. To many intelligent readers without already existing knowledge of autonomist Marxist theory, Empire’s presentation of the multitude that would be the subject of history was a meaningless millenarian mishmash. Linebaugh and Rediker’s work, without any explicit reference to autonomist theory, perhaps offers a better guide to the valuable insights labor historians might gain from autonomist Marxist theory by offering a fine example of history inspired by a hypothesis similar to that which underpins autonomist Marxism.” [Verity Burgmann, “The Multitude and the Many-Headed Hydra: Autonomist Marxist Theory and Labor History.” International Labor and Working-Class History. Number 83, spring 2013. Pages 170-190.]
    63. autonomist Marxist critique of determinist Marxism (Verity Burgmann): This critique emphasizes the dependence of capital on labor and, simultaneously, the independence of labor from capital.
      “The autonomist Marxist critique of determinist Marxism offers even more valuable insights for labor historians than that mounted by earlier antideterminists, such as [Jean-Paul] Sartre and [E. P.] Thompson, who emphasized proletarian agency to counter determinist orthodoxy in which the accumulative logic of capital unilaterally shapes the world. Autonomist Marxism is more far-reaching. It places labor at the very beginning of the labor-capital dialectic: Labor can exist independently of capital, but capital needs to command labor to ensure profit; therefore, capitalist development does not occur due to internal momentum but in reaction to labor’s tendency to unloose itself from capital.…
      “Autonomist Marxist theory offers a potentially significant contribution to the critiques that have, from within the Western Marxist tradition, contested the economic determinist rendering of the classical Marxian legacy and influenced labor history.…
      “… for labor historians, autonomist Marxism is potentially the richest of the critiques of determinist Marxism because it commences with the standpoint of the working class.”
      [Verity Burgmann, “The Multitude and the Many-Headed Hydra: Autonomist Marxist Theory and Labor History.” International Labor and Working-Class History. Number 83, spring 2013. Pages 170-190.]
    64. anomie of the earth (Frederico Luisetti as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, John Pickles, Wilson Kaiser, and others): They develop an autonomist approach to normlessness.
      “In framing the book title as The Anomie of the Earth, … we draw attention to the chiasmus [Latin from Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, χιασμός, chiasmós, ‘a crisscrossed rhetorical structure’] that anomie/earth and auto/nomy constitute. ‘Anomie” and ‘earth” represent in fact a semantic reversal of the term ‘autonomy,” which derives from the Greek autos [Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, αὐτὸς, au̓tòs, ‘self’] and nomos [Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, νόμος, nómos, ‘law’ or ‘custom’], indicating forms of self-governing rule: instead of the lawful nomos of the current nation-states, the anomie of the emerging politics of nature and commons; instead of the autos of the political subjects of rights of liberal democracies, an impersonal earth. The chiasmus linking autonomy and the current anomie of the earth thus signals the need to rethink ethical and political communities, as well as traditional notions of nature and society, outside the forms of subjective autonomy and colonial nomos that have hitherto dominated Western conceptions of the political.
      “Our assumption is that the current geopolitical shift—the biopolitical reconfiguration of power within capitalist societies, the progressive erosion of the centrality of the Euro-North Atlantic space, the autonomization of South American and Eastern blocs— is not just a systemic rearrangement of global capitalism, guided by crisis-devices fully controlled by neoliberal practices and ideologies, but can be seen also as a mutation making room for alternative political and micropolitical practices and imaginaries, requiring different conceptual vocabularies and a shift in the understanding of autonomy. The actual antagonistic forms of autonomy and sovereignty are moving away from the Western nomos, thus reconceptualizing traditional notions of political autonomy in the Americas and Europe.”
      [Frederico Luisetti, John Pickles, and Wilson Kaiser, “Autonomy: Political Theory/Political Anthropology.” The Anomie of the Earth: Philosophy, Politics, and Autonomy in Europe and the Americas. Frederico Luisetti, John Pickles, and Wilson Kaiser, editors. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2015. Pages 1-21.]
    65. cognitive capitalism (Yann Moulier Boutang as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He presents an autonomist Marxist critique of cognitive capitalism—the new form of capitalism resulting from the Internet.
      “If the network of digital networks gives us a model of action that is appropriate and innovative in complex and uncertain systems and makes it possible to envisage cumulative processes of increasing outputs) this is because it offers a great lesson in its very organisation …. If you want to promote innovative and dynamic solutions, you should not privilege (as AT&T did for a long time) an intelligent – that is, sophisticated and complex – network with dumb agents at the entrance and exit points. You have to adopt the solution of the Internet that is precisely the opposite: the physical and logical layer of the network of networks was designed deliberately as a platform that was simple and ‘dumb.’ The intelligence and complexity were entrusted to the members of the network ar rhe periphery of the technological apparatus. The system priviieges ‘inter-operability.’ It obeys the following principle: simplify the technical organisation and complicate the knowledge and the content that pass through it. It is easy to see that the Smithian model and its great-grandchild, the Taylorist [‘scientifically’ managed] model, arise our of societies where the kind of knowledge that was mobilised as a productive resource involved only a very thin layer of the population (elites representing between 1 per cent and 10 per cenr of the total). The basics of the division of labour are incorporated within the hierarchical system, which itself is highly qualified and rigid, in order to be able to bring together low-skilled operatives from whom a minimum of autonomy of initiative and a maximum of subordination is required.” [Yann Moulier Boutang. Cognitive Capitalism. Ed Emery, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2011. Page 66.]
      “The more you work in a digital network, the more you are asked for connectívity, responsiveness, autonomy and inventiveness (which may conflict with the imperatives of cost, but which are themselves the subject of a compromise between the desire for savings and the gain to be expected from a qualiry service that can ensure customer loyalty).” [Yann Moulier Boutang. Cognitive Capitalism. Ed Emery, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2011. Page 74.]
      “… [There is] the reinstatement of values of creativity, autonomy and creative repetition at the centre of the new work paradigm of cognitive capitalism.” [Yann Moulier Boutang. Cognitive Capitalism. Ed Emery, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2011. Page 88.]
      “Yann Boutang’s Cognitive Capitalism is the most systematic and comprehensive account of the economic position developed by the autonomist school of thought. The economic thrust of autonomism developed as a result of the relocation of the Italian autonomista in the 1980s and 1990s to Paris.…
      “The whole account is grounded through the metaphor (which also replicates recent biological developments) of the pollen society. Classical political economy was informed by Bernard Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees, and Boutang has revived an economic interest in this insect. He carves a clear distinction between the activity of bees (pollination) and the outcome or output of that activity (honey). Classical political economy has been exclusively concerned with the latter, and has not only ignored the crucial role of pollen, but also developed policies – such as patents, intellectual property rights, the consumerisation and commercialisation of higher education and so on – which hinder the development of this activity. Within the emergent paradigm of cognitive capitalism, pollination becomes pivotal to the construction of value. Theories of classical political economy and their instantiation through neoliberalism, as a consequence, serve as a brake on the production of value.”
      [Andy Knott, “Cognitive Capitalism.” Review article. Political Studies Review. Volume 12, number 1, January 2014. Page 90.]
      “Rationalist critics of the ‘economic creed’ or of the ‘neo-technological utopia,’ anthropologist critics of utilitarianism in social sciences and the hegemony of commodity exchange, marxist critics of the ‘cognitive capitalism’ that oppose to it the ‘communism of the masses,’ political critics of a communications utopia that resuscitates the worst phantasms of exclusion, critics of the critiques of the ‘new spirit of capitalism,’ or critics of the ‘prison State’ and surveillance hiding behind neo-liberalism — critical minds hardly appear to be very inclined to take into account the emergence of cybernetics as a new technology of government, which federates and associates both discipline and bio-politics, police and advertising, its ancestors in the exercise of domination, all too ineffective today.” [Tiqqun. The Cybernetic Hypothesis. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2010. Page 5.]
    66. class struggle theory of value (Massimo De Angelis as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an autonomist Marxist theory of value.
      “… I show two interrelated things. First that the substance of value, being abstract labour, is work in the capitalist form. Second, that abstract labour, being work in the capitalist form, is a relation of struggle. This means that the category of value used by [Karl] Marx is a category of the class struggle. I will discuss the link between abstract labour, and therefore value, and the form of value, exchange value and money …. The question of the relation between value and form of value obviously introduces the issue of commodity-fetishism which I will not be able to discuss in this paper and I have analysed elsewhere ….
      “… People s ‘how’ and ‘what’ to produce can only be constituted through an expenditure of life-energy, and life-energy can only result in a form of production (‘how’) and a product (‘what’). In this example producers have direct autonomy in defining all these elements constituting their life activity of production, the ‘hows’ the ‘whats,’ and the ‘how much.’ These elements are not opposed to each other, because each is important in defining and constituting workers lived experience of production.…
      “… To the extent that working class autonomy in its struggle within and against capital is also beyond capital, to the extent that the working class is able to develop patterns of auto-valorisation, then its struggles are also beyond the law of value.”
      [Massimo De Angelis, “Beyond the Technological and the Social Paradigms: A Political Reading of Abstract Labour as the Substance of Value.” Capital & Class. Volume 19, number 3, autumn 1995. Pages 107-134.]
      “This paper develops a critique of the ‘class struggle’ theory of value that emerged out of the autonomist Marxist tradition, arguing that although this theory has the merit of putting forward a production-centred, value-form approach, it eventually fails to grasp the determinations of value-producing labour. In particular, the notion of value as a mode of existence of the class struggle inverts the real relation between them and, more importantly, deprives the latter of both its historical specificity and the social and material basis of its transformative powers. This paper examines the political implications of these theoretical issues in value theory.…
      “… We would like to focus here on what we will term the ‘class struggle theory of value’, which emerged out of the autonomist-Marxist tradition. In particular, since it constitutes one of the few direct interventions by an economist from that tradition in the specialised debate on value theory, we will critically engage with [Massimo] De Angelis’s contribution in the pages of this journal [Capital & Class] …
      “… the class-struggle approach constitutes the incursion, within the rather technical debates on value theory, of a general approach to Marxism—autonomism—which has enjoyed growing popularity in recent years both among Marxist scholars and within radical social movements.”
      [Axel Kicillof and Guido Starosta, “Value form and class struggle: A critique of the autonomist theory of value.” Capital & Class. Volume 31, number 2, July 2007. Pages 13-40.]
    67. plenums (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb): They describe this autonomist form of “direct democracy” as “general assemblies of all interested individuals at which everyone has equal right to express their opinion and at which everyone can vote.”
      “An important component of the student self-organization was the directly democratic manner of decision-making. Beside the goal itself (‘free education available to all’), this was one of the main aspects of the whole action. Direct democracy is a system in which all (the most important) decisions are made in an absolutely democratic manner, with the majority of the votes of those present. As opposed to the system of representational democracy, in which a smaller number of representatives are elected in elections held every few years and given a mandate to make autonomous decisions, without immediate democratic supervision, in the direct democratic system all decisions are made directly by the majority. Thus direct democracy encourages people to be active and interested and to participate in decision-making. All decisions made during the occupation, as well as after it, are made in such a democratic manner. The direct democratic system is organized through plenums – general assemblies of all interested individuals at which everyone has equal right to express their opinion and at which everyone can vote.” [Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. The Occupation Cookbook. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 23.]
    68. autonomous social organisms (Eda Čufer as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and IRWIN): According to Čufer, individualism, which is stifled in a state, can freely be developed through autonomism.
      “The question of collectivism, i.e. the question of how to organise communication and enable the coexistence of various autonomous individuals in a community, can be dealt with in two different ways. Modern states continue to be preoccupied with the question of how to collectivise and socialise the individual, whereas avant-garde movements tried to answer the question of how to individualise the collective. Avant-garde movements tried to develop autonomous social organisms in which the characteristics, needs, and values of individualism, which cannot be comprised in the systems of a formal state, could be freely developed and defined. The collectivism of avant-garde movements had an experimental value. With the collapse of the avant-garde movements, social constructive views in art fell into disgrace, which led to the social escapism of orthodox modernism and consequently triggered a crisis in basic values in the period of postmodernism.” [Eda Čufer and IRWIN, “NSK State in Time.” State in Time. IRWIN, editor. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2010. Pages 13-15.]
    69. autonomy from all forms of capitalist institution, authority, or power (Patrick Cuninghame): He examines “autonomism as a global social movement.”
      “Today autonomism can be seen as a global network of alliances between occupied social centers and media activists in Europe, Zapatistas and Piqueteros in Latin America, Black Blockers in North America, cyber hacktivists in Japan, and autonomous workers, unemployed youth, students, dispossessed peasants, and urban squatter movements in South Korea, South Africa, and India who have preferred to coordinate their anticapitalist global days of actions through the structure of People’s Global Action (PGA) rather than the World Social Forum (WSF), united in their disparity and diversity by the overriding principle and practice of autonomy from all forms of capitalist institution, authority, or power, but also along the lines of the autonomy of one section of the multitude from the rest in order to prevent their absorption by traditional socialist ‘workers’ centrality,’ for example, women, immigrants, and youth.” [Patrick Cuninghame, “Autonomism as a Global Social Movement.” Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society. Volume 13, number 4, December 2010. Pages 451-464.]
    70. political autonomy and independence of the working class (Guido Baldi as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an autonomist approach on “mass workers and social capital.”
      “The years from fhe beginning of the cenfury up to the English general strike of 1926 witness … [a] crucial new feature in class struggle: whereas deep contradictions between developed and backward areas characterize capitalism at this state and confine it to national levels of organization, the political autonomy and independence of the working class reach an international level. For the first time capital is bypassed by the workers at an international level. The first international cycle roughly 1904 to 1906 is a cycle of mass strikes which at times develops into violent actions and insurrections. In Russia, it starts with the Putilov [Russian Cyrillic, Пути́лов, Putílov] strike and develops into the 1905 revolution. 1904 is the date of the first Italian general strike. In Germany, the spontaneous Ruhr miners; strike of 1905 on the eight-hour issue and the Amburg general strike of 1906 lead a class wave that overflows into a large network of middle-sized firms. In the US, the miners’ strikes of 1901 and 1904 and the foundation of the IWW [Industrial Workers of the World] in 1905 seem to be a premonition of the struggles to come.…
      “From the worker’s viewpoint, interchangeability, mobility, and massification turn into positive factors. They undermine all divisions by productive role and sector. They provide the material basis for the political re-composition of the entire working class. By destroying the individual worker’s pride in his or her skills, they liberate workers as a class from an identification with their role as producers. With the political demand of ‘more money and less work,’ the increasing alienation of labor becomes a progressive disengagement of the political struggles of the working class from its economic existence as mere labor power. From the workers’ viewpoint, wages cannot be a reward for productivity and work, but are instead the fruits of their struggles. They cannot be a function of capital’s need for development, they must be an expression of the autonomous needs of the class. In the heat of the struggle, the true separation between labor power and working class reaches its most threatening revolutionary peak.”
      [Guido Baldi, “Theses on Mass Worker and Social Capital.” Radical America. Volume 6, number 3, May–June 1972. Pages 3-21.]
    71. radical public sphere (Friends of the Classless Society): They consider a variety of topics, as “theses,” in relation to autonomist communism.
      “In the entire Western world, the 1970s existed under the omen of the refusal of labor and an explosion in wages. The workers had joyfully forgotten the moderation they had learned that constituted the secret of the success of the social democratic ‘golden age’ after 1945. This forbidden decoupling of wages and productivity intensified one of the unavoidable periodic crises of capital that arose right as the ideal total capitalist began to groan under the strain of social expenditures, which it was forced to drive to unimagined levels in order to appease the proletarians.
      “Soon, it was all over for autonomy and workers power. The militant core was subject to a frontal attack, the bastions of workers power automated, disassembled, and transferred elsewhere. Growing unemployment disciplined the employed, while the state emerged from the role of the ideal total social-worker into that of the taskmaster of the class. Thus began in the Western centers cycle upon cycle of counter-reforms that continue to attack the proletariat on an increasing number of fronts. At this moment, the weakness of the reformist labor movement is revealed which, completely dependent upon the weal and woe of the class enemy, was able at best only to soften the blow of the rollback.…
      “… contrary to a certain mythology of the radical left, the autonomous struggles that attempt to wrest leadership away from the trade unions do not contain a more emancipatory content per se. These struggles, just like those sanctioned by the trade unions, also often stagnate at the narrow level of maintaining the location of production facilities, a struggle which the trade unions have sometimes proven to be incapable of conducting. It is not solely the power of the trade unions that inhibits struggles. Rather, the power of the trade unions is based upon the absence and limits of struggles.…
      “Theory and praxis, whose mutual embrace is foreshadows in revolutionary moments of history, today mutually exclude one another in petrified opposition. This finds an expression in that which one could call the critical or radical public sphere. On the one hand in an academicism which despite all of its correct partial insights is never able to penetrate the totality of relations, since it does not grasp the importance of praxis as a means of acquiring knowledge, and on the other hand in a short-winded activism which is only able to mobilize itself and not society.
      “Whoever does not understand cannot really act, and whoever does not wish to act will also not understand. One only has to read the printed matter of the student left, attend their ghastly lecture meetings, in order to immediately understand where the hostility to theory draws its nourishment from, as well as how the resentment prevails among more than a few self-styled radical academics that the decisive insights concerning social relations cannot be obtained below a university diploma.
      “But activism, which considers itself above academicism because it ultimately does something, is just the flipside of this doctorate-clad failure. As much as the occasions that elicit its mobilization might be worthy of critique, so little is activism able to fundamentally change the social relations that give rise to such grievances. With a great uproar, campaigns are launched against summit meetings, for the EuroMayDay, for a guaranteed income and the like.
      “This social engagement is not fundamentally distinct from any other political activity, and politics is social activity that is separate from society. It takes place in that higher sphere in which everyone is, abstractly, already a social individual, without having to account for the respective concrete interests of the lower depths. A position is not developed from social praxis, butrather imposed upon it. The point is then to win adherents, which sometimes seems to be the sole aim of such campaigns, however often the content changes. Similar to the sale of commodities, marketing tricks are applied in order to bring one’s newest product to the masses. The latter are expected to gather behind symbolic actions. Even where people are supposed to be stimulated to action, they are only objects, material to be pedagogically manipulated. Politics is only the external unification of separate individuals to achieve alien goals.”
      [Friends of the Classless Society, “28 Theses on Class Society.” Pages 1-18. Privately published translation of a German–language essay. Kosmoprolet. Number 1, 2007. Pagination unknown.]
      “Kosmoprolet’s 28 Theses emerge from a problematic caught ‘in-between’ the theories of workers’ autonomy still linked to operaismo [workerism, i.e., autonomism], and that of the revolution as ‘self-abolition of the proletariat,’ or what can be called the theory of communisation. Thus communisation is defined both very abstractly as ‘self-abolition’ and very concretely as ‘self-organization,’ as the recomposition of the ‘proletarianised’ as an historical subject, a collective actor existing for itself, subject analogous to that of the great radical days of class struggle up to the 1970s. The first definition functions as an ideological embellishment to mask the triviality of the second. The very use of the term ‘self-abolition’ connects these theses to the 1970s, when this concept represented the extreme point at which theories of self-organization and councilism believed they had found the solution to their impasse.” [Théorie Communiste, “28 Theses on Class Society — A Critical Commentary.” Endnotes and friends, translators. 2010 (original French–language version). No pagination.]
    72. autonomous nature (Raymond Murphy): He distinguishes this nature, and “its independent character,” from external nature.
      “On our planet nature is no longer unaffected by human constructions, but it would be erroneous to assume there is nothing more to nature than its pristine state. Nature now unleashes its independent, emergent processes within society instead of within virgin wilderness because human activity has expanded and affected all the biosphere. What has been true within the human body (as anyone with cancer or cystic fibrosis experiences) and in the local ecosystems where societies have existed is now true on a planetary scale. That nature is not separate from society does not diminish its character as the Other of society. The elimination of external nature on Earth must not be mistaken for the abolition of autonomous nature. Nature retains its independent character even as humans struggle to control it and as expanding social constructions internalise dynamics of nature into society. As human constructions affect the self-regulating mechanisms of nature and invade virgin wilderness, emergent processes of nature invade society to operate alongside old ones. The Other is still with us, but nature has become the Other working its autonomous processes within society rather than outside society in pristine wilderness.” [Raymond Murphy, “The internalization of autonomous nature into society.” The Sociological Review. Volume 50, number 3, August 2002. Pages 313-333.]
    73. autonomist communism (Stephen Squibb): Squibb, a one–time participant in the Occupy movement, describes that movement as basically autonomist and communist rather than anarchist.
      “… [There is a] difficulty in describing Occupy as ‘anarchist’ as opposed to ‘socialist,’ unless by ‘anarchist’ we mean precisely this instantiated para-syndicalist refusal of the party-form. But this would ignore the longer and deeper history of this refusal that predates any articulation of ‘anarchism’—to say nothing of the socialist-identified non-party organizations that have flourished in the United States and elsewhere during the second half of the twentieth century. Similarly, to say that Occupy was, in fact, socialist, is to double down on the ambiguity of that term in the U.S. context, precisely by ignoring this reckoning with the party, the contours of which are much clearer in the European theater for specific historical reasons. Occupy is more accurately described as an instance of autonomist communism; ‘autonomist’ for its directly democratic, nonparty, un-syndicalism and ‘communist’ for its distributionally focused instantiation as a series of communes—that is, as groups of people living together and sharing resources and responsibilities.
      “It is helpful, in this respect, to distinguish the autonomist communism of Occupy from the autonomist workerism associated with Italy in the late 1960s and ’70s, especially given the parallels between the two sequences.”
      [Stephen Squibb, “What Was Occupy?” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 66, number 9, February 2015. Pages 39-66.]
      “For the editors of the Wall Street Journal, … the gold standard of economic value is ‘intelligence’ and ‘knowledge.’ For it is not so much the skills one possesses, nor the strenuousness of the effort, as the entrepreneurial invention of the footloose employee willing to conquer a task by redefining the game to be played. The ideal employee is one who continually re-applies concepts and readjusts themes. ‘Work’ in such an environment is, as management lingo has it, largely a process of ‘producing oneself.’ Employees make and re-make their subjectivity to keep pace with the morphing networks that surround them and which they seek to enter. The degree of overlap here with the academic discourses of cultural theory is startling. And if this sounds very much like the language of autonomist communism today, third-wave feminism, special issues of humanities journals on ‘new identities,’ and the Deleuzian philosophy of modalities, it is not a quaint dovetailing of the postmodern and the corporate so much as a graphic illustration of dissident theory’s market life.” [Timothy Brennan, “The Free Impersonality of Bourgeois Spirit.” Biography. Volume 37, number 1, winter 2014. Pages 1-35.]
    74. universal or total self–management (Raoul “Ratgeb” Vaneigem as pronounced in this MP3 audio file or, simply, Raoul Vaneigem as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Vaneigem, a francophone Belgian writer who used the pseudonym of “Ratgeb,” was a key figure in the situationist movement. He proposes an autonomist approach to self–management and examines the populist nature of political revolution.
      “Most people have lived in opposition to the flow of life. Yet it is becoming obvious that this perspective is now being reversed and the architects of topsy-turvy confounded. It announces the end of the economic era and introduces universal self-management. You can hear it in people’s heartbeats, it is at the heart of present historical conditions: freedom at last to enjoy so many pleasures. It sabotages the shopkeeper’s mentality which paralyses the muscles and grates the nerves and stifles desire in the name of work and duty, compulsion, exchange, guilt, intellectual control and the will to power.…
      “Pleasure avoids becoming a commodity on condition that it destroys it. But this it undertakes only if it can escape a while. For it is not the hungriest who have made hunger strikes, nor those who enjoy themselves least who revolt for universal self-management.…
      “Work and constraint trace the roads to impotence. Out of revulsion, people start to learn how to free themselves and what they want from the commodity-matrix, as the only way to create a human context. And so gradually we are finding out how to get what we want from things and circumstances, which in fact is the only way we can relate to them. We will achieve by our own individual creativity what compulsion has never managed to make us achieve collectively. This is the basis for assemblies of universal self-management.…
      “As surely as economic power produces intellectuality by depriving desires of their means of feeling and by turning feeling against desire, universal self-management will push intellectuality to the end of its self-destructive course, beyond its old man’s aches and pains and its puerile booze-ups, until it dissolves and a total sexuality emerges.…
      “If one learned to smell again as an intellectual decision, it would only renew the age-old castration of the senses. Our sense of smell draws the map of our sensual wealth on the obverse of the world upside down in rediscovering so many olfactive experiences repressed or undertaken as duties. Only dead desires stink, but pleasure in chains can put anybody off. As against the solemn oaths of interest and feelings under contract, may smell decide affinities and discord. Being able to feel for each other and feel at ease with each other will set up the variable atmospherics of situations even in the assemblies of universal self-management which are the social expression of our desires.…
      Intense pleasure in oneself is the basis for universal self-management and abolishes fault. If the desire to be unhappy, beaten, oppressed, ruled, humiliated does exist, it is only the inversion of the desire to live happily, caressed, sovereign and free. Business imperialism is just the self dilated taken the wrong way and turned against it.…
      Autonomy bases universal self-management on the harmonisation and emancipation of individual desires. All power relations involve a contempt for self, a lack hastily compensated for, the inversion in which each of us sees himself from the outside.…
      “Universal self-management has no need of agitators, and can do without those conspirators whom the bureaucrats in power love denouncing everywhere simply because they see their own tyranny reassuringly reflected in them. It has no need of party or organisation. As for you corpses who claim to govern us, your suspicions of mysterious plots are vain as are your attacks on the instigators of the disorders; you wail in vain over a violence which only your presence perpetuates. Once again, the evidence will rub your nose in your impotence. In the street, on the very doorstep of your misgivings, individuals of the nascent autonomy are gradually emerging out of the poisoned fog of trade. They are ready to risk their nothing to gain everything, to strike where you least expect them, to answer only for themselves; the only mandate they carry is their subjectivity, and their footsteps are beginning to sound on the hollow boards of your death-stricken civilisation.”
      [Raoul Vaneigem. The Book Of Pleasures. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1979. Pages 4, 17, 20, 52, 67, and 70.]
      “The moment of revolt, which means now, is hallowing out for us in the hard rock of our daily lives, days that miraculously retain the delicious colours and the dreamlike charm which — like an Aladdin’s cave, magical and prismatic in an atmosphere all its own — is inalienably ours. The moment of revolt is childhood rediscovered, time put to everyone’s use, the dissolution of the market and the beginning of generalised self-management.
      “The long revolution is creating small federated microsocieties, true guerilla cells practising and fighting for this self-management. Effective radicality authorises all variations and guarantees every freedom. That’s why the Situationists don’t confront the world with: ‘Here’s your ideal organisation, on your knees!’ They simply show by fighting for themselves and with the clearest awareness of this fight, why people really fight each other and why they must acquire an awareness of the battle.”
      [Raoul Vaneigem. The Revolution of Everyday Life. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1963-1965. Page 111.]
      “Total self-management is the form of social organization in which everybody has the right to make the decisions that affect their everyday life, whether individually or collectively in self-managing assemblies.…
      “… It has appeared in the history of the workers movement each time that the people themselves have tried to make and implement their own decisions without giving up their power to leaders and without allowing themselves to be tied to any ideology.
      “… It has been crushed by the combined effect of its own internal weaknesses, hesitancies and confusions, by its isolation, and by the leaders it has made the mistake of creating for itself or of tolerating, leaders who have led it to defeat while pretending to organize and strengthen it. The most instructive examples are the workers councils that appeared in Russia in 1905 (crushed by the Czarist regime), in 1917 (coopted and destroyed by the Bolsheviks), and in 1921 (crushed at Kronstadt [Russian Cyrillic, Кроншта́дт, Kronštádt; in the area of St. Petersburg, Russia] by [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky); in Germany in 1918 (crushed by the socialists); in Italy in 1920 (destroyed by the socialists and the labor unions); in Spain in 1934 (the Asturian revolution, crushed by the republican government) and in 1936-1937 (coopted by the anarchist labor union and crushed by the Stalinists); and in Hungary in 1956 (crushed by the ‘Soviet’ state).
      “… No revolution is possible without the revival of the movement for total self-management, which this time must be decisively strengthened and extended internationally.
      “… The movement for total self-management develops through the operation of popular assemblies and their coordinating councils.
      “… Total self-management assemblies arise out of class struggles. These struggles are the most direct expression of the proletariat’s will to abolish the bourgeoisie and to abolish itself as a class; of its decision to no longer remain a mere spectator watching its own dispossession and the delusory representations that mask that dispossession; and of its determination to no longer submit to history but to make its own history for itself and for the benefit of everyone.
      “… A total self-management assembly is nothing other than a strike assembly formed by the workers the moment they begin occupying their factories, and which extends as quickly as possible from the workplace to the neighborhood and surrounding region. Far from being abstract or political, its primary aim is to liberate and enrich the daily life of each individual.”
      [Ratgeb. Contributions to The Revolutionary Struggle, Intended To Be Discussed, Corrected, And Principally, Put Into Practice Without Delay: From Wildcat Strike to Total Self Management. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1974. Page 41.]
      “People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints – such people have a corpse in their mouth.” [Raoul Vaneigem. The Revolution of Everyday Life. Donald Nicholson-Smith, translator. London: Aldgate Press. 2001. Page 26.]
      “There is only one way to be radical. The wall that must be knocked down is immense, but it has been cracked so many times that soon a single cry will be enough to bring it crashing to the ground. Let the formidable reality of the third force emerge at last from the mists of history, with all the individual passions that have fuelled the insurrections of the past! Soon we shall find that an energy is locked up in everyday life which can move mountains and abolish distances. The long revolution is preparing to write works in the ink of action ….” [Raoul Vaneigem. The Revolution of Everyday Life. Donald Nicholson-Smith, translator. London: Aldgate Press. 2001. Page 62.]
      “Power cannot be overthrown like a government. The united front against authority covers the whole spectrum of everyday life and enlists the vast majority of people. To know how to live is to know how to fight against renunciation without ever giving an inch. Let nobody underestimate Power’s skill in stuffing its slaves with words to the point of making them the slaves of words.” [Raoul Vaneigem. The Revolution of Everyday Life. Donald Nicholson-Smith, translator. London: Aldgate Press. 2001. Pages 102-103.]
      “… after the break with the Stalinists, [André] Breton turned more unequivocally towards [Leon] Trotsky. With Trotsky he collaborated on the manifesto ‘For an Independent Revolutionary Art’ (1938). (At Trotsky’s request, Diego Rivera co-signed with Breton in his stead.) Before long, however, Breton was admitting his astonishment that Trotsky could invoke the old Jesuit precept that ‘the end justifies the means,’ and he called immediately for ‘a thoroughgoing critique of certain aspects of the thought of [Vladimir] Lenin and even of [Karl] Marx.’ He himself never followed up on this.” [Raoul Vaneigem. A Cavalier History of Surrealism. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1977. Page 38.]
      “The development of the economic process gave [Martin] Luther and [John] Calvin a weapon that was finally capable of breaking the spiritual monopoly that the cynicism of the pontifical bureaucracy had discredited by the scandal of the market in indulgences and the priority given to business. The expansion of commerce, the growing independence of the banks and preindustrial artisanal enterprises instaurated a spiritual state that was favorable to the new reforms. The separation from Rome did not simply signify the end of an odious hierarchy, intermixing faith and financial interests; it implied the ideas that belief properly belonged to the individual in his or her relationship with God and that the management of capital constituted a domain separate from religion, governed by the imperatives of Christian morality. The rigorous obedience to God of a Calvinist man of business accorded with the intransigent search for profit, because — banishing the crazy expenditures of hedonism — it underwrote an ascetic morality in conformity with the Christian institution. As Max Weber has shown, Protestantism discovered in the austerity of accumulation and the reproduction of capital a puritanism that inspired the “free” relationship of the sinner with the tutelary God, keeping watch over the rate of profit.” [Raoul Vaneigem. The Resistance to Christianity. The Heresies at the Origins of the 18ᵗʰ Century. Not Bored!, translator. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1993. Page 293.]
    75. autonomist Marxist feminism (Silvia Federici as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, Leopoldina Fortunati as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, and others): Federici, a Marxist autonomist feminist, examines “primitive accumulation” from the perspective of women’s labor, particularly attempts at “witch–hunting”—trying to silence women through accusations of witchcraft. Fortunati focuses upon reproduction and the capitalist system. She also argues, from an autonomist Marxist feminist perspective, for a “planetary” reformulation of a Marxist theory.
      “… my analysis departs from [Karl] Marx’s in two ways. Whereas Marx examines primitive accumulation from the viewpoint of the waged male proletariat and the development of commodity production, I examine it from the viewpoint of the changes it introduced in the social position of women and the production of labor-power. Thus, my description of primitive accumulation includes a set of historical phenomena that are absent in Marx, and yet have been extremely important for capitalist accumulation. They include (i) the development of a new sexual division of labor subjugating women’s labor and women’s reproductive function to the reproduction of the work-force; (ii) the construction of a new patriarchal order, based upon the exclusion of women from waged-work and their subordination to men; (iii) the mechanization of the proletarian body and its transformation, in the case of women, into a machine for the production of new workers. Most important, I have placed at the center of my analysis of primitive accumulation the witch-hunts of the 16ᵗʰ and 17ᵗʰ centuries, arguing that the persecution of the witches, in Europe as in the New World, was as important as colonization and the expropriation of the European peasantry from its land were for the development of capitalism.” [Silvia Federici. Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. Brooklyn, New York: Autonomedia. 2004. Page 12.]
      “So connected were the destinies of women in Europe and those of Amerindians and Africans in the colonies that their influences were reciprocal. Witch-hunting and charges of devil-worshipping were brought to the Americas to break the resistance of the local populations, justifying colonization and the slave trade in the eyes of the world. In turn, according to Luciano Parinetto, it was the American experience that persuaded the European authorities to believe in the existence of entire populations of witches, and instigated them to apply in Europe the same techniques of mass externunation developed in America ….” [Silvia Federici. Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. Brooklyn, New York: Autonomedia. 2004. Page 198.]
      “… Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body and Primitive Accumulation (Autonomedia) … reconstructs the historical background of the persecution of witches and the changes which the ‘body’ underwent in the transition from feudalism to capitalism. It examines the attack on the body in 17ᵗʰ century social policy, and the development of a mechanistic paradigm in contemporary European philosophy, contextualizing these developments as part of the capitalist drive to accumulate labor-power and break workers' resistance to the discipline of wage labor.” [Silvia Federici, “The Great Caliban: The Struggle Against the Rebel Body.” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism. Volume 15, number 2, June 2004. Pages 7-16.]
      “Through the attack on witchcraft the proletariat was expropriated from its body as it had been expropriated from the land, where expropriation refers both to the destruction of specific faculties and their subordination to the aims of the nascent system of production. Although ignored by Marxists, the witch-hunt is a central aspect of the ‘liberation of labor power,’ as central as the enclosures that forced the peasantry off the land. For only after the expropriation and pauperization of the proletarian body, could the use of force be replaced by a work-relation based on the ‘voluntary’ sale of one’s labor power.….
      “… From the witchhunt to the speculations of Mechanical Philosophy, to the meticulous investigations of the Puritans on individual talents, a single thread tied the seemingly autonomous paths of social legislation, religious reform, and the scientific rationalization of the universe. This thread was the attempt to rationalize human nature, whose powers had to be channelled and submitted to the development and formation of labor power.”
      [Silvia Federici, “The Great Caliban: The Struggle Against the Rebel Body – Part Two.” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism. Volume 15, number 3, September 2004. Pages 13-28.]
      “Discussing witch-hunting as a global phenomenon, at the end of Caliban and the Witch (2004), and commenting on the witch-hunts that have taken place in Africa and other parts of the world in the 1980s and 1990s, I expressed my concern that these persecutions were rarely reported in Europe and the U.S. Today, the literature on the return of witch-hunting on the world scene has grown and so have media reports of witch-killings, coming not only from Africa, but India, Latin America, Papua New Guinea. Yet, with few exceptions, social justice movements and even feminist organizations continue to be silent on this matter, although the victims are predominantly women.
      “By witch-hunting I refer to the recurrence of punitive expeditions by young male vigilantes or self-appointed witch-finders, often leading to the murder of the accused and the confiscation of their properties. Especially in Africa, this has become a serious problem over the last two decades continuing to this day. Just in Kenya, eleven people, eight women and three men, were murdered in May in the Southwestern province of Kisii, accused of witchcraft ….”
      [Silvia Federici, “Witch-Hunting, Globalization, and Feminist Solidarity in Africa Today.” Journal of International Women’s Studies. Volume 10, number 1, October 2008. Pages 21-35.]
      “I believe that there is a direct connection between the World Bank’s drive to privatize communal lands and put an end to and devalue subsistence farming and the return of witch-hunting in several parts of the world, like Africa, India, and more recently, Papua New Guinea – a persecution that has already cost the lives of thousands of women. The attack on people’s means of subsistence is by itself a form of violence. In most cases it requires the use of direct physical violence, the use of thugs, death squads, paramilitary organizations, and of course war and imprisonment. It is also significant that the number of women incarcerated in the US, from the mid-1970s to present, has increased by 700 percent, mainly due to the increase in economic ‘crimes’ women have resorted to in order to survive.” [Silvia Federici in Matthew Carlin and Silvia Federici, “The Exploitation of Women, Social Reproduction, and the Struggle against Global Capital.” Theory & Event. Volume 17, issue 3, 2014. Pagination unknown.]
      “What, then, is the destiny of the Africa’s land commons seen from the viewpoint of women? Are continuing privatization and masculinization the inevitable outcomes of the present balance of forces on the land? Undoubtedly, as the recent bloodshed in Kenya and South Africa has demonstrated, the picture is not optimistic.…
      “Under these circumstances, feminists would agree that a broad-based mobilization is needed to build the power of women in every sphere of life: health, education employment, reproductive work as well as to ensure women’s access to land. Short of it, all gains would be temporary and most hard to win. In the meantime, a different type of struggle has taken place that has been ignored by the literature and the initiatives in the field, which are largely dominated by institutionally supported NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] working within a neoliberal framework.”
      [Silvia Federici, “Women, Land Struggles, and the Reconstruction of the Commons.” Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society. Volume 14, number 1, March 2011. Pages 41-56.]
      “Women, including waged women, are obliged to enter into an exchange with male workers for two main reasons: firstly, because their usually lower wages do not permit them to reproduce themselves independently from men; and secondly, because women’s opportunities of reproducing themselves are subordinated to the general conditions of this exchange. Which is to say that for the woman to have, for example, an emotional exchange with a man, she must be prepared to carry out domestic work for him, even if she is economically autonomous; the emotional factor forces her to make the unequal exchange in which she works for him.
      “Thus, the process of the ‘liberation’ of labor power does not historically affect men and women in the same way. The process is much more complex than Marx suggested in his outline, when, even in his historical analysis, he limited his considerations to the issues of labor power as capacity to produce and hence to the issues of the male working class. It is a process which runs along the lines of sex, bringing with it different paths towards the liberation of the worker according to gender.”
      [Leopoldina Fortunati. The Arcane of Reproduction: Housework, Prostitution, Labor and Capital. Hilary Creek, translator. Brooklyn, New York: Autonomedia. 1995. Page 14.]
      Lotta Femminista [Feminist Fight] had always been a minority tendency within the broader feminist movement, because women in the feminist movement were at first rightly wary of any political theory developed in masculine political traditions. The irony is that the broader feminist movement would have become much stronger and more robust if it had taken up our political proposal of ‘wages for housework’ (i.e., ‘domestic labor,’ including parenting, caretaking, etc.), rather than assuming, without knowing it, the Leninist strategy of fighting for work outside of housework as the means of assuring a wage for women. But it was very difficult for the Committees for Wages for Housework to find consensus on their proposal, because feminist women in general thought it was better to reject domestic labor in toto and leave their homes.” [Leopoldina Fortunati, “Learning to Struggle: My Story Between Workerism and Feminism.” Viewpoint Magazine. Issue 3, September 2013. Online publication. Creative Commons. No pagination.]
      “Throughout the entire period of manufacture it was crucially important to capital that the development of value production took place only in tenns of exchange-value and not of use-value. Given the development of the productive forces, the only way to achieve this was to raise the time of surplus labor within the process of commodity production. So on the one hand capital subordinated reproduction to the process of commodity production, and on the other, detached its consumption of labor-power from the need to create the conditions for labor-power to reproduce itself. It could do this because the growing numbers of autonomously existing labor-powers allowed it to free itself from the necessity of producing sufficient use-value within the reproduction process. This allowed it to concentrate on its position as buyer of labor-power, and it only had to concern itself with buying as much as it could, ensuring that there was always a fresh supply constantly available.” [Leopoldina Fortunati. The Arcane of Reproduction: Housework, Prostitution, Labor and Capital. Hilary Creek, translator. Brooklyn, New York: Autonomedia. 1995. Page 163.]
      “Negotiation over the division of domestic labor continues to be open, even if in the last two decades there has been a kind of stalemate in negotiations between men and women. What I mean by ‘stalemate’ is that as a result of the decline of the feminist movement in Europe and the US, negotiations between men and women have remained at an individual level. The lack of collective negotiation has meant that the division of labor inside the family has registered very slow progress, whereby in other spheres of everyday life there is stagnation (e.g. with regard to political participation and representation), if not regression (e.g. in relation to women’s security). In this stalemate, the spread of new technologies in the home has often been used by men as a way of getting out of doing domestic work, thus establishing a kind of presence-absence in their relations with their partners and children.” [Leopoldina Fortunati, “Immaterial Labor and Its Machinization.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 139-157.]
      “Silvia Federici tells a remarkable story – of the passage from the European Middle Ages to the capitalist present, with important links to the colonized (‘third’) world – but it is told here from below. Unlike standard histories, even Marxist ones, which focus on the state, and on class conceived narrowly, Caliban and the Witch is alive with peasant protest and rebellion, women’s struggles for autonomy and dignity, revolts by enslaved indigenous peoples, and workers’ constant battle for daily survival.…
      “The core chapter, the fourth, is on the witch-hunt. Federici shows that witch-hunting was widespread, from Scotland to Eastern Europe; that it was massive, with estimates of persecuted witches running into the hundreds of thousands; and that it was a systematic repression, striking deeply into all communities, affecting notjust those who were accused and persecuted. Her moral outrage, at both the practice of the witch-hunt and the indifference of historians, is profound, as is her call to recuperate this historical moment ….”
      [David Laibman, “Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation.” Science & Society. Volume 70, number 4, October 2006. Pages 576-579.]
      “While housework was crucial to feminist politics, it had a special significance for the organization I joined in 1972: the international Wages for Housework Campaign, in which I was active for the following five years. Wages for Housework (WfH) was rather unique, as it brought together political currents coming from different parts of the world and different sectors of the world proletariat, each rooted in a history of struggles and seeking a common ground that our feminism provided and transformed. While for most feminists the points of reference were liberal, anarchist, or socialist politics, the women who launched WfH came from a history of militancy in Marxist-identified organizations, filtered through the experiences of the anticolonial movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Student Movement, and the ‘Operaist’ movement. The latter developed in Italy in the early 1960s as an outcome of the resurgence of factory struggles, leading to a radical critique of ‘communism’ and a rereading of Marx that has influenced an entire generation of activists, and still has not exhausted its analytic power as the worldwide interest in the Italian autonomist movement demonstrates.” [Silvia Federici. Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle. Oakland, California: PM Press. 2012. Creative Commons. Page 6.]
      “What are the prospects … that Marxist theory may serve as a guide to ‘revolution’ in our time? I ask this question by analyzing the restructuring of reproduction in the global economy. My claim is that if Marxist theory is to speak to twenty-first-century anticapitalist movements, it must rethink the question of ‘reproduction’ from a planetary perspective. Reflecting on the activities that reproduce our life dispels the illusion that the automation of production may create the material conditions for a nonexploitative society, showing that the obstacle to revolution is not the lack of technological know-how, but the divisions that capitalist development produces in the working class. Indeed, the danger today is that besides devouring the earth, capitalism unleashes more wars of the kind the United States has launched in Afghanistan and Iraq, sparked by the corporate determination to appropriate all the planet’s natural resources and control the world economy.” [Silvia Federici. Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle. Oakland, California: PM Press. 2012. Creative Commons. Page 93.]
      “Wages for housework meant opening a struggle directly on the question of reproduction, and establishing that raising children and taking care of people is a social responsibility. In a future society free from exploitation we will decide how this social responsibility is best absolved and shared among us. In this society where money governs all our relations, to ask for social responsibility is to ask that those who benefit from housework (business and the state as the ‘collective capitalist’) pay for it. Otherwise we subscribe to the myth—so costly for us women—that raising children and servicing those who work is a private, individual matter and that only ‘male culture’ is to blame for the stifling ways in which we live, love and congregate with each other.” [Silvia Federici, “Putting Feminism Back on Its Feet.” Social Text. Number 9/10, spring–summer 1984. Pages 338-346.]
      “It’s important politically to confront the question of reproduction because we are experiencing an unprecedented crisis of reproduction. When I speak of reproduction, I don’t speak only in the sense of procreation, although that is part of it, but of all the activities necessary for the reproduction of human life—from housework to subsistence agriculture, to the production of culture and care for the environment.
      “The policies brought in by the neoliberal agenda have, in fact, made reproduction a question for millions of people across the world. We’ve witnessed a tremendous attack on our means of reproduction—on every form of sustenance from wage employment to services to access to nature and the commonwealth—land, water, and forests.”
      [Silvia Federici, “The Means of Reproduction.” Race, Poverty & the Environment. Volume 19, number 2, 2012. Pages 55-59.]
      “… in cities across the world at least a quarter of the people depend on food produced by women’s subsistence labor. In Africa, for example, a quarter of the people living in towns say they could not survive without subsistence food production. This is confirmed by the UN Population Fund which claims that ‘some two hundred million city dwellers arc growing food, providing about one billion people with at least part of their food supply’ …. When we consider that the bulk of the food subsistence producers are women we can see why the men of Kedjom, Cameroon would say, ‘yes, women subsistence farmers do good for humanity.’ Thanks to them, the billions of people, rural and urban, who earn one or two dollars a day do not go under, even in time of economic crisis.
      “Equally important, women’s subsistence production counters the trend by agribusiness to reduce cropland—one of the causes of high food prices and starvation—while ensuring control over the quality of food and protecting consumers against manipulation of crops and poisoning by pesticides. Further, women subsistence production represents a safe way of farming, a crucial consideration at a time when the effects of pesticides on agricultural crops is causing high rates of mortality and disease among peasants across the world, starting with women ….”
      [Silvia Federici, “Women, Land-Struggles and Globalization: An International Perspective.” Journal of Asian and African Studies. Volume 39, number 1/2, 2004. Pages 47-62.]
      “There is a new phase in the generalization of management capacities, but contrary to the assumptions of critical management educators, the investment in the business school has not been to socialize more students into this generalized management, but to seek the principle of generalization in these students themselves as part of a struggle between capital and labour. Using the insights of autonomist feminist theorists, this article attempts to analyse why critical management education has been unable to find a new object appropriate to this new generalization of management, and speculates on what the critical and political benefits might be of escaping older notions of the business school as a site of socialization for a social category of managers.…
      “… [The] classical approach to [Karl] Marx’s socialization thesis was turned upside down by feminist autonomists. Not only did these scholars deepen our understanding of the socialization of labour, but they also revealed the deeper domain of social wealth in labour that became both the source of profit for capital and its most consistent enemy. They began with an alternative reading of capital’s origins. ‘A democracy of unfreedom’ is how Marx in his Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of the State … described the community of serfs. Each serf, man, woman, child, elder, was commonly devoted either to producing for the lord or to producing for the survival of family and community.”
      [Stefano Harney, “Socialization and the Business School.” Management Learning. Volume 38, number 2, April 2007. Pages 139-153.]
    76. new debt economy (Silvia Federici): She develops an autonomist Marxist critique of this oppressive economic system’s “regime,”
      “So successful has the debt crisis been in recolonizing much of the ‘Third World’ that its mechanisms have since been extended to disciplining North American and (more recently) European workers, as demonstrated by the drastic austerity measures imposed on the populations of Greece, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom, among others, and the fact that public debt is now plaguing even the smallest municipalities and ‘through [it] entire societies have become indebted’ …. But the clearest expression of the logic motivating the new debt economy is found in the new forms of individual debt that have proliferated with the neoliberal turn—student loan debt, mortgage debt, credit card debt, and above all microfinance debt now affecting millions across the planet.
      “What is specific about the new use of debt, considering that debt is the oldest means of exploitation? In what follows I investigate this question and argue that individual and group debt not only amplify the economic effects of state debt but also change the relation between capital and labor and among workers themselves, making exploitation more self-managed and turning the communities that people are building in search of mutual support into means of mutual enslavement. This is why the new debt regime is so pernicious, and why it is so crucial for us to understand the mechanisms through which it is imposed.”
      [Silvia Federici, “From Commoning to Debt: Financialization, Microcredit, and the Changing Architecture of Capital Accumulation.” The South Atlantic Quarterly. Volume 133, number 2, spring 2014. Pages 231-244.]
    77. autonomous educational system (Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis): They develop an autonomist approach to the university, including in Africa.
      “… one of the first conditions that the World Bank has imposed on African governments, in the name of the debt crisis and adjustment, has been the defunding of higher education at all levels. Consequently, within a few years from the implementation of the first adjustment programs, subsidies to students (for food, lodging, educational materials) were reduced or terminated; academic wages were frozen at the very time when repeated currency devaluations sent the prices of most items skyhigh; academic grants for research and travel were eliminated; and investment in the universities’ infrastructures (buildings, laboratories, classrooms, student hostels, faculty offices, and above all the university libraries) was also drastically cut.…
      “… Without autonomous universities and an independent set of African scientists and lawyers, the necessary institutional support for the protection of ‘local’ knowledge is irremediably compromised.…
      “… One of the latest devices has been the introduction, in several institutions, of ‘online education’—connecting African institutions to programs in the United States—the ideal fit (World Bank planners argue) for a region starved of cash and unable to sustain an autonomous educational system.”
      [Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis, “Globalization and Professionalization in Africa.” Social Text. Volume 22, number 2, summer 2004. Pages 81-99.]
      “There will be grave consequences, if universities fail to declare their autonomy and independence from State and Market and refuse to take part in the creation of the knowledge commons. I began to understand the gravity of the universities’ position a while ago when I was teaching the history of early modern philosophy and I noticed an odd commonality in the cv’s [curriculum vitaes] of the major philosophers of that era ([Francis] Bacon, [Thomas] Hobbes, [René] Descartes, [Baruch] Spinoza, [Gottfried Wilhelm] Leibniz, [John] Locke, [George] Berkeley, [David] Hume, [Jean-Jacques] Rousseau, [Denis] Diderot): they were not university professors. From medieval times up until the Reformation, most major philosophers were involved in university life. Creative philosophers only began to be professors again in the 19ᵗʰ century. In other words, philosophy absconded from the university between 1517 to 1789.” [George Caffentzis, “Autonomous Universities and the Making of the Knowledge Commons.” The Commoner: A Web Journal for Other Values. Number 15, winter 2012. Pages 1-21.]
      “This paper is a short history of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa (CAFA) since its founding in 1991 to the present. It describes CAFA documentation of the formation of an Africa-wide student movement against the structural adjustment of African universities. It also details some of CAFA’s campaigns in defence of student struggles against both the World Bank’s role in propagating the introduction of tuition fees and the cutting of housing and food subsidies to students and the repressive action of the African governments against protesting students. We argue that academic freedom also includes the right to be involved in the production of knowledge and hence to have access to the means of its production. To deny Africans such a right in this period in history is to condemn them to the fate of being the damned of the earth once more and to put the ability of Africans to manage their own resources in peril.…
      “The anti-SAP [anti-structural adjustment program] campus struggle for a time undermined the hierarchies built through the educational system, contributing to the growing call for a democratization of the political process. By the same token, it was again the student who most helped to demystify the campaign for ‘multi-partyism,’ ‘popular participation’ and ‘human rights’ that the U.N. and other international institutions launched in the 1990s as part of the liberalization of the African state. For as we wrote ‘students demonstrated that no democracy is possible where people are denied the basic means of survival and the possibility of being autonomous producers of knowledge’ ….”
      [Ousseina Alidou, George Caffentzis, and Silvia Federici, “‘We no go sit down’: CAFA and the Struggle Against Structurally Adjusted Education in Africa.” Journal of Higher Education in Africa / Revue de l’enseignement supérieur en Afrique. Volume 6, numbers 2–3, 2008. Pages 61-75.]
    78. the coming insurrection (Invisible Committee): They develop an anarcho–autonomist and autonomist Marxist prognosis of the future of neoliberalism.
      “From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground. Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately. Everyone agrees that things can only get worse. ‘The future has no future’ is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks.
      “The sphere of political representation has come to a close.…
      “… One would have to be oblivious to the autonomous youth movements of the last 30 years not to see the purely political character of this resolute negation of politics. Like lost children we trashed the prized trinkets of a society that deserves no more respect than the monuments of Paris at the end of the Bloody Week — and knows it.
      “There will be no social solution to the present situation. First, because the vague aggregate of social milieus, institutions, and individualized bubbles that is called, with a touch of antiphrasis [an ironic, unconventional use of words], ‘society,’ has no consistency. Second, because there’s no longer any language for common experience. And we cannot share wealth if we do not share a language. It took half a century of struggle around the Enlightenment to make the French Revolution possible, and a century of struggle around work to give birth to the fearsome ‘welfare state.’ Struggles create the language in which a new order expresses itself. But there is nothing like that today.…
      “In reality, the decomposition of all social forms is a blessing. It is for us the ideal condition for a wild, massive experimentation with new arrangements, new fidelities. The famous ‘parental resignation’ has imposed on us a confrontation with the world that demands a precocious lucidity, and foreshadows lovely revolts to come. In the death of the couple, we see the birth of troubling forms of collective affectivity, now that sex is all used up and masculinity and femininity parade around in such motheaten clothes, now that three decades of non-stop pornographic innovation have exhausted all the allure of transgression and liberation. We count on making that which is unconditional in relationships the armor of a political solidarity as impenetrable to state interference as a gypsy camp. There is no reason that the interminable subsidies that numerous relatives are compelled to offload onto their proletarianized progeny can’t become a form of patronage in favor of social subversion. ‘Becoming autonomous,’ could just as easily mean learning to fight in the street, to occupy empty houses, to cease working, to love each other madly, and to shoplift.…
      “The first obstacle every social movement faces, long before the police proper, are the unions and the entire micro-bureaucracy whose job it is to control the struggle. Communes, collectives and gangs are naturally distrustful of these structures. That’s why the parabureaucrats have for the past twenty years been inventing coordination committees and spokes councils that seem more innocent because they lack an established label, but are in fact the ideal terrain for their maneuvers. When a stray collective makes an attempt at autonomy, they won’t be satisfied until they’ve drained the attempt of all content by preventing any real question from being addressed. They get fierce and worked up not out of passion for debate but out of a passion for shutting it down. And when their dogged defense of apathy finally does the collective in, they explain its failure by citing a lack of political consciousness. It must be noted that in France the militant youth are well versed in the art of political manipulation, thanks largely to the frenzied activity of various trotskyist factions. They could not be expected to learn the lesson of the conflagration of November 2005: that coordinations are unnecessary where coordination exists, organizations aren’t needed when people organize themselves.…
      “There is no such thing as a peaceful insurrection. Weapons are necessary: it’s a question of doing everything possible to make using them unnecessary. An insurrection is more about taking up arms and maintaining an ‘armed presence’ than it is about armed struggle. We need to distinguish clearly between being armed and the use of arms. Weapons are a constant in revolutionary situations, but their use is infrequent and rarely decisive at key turning points: August 10ᵗʰ 1792, March 18ᵗʰ 1871, October 1917. When power is in the gutter, it’s enough to walk over it.…
      “The goal of any insurrection is to become irreversible. It becomes irreversible when you’ve defeated both authority and the need for authority, property and the taste for appropriation, hegemony and the desire for hegemony. That is why the insurrectionary process carries within itself the form of its victory, or that of its defeat. Destruction has never been enough to make things irreversible. What matters is how it’s done. There are ways of destroying that unfailingly provoke the return of what has been crushed. Whoever wastes their energy on the corpse of an order can be sure that this will arouse the desire for vengeance. Thus, wherever the economy is blocked and the police are neutralized, it is important to invest as little pathos as possible in overthrowing the authorities. They must be deposed with the most scrupulous indifference and derision.
      “In times like these, the end of centralized revolutions reflects the decentralization of power. Winter Palaces still exist but they have been relegated to assaults by tourists rather than revolutionary hordes. Today it is possible to take over Paris, Rome, or Buenos Aires without it being a decisive victory. Taking over Rungis would certainly be more effective than taking over the Elysée Palace. Power is no longer concentrated in one point in the world; it is the world itself, its flows and its avenues, its people and its norms, its codes and its technologies. Power is the organization of the metropolis itself. It is the impeccable totality of the world of the commodity at each of its points. Anyone who defeats it locally sends a planetary shock wave through its networks. The riots that began in Clichy-sous-Bois filled more than one American household with joy, while the insurgents of Oaxaca found accomplices right in the heart of Paris. For France, the loss of centralized power signifies the end of Paris as the center of revolutionary activity. Every new movement since the strikes of 1995 has confirmed this. It’s no longer in Paris that the most daring and consistent actions are carried out. To put it bluntly, Paris now stands out only as a target for raids, as a pure terrain to be pillaged and ravaged. Brief and brutal incursions from the outside strike at the metropolitan flows at their point of maximum density. Rage streaks across this desert of fake abundance, then vanishes. A day will come when this capital and its horrible concretion of power will lie in majestic ruins, but it will be at the end of a process that will be far more advanced everywhere else.
      All power to the communes!
      In the subway, there’s no longer any trace of the screen of embarrassment that normally impedes the gestures of the passengers. Strangers make conversation without making passes. A band of comrades conferring on a street corner. Much larger assemblies on the boulevards, absorbed in discussions. Surprise attacks mounted in city after city, day after day. A new military barracks has been sacked and burned to the ground. The evicted residents of a building have stopped negotiating with the mayor’s office; they settle in. A company manager is inspired to blow away a handful of his colleagues in the middle of a meeting. There’s been a leak of files containing the personal addresses of all the cops, together with those of prison officials, causing an unprecedented wave of sudden relocations. We carry our surplus goods into the old village bar and grocery store, and take what we lack. Some of us stay long enough to discuss the general situation and figure out the hardware we need for the machine shop. The radio keeps the insurgents informed of the retreat of the government forces. A rocket has just breached a wall of the Clairvaux prison. Impossible to say if it has been months or years since the ‘events’ began. And the prime minister seems very alone in his appeals for calm.
      [Comité Invisible (Invisible Committee). The Coming Insurrection. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2007. Pages 3-39.]
      “The metropolis is not just this urbanized heap, this final collision between city and countryside; it’s just as much a flow of beings and things. A current that passes through a whole network of fiber optics, high-speed train lines, satellites, video surveillance cameras, so everyone runs to keep up until they’re lost. A current that tries to pull everything into its hopeless, constant movement, which mobilizes everybody. Where everyone’s assailed by news as if it were some hostile force. Where there’s nothing left but to run. Where it becomes hard to wait, even for the umpteenth commuter-train ride.…
      “… the metropolis also produces the means of its own destruction. An American security expert explains their defeat in Iraq by the guerilla’s ability to profit from the new means of communication. When they invaded Iraq, the USA didn’t care so much about democracy as they did about cybernetic networks. They brought with them one of the weapons now defeating them. The proliferation of cell phones and internet access points gave the guerillas unheard-of means of organizing and making themselves hard to attack.”
      [Comité Invisible (Invisible Committee). The Coming Insurrection. Another translation. Privately published. 2007. Pages 21-22.]
      “A specter is haunting Europe: the specter of autonomous communist activism. A new party is expanding its ranks, The Imaginary Party, which has already unnerved the French establishment, rattled [Nicolas] Sarkozy’s government, and penned its own intriguing manifesto: The Coming Insurrection. Everybody agrees: current society is about to explode.…
      The Coming Insurrection comes in two distinctive parts: the first draws us into a Dantesque inferno, yet instead of nine circles descending into a hell of fierce and hideous monsters, we plunge into seven circles of a grubby hell that’s everyday and commonplace, and above ground. It’s the neoliberal, antidemocratic hell before us now. The breach between the professional world of politics and ‘the political’ has widened to such a point that the two no longer have anything to do with one another, and we’re freefalling into a dark chasm between the two. This is the present order that has ‘no way out’ if you follow its logic, if you accept its rules, or let yourself fall, the ‘I AM WHAT I AM.’ You’re not: you’re programmed by somebody else. Your body does not belong to yourself: YOU ARE NOT WHO YOU ARE.… For those who refuse to manage themselves, ‘depression’ is not a state but a passage, a bowing out, a sidestep towards a political disaffiliation. Thus unfolds a political struggle to create a community and language in which a new order can express itself, a commonality that conveys something affirmative, that gets going, that finds itself, organizes itself, and rises up. This is really the second part of The Coming Insurrection, its utopian element, the most innovative and original path to paradise voiced for a very a long time.… What’s being offered here is a new, more experimental communist ideal, explicitly anarchistic in its call for autonomy and loathing of the state, for its invocations of sabotage; but implicitly Marxist, too though in a mischievous sense, in a piratical and fruitful sense, in the sense that follows [Karl] Marx through his utopian pages of the Grundrisse.”
      [Andy Merrifield, “The coming of The Coming Insurrection: notes on a politics of neocommunism.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Volume 28, number 2, April 2010. Pages 202-216.]
      The Coming Insurrection, a notorious 2007 ultra-left polemical tract written by a collective of French anti-state communists wridng under the group-moniker The Invisible Committee, posits a conception of insurrection as the creation of new collective ontologies through acts of radical social rupture. Eschewing the orthodox Marxist line tbat revolution is something temporally removed from the present, towards which pro-revolutionaries must organize and work, The Invisible Committee’s use of insurrection claims it as an antagonistic challenge to late-capitalism firmly grounded in its own immediacy. Communism is therefore made immediate, and it is willed into being by insurrectionary acts of social rupture. While much has been written on the debt that The Invisible Committee owes to French strains of ultra-left and-state communism, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Giorgio Agamben, Situationism, and tbe Italian Autonomia movement of the 1970s, their implicit nod to the sociopolitical themes of music has been largely ignored. By subtly claiming that insurrection spreads by resonance and that such proliferation ‘takes the shape of a music,’ Tbe Invisible Committee allows for the interpretation of its ‘coming insurrection’ as an inherendy musical act. Using a historical reading of tbe shift from tonality to atonality in Western art music, as exemplified by Arnold Schoenberg, this interpretation of The Coming Insurrection aims at imbuing its explicitly political premises with a more thorough exploration of its implicit musical qualities.” [Alden Wood, “Radical Intersections: The Rise of Atonal Music and The Invisible Comnmittee’s The Coming Insurrection.” Interdisciplinary Humanities. Volume 30, number 2, summer 2013. Pages 57-65.]
      “Part social criticism and part exit strategy from contemporary capitalism, The Coming Insurrection …, by The Invisible Committee …, has been making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. For social movement scholars, the book will likely be of most interest for its analysis (and oftentimes, critique) of organisational forms and their role in achieving social change. Furthermore, and by all accounts, the book constitutes a primary document produced by some of those directly involved in contemporary anti-capitalist social struggles. Written in the magniloquent style characteristic of the revolutionary pamphlet, its impatience has surely helped attract a following. This review, however, will offer a critical reading of the book, concluding that it ultimately takes too many short cuts, both in terms of analytic work as well as its proposed strategy for transformation.…
      The Coming Insurrection advances a critique of life in twenty-first century capitalism: from the world of flexibilised work to the entirety of social life within ‘the metropolis’ – a space that subsumes both town and country. It decries society’s atomisation, symbolised by the fetishisation of the individual in the Reebok advertising slogan, ‘I am what I am’”
      [Ben Trott, “Just Do It? A Review of The Coming Insurrection.” Review article. Social Movement Studies. Volume 10, number 1, January 2011. Pages 113-118.]
    79. workers’ rights (George Caffentzis): He develops an autonomist critique of the exclusion of workers’ rights from discussions of human rights.
      “Most crucially for us, a subtle change took place in this period in the inclusion of human rights into workers’ rights. Human rights began to take on an autonomous ascendancy while workers’ rights were increasingly seen as a ‘special interest,’ as ‘partial,’ and as not speaking for humanity ‘as a whole.’ In other words, workers’ rights were marginalized and devalued. One reason for this devaluation has been the Communist international’s limited conception of who is a worker and what is work. Another equally important reason is the increasing impact of neoliberalism both in practice and theory.
      “The Communist international’s problematic conception of workers and work of has been noted with great energy by the feminist movement, the gay movement, and the anti-racist movement in the last few decades ”
      [George Caffentzis, “Workers’ Rights are Human Rights: The Scope and Limits of a Precarious Wageworker’s Strategy.” WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society. Volume 19, number 1, March 2016. Pages 25-36.]
    80. genealogical Marxism (Bradley J. MacDonald): He proposes an approach to Marxism which, he says, would be supported by the left communist Rosa Luxemburg and by the Italian autonomist movement.
      “… [Michel] Foucault’s [Karl] Marx is not really that strange. It is the Marx that Rosa Luxembourg [sic; Luxemburg] articulated (whom Foucault speaks positively about), the Marx that is implied in [Antonio] Gramsci’s thought, at least if we are take seriously the interpretation offered by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe; importantly, it is the Marx that arose within the Italian autonomist movement, and is today expressed in the work of Antonio Negri. What is seemingly implied in all of these renderings of Marx is the importance of contingency, struggle, and political action. It is the Marx of the revolutionary ‘limit-experience,’ of what [Maurice] Blanchot notes is ‘a call, a violence, a decision of rupture.’
      “My purpose in this chapter is not to lay out in detail what a ‘genealogical Marxism’ would look like. Rather, my intention here is to show how Foucault’s Marx is clearly possible. More important, I wish to portray the provocative ways in which Marx and Foucault can be brought together, without the elision of either of their unique specificity as theorists. As I mentioned at various points in this chapter, Foucault’s Marx is intimately a part of what Foucault claims he is introducing to contemporary political thought. Yet, it is also a Marx that is clearly already overdetermined by the unique critiques that Foucault has put forward concerning the humanist subject, rationality, teleological explanations, and scientific practices. With what I have demonstrated concerning Foucault’s clear support for a certain Marx—a Marx whom he saw as fundamental to what he was attempting in his own theoretical trajectory—we might want to raise the following blunt question: was Foucault a Marxist then? Just as much as when Marx, in response to supposed followers of his ideas, exclaimed to [Friedrich] Engels: ‘I am not a Marxist!’ Or, to refer again to Foucault’s response in the Le Monde interview we cited previously in this chapter, only if we are willing to read him anonymously, to erase our preconceived notions of his work, and, in turn, that of Marx. Maybe more important, at least from a certain perspective, is what Foucault’s Marx allows us to do with Marx’s work, that is, how it might allow us to enact a Marx radically open to our very contemporaneity. As we will see in the next chapter, such a Marx seems to be performed by the Italian political theorist, Antonio Negri.”
      [Bradley J. MacDonald. Performing Marx: Contemporary Negotiations of a Living Tradition. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 2006. Pages 111-112.]
    81. new theory of machines (George Caffentzis): He writes about the transformation of “living labor” into “dead labor.”
      “Living labor repeatedly appears as dead labor, even in the case of our own living labor. This transformation is not an ideological choice, it is a reflex of this mode of life. (This reflex is something like the ‘Moon Illusion,’ i.e., why the moon looks bigger on the horizon than when higher up, transposed from the realm of sight to social understanding.) [Karl] Marx writes about it in the following passage, “with the development of machinery there is a sense in which the conditions of labor come to dominate labor even technologically and, at the same time, they replace it, suppress it, and render it superfluous in its independent form” …. This is one of hundreds of possible citations in Marx’s work that makes the same point, illustrating how obsessive he became in trying to expose this false transformation. Indeed, Marx’s theory of machines microscopically analyzes this reflex that makes capital ‘a highly mysterious thing’ and he specifies the conditions of the demystification of machines.” [George Caffentzis, “Crystals and Analytic Engines: Historical and Conceptual Preliminaries to a New Theory of Machines.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 24-45.]
    82. revolutionary autonomy of the proletariat and capital’s autonomization (Raniero Panzieri as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He examines the autonomy of the workers and of capitalism.
      “It is social democracy in all its forms which, to cover up its opportunism and justify it ideologically, systematically mixes up the cards on the table and reduces every position consistent with the revolutionary left to that of an intellectualist voluntarism. The historical essence of the social-democratic experience consists moreover in this: in the assigning, with the pretext of the struggle against maximalism, to the proletariat the task of supporting the bourgeoisie or even of replacing it in the construction of bourgeois democracy: and by that very fact it denies the tasks and the revolutionary autonomy of the proletariat, and finishes by assigning to it the position of a subaltern force.…
      “… there is finally a last new condition that is at the roots of the demand for the workers’ control. The development of modern capitalism, on the one hand, and on the other, the development of the socialist forces in the world and the difficult problematic of power, which imposes itself forcefully in the countries in which the class movement has already made its revolution, indicate the importance today of defending and guaranteeing the revolutionary autonomy of the proletariat, whether against the new forms of reformism, or against the bureaucratization of power, that is to say, against reformist bureaucratization and against the conceptions of ιleaders’ (party-leader, State-leader).
      “The defense, in this situation, of the revolutionary autonomy of the proletariat, manifests itself in the creation from below, before and after the conquest of power, of institutions of socialist democracy, and in the return of the party to its function as instrument of the political formation of the class movement (instrument, that is, not of a paternalistic leader, from above, but of encouraging and supporting the organizations in which the unity of the class is articulated). The importance now of the autonomy of the Socialist Party in Italy is precisely in this: certainly not in how much it advances or forecasts the scission of the class movement, not in opposing one ‘leader’ to another ‘leader,’ but in the guarantee of the autonomy of the entire workers’ movement from any external, bureaucratic, and paternalistic direction.”
      [Raniero Panzieri, “Seven Theses on Workers’ Control (1958).” Viewpoint Magazine. Issue 4, September 2014. Online publication. Creative Commons. No pagination.]
      “Naturally there remain the limits imposed by the artisan origins of the productive process, which still make themselves felt in the more highly developed forms of manufacture: as a result the worker’s alienation from the content of his labour has not yet been perfected. Only with the, introduction of machines on a large scale do the intellectual capacities enhance capitalist command over labour to the highest degree, since it is then that science enters the of capital. It is only at this level that every residue of working-class autonomy within the production of surplus disappears, and the commodity nature of labour presents itself without further ‘technical’ restrictions.…
      “In Capital, moreover, the stress on capital movements in circulation is different in the different stages of development. The phenomena typical of this sphere (anarchy, cyclical fluctuations, etc,) are never seen as ‘catastrophes,’ but essentially as modes of capital’s development. The dynamic of the capitalist process is substantially dominated by the law of concentration and centralization. And this dynamic leads to what is, for [Karl] Marx, the highest phase of development of capital’s ‘autonomization,’ i.e., the phase of finance capital. Then planning in the sphere of direct production appears as the general expression (Historically permanent and increasingly dominant), while anarchistic competition is only a transitory phase of capitalist development. Thus the ‘orthodox’ way of looking at the relationship between planning and anarchy is ambiguous. Marx’s thought, however, contains all the elements needed to overcome this ambiguity.”
      [Raniero Panzieri, “Surplus Value and Planning: notes on the reading of Capital.” CSE, The Labour Process and Class Strategies. CSE pamphlet number 1, 1976. Pages 4-25.]
    83. resistance for autonomy (Bobby London): The article argues against hierarchy and in favor of horizontalism.
      “Anti-statism can look differently for different people and different cultures and does not imply horizontalism, but I do believe if the goal is liberation, then horizontalism, or the existence without hierarchy is required. If we look at various places both here in the US and around the world, we can see examples of resistance for autonomy and the obstacles they faced. In some instances the efforts were not intentionally anti-statist but a necessary attempt to provide public goods and safety after the failure of their State to do so. It is key that we examine anti-statism as the way it exists now, in layers in where people are creating alternatives while existing in a capitalist state where most social and public goods are deprived.…
      “There can be economic authority identities which are themselves class identities. Capitalism requires authoritarian figures, whether it be a boss, corporation, landlord, or organization. There is no consent under Capitalism, and consent has to be at the foundation of any efforts of autonomy or we are replicating the same hierarchical institutions that exist within nation-states.”
      [Bobby London. The Anti-Blueprint. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2017. Page 2.]
    84. female autonomy (Mariarosa Dalla Costa as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Selma James): They develop an autonomist perspective on women and on female sexuality.
      “Since [Karl] Marx, it has been clear that capital rules and develops through the wage, that is, that the foundation of capitalist society was the wage laborer and his or her direct exploitation. What has been neither clear nor assumed by the organizations of the working class movement is that precisely through the wage has the exploitation of the non-wage laborer been organized. This exploitation has been even more effective because the lack of a wage hid it. That is, the wage commanded a larger amount of labor than appeared in factory bargaining.…
      “So far the women’s movement, most notably by destroying the myth of the vaginal orgasm, has exposed the physical mechanism which allowed women’s sexual potential to be strictly defined and limited by men. Now we can begin to reintegrate sexuality with other aspects of creativity, to see how sexuality will always be constrained unless the work we do does not mutilate us and our individual capacities, and unless the persons with whom we have sexual relations are not our masters and are not also mutilated by their work. To explode the vaginal myth is to demand female autonomy as opposed to subordination and sublimation. But it is not only the clitoris versus the vagina. It is both versus the uterus. Either the vagina is primarily the passage to the reproduction of labor power sold as a commodity, the capitalist function of the uterus, or it is part of our natural powers, our social equipment. Sexuality after all is the most social of expressions, the deepest human communication. It is in that sense the dissolution of autonomy. The working class organizes as a class to transcend itself as a class; within that class we organize autonomously to create the basis to transcend autonomy.…
      “As for rivalry about their homes, women are trained from birth to be obsessive and possessive about clean and tidy homes. But men cannot have it both ways; they cannot continue to enjoy the privilege of having a private servant and then complain about the effects of privatization. If they continue to complain, we must conclude that their attack on us for rivalry is really an apology for our servitude. If Fanon was not right, that the strife among the colonized is an expression of their low level of organization, then the antagonism is a sign of natural incapacity. When we call a home a ghetto, we could call it a colony governed by indirect rule and be as accurate. The resolution of the antagonism of the colonized to each other lies in autonomous struggle. Women have overcome greater obstacles than rivalry to unite in supporting men in struggles. Where women have been less successful is in transforming and deepening moments of struggle by making of them opportunities to raise their own demands. Autonomous struggle turns the question on its head: not ‘will women unite to support men,’ but ‘will men unite to support women.’”
      [Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James. The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community. Brooklyn, New York: Pétroleuse Press. 1971. Pages 10, 27, and 30.]
    85. biopolitical struggle (Mariarosa Dalla Costa): She develops an autonomist approach to the relation of human beings with the Earth.
      “Because the will to rethink our relationship with the earth, whose negation (as expropriation and dramatic alteration) has always constituted the foundation of capitalist development, it implies a break with the whole process and the subversion of its conditions, while laying the ground for another development. This development will be ‘other’ because, first of all, it no longer considers the spread of death and hunger as the inevitable precondition for the creation of wealth as value. We are faced with an alternative: either this peasant understanding of development – which considers the earth from the perspective of ‘food sovereignty’ since it is the only guarantor of life at the planetary level – will prevail, or we will be confronted with infinite variations on the constant of hunger. Therefore, the struggle of the peasant movement is the exemplary biopolitical struggle. The opening up of what some people call biopolitical struggles is not a problem for the peasants, as it might be for others.” [Mariarosa Dalla Costa, “Rustic and Ethical.” Giuseppina Mecchia, translator. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 7, number 1, February 2007. Pages 107-116.]
    86. autonomy within heteronomy (André Gorz as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; pen name of Gérard Horst as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; born Gerhard Hirsch as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He proposes a new society based upon autonomous production.
      “The contradiction we run up against … [the sale of self] is precisely the one I termed ‘autonomy within heteronomy,’ when I observed that labour, in its struggles, has always fought over the nature of the limitations capital imposes on the autonomy of living labour. Theoretically, when autonomy increases, the rejection of heteronomy should become more radical. The autonomy the company requires of the worker should tend to assert itself independently of the company’s need for it and should increase in all areas. The worker who is autonomous at work should, sooner or later, refuse to be reduced to a predetermined productive function. In the end, the worker should question every external control over the character, organization and goal of work, including the economic and political decisions which condition it. The supporters of workers’ control, of worker ‘self-management,’ started out from a hypothesis which was in their eyes self-evidently true: once demands for autonomy and power have been won in the workplace, there will be no way to limit them generally.” [André Gorz. Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society. Chris Turner, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc. 1999. Page 39.]
      “The right to autonomous production presupposes the right of access to tools and their conviviality. It is incompatible with private or public industrial, commercial or professional monopolies. It implies a contraction of commodity production and sale of labour power, and a concomitant extension of autonomous production based on voluntary cooperation, the exchange of services or personal activity.
      “Autonomous production will develop in all those fields in which the use-value of time can be seen to be greater than its exchange-value. In other words, it will develop in situations in which what one can do oneself in a given period of time is worth more than what one could buy by working the equivalent period of time for a wage.
      “Only if it is combined with effective possibilities for autonomous production will the liberation of time point beyond the capitalist logic, wage system and market relations. Effective possibilities for autonomous production cannot exist for everyone without a policy providing adequate collective facilities for that purpose.
      “… Autonomous productive activity is not to be confused with ‘housework.’ … Industrialist civilisation has confined women in domestic activities that are not directly productive, so that men may spend all their working hours in factories and mines. As a result, women’s activities in the household have ceased to be autonomous or self-determined. Women’s work has become the precondition of and subordinate appendage of male wage labour. Only the latter is considered important and essentially productive.
      [André Gorz. Farewell to the Working Class: An essay on Post-Industrial Socialism. Michael Sonenscher, translator. London: Pluto Press. 1982. Pages 5-6.]
      “Autonomous activities are activities one performs freely and not from necessity, as ends in themselves. This includes all activities which are experienced as fulfilling, enriching, sources of meaning and happiness: artistic, philosophical, scientific, relational, educational, charitable and mutual-aid activities, activities of auto-production, and so on. All these activities require ‘work’ in the sense that they require effort and methodical application but their meaning lies as much in their performance as in their product: activities such as these are the substance of life itself. But this always requires there to be no shortage of time. Indeed, the same activity – bringing up children, preparing a meal or taking care of our surtoundings, for example – can take the form of a chore in which one is subject to what seem like oppressive constraints or of a gratifying activity, depending on whether one is harrassed by lack of time or whether the activity can be performed at leisure, in co-operation with others and through the voluntary sharing of the tasks involved.” [André Gorz, “A New Task for the Unions: The Liberation of Time from Work.” Labour Worldwide: Alternative Union Models in the New World Order. Ronaldo Munck and Peter Waterman, editors. New York: Scholarly and Reference Division of St. Martin’s Press, Inc. 1999. Pages 41-63.]
      “Whether the exit from capitalism assumes a civilized or barbarous form depends on the way this struggle turns out.
      “That exit necessarily implies that we free ourselves from the grip capital has exerted on consumption and from its monopoly of the means of production. It means re-establishing the unity between the subject of production and the subject of consumption, and hence recovering autonomy in the definition of our needs and their mode of satisfaction. The insurmountable obstacle capitalism laid across this path was the actual nature of the means of production it established: these constituted a megamachine that everyone was made to serve and that dictated to us the ends we were to pursue and the lives we were to live. That period is coming to an end. High-tech self-providing equipment is rendering the industrial megamachine virtually obsolete.”
      [André Gorz, “The Exit from Capitalism has Already Begun.” Cultural Politics. Volume 6, number 1, March 2010. Pages 5-14.]
      “The revolutionary movement’s capacity for action and hegemony is enriched and confirmed by its capacity to inspire autonomous research in such fields as town planning, architecture, occupational medicine, labour organization, education, psychology, sexual education, etc. In all these fields, the contradiction between the possibilities of liberation and expansion which the productive and cultural forces place at the disposal of society, and its incapacity to take advantage of them and develop them in a liberating direction, is revealed. In all these fields as well, the contradiction between the demands of social, cultural and economic development available in the autonomous activity of town planners, architects, doctors, teachers and psychologists and the demands to which capitalist society enslaves them, is equally revealed.” [André Gorz, “Reform and Revolution.” The Socialist Register. Volume 5, 1968. Pages 111-143.]
      “… it can be objected that it is impossible to change the tools without transforming society as a whole, and that this cannot be accomplished without gaining control over the state. This objection is valid providing it is not taken to mean that societal change and the acquisition of state power must precede technological change. For without changing the technology, the transformation of society will remain formal and illusory. The theoretical and practical definition of alternative technologies, and the struggle of communities and individuals to win, collectively and individually, control over their own destinies, must be the permanent focus of political action. If they are not, the seizure of state power by people calling themselves socialists will not change fundamentally either the system of domination or the relations of men and women to each other and to nature. Socialism is not immune to technofascism. It will, on the contrary, fall prey to it whenever and wherever it sets out to enhance and multiply the powers of the state without developing simultaneously the autonomy of civil society.” [André Gorz. Ecology as Politics. Patsy Vigderman and Jonathan Cloud, translators. Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press. 1980. Pages 19-20.]
      “The economic rationalization of work will … sweep away the ancient idea of freedom and existential autonomy. It produces individuals who, being alienated in their work, will, necessarily, be alienated in their consumption as well and, eventually, in their needs. Since there is no limit to the quantity of money that can be earned and spent, there will no longer be any limit to the needs that money allows them to have or to the need for money itself. These needs increase in line with social wealth. The monetarization of work and needs will eventually abolish the limitations which the various philosophies of life had placed on them.” [André Gorz. Critique of Economic Reason. Gillian Handyside and Chris Turner, translators. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 1989. Pages 22.]
      “The tendency for work done for oneself to be transferred to industrialized production and external services is regarded in the dominant economic flunking as still having a long way to go before it has fully exhausted its potential. You can replace shopping by ordering goods on Prestel and having them delivered to your door, while the need to cook can be replaced by a hot meals delivery service. Housework can be done by teams of professional cleaners, going from house to house while the occupants are out, until such time as they themselves are replaced by programmable dome stir robots. Children can be looked after from a very early age by professional child-minders in nurseries which also operate at night. Hygiene and bodily care can also, in large part, be provided by professional services available in each block, run on the lines of gymnasiums, health and fitness centres or beauty par lours each resident would submit their bodies to the attention of these services in the morning or evening — or both. According to the economists of the employers’ organizations, there are very considerable ‘untapped residues of employment’ in these areas.” [André Gorz, “Making Space for Everyone.” New Statesman & Society. Volume 1, number 25, November 1988. Pages 25-31.]
      “Autonomy and equity are central ethical principles of modernity that are never wholly in tune with one another, and the tension between the two is a permanent feature of [André] Gorz’s work. For Gorz …, the conflict between the social organization of society and the moral cogito is the ultimate foundation of modernity’s dynamism and openness. Gorz attributes ethical primacy to the autonomy of the individual, for it constitutes a subjective imperative which, unlike social norms, rules and identities, can never be suspended or revoked. The personal roots of this philosophical position lie in Gorz’s childhood relationship with his mother, his subsequent experience as a refugee from Nazioccupied Austria, the complications of his mixed national and religious identity, and the weak sense of social belonging which these factors combined to produce.” [Finn Bowring, “André Gorz: Autonomy and equity in the post-industrial age.” The Sociological Review. Volume 53, supplement 2, October 2005. Pages 134-147.]
    87. autonomous left (discussed by Enis Oktay as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He considers the “subversive potential” in the practice of freely giving food to the needy.
      “The Weinerei [winery] and its siblings appear to be transgressive when [Karl] Marx’s formulation is taken out of context. Nevertheless, the bar’s owners and patrons are not necessarily fighting against wage labor or claiming that labor (without wage, hence freed from the capitalist mode of production) must become the purpose and joy of meaningful existence as Marx would have it. The wine bars’ practice of not attaching fixed prices to commodities is indeed a deviation from the standard practice of contractual exchange within the capitalist free market. Nevertheless, at the end of the day they are still commercial establishments operating within a niche market and selling consumer goods and services with a rate of profit to those with the right subcultural capital. Moreover, when compared to the autonomous left’s practice of giving away food to those in need, the above-mentioned examples of linking self-valorized (Weinerei) or free (Appartement [apartment], Jesus Club) food to the exclusivity of (subcultural) capital suggests that such practices adopted by the cultural entrepreneurs remain to be problematic as far as their subversive potential is concerned.” [Enis Oktay. Nocturnal Transgressions: Nighttime Stories from Berlin, the New European Nightlife Capital. Master of philosophy thesis. Goldsmiths, University of London. London. March, 2015. Page 138.]
      “The schism between the traditional left and the new anti-finance-capitalism/alterglobalization movement became especially evident on 15 January 2012 when the annual [Rosa] Luxemburg-[Karl] Liebknecht memorial parade (which had already become a symbol and means of dissidence in the GDR [German Democratic Republic, i.e., the former East Germany]) coincided with the final demonstration of Occupy Berlin whose camp had been evicted earlier in the week. Although one demonstration took place before noon and the other in the afternoon so there was sufficient time to attend both, the two events remained mutually exclusive with the exception of a few small groups from the autonomous left who were present in both. The generational difference between these two distinct sets of protesters as well as the difference between their identity constructions, means of self-expression, and solution proposals drew attention to a deeper schism between two different zeitgeists [spirits of the age] and their consequent weltanschauungs [German, Weltanschauungen, worldviews].” [Enis Oktay. Nocturnal Transgressions: Nighttime Stories from Berlin, the New European Nightlife Capital. Master of philosophy thesis. Goldsmiths, University of London. London. March, 2015. Page 147.]
    88. communistically restructured social economy (Ernst Bloch as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops a Marxist “concrete utopia,” a “principle of hope,” which includes the “autonomy in the definitive social order.”
      “… the community, freely electing itself, have space above a society that merely disburdens and a communistically restructured social economy, in a structure without violence because without classes.” [Ernst Bloch. The Spirit of Utopia. Anthony A. Nassar, translator. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. 2000. Pages 243-246.]
      “As extensively important as the external may be, and must be attended to, it still only suggests, it does not create, for human beings, not things, not their powerful process, ourside of us and wrongly turned over onto us, invent history. What must still come economically, the necessary economic-institutional change, is defined by [Karl] Marx, but the new man, the leap, the power of love and of light, morality itself, has not yet been allotted the desirable degree of autonomy in the definitive social order. Put differently: if primitive accumulation, the feudal and then the capitalistic modes of production successively determined particular moral and cultural systems, at least in terms of sphere, then the obsolescence of every discrete economic element, in other words the finally triumphant socialist mode of production, must bring in its train certain moral and cultural consequences, an equally ‘correct,’ aprioristic kind of sensibility and of culture, which can not just be defined as free thinking or a banal atheism, in accordance with the Philistine cultural ideals socialism has taken over from the bourgeoisie. Certainly socialism could not have been grounded if Marx had been submissively devout, if he had insisted on an Arcadian state of the world where rational distribution gives everyone what he needs, if in other words Marx had organized only consumption and not above all production: with his practical eye toward an inexorable industrialization, with his unromantic coldness and his materialism as a powerfully demystifying rigor. But precisely when this narrowness persists too long, man is simply saddled again, precisely in economic terms; oppression is only curtailed and not lifted. In just this way production is finally taken out of the hands of the subjects again, and a phantasmal process of the general, of economic developments in themselves, goes its own way: like an idol, occasionalistic, detached and even in the future indestructible. This is consistent with the fact that Marx, by really aiming his thrust, even where he did not weaken it into a ‘revolutionary development,’ only against capitalism—a relatively recent, derivative kind of decadence—and not also against the ceaseless, primordial locus of all enslavement, brutality and exploitation: against militarism, feudalism, a world from the top down as such; here the ancient socialist movement had already been reduced, misdirected and trivialized just by its opponent. Similarly there can be no doubt (from a religious viewpoint, closely related to the foregoing) that the indiscriminate ideology-critical distrust of every idea, without the need to exalt an idea oneself, does not encourage anything brighter; that even when [Friedrich] Engels took up a dialectical-synthetic reconstruction of the condition of liberty, equality, and fraternity predominating in the ancient communistic gentes [Latin, gentēs, ‘descendants’], the social-constructive labor he expended was not confronted by a particularly clear and impressive idealconstructive emphasis.” [Ernst Bloch. The Spirit of Utopia. Anthony A. Nassar, translator. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. 2000. Pages 243-244.]
      “It is a question of learning hope. Its work does not renounce, it is in love with success rather than failure. Hope, superior to fear, is neither passive like the latter, nor locked into nothingness. The emotion of hope goes out of itself, makes people broad instead of confining them, cannot know nearly enough of what it is that makes them inwardly aimed, of what may be allied to them outwardly. The work of this emotion requires people who throw themselves actively into what is becoming, to which they themselves belong. It will not tolerate a dog’s life which feels itself only passively thrown into What Is, which is not seen through, even wretchedly recognized. The work against anxiety about life and the machinations of fear is that against its creators, who are for the most part easy to identify, and it looks in the world itself for what can help the world; this can be found. How richly people have always dreamed of this, dreamed of the better life that might be possible. Everybody’s life is pervaded by daydreams: one part of this is just stale, even enervating escapism, even booty for swindlers, but another part is provocative, is not content just to accept the bad which exists, does not accept renunciation. This other part has hoping at its core, and is teachable. It can be extricated from the unregulated daydream and from its sly misuse, can be activated undimmed. Nobody has ever lived without daydreams, but it is a question of knowing them deeper and deeper and in this way keeping them trained unerringly, usefully, on what is right. Let the daydreams grow even fuller, since this means they are enriching themselves around the sober glance; not in the sense of clogging, but of becoming clear. Not in the sense of merely contemplative reason which takes things as they are and as they stand, but of participating reason which takes them as they go, and therefore also as they could go better. Then let the daydreams grow really fuller, that is, clearer, less random, more familiar, more clearly understood and more mediated with the course of things. So that the wheat which is trying to ripen can be encouraged to grow and be harvested.” [Ernst Bloch. The Principle of Hope. Volume one. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1986. Pages 3-4.]
      “… the only seemingly paradoxical concept of a concrete utopia would be appropriate here, that is of an anticipatory kind which by no means coincides with abstract Utopian dreaminess, nor is directed by the immaturity of merely abstract Utopian socialism. The very power and truth of Marxism consists in the fact that it has driven the cloud in our dreams further forward, but has not extinguished the pillar of fire in those dreams, rather strengthened it with concreteness.… Utopian function as the comprehended activity of the expectant emotion, of the hope-premonition, maintains the alliance with all that is still morning like in the world. Utopian function thus understands what is exploding, because it is this itself in a very condensed way: its Ratio is the unweakened Ratio of a militant optimism. Therefore: the act-content of hope is, as a consciously illuminated, knowingly elucidated content, the positive Utopian function; the historical content of hope, first represented in ideas, encyclopaedically explored in real judgements, is human culture referred to its concrete-Utopian horizon. The docta spes [Latin, doctā spēs, ‘learned hopes’] combine operates on this knowledge as expectant emotion in the Ratio, as Ratio in the expectant emotion. And predominant in this combine is no longer contemplation, which for centuries has only been related to What Has Become, but the participating, co-operative process-attitude, to which consequently, since [Karl] Marx, the open becoming is no longer sealed methodically and the Novum no longer alien in material terms.” [Ernst Bloch. The Principle of Hope. Volume one. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1986. Page 146.]
      “… [Ernst] Bloch identifies concrete utopia with Marxism, both as goal and as process. Concrete utopia is embodied in Marxism, where human will and social process meet, where we make history, if not under conditions of our own choosing. And Marxism rescues the concept of utopia, firstly by the recognition, in the concept of tendency, of the importance of what is becoming, and secondly, by revealing the process by which utopia has become possible. The development of socialism from utopia to science creates the space in which Marxism can reclaim utopia ….
      “… if utopia is the repository of desire, Marxism even (or perhaps especially) when most informed by the passion of the warm stream—and thus at its most Utopian—is about the hope for a transformed future with a specifically socialist content. Any Marxist rehabilitation of utopia which seeks to do more than explain the variation in Utopian imagery as an expression of what is missing is going to stumble on some version of the distinction between abstract and concrete utopia.”
      [Ruth Levitas, “Educated Hope: Ernst Bloch on Abstract and Concrete Utopia.” Utopian Studies. Volume 1, number 2, 1990. Pages 13-26.]
      “Drawing on some Blochian readings of [Paulo] Freire, I’ll reiterate the call made there for a pedagogy of ‘redemptive remembering’ rooted in Ernst Bloch’s … account of utopia, suggesting that such an approach is not only relevant but also timely, given the development of new social movements drawing on similar ideas. Basically, I argue for the importance of community youth support being equipped to help speak ‘unspeakable’ community histories, thus making them available for a re-envisioning of aspiration, resilience and wellbeing in a way that challenges the received confines of the neoliberal imaginary. Mindful of some controversies around terminology …, I choose nevertheless to follow Bloch in The Principle of Hope, and call the proposed practice a ‘practice of concrete utopia’ …. But first we need to look at the photograph and the field note.” [N. Geoffrey Bright, “A Practice of Concrete Utopia? Informal Youth Support and the Possibility of ‘Redemptive Remembering’ in a UK Coal-Mining Area.” Power and Education. Volume 4, number 3, January 2012. Pages 315-326.]
      “… [Some utopias] are Utopian because they assumed a thoroughly radical social change, without explaining how it would come about. They were not ‘utopian’ Utopias but concrete Utopias, plausible Utopias, because the authors took an ecological view of the human economy, and they did not rely on miraculous technologies that would lead to the abolition of scarcity. The eco-social projects they drew up had a chance of coming into being.” [Juan Martinez Alier, “Ecological Economics and Concrete Utopias.” Utopian Studies. Volume 3, number 1, 1992. Pages 39-52.]
      “This article takes as its framework of interpretation the critical conception of utopia developed in the writings of the philosopher Ernst Bloch. Bloch lays down the foundations for a critical conception of utopia by unpacking the notion of ‘Utopian function’: the ‘cultural’ and ‘spiritual’ surpluses of events and cultural products that outlive the material and ideological conditions of their production and function as an emancipatory ‘Utopian surplus’ or as a sign of an alternative future. The Utopian surplus points toward a property of reality that signals a propensity toward ‘the content of a future which has not yet appeared in its own time.’ It bears an emancipatory impetus ‘against what exists, beyond what exists.’ Bloch calls this propensity toward the future ‘concrete utopia,’ in order to distinguish it from abstract utopia, which he rejects. He develops the idea of concrete utopia through an articulation of three concepts – the ‘Not-Yet,’ ‘hunger,’ and ‘hope.’ …
      “The Chronicles, composed in the fifteenth century, attribute to [Ethiopian emperor] Lalibela [Amharic, ላሊበላ, Lalībela], a thirteenth-century monarch, ideas and actions so radically at variance with the beliefs and practices of both centuries that one cannot ignore possibility that the chronicler may have used the thirteenth-century works of Lalibela as a foil for a critical reflection on fifteenth-century Ethiopia.”
      [Maimire Mennasemay, “Utopia and Ethiopia: The Chronicles of Lalibela as Critical Reflection.” Northeast African Studies. Volume 12, number 2, 2012. Pages 95-121.]
    89. project of indigenous autonomy in Chiapas (Jerome Roos): Roos, the founder of ROAR (magazine), considers the project of autonomy among Indigenous people in the Mexican state of Chiapas.
      “… the strong emphasis on political process and strictly horizontalist modes of organizing imposes a raft of new rigidities and unnecessary restrictions that may actually stunt the development of the movements and limit their capacity to scale up, endure and extend into the social fabric. In this sense, the movements’ apparent difficulty in taking the ‘next step’ following a period of spontaneous mass mobilization can be seen at least in part as a result of some of the ideological narratives circulating among a new crop of activists.
      “While many activists today rightly take inspiration from libertarian socialist struggles like the project of indigenous autonomy in Chiapas [in Mexico] or the construction of democratic confederalism in Rojava [Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, رُوج آفَا, Rūǧ ʾÂfā; in northern Syria], one crucial factor behind the successes of such struggles often tends to be overlooked: both the Zapatistas and the Kurds practice direct democracy, but neither movement has ever limited itself to a pure horizontalism.…
      “The notion of a ‘political project’ should be understood in the broadest possible sense of the term here: neither simply as the creation of an ordinary political party in the pursuit of state power, nor as the construction of another coalition of social forces, but more generally as the development of a set of convergence points for various pre-existing struggles to rally around and organize upon.
      “These points of convergence would have to be inserted directly into the deepening contradictions and crisis tendencies of fi - nancialized capitalism and situated fi rmly in the lived experience of working people and urban dwellers. Most importantly, they would have to build on the transformative potential of ongoing struggles. Only on that basis can the movements begin to formulate a shared narrative, political imaginary and transformative project rooted in the social reproduction of everyday life, animated by strong popular desires for democracy, and geared towards the collective self-management of the common.”
      [Jerome Roos, “Towards a New Anti-Capitalist Politics.” ROAR. Issue 0, winter 2015. Pages 80-115.]
    90. autonomy of migration (Angela Mitropoulos [Greek/Hellēniká, Αγγέλα Μητρόπουλος, Angéla Mētrópoulos as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): Mitropoulos develops an anarcho–autonomist approach to migration.
      “Autonomy is not the proposition of a self-sufficient working class but of the discrepancy between a labouring on the sense of the world and the sensory impacts of movements on the world. The autonomy, if you will, of an aleatory materialism from any given representations of it, which is by no means confined to a discussion of struggles against migration controls. Nevertheless, the concept of the autonomy of migration has emphatically posed the question of the association—and breach—between a state-bound definition of movements and their kinetic existence. From that point it marks the space not of an accomplishment, nor a substantive political identity in which the presence of a revolutionary subject might be recognised, but an ongoing tension in which mediation always risks positioning itself as an instance of capture. This is the question that arises for cognitive labour—for research, reading or simply thinking on the sense of the world—each and every time.” [Angela Mitropoulos, “Autonomy, Recognition, Movement.” Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization. Stevphen Shukaitis and David Graeber with Erika Biddle, editors. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2007. Pages 127-136.]
      “This [Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization] is an eclectic book. While the central question lies in the neighborhood of how to reconcile activism with academia, there are plenty of plot points off the mean. DIY Punk Rock, anti-racism, crocheting, tree-sits, and anti-globalization tourism are among writings on real subsumption, praxis, ethnography, and the multitude.…
      Constituent Imagination succeeds. It demonstrates that there is a relationship between radical theory and what remains of the movements for social change. Some good news results from this success: there will continue to be interesting thinking done about the political consequences of some of the more abstract notions of post-structuralist, autonomous, and anarchist ideas into the next few decades, by these thinkers if no one else. While many readers, and perhaps the authors themselves, may disagree, the bad news of this book is the outlook for the ‘movement of movements.’ The gains that are struggled for in these narratives are small, if not miniscule. The vision of the constituent movements is myopic to the point of severity.”
      [Aragorn! Review of Constituent Imagination. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2008. Pages 1 and 5.]
    91. autonomist spirit of ancestors (Russell Maroon Shoatz): He discusses this spirit in the ancestors of the Southern Appalachians, American Indians, and others.
      “… from the 17ᵗʰ century until the abolition of slavery in the U.S., there were also Maroon communities in areas stretching from the pine barrens of New Jersey, down the east coast to Florida, and in the Appalachian mountains and later to migrate to Mexico’s northern border regions. The best known (but little studied) ones were those that occupied the dismal swamp of Virginia and North Carolina and the Seminoles of Florida, which contrary to popular belief have never been an Amerindian tribe, but instead – from their beginnings – an ethnic group made up of Africans and Amerindians who came together to form the ethnicity: just like the Boni Maroons were formed in Suriname.
      “All of this replicated the decentralized organizing forms of the Maroons in Suriname and Jamaica. And although their political histories fall short of them winning and maintaining the degree of autonomy achieved in Suriname or Jamaica, the descendents of the Seminoles in Mexico and the U.S. still fiercely guard their communities against the Mexican and U.S. governments: in Florida they’re recognized as a semi-autonomous tribe, and the Africans (Seminole negroes) in Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico also distinguish themselves from their neighbors – while calling Blacks in the U.S. ‘state negroes.’ According to New Afrikan nationalist cadre from the U.S. who have worked around them, the African Seminoles never considered themselves citizens of the U.S. like African-Americans do.
      “Finally, the legendary history and present posture of the people of the Southern Appalachians – in still refusing to fully integrate into the fabric of the U.S. – rests more on a forgotten history of their ancestors’ struggle to remain free from any servitude or domination, than they or we understand. Instead, we’ve adopted the bourgeoisie myth about them being hopelessly backwards and ultra-racist, although in reality true hillbilly culture and practice is really isolationist and independent, reflecting the autonomist spirit of their ancestors.”
      [Russell Maroon Shoatz. The Dragon and the Hydra: A Historical Study of Organizational Methods. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2014. Page 10.]
    92. essential condition for man’s further development (Lewis Mumford): Mumford (1895–1990)—a sociologist, historian, and philosopher—considers the importance of autonomy.
      “All living organisms are in some degree autonomous in that they follow a life-pattern of their own; but in man this autonomy is an essential condition for his further development. We surrender some of our autonomy when ill or crippled: but to surrender it every day on every occasion would be to turn life itself into a chronic illness. The best life possible — and here I am consciously treading on contested ground — is one that calls for an ever greater degree of self-direction, self-expression, and self-realization. In this sense, personality, once the exclusive attribute of kings, belongs on democratic theory to every man. Life itself in its fullness and wholeness cannot be delegated.…
      “The tension between small-scale association and large-scale organization, between personal autonomy and institutional regulation, between remote control and diffused local intervention, has now created a critical situation. If our eyes had been open, we might long ago have discovered this conflict deeply embedded in technology itself.
      “I wish it were possible to characterize technics with as much hope of getting assent, with whatever quizzical reserves you may still have, as in this description of democracy. But the very title of this paper is, I confess, a controversial one; and I cannot go far in my analysis without drawing on interpretations that have not yet been adequately published, still less widely discussed or rigorously criticized and evaluated. My thesis, to put it bluntly, is that from late Neolithic times in the Near East, right down to our own day, two technologies have recurrently existed side by side: one authoritarian, the other democratic, the first system-centered, immensely powerful, but inherently unstable, the other mancentered, relatively weak, but resourceful and durable. If I am right, we are now rapidly approaching a point at which, unless we radically alter our present course, our surviving democratic technics will be completely suppressed or supplanted, so that every residual autonomy will be wiped out, or will be permitted only as a playful device of government, like national balloting for already chosen leaders in totalitarian countries.
      “The data on which this thesis is based are familiar; but their significance has, I believe, been overlooked. What I would call democratic technics is the small scale method of production, resting mainly on human skill and animal energy but always, even when employing machines, remaining under the active direction of the craftsman or the farmer, each group developing its own gifts, through appropriate arts and social ceremonies, as well as making discreet use of the gifts of nature. This technology had limited horizons of achievement, but, just because of its wide diffusion and its modest demands, it had great powers of adaptation and recuperation. This democratic technics has underpinned and firmly supported every historic culture until our own day, and redeemed the constant tendency of authoritarian technics to misapply its powers. Even when paying tribute to the most oppressive authoritarian regimes, there yet remained within the workshop or the farmyard some degree of autonomy, selectivity, creativity. No royal mace, no slave-driver’s whip, no bureaucratic directive left its imprint on the textiles of Damascus or the pottery of fifth century Athens.
      “If this democratic technics goes back to the earliest use of tools, authoritarian technics is a much more recent achievement: it begins around the fourth millennium B.C. in a new configuration of technical invention, scientific observation, and centralized political control that gave rise to the peculiar mode of life we may now identify, without eulogy, as civilization. Under the new institution of kingship, activities that had been scattered, diversified, cut to the human measure, were united on a monumental scale into an entirely new kind of theological-technological mass organization. In the person of an absolute ruler, whose word was law, cosmic powers came down to earth, mobilizing and unifying the efforts of thousands of men, hitherto all-too-autonomous and too decentralized to act voluntarily in unison for purposes that lay beyond the village horizon.”
      [Lewis Mumford. Authoritarian and Democratic Technics. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1964. Pages 1-2.]
    93. praxes of autonomy and autarky (Sian Sullivan): Sullivan considers the promotions of a new world through autonomy and self–sufficiency.
      “Given that hegemony requires the consent and participation of the dominated in their (our) own domination – producing ‘the [oppressed] mind of the oppressed’ – each saying of ‘NO!’ becomes a movement beyond easy consensus in the hegemonic order. It has been accompanied by further deterritorialisations – the ‘opting out’ suggested by consumer activism, direct action politics, and DiY [do it yourself] culture in multiplicitous manifestations (which, of course, since nothing is static, also are open to potential reterritorialisations/recuperations/cooptations). Such deterritorialisations – such assertions and praxes of autonomy and autarky (i.e. self-sufficiency) – create conditions ripe for resistance: the resistance of the state and Empire against those who refuse representation, and who refuse the policies and practices, not to mention the assumed authority, of those who seek to represent. Of those who seek power-over others.” [Sian Sullivan, “An Other World is Possible? On Representation, Rationalism and Romanticism in Social Forums.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 4, number 2, 2005. Pages 370-392.]
    94. movement for Black Autonomy (Pittsburgh Autonomous Student Network): Their goal is the “complete self-determination and autonomy of African descended people in the US and abroad.”
      “We must strive for nothing less than the goal of complete self-determination and autonomy of African descended people in the US and abroad, working hand in hand in communal fellowship with other oppressed peoples who have their own contradictions with the power structure. Only by aligning ourselves with the international anticolonial, anti-imperial movement can success be achieved, as we represent only a little less than 13% of the national population.
      “Our organs of power will create a situation in which dual power will give rise to all manner of reactionary fascism and their corresponding weapons, as we are under siege on two sides: one side by the state that wants to continue our exploitation or annihilate us, and on the other side by the nation’s white nationalist and white supremacist silent majority which simply just wants to annihilate us. Organization, preparation, and development of the means to combat these threats is paramount and should be considered an immediate priority.
      “This is our reality. We do not live in a reality whereby those who are materially invested in our subjugation will suddenly come to their senses, take pity on us, pay us reparations while we ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after like the reformists tacitly imply by their attempts at negotiating with US elites. The rest of the colonized and neo-colonized world is ready to shake off their yoke of oppression the moment it becomes clear that we’ve made our move. Evidence is seen in the way that African Jews in Israel were inspired by videos of Baltimore’s youth overrunning riot squads. The comrades shutting down traffic arteries and battling police in Tel Aviv were hardly inspired by paid activists with forty thousand dollar a year salaries and 401Ks, but by those who heroically abandoned all respectability and asserted their identity as a threat to the establishment.
      “US fascism would not have established itself so securely, with every safeguard in place and every mechanism utilized at its disposal to stifle the growth of revolutionary consciousness of Black people in the US were we not innately and at our deepest core threatening to the white power structure. Acknowledgement of this orientation puts US fascism on the defensive. A movement of angry Black people should be threatening. It should heighten contradictions, it should make those invested in the status quo uneasy, and it should provoke raging emotions in ourselves as well as our class enemies.
      “The movement for Black Autonomy, although nascent, is the inevitable outgrowth of a decaying strategy of reformist appeals to power. We know Black lives matter. The question is whether or not we have the capacity to check any attempts at devaluation by counterrevolutionary elements from the outside and from within. The autonomous movement is building this capacity, synthesizing elements of anarchism and revolutionary socialism.…
      “The autonomous movement explicitly rejects of the kind of separatist reactionary nationalismwhich is unfortunately endemic to many formations within the Black Liberation movement. It rejects the hetero-patriarchal ethos that women should be relegated to servant status. It rejects the demonization of Black queer and trans people and instead uplifts them as leaders.…
      “The movement for Black autonomy does not include coexistence with white supremacist authority in its platform. We understand that the development of a scientific, intersectional revolutionary political theory that is applicable to our specific material conditions in the US, and our development of a praxis that tangibly counters the power of white supremacist institutions that control our lives, is the difference between being victims of genocide or soldiers at war. We understand that the striving for autonomy means provoking violent reactionary resistance to our advances. We accept this. We understand that Black liberation means human liberation, so we act in solidarity with the oppressed. Long live the Black resistance. We have nothing to lose but our chains!”
      [Pittsburgh Autonomous Student Network. Resisting Co-Optation: Perspectives on respectability, power disparities within movements, and the whitewashing of struggle. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2015. Pages 5-6.]
    95. autonomous course (anonymous): This piece develops an anarcho–autonomist approach to conducting projects of struggle.
      “As anarchists, considering insurrection and looking for ways to make it possible is not the same as drawing up a master plan leading towards insurrection and looking for the cattle to execute it. Neither can it be about a crowd joining an initiative and not taking responsibility for thinking for themselves, discussing, creating an autonomous course. Of course this is a caricature, but it enables one to sketch out certain mechanisms inherent to each attempt to bring people together without, at the same time, proposing circles of affinity and permanent discussion as necessary conditions to enable informal organization.
      “The enthusiasm at the beginning of a shared project after a period of searching for affinity is contagious and attracts others who are willing to struggle. Enthusiasm is one of the driving forces behind every fight, but it is far from a solid base on which to build a struggle. What happens when it all becomes a bit less playful and demands a bit more seriousness? What about when there are difficulties and setbacks? This is not a plea for marrying a certain struggle or signing a contract at its inception, but an underlining of the absolute necessity of the development of an autonomous course. Without autonomy, without being able to revolt and struggle starting from oneself, and without a project being offered, one can only be swallowed into projects and able to make them their own.…
      “… Every struggle is in need of spaces that can help shape it. Spaces in which there is discussion or in which one can coordinate for specific goals (for example the organization of a demonstration). However, when there is only one space, and this space becomes the reference point, it will inevitably become a burden to the struggle and will suffocate people’s autonomous courses, rather than giving them oxygen.”
      [Anonymous. Autonomous course & permanent discussion. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2012. Pages 1-2.]
    96. autonomous free association (Peter Fleming): He examines the “bucket of water” thrown, by responsive communitarians, upon the Marxian “labor of fire.”
      “… the common … is not a community (Gemeinschaft [community]) since that too is so often a manufactured substitute for productive human exchange, standing above, behind, and against ‘us’ in an exploitative manner. The contemporary communitarian movement in the United States … basically throws a bucket of water on the autonomous free association that [Karl] Marx beautifully dubbed the labor of fire. It is constructed around unification and closure rather than difference and openness. As such, a unifying identity will always be experienced as an authority that demands subordination (‘We will accept you only if you forgo that which is not us’). It brings us together through a fundamental loss. Thus, there is no place for Gemeinschaft in the tradition of thought we are unpacking here, since it is yet another version of the Leviathan smuggled in through the back door.” [Peter Fleming. Resisting Work: The Corporatization of Life and Its Discontents. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press. 2014. Kindle edition.]
    97. autonomous filaments (Peter Fleming): Flemining examines the question of “radical absenteeism.”
      “… we can … delineate two practical types of post-dialogical struggle that may help us withdraw from the stage of late-capitalist regulation: namely political and ethical methods of absence. Let’s discuss the political dimension first. Radical absenteeism in this respect includes those concrete initiatives that self-valorize the non-coincidental, unassignable or unrecognizable exterior points within the capitalist exchange circuit. This kind of critical praxis seeks to build autonomous filaments that collectively repossess social time. Indeed, if the hyper-accelerated time codes of capitalism require an impossible level of presence, cognitive attention and visibility, then some typography of structural anonymity can secure a common time when we are left alone. But this invisibility can also be transformed into a weapon if utilized correctly.” [Peter Fleming. The Mythology of Work: How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself. London: Pluto Press. 2015. Pages 178.]
    98. autonomist critique of corporate social responsibility (Charles Barthold): According to Barthold, “the role of corporate social responsibility within the political economy of late capitalism.”
      “… the autonomist critique of corporate social responsibility analyses specifically the role of corporate social responsibility within the political economy of late capitalism …. Corporate social responsibility is … linked to post-Fordism and the necessity of capital to be a parasite to society’s creativity ….
      “… Corporate social responsibility discourse functions more as a tool to facilitate collaboration, depoliticisation and the process of extraction of surplus value through exploitation, rather than as a means to appropriate the commons ….
      “Corporate social responsibility discourse is omnipresent, not only in organisations but also within the media and arguably in many of our minds. Corporate social responsibility operates as a discourse on ethics, that is to say on good and evil. At the same time, the society in which we live is full of large-scale organisational failures. World capitalism experienced a systemic crisis in 2008 because of finance that deteriorated the lives of an important part of humanity through, in particular, the destruction of jobs and cuts to the welfare state because of public debts caused by the bailout of financial institutions. Furthermore, capitalist organisations continue to contribute to the pollution of the environment, despite the catastrophic consequences of the greenhouse effect and global warming.”
      [Charles Barthold, “Corporate social responsibility, collaboration and depoliticisation.” Business Ethics: A European Review. Volume 22, number 4, October 2013. Pages 393-403.]
    99. autonomy of the proletariat (Brian Marks): He develops a definition of autonomist Marxism and applies it to the current crisis in capitalism.
      “This paper brings the political tendency known as autonomist Marxism … to bear on the present crisis of capitalism. It is intended to speak to radical geography, which has thus far scarcely addressed this body of work …. The paper will proceed by first explaining some of the tenets of autonomist Marxism and, where applicable, indicating how it diverges from other tendencies of radical thought in its conceptions of class, struggle, and crisis. The methodology of class composition analysis is described, as is the political importance of class recomposition and decomposition. Second, the contours of contemporary global capitalism and the working class are narrated from 1980 to the present conjuncture, employing class composition analysis to enlighten the historical-geographical transformations of American and Chinese class structures during this time. Recompositional and decompositional trends are identified in specific fractions of the class in both countries and the interrelated yet divergent character of their working classes’ ‘deals’ with neoliberal globalization are sketched out. Lastly, the coming on and playing out of the current crisis is described in light of autonomist theory and practice, arguing that a global wave of struggles coincided with the peak of the 2000s business cycle, led by young, precariously employed workers in world cities who fought and often won defensive struggles against deepening marginalization and precarity. Where trends of class recomposition rooted in those struggles are pronounced, as in contemporary China where rural-urban migration circulates struggles and blurs class hierarchies, greater working class power is observed; places where class decomposition is more prevalent, as in the contemporary U.S., those divisions have facilitated the imposition of the costs of the crisis on the working class.…
      “We begin by defining what autonomism means. The terms autonomist, autonomous, autonomia or autonomen correlate with a spectrum of political projects and trajectories, from earlier Left and Council Communists … through groupings of the 1960s and 1970s like Italian operaismo … to more contemporary urban squatter, direct action, and anti-globalization movements ….
      “Autonomist Marxism is defined here as a political tendency premised on the autonomy of the proletariat. Working class autonomy can be said to encompass three aspects: the working class’ actions take a multiplicity of forms autonomous from and not determined by capital; working class self-activity can be autonomous from organizations or representations of the class; and different fractions of the class are autonomous from each other, constituting a changing overall class composition ….”
      [Brian Marks, “Autonomist Marxist Theory and Practice in the Current Crisis.” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. Volume 11, number 3, 2012. Creative Commons. Pages 467-491.]
    100. autonomy in art (John Roberts): He examines the conditions of this autonomy.
      “… (1) the question of autonomy in art is not foreclosed, irrespective of the changing social composition of the bourgeoisie (easily exaggerated anyway); and (2) because of the transformed relationship between art and mass culture the social content of autonomy – the dialectic between representation and anti-representation, and between art and anti-art – will of necessity be developed out of different forms and technological relations than those of the modernisms with which we are already familiar. The specificity of these forms, however, we cannot – and should not – predict.” [John Roberts, “On autonomy and the avant-garde.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 103, September/October 2000. Pages 25-28.]
    101. autonomy of struggles (Alonzo Alcanzar as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He advocates independence for autonomous movements or, in effect, an autonomy of autonomy.
      “Orthodoxy finds few friends today. But the serious critique of orthodoxy would still seek to rescue the moments of truth that may be in it. To think the strategic deficit of this moment, to ask what a pathway out of capitalism could possibly mean and what it would practically entail, is to gain a renewed appreciation for the Marxist tradition – for its organization of collective experience and intelligence.…
      “… True communism, as theorized by the young [Karl] Marx, feels like where we would all like to go: the reduction of work-time to the minimum possible; the liberation of free processes of selfrealization, no longer constrained and distorted by antagonistic, competitive class society; the progressive dissolution of the division of labor, the free development of human powers and talents in all directions, the real education of the senses.…
      “… whatever we provisionally choose to call this projected form of new social life – autonomism, radically democratic socialism, libertarian communism – its actualization cannot be immediate, but will only be won by successful struggle on a global level. Hence the urgent need for strategy.…
      “… The radical part of the movement seems to have adopted, if only sometimes intuitively, the correlative principle of ‘autonomy of struggles’: no one has a right to tell others how they should conduct their struggle. In any case, violence will not always be avoidable – the state and its ferocious proxies will see to that. However, these two principles put no limits on violence and, taken alone and without qualification, are strategically problematic. They must be accompanied by a situational ethics that carefully takes into account relevant historical, contextual and strategic factors. Violence is a tactic, but the problem of violence is a strategic one.”
      [Alonzo Alcanzar, “On Radical-Leftist Strategy: Propositions for Discussion.” Left Curve. Number 33, January 2009. Pages 4-15.]
    102. autonomous geographies (Jenny Pickerill and Paul Chatterton): They apply autonomous Marxism to the development of anti–capitalist “resistance and creation.”
      “This paper is about what we call ‘autonomous geographies’ – those spaces where people desire to constitute noncapitalist, egalitarian and solidaristic forms of political, social, and economic organization through a combination of resistance and creation. Inspired by groups such as the Mexican Zapatistas, the concept of autonomy is being increasingly employed by anti-capitalist activists such as the Wombles, Disobidientis and Dissent! to structure and articulate their practices and aims. At the same time, a reinvigoration and reinterpretation of autonomist Marxism has provided a pathway towards a more socially just society …
      “We have coined the term ‘autonomous geographies’ as part of a substantive and linguistic intervention, responding to multiple crises. We make no excuses for this; calling forth autonomy does not simply lead to concrete solutions to change the world. Nor is the term a panacea; to offer it as such would sustain the problems of blueprints which plague the contemporary world. However, autonomous geographies are part of a vocabulary of urgency, hope and inspiration, a call to action that we can dismantle wage labour, the oil economy, or representative democracy, and that thousands of capable and workable micro-examples exist. A focus on autonomy is simultaneously a documentation of where we are, and a projection of where we could be. As a narrative of realism and idealism, this paper – and our research – is an attempt to document radical and workable ‘futures in the present’ … and to find escape routes out of this capitalist existence ….”
      [Jenny Pickerill and Paul Chatterton, “Notes towards autonomous geographies: creation, resistance and self-management as survival tactics.” Progress in Human Geography. Volume 30, number 6, December 2006. Pages 730-746.]
    103. Autonomous People of Color movement (Greg Lewis): He proposes an anarcho–autonomist perspective on People of Color.
      “… believe that the term Autonomous People of Color movement is a more accurate description of what’s really going on today. I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m sure there are others who feel me on this.
      “Let’s face it, we are separate from, yet at the same time allied with, the main anarchist movement, the left, and the various struggle-based tendencies (antiglobalization, anti-racism, Palestinian independence, reparations, police brutality, tenant rights, homelessness, religious freedom/post 9-11, etc) that call themselves movements. We may do work with individuals and organizations within these circles, but I can almost guarantee that we are a new breed of activist; a new type of people, based on how we see ourselves, how we see the rest of the world, and how we see ourselves in the world.”
      [Greg Lewis, “No Way As A Way: An Interview with Greg Lewis.” Our Culture, Our Resistance: People of Color Speak Out on Anarchism, Race, Class and Gender. Volume One. Ernesto Aguilar, editor. Houston, Texas: Anarchist People of Color. 2004. Creative Commons. Pages 75-89.]
    104. workers’ communism (Franco “Bifo” Berardi as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Franco Berardi (MP3 audio file), whose nickname is Bifo (MP3 audio file), develops an approach within the Italian autonomist Marxist tradition.
      “Workers’ communism became the main form of good life and of conscious organization: for the class that capital forced (and still forces) to live a great part of its existence in inhuman conditions. Communism was also only form of knowledge for the class that capital forced (and still forces) to live in conditions of mental passivity. Communism the form of universal consciousness produced by the working community. In the communist organization workers could leave their conditions of abstract labor to rediscover concrete communication through a common project, a shared mythology. This kind of has nothing to do with the historical communism imposed throughout the twentieth-century by feudal, military and ideological bureaucracies. The only relation between the State Communism imposed by the Leninist parties in the Soviet Union elsewhere, and the autonomous communism of the workers, is the violence systematically exerted by the first over the second, in to subdue, discipline and destroy it.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi. The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy. Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina Mecchia, translators. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2009. Pages 84-85.]
      “… [The] dialectical polarization and stiffening of social conflict into a form of identitarian, institutional and military antagonism provoked a catastrophic turn in the history of social emancipation and in the perspective of social autonomy. The dialectical ideology did not interpret workers’ interests, did not understand the complexity of the relationship between social struggle and technological progress, and this forced social struggle into a conceptual trap that was broken in 1989, when the potency of social autonomy all over the world was already exhausted and dissolving, under the effects of technological restructuring.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi. After the Future. Arianna Bove, Melinda Cooper, Erik Empson, Enrico, Giuseppina Mecchia, and Tiziana Terranova, translators. Gary Genosko and Nicholas Thobur, editors. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2011. Page 36.]
      “Autonomy is based on the ability to share daily life and to recognize that what is good for me is good for you, and that what is bad for you is bad for me. Solidarity is difficult to build now that labor has been turned into a sprawl of recombinant time-cells, and now that the process of subjectivation has consequently become fragmentary, disempathetic, and frail.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi. The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2012. Page 54.]
      “The spontaneous goal of the workers movement is to expand the space of autonomy from capitalist exploitation. The idea that the movement is taken in a dialectical contradiction is an effect of the Hegelian interpretation of the social process: this idea becomes historical reality when the Russian palingenetic cult of pureness melts with the Hegelian tradition.
      “The fusion of Marxism and Leninism is the origin of the workers defeat, in my opinion. [Vladimir] Lenin brings into the worker’s political discourse an element of subjectivism and of purity that did not belong to the experience of autonomous social movements. The workers movement was aimed to emancipate spaces of life and of the territory from the capitalist domination, but the Leninist breakthrough transformed the movement into a project of absolute separation from the existing world, of radical demolition and of palingenetic purification.”
      [Franco Berardi. And Phenomenology of the End: Cognition and sensibility in the transition from conjunctive to connective mode of social communication. Helsinki, Finland: Aalto ARTS Books. 2014. Pages 75-76.]
      “… [There] was also an assessment of the meaning of autonomous action: the rebellion is not a means towards political power. Revolution is not about the collapse of the state. The best way to define the new rebellion is the Deleuzian concept of line of flight: exodus from the kingdom of exploitation and the creation of a new social sphere, which has nothing to do with power, labor or the market.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi. Precarious Rhapsody: Semiocapitalism and the pathologies of the post-alpha generation. Arianna Bove, Erik Empson, Michael Goddard, Giuseppina Mecchia, Antonella Schintu, and Steve Wright, translators. Erik Empson and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 25.]
      “The problem of solidarity has always been crucial in every process of struggle, and social change. Autonomy is based on the ability to share daily life and to recognize that what is good for me is good for you and what is bad for you is bad for me. Solidarity is difficult to build as labor has been turned into a sprawl of recombinant time-cells, and consequently the process of subjectivation has become fragmentary, un-empathic and frail. Solidarity has nothing to do with an altruistic self denial. In materialistic terms, solidarity is not about you; it is about me. Like love, it is not about altruism, it is about the pleasure of sharing the breath and the space of the other. Love is the ability to enjoy myself thanks to your presence, thanks to your eyes. This is solidarity. As solidarity is based on the territorial proximity of social bodies, you cannot build solidarity between fragments of time.” [Franco Berardi, “Collapse and Uprising in Europe: The Right to Insolvency and the Disentanglement of the General Intellect’s Potency.” Theory & Event. Volume 14, number 4, 2011. Pagination unknown.]
      “Semio-capital is capital-flux that coagulates in semiotic artefacts without materializing itself. The concepts forged by two centuries of economic thought seem to have disintegrated; they seem inoperative and incapable of comprehending a great deal of the phenomena that have emerged in the sphere of social production since the time when production became cognitive. Cognitive activity has always been at the basis of human production, including production of a more mechanical variety. There is no human labor process that does not imply the exercise of intelligence. But now cognitive capacity is becoming the essential productive resource. In the sphere of industrial labor, the mind was put to work as a repetitive automatism, as the physiological support of muscular movement. Today the mind is at work as innovation, as language and as a communicative relation. The subsumption of the mind under the process of capitalist valorization leads to a genuine mutation.” [Franco Berardi (Bifo), “Schizo-Economy.” Michael Goddard, translator. SubStance. Volume 36, number 1, issue 11, 2007. Pages 75-85.]
      “The category of alienation, which describes the forms of industrial labor had brought about the estrangement of the worker from his or her work and therefore the possibility of autonomy. The detached gaze of the worker on the productive process was in fact a positive, creative factor, which is now lost in the organic-inorganic continuum of the integrated cycle of production.” [Franco Berardi (Bifo), “Technology and Knowledge in a Universe of Indetermination.” Giuseppina Mecchia, translator. SubStance. Volume 36, number 1, issue 112, 2007. Pages 56-74.]
      “Contrary to the Protestant idea of progress as founded on work discipline, the autonomous anti-work spirit claims that progress—be it technological, cultural, or social—is based on the refusal of discipline. Progress consists of the application of intelligence to the reduction of effort and dependency, and the expansion of a sphere of idleness and individual freedom. The technological, social, and cultural progress of the country was stimulated by this refusal of labor, and between the 1960s and 1970s Italian civil society experienced its only authentically democratic period: an extraordinary flourishing of culture and production, just when the refusal of labor was most intense and heightened by the level of absenteeism within factories. Obviously, the refusal of capitalist exploitation and the opposition to increases in productivity and to workers’ subordination were not unique to Italy.” [Franco Berardi, “Reassessing Italian Modernization: Social Autonomy in the Age of Exhaustion.” Kevin Attell, translator. Diacritics. Volume 39, number 3, fall 2009. Pages 29-34.]
      “The suppression of the potentialities created in Italy by the worker and student movements was carried on by two main forces: the Christian Democrats, who were dependent on the Western system of power, and the Communist Party, which (although with some reservations) was tied to the Soviet Union. These political forces, while they opposed each other in terms of international allegiances and ideological convictions, fully converged in the common intent to block and repress all manifestations of social autonomy exceeding the limits of social and economic compatibility with international capitalism.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi, “Gangster Liberalism: The Italian Case.” Giuseppina Mecchia, translator. Cultural Critique. Number 87, spring 2014. Pages 183-192.]
      “The storm that the feminist movement provoked in male-female relations and the subsequent explosion of homosexual collectives thus found a territory in which to consolidate, in which to transform the customs of living, sleeping, eating, smoking. In the same period, the movement for free radio spread widely. In every city, neighborhood and village the young proletarians, together with students and communications workers, used the occasion of a legislative vacuum (the result of which was that the State monopoly on Information lapsed and was not replaced by any other sort of regulation) to give life to a network of small ‘wildcat’ stations. The radio stations were operated with luck and very little money, but they could cover a territorial space adequate for the organizational forms and communication needs of the emerging proletarian strata. This was a truly revolutionary fact: with free radio. It was possible to communicate rapidly the decisions and appointments of revolutionary organizations or base organizations. Through this channel circulated an uninterrupted flood of music and words, a flood of transformations on the symbolic, perceptive and imaginative planes. This flood entered every house, and anyone could intervene in the flow, telephoning, interrupting, adding, correcting. The design, the dream of the artistic avant-garde—to bridge the separation between artistic communication and revolutionary transformation or subversive practice—became in this experience a reality. The brief, happy experience of Radio Alice—which from February 1976 to March 1977 transmitted from Bologna [Italy]—remains the symbol of this period, of that unforgettable year of experimentation and accumulation of intellectual, organizational, political, and creative energies.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi, “Anatomy of Autonomy.” Autonomia: Post-Political Politics. Volume III, number 3, 1980. Pages 148-171.]
      “As the Italian ‘autonomous’ Marxist Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi has suggested, ‘Capital no longer recruits people, it buys packets of time […] de-personalised time is now the real agent of the process of valorisation, and de-personalised time has no rights.’ In this sense, we find that we are living in a state of precarity, where despite the fact we find ourselves permanently investing in ourselves, we increasingly work on fixed-term contracts or without a contract altogether.” [Andre Pusey and Bertie Russell, “Do the entrepreneuriat dream of electric sheep?: Why contemporary activists talk about power.” Occupy Everything: Reflections on Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere. Alessio Lunghi and Seth Wheeler, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2012. Pages 75-80.]
      “The very real gloom of [Franco] Berardi’s clinical left melancholy – his pop post-operaismo tabloid dystopianism – is lightened by sparks of affection, humour, compassion and (in a familiar Italian manner) the odd bit of Latin etymology for conceptual legitimation.” [Peter Osborne, “Futures present: Lite, dark and missing.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 191, May/June 2015. Pages 39-46.]
      “There is … [a] side of autonomy, which has been scarcely recognized so far. The process of the autonomisation of workers from their disciplinary role has provoked a social earthquake which triggered capitalist deregulation. The deregulation that entered the world scene in the Thatcher-Reagan era, can be seen as the capitalist response to the autonomisation from the disciplinary order of labour. Workers demanded freedom from capitalist regulation, then capital did the same thing, but in a reversed way. Freedom from state regulation has become economic despotism over the social fabric. Workers demanded freedom from the life-time prison of the industrial factory. Deregulation responded with the flexibilisation and the fractalisation of labour.” [Franco Berardi Bifo. What is the Meaning of Autonomy Today? Privately published. September, 2003. Page 2.]
    105. autonomist Marxism (Harry Cleaver): Cleaver, who coined the term autonomist Marxism, considers the factory and the community as dual arenas for the autonomous struggle against capitalism.
      “… I discovered and learned from the political writings of Rosa Luxemburg, of the Council Communists such as Anton Pannekoek and Paul Mattick and later of the Anarcho-communists like Emma Goldman and Peter Kropotkin. That the former were ideologically ‘Marxist’ and the latter were not, interested me less than their common perception and sympathy for the power of workers to act autonomously. Similarly, as I explored the early tradition of British ‘bottom-up’ Marxist history, I was less interested by their formal political connections (often with the very orthodox British Communist Party) and more with their success in rewriting history in ways which brought out the hitherto neglected autonomous activity of workers and peasants in the making and evolution of capitalist society. It was precisely this recurring theme in the work of diverse Marxist writers and militants that led me to coin the term ‘autonomist’ Marxism that I now use to refer to such awareness and emphasis.” [Harry Cleaver. Reading Capital Politically. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2000. Pages 14-15.]
      “In short, in the history of the traditions that I call ‘autonomist Marxist’ we find an evolution toward an extension of the political appreciation of the ability of workers to act autonomously, toward a reconceptualization of crisis theory that grasps it as a crisis of class power, toward a redefinition of ‘working class’ that both broadens it to include the unwaged, deepens the understanding of autonomy to intraclass relations and also recognizes the efforts of ‘workers’ to escape their class status and to become something more.” [Harry Cleaver. Reading Capital Politically. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2000. Page 18.]
      “… [An] organizational implication of the way the working class is divided between waged and unwaged — factory workers and community workers — includes the fact that the autonomous organizations I have mentioned exist within and between both the factory and the community. Their coordination means the coming together of the two areas of struggle. This means that the site of working class struggle and action and the site of an ‘issue’ may be geographically different but united by that action. Examples of this are community struggles in the Appalachian area over coal mine issues and the strikes by Italian factory workers over community issues. In this way, working class power is exerted at the level of the social factory, politically recomposing the division between factory and community.” [Harry Cleaver. Reading Capital Politically. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2000. Page 161.]
    106. autonomous Marxism (Neil Gray, Rosalind Gill, and Andy Pratt): Gray applies autonomism, as developed originally in Italy, in the context of Glasgow, Scotland. Gill and Pratt discuss research on the subject.
      “Some versions of autonomous Marxism have been criticised for adopting an idealist inversion of agency from capital to the working class subject, regardless of contemporary conditions …. However, from the vantage point of political engagement in contemporary Glasgow [Scotland], the ‘Copernican inversion’ and a related invocation of revolutionary subjectivity cannot be so easily asserted in the face of decades of political decomposition. Yet an emphasis on decomposition does not mean losing the radical orientation of compositional analysis; it means instead discovering and helping generalise the antagonistic tendencies of the new class composition in a time of palpable socio-political fragmentation …. Inquiry methods provide one vital multi-form approach to this problem, and in the next section I will describe the emergence of inquiry in AM during the 1960s, before examining its contemporary use in the following section.” [Neil Gray. Neoliberal Urbanism and Spatial Composition in Recessionary Glasgow. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). University of Glasgow. Glasgow, Scotland. November, 2015. Page 99.]
      “I do … not claim and in fact have never claimed that my approach is Autonomist Marxist in character. Autonomist Marxism has advanced some interesting concepts – especially the ones of the social worker and the social factory –, but just like with any approach, one should also be critical of it …
      “The Autonomist-Marxist assumption that the law of value no longer applies today is not feasible because this law is a foundation for the existence of capitalism and because the assumption is based on a false interpretation of a passage from [Karl] Marx’s Grundrisse …, in which Marx says that ‘labour time ceases and must cease to be’ the measure of wealth …. The misinterpretation is precisely that Marx here describes a transformation of ‘the relations of value appropriation (or exploitation) that prevail within capitalism’ …. Instead Marx in the same passage makes clear that he talks about a situation, in which the ‘mass of workers’ has appropriated ‘their own surplus labour’ ….”
      “It is striking how little connection, until now, there has been between the theory and activism influenced by autonomous Marxists and empirical research …, and it is this that the articles collected here seek to develop, beginning a conversation between the different traditions. Each of these strands constitutes, in a sense, an emergent field that is in process and not yet stabilized (in the manner understood by sociologists of scientific knowledge). The objective here is not to ‘apply’ one ‘perspective’ to another, but rather to bring these ideas into a dialogue in which sometimes difficult and challenging ‘high’ theory, activist politics and empirical research can raise new questions of each other. In what follows we discuss the writings of the autonomist school together with activist writings, in recognition of them as always-already entangled with political movements, and respecting their desire to move beyond a sociological perspective to a more political engagement with the dynamics of power in post-Fordist societies ….” [Rosalind Gill and Andy Pratt, “In the Social Factory?: Immaterial Labour, Precariousness and Cultural Work.” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 25, numbers 7–8, December 2008. Pages 1-30.]
      [Christian Fuchs, “With or Without Marx? With or Without Capitalism? A Rejoinder to Adam Arvidsson and Eleanor Colleoni.” tripleC: Cognition, Communication, Co-operation. Volume 10, number 2, 2012. Creative Commons. Pages 633-645.]
      “The multitude then can be seen as a movement that observes social existence in collective processes and speculates in practical struggles about how the world could become. It is a force of change, as autonomous self-organizing manifestation of the substance it tries to be itself, which means that it wants to realize a society free of heteronomous constraints, a co-operative, participatory society.” [Christian Fuchs and Rainer E. Zimmermann. Practical Civil Virtues in Cyberspace: Towards the Utopian Identity of Civitas and Multitudo. Aachen, Germany, and Maastricht, the Netherlands: Shaker Verlag GmbH. 2009. Page 49.]
    107. egalitarian social movements (Heather Gautney): She searches for common ground between autonomist Marxism and anarchism.
      “Many autonomists and anarchists believe that radical change, and ultimately, freedom and the good life, can be discovered through direct action (protests, but also various forms of ‘squatting’) and the development of cooperative projects and countercultural communities, and not through the realization of a predetermined revolutionary moment or participation in electoral processes abstracted from the conditions of daily life. They distinguish themselves from other groups on ‘the left’ by finking their antistatism with an anticapitalist critique of the ways in which exploitation and the logic of state sovereignty have permeated all levels of social life. They tend to be critical of progressive NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and social democratic groups that seek to bolster social programs and political influence within legal structures and the electoral sphere rather than argue for a more systemic change.…
      “Anarchists and autonomists have focused on solving what is perhaps the most important question for egalitarian social movements today: how to balance the organizational requisites for change with movements’ desire for freedom and autonomy. To that end, they have operationalized their ethic of autonomy by creating organizational forms that involve decentralized, autonomous units interconnected via networks, a term often used by anarchists and autonomists alike to discuss both the theory and practice of their organization.”
      [Heather Gautney, “Between Anarchism and Autonomist Marxism.” Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society. Volume 12, issue 3, September 2009. Pages 467-487.]
      “The SI [Situationist International] showed that the communist revolution could not be only an immediate attack on the commodity. This contribution is decisive. Although the Italian Left had described communism as the destruction of the market, and had already broken with the ideology of the productive forces (i.e. the ideology which glorifies their development for its own sake: Tr.), it had not understood the formidable subversive power of concretely communist measures. [Amadeo] Bordiga, in fact, pushes social communization back beyond a seizure of ‘political power.’ The SI viewed the revolutionary process at the level of human relations. Even the State cannot be destroyed strictly on the military plane. The mediation of society, it is also (but not) solely destroyed by the demolition of the capitalist social relations which uphold it.…
      “The SI itself succumbed to fetishism in fixating itself on forms: commodity, subject, organization, consciousness. But unlike those who today repeat its ideas while conserving only the flashy parts and the mistakes (utopia, etc.), the SI did not make it a rule to confuse language with society. What was for the SI a contradiction became the raison d’être of modernism.”
      [Jean Barrot, “Critique of the Situationist International.” What Is Situationism?: A Reader. San Francisco, California: AK Press. 1996. Pages 24-62.]
    108. class against capital (Mario Tronti as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an approach to Italian autonomism or “workerism.”
      “… after a long, terrible, historical travail which Is, perhaps, not yet, completed, do the workers arrive at the paint of being actively, subjectively, ‘a class against capital.’ A prerequisite of this process of transition is political organisation, the party, with Its demand for total power. In the intervening period there is the refusal – collective, mass, expressed in passive forms – of the workers to expose themselves as ‘a class against capital’ without that organisation of their own, without that total demand for power.… Capitalist power seeks to use the workers’ antagonistic will-to-struggle as a motor of its own development. The workers’ party must take this same real mediation by the workers of capital’s interests and organise it in an antagonistic form, as the tactical terrain of struggle and as a strategic potential for destruction. Here there is only one reference point – only one orientation – for the opposed world views of the two classes – namely the class of workers. Whether one’s aim is to stabilise the development of the system or to destroy it forever, it is the working class that is decisive.” [Mario Tronti, “The Strategy of Refusal.” Semiotext(e). Volume III, number 3, 1980. Pages 28-32.]
      “… what is ‘workerism’? It is an experience that tried to unite the thinking and practice of politics, in a determinate domain, that of the modern factory. It looked for a strong subject, the working class, capable of contesting and putting into crisis the mechanism of capitalist production.…
      “The historical context for workerism was precisely that of the sixties of the twentieth century. In Italy, that period witnessed the take-off of an advanced capitalism, the passage from an agricultural-industrial society to an industrial-agricultural one, with the migratory displacement of labour-power from the peasant South to the industrial North.”
      [Mario Tronti, “Workerism and Politics.” Historical Materialism. Volume 18, number 3, 2010. Pages 186-189.]
      “In 1964 Mario Tronti began putting forward an analysis of working class autonomy that would come to be identified—and not always accurately—with an entire period and milieux of radical politics in Italy. The argument went something like this: while capitalists must necessarily equip themselves with the state so as to enter the field of class struggle, working class struggles can occur independently of any given form and level of representation.” [Angela Mitropoulos, “Autonomy, Recognition, Movement.” The Commoner: A Web Journal for Other Values. Number 11, spring 2006. Pages 5-14.]
    109. determinate critique of democracy (Mario Tronti): He develops an autonomist critique of political democracy.
      “The determinate critique of democracy that I am advancing here has a father, workerism, and a mother, the autonomy of the political. And it is a female offspring because the thinking and practice of difference have anticipated this critique with the questioning of the universalism of the demos [Greek/Hellēniká, δήμος, dḗmos, ‘municipality’]—which is the other face of the neutral character of the individual—and with that ‘don’t think you’ve got any rights’ which is no longer addressed to the single individual but to the people. There is in democracy an identitarian vocation hostile to the articulation of any difference whatever as well as to any order of difference. Both the demos and the kratos [Greek/Hellēniká, κράτος, krátos, ‘power’] are unique and univocal, rather than dual, entities; they are not and cannot be split. Democracy, as is widely known, presupposes an identity between sovereign and people: sovereign people, popular sovereignty, so goes the doctrine. During a long phase of modernity, in the nineteenth and especially the twentieth century, this identity of sovereign and people has been answered by a kind of spirit of division stemming from a society split into classes. Obviously, this was a raw indication of the ideological falsity at the heart of such an identity. Or rather, it put the very conceptual structure underlying the identity into crisis. So it was that during this phase the very separation of powers—within an apparatus that attempted the great passage from liberalism to democracy, and then the conjugation of liberalism and democracy—revealed itself precisely as a mask, the mask of the unity of power in the hands of one class.” [Mario Tronti, “Towards a Critique of Political Democracy.” Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy. Volume 5, number 1, January 2009. Pages 68-75.]
    110. potential or cultural freedom (Christian Bay): Bay, while supporting a leftist version of autonomism, argues that responsibilities must take precedence.
      “… autonomy or ‘potential freedom’ … or ‘cultural freedom’ …; … is the access to critical knowledge of predominant and alternative political belief systems. While social and psychological freedom values must be optimized for every person in the ideal society, autonomy in my view is a different kind of freedom value, to be expanded only up to a point. Every person needs to maintain roots, to keep a sense of social attachment and identity. This requires that critical questioning of belief systems does not lead to the rejection of all the customary beliefs at the same time. A ‘completely’ autonomous person, in my sense of this term, would be like Aristotle’s man without a city: either above or below humanity.
      “In any society, only very privileged individuals can realistically aspire to levels of freedom unattainable for most of their fellow human beings. It is to the great credit of [Jean-Jacques] Rousseau … and [Karl] Marx … that they insisted that a legitimate state must grant and protect fully as much liberty for the least privileged individual as it allows the prince or president.…
      “If we decide to take (universal) human rights seriously …, then we should emphasize the responsibilities more than the rights of autonomous liberty. Paraphrasing Aristotle …, I will end with the following assertion: A person who is highly privileged with autonomous liberty, if not a compassionate person with social or international concerns, is either above or, more likely, below the moral stature of which normal human beings should be capable. But in our daily lives we should be charitable toward people who are not on the Left. Our first assumption must be that they are less than fully autonomous, not less than fully moral.”
      [Christian Bay, “Autonomism: A Defence of Structural Privilege?” Interchange. Volume 19, number 1, spring 1988. Pages 54-59.]
    111. Accountable Autonomy, Empowered Participatory Governance, Empowered Deliberatory Governance, and Real Utopian Project (Erik Olin Wright and others): Accountable Autonomy—also known as Empowered Participatory Governance or Empowered Deliberatory Governance—is a specific autonomist utopian model in the Real Utopian Project. Wright also makes three specific proposals for facilitating more egalitarian living standards in modern capitalist societies.
      “… [A] vision of interstitial transformation [transformation of small spaces] has a long and venerable place in anticapitalist thinking, going back to the anarchist tradition in the 19ᵗʰ century and continuing in various anarchist and “autonomist” currents to the present. While there is no inherent reason why strategies of interstitial transformation should be restricted to the specific anarchist vision of emancipatory alternatives, there is an obvious affinity between the anarchist vision of an ultimate destination without a coercive state and the idea of interstitial strategies that largely ignore the state.…
      “… The term “autonomist” became popular in some European political contexts in the second half of the twentieth century to identify movements that were part of the anarchist tradition, but which emphasized voluntary, autonomous formation of egalitarian cooperation.”
      [Erik Olin Wright. Envisioning Real Utopias. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2010. Page 324.]
      “In this chapter and the next we will explore a range of real utopian proposals that try to satisfy three main criteria: First, the institutional designs are desirable in terms of radical democratic egalitarian emancipatory ideals. Second, the institutional designs constitute viable alternatives to existing arrangements. They are consistent with what we know about how institutions work and, if implemented, they would not generate perverse unintended consequences that would either negate the desirable properties of the institution or make it unsustainable. Third, the proposals should contribute in some way to movement along the pathways of social empowerment outlined in the previous chapter. While social empowerment may not be a necessary condition for an institutional change to be worth pursuing, these are the kinds of institutional changes that have the potential cumulatively of transcending capitalism.…
      “There are two strategies we will adopt for exploring real utopian designs and proposals. The first is empirical, focusing on concrete cases around the world which embody in different ways the principles of social empowerment …. A full analysis of such empirical cases involves a number of tasks: first, establishing that indeed the case does embody processes of social empowerment; second, analyzing in as fine-grained a way as possible precisely how the institutional design in question actually works; third, distilling some general principles from the case that constitute elements of a more abstract institutional design; fourth, exploring the facilitating conditions that made the case possible; and finally, revealing the contradictions, limits, dilemmas faced by the real utopian design. A critical danger in this kind of analysis is that the study of such examples degenerates into propagandistic cheerleading. Radical critics of capitalism are desperate for empirical models that embody their aspirations; wishful thinking can triumph over sober assessments. The complementary danger, of course, is cynicism. There is great caché among intellectuals in debunking naïve enthusiasm. What is needed, then, are accounts of empirical cases that are neither gullible nor cynical, but try to fully recognize the complexity and dilemmas as well as real potentials of practical efforts at social empowerment.”
      [Erik Olin Wright. Envisioning Real Utopias. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2010. Pages 150-151.]
      “In this paper I explore three recent proposals for how contemporary developed capitalist societies might move significantly toward more egalitarian distributions of standards of living: stakeholder grants to be given to all citizens upon reaching the age of majority; unconditional universal basic income; and, a specific form of market socialism based on a sustainably egalitarian distribution of stock ownership. All of these proposals attempt to be what might be termed ‘real utopian models’ …—models that address questions of institutional coherence and workability, yet also embody genuinely emancipatory values and visions. They differ in the specific equality-inducing mechanisms they propose and in the degree to which they threaten the larger institutional matrix of capitalism; but they all take seriously the problem of how to advance equality.” [Erik Olin Wright, “Reducing Income and Wealth Inequality: Real Utopian Proposals.” Contemporary Sociology. Volume 29, number 1, January 2000. Pages 143-156.]
      “The Real Utopia Project embraces … [the] tension between dreams and practice. It is founded on the belief that what is pragmatically possible is not fixed independently of our imaginations, but is itself shaped by our visions. Self-fulfilling prophecies are powerful forces in history, and while it may be polyannish to say ‘where there is a will there is a way,’ it is certainly true that without ‘will’ many ‘ways’ become impossible. Nurturing clear-sighted understandings of what it would take to create social institutions free of oppression is part of creating a political will for radical social changes to reduce oppression. A vital belief in a Utopian ideal may be necessary to motivate people to leave on the journey from the status quo in the first place, even though the likely actual destination may fall short of the Utopian ideal. Yet, vague Utopian fantasies may lead us astray, encouraging us to embark on trips that have no real destinations at all, or worse still, which lead us toward some unforeseen abyss. Along with ‘where there is a will there is a way,’ the human struggle for emancipation confronts ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ What we need, then, are ‘real utopias’: Utopian ideals that are grounded in the real potentials of humanity, Utopian destinations that have accessible waystations, Utopian designs of institutions that can inform our practical tasks of muddling through in a world of imperfect conditions for social change. These are the goals of the Real Utopias Project.” [Erik Olin Wright, “Real Utopias Project: an overview.” The Good Society. Volume 6, number 1, winter 1996. Pages 40-42.]
      “In participatory socialism, the state’s role is more pervasive than in the pure social economy. The state does not simply provide funding and set the parameters; it is also, in various ways, directly involved in the organization and production of economic activity. On the other hand, participatory socialism is also different from statist socialism, for here social power plays a role not simply through the ordinary channels of democratic control of state policies, but directly inside the productive activities themselves. A good example is the participatory budget in urban government. Because these budgets constitute allocations of resources to produce infrastructure to meet human needs, they should be treated as an aspect of economic activity; participatory budgets are thus not simply a form of democratic participation in the state, but are part of a participatory socialist economy.” [Erik Olin Wright, “2012 Presidential Address: Transforming Capitalism through Real Utopias.” American Sociological Review. Volume 78, number 1, February 2013. Pages 1-25.]
      “… Erik Olin Wright’s new book, Envisioning Real Utopias, is a timely and welcome intervention. Wright aims nothing less than to revivify leftist social theory, which he believes has grown stunted under the shadow of capitalism’s triumph over state socialism. Rather than cede the language and aspirations of utopia to conservative naysayers, he calls for a utopianism that is simultaneously critical of the status quo and realistic about its own prospects for bringing about improvement. Encyclopedic in scope and dialectical in its argumentation, it is a magisterial book that both clarifies our situation and charts out new intellectual pathways for conceiving change.” [Craig Borowiak, “Envisioning Real Utopias.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 45, number 2, May 2013. Pages 229-232.]
      “Sometimes consciously responding to these administrative and democratic dilemmas, a new architecture of governance that cuts a middle path between the dichotomy or devolution and democratic centralism has emerged in diverse areas of public action. Elsewhere, I have called this approach ‘Accountable Autonomy’ or ‘Empowered Participatory Governance.‘ Its institutional design is simultaneously bottom-up and top-down.…
      “In its bottom-up moment, Empowered Participatory Governance recognizes that for an increasing number of social problems, citizens have become frustrated with the outcomes of received technocratic solutions. In many of these areas, participatory and decentralized decision structures offer substantial practical advantages over top-down hierarchies mentioned above: the potential to utilized local knowledge, ingenuity, and oppor tunities and the latitude to tailor public action to suit diverse cir cumstances and particular priorities. Decentralizing authority and creating opportunities for public participation in these issue spaces can draw intelligent, reflective, and sustained citizen engagement. Citizens who engage in such reforms increase their understandings of intricacies facing public action, gain skills of deliberation and problem solving, and, to the extent that they address urgent problems, acquire allegiance to these institutional arrangements. In this way, opening participatory avenues for cit izens to address practical concerns can help to overcome the problems of remoteness and rational ignorance.”
      [Archon Fung, “Creating Deliberative Publics: Governance After Devolution and Democratic Centralism.” The Good Society. Volume 11, number 1, 2002. Pages 66-71.]
      “This article attempts to understand the form, potential, and implications of these reforms for the values of empowered deliberation. It does so by casting their deep structure as one of accountable autonomy. Although the parts of this term may seem to be in tension, the following analysis will show that either alone is insufficient but that together they offer a deliberative institutional form that can generate fair and effective public outcomes. In Chicago LSCs [local school councils] and beat meetings, groups of citizens and street-level public servants (teachers, principals, and police officers) are autonomous in the sense that they set and implement, through deliberative processes, the specific ends and means toward broad public aims such as school improvement and public safety. In contrast with command-and-control arrangements under which these public servants would follow the instructions of superiors, this autonomy affords greater voice to citizen users, perhaps deploys more information in problem solving, and allows those closest to concrete public problems to innovate and utilize their ingenuity.” [Archon Fung, “Accountable Autonomy: Toward Empowered Deliberation in Chicago Schools and Policing.” Politics & Society. Volume 29, number 1, March 2001. Pages 73-103.]
      “Conceptually, EDD [Empowered Deliberatory Governance] presses the values of participation, deliberation, and empowerment to the apparent limits of prudence and feasibility. Taking participatory democracy seriously in this way throws both its vulnerabilities and advantages into sharp relief. We also hope that injecting empirically centered examination into current debates about deliberative democracy will paradoxically expand the imaginative horizons of that discussion at the same time that it injects a bit of realism. Much of that work has been quite conceptually focused, and so has failed to detail or evaluate institutional designs to advance these values. By contrast, large- and medium-scale reforms like those mentioned above offer an array of real alternative political and administrative designs for deepening democracy.
      “As we shall see, many of these ambitious designs are not just workable, but may surpass conventional democratic institutional forms on the quite practical aims of enhancing the responsiveness and effectiveness of the state while at the same time making it more fair, participatory, deliberative, and accountable. These benefits, however, may be offset by costs such as their alleged dependence on fragile political and cultural conditions, tendencies to compound background social and economic inequalities, and weak protection of minority interests.”
      [Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright, “Deepening Democracy: Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance.” Politics & Society. Volume 29, number 1, March 2001. Pages 5-41.]
      “The Real Utopias Project is an attempt at sustaining and deepening serious discussion of radical alternatives to existing institutions. The objective is to focus on specific proposals for the fundamental redesign of basic social institutions rather than on either vague, abstract formulations of grand designs, or on small reforms of existing practices.” [Erik Olin Wright, “Preface: The Real Utopias Project.” Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright with Rebecca Neaera Abers, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Joshua Cohen, Patrick Heller, Bradley C. Karkkainen, Rebecca S. Krantz, Jane Mansbridge, Joel Rogers, Craig W. Thomas, and T.M. Thomas Isaac. Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance—The Real Utopias Project IV. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2003. Pages vii-viii.]
      “… EPG [Empowered Political Governance] presses the values of participation, deliberation, and empowerment to the apparent limits of prudence and feasibility. Taking participatory democracy seriously in this way throws both its vulnerabilities and advantages into sharp relief. We also hope that injecting empirically centered examination into current debates about deliberative democracy will paradoxically expand the imaginative horizons of that discussion at the same time that it injects a bit of realism. Much of that work has been quite conceptually focussed, and so has failed to detail or evaluate institutional designs to advance these values. By contrast, large and medium scale reforms like those mentioned above offer an array of real alternative political and administrative designs for deepening democracy. As we shall see, many of these ambitious designs are not just workable, but may surpass conventional democratic institutional forms on the quite practical aims of enhancing the responsiveness and effectiveness of the state while at the same time making it more fair, participatory, deliberative, and accountable.” [Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright, “Thinking about Empowered Participatory Governance.” Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright with Rebecca Neaera Abers, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Joshua Cohen, Patrick Heller, Bradley C. Karkkainen, Rebecca S. Krantz, Jane Mansbridge, Joel Rogers, Craig W. Thomas, and T.M. Thomas Isaac. Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance—The Real Utopias Project IV. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2003. Pages 3-42.]
      “The chapters of this volume focus upon the institutional designs of Empowered Participatory Governance. Fair, effective, and sustainable deliberation and participation in institutions depend, however, not just on the details of their design but also upon background contexts, and in particular upon the constellation of social forces that maneuver in and around EPG institutions.…
      “By focussing upon similarities across institutional designs, our presentation of EPG may share a fault with other proposals for collaborative and participatory governance. Such schemes are often inattentive to problems of powerlessness and domination, thus seeming to suggest that if only the institutional designs can be constructed just right, then gross imbalances of power in the contexts of these institutions will be neutralized.”
      [Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright, “Countervailing Power in Empowered Participatory Governance” Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright with Rebecca Neaera Abers, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Joshua Cohen, Patrick Heller, Bradley C. Karkkainen, Rebecca S. Krantz, Jane Mansbridge, Joel Rogers, Craig W. Thomas, and T.M. Thomas Isaac. Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance—The Real Utopias Project IV. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2003. Pages 259-289.]
    112. autonomous city (Alexander Vasudevan [Hindī, सिकंदर वासुदेवन, Sikaṃdara Vāsudevana as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; or ʾUrdū, الِیگْزَیْنڈِرَ وَاسُدَےوَنَ, ʾAlīgzaynḍira Vāsudēvana): Utilizing the work of Zach Schwartz-Weinstein, Vasudevan examines “radical autonomous movements in the Global North.” He also formulates an autonomist approach to urban squatting.
      “… the radical history of squatting documented in these pages show, is to reveal the conditions – the counter-archive of practices, sentiments and stories – that point to the potential reorganisation of our cities along more collective, socially just and ecologically sustainable lines. It is these living geographies that hold the promise of the autonomous city.” [Alexander Vasudevan. The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting. London and Brooklyn, New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2017. Page 16.]
      “… many of the organised squatting groups active during this period drew on an action repertoire that was increasingly indebted to the practices adopted by anarchists and autonomists in the UK and elsewhere.” [Alexander Vasudevan. The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting. London and Brooklyn, New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2017. Page 64.]
      “In North and East London, there were … efforts to carve out autonomous spaces that provided, in turn, a context for the development of a range of youth identities and subcultures around casual drug use, punk and electronic music, environmentalism and queer politics. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, there were large squatting communities in Hackney, Haringey and Stoke Newington. Many houses were only briefly squatted, other squats lasted for years. The majority of the houses were owned by the council and, in some cases, their occupiers were successful in securing short-term licences or tenancies. A number of squatted spaces were also set up to host gigs, parties and raves, though there remained a strong autonomist ethos among the squatters as was seen in the kind of militant tactics adopted by a group occupying the Stamford Hill Estate in Hackney. Over 500 police officers were deployed as ‘Orgreve came to Hackney’ in March 1988. The squatters responded by erecting a series of burning barricades. After three days of violent clashes with the police, they were finally evicted.” [Alexander Vasudevan. The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting. London and Brooklyn, New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2017. Page 65.]
      “The scheme called for the demolition of much of the neighbourhood’s built fabric and the imposition of a major transit corridor lined with high-rise housing and offices. The shop became a key meeting place where growing resistance to the plan was organised. A number of different groups were involved, from preservation-minded residents to local business owners to autonomist Marxists.” [Alexander Vasudevan. The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting. London and Brooklyn, New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2017. Page 86.]
      “… [There] was the violent sexual assault of a woman by three other squatters (one man and two women) …. The assault and the rough summary justice that the perpetrators received created a storm of controversy that crystallised the debate about sexism and violence within the autonomist scene across West Germany. The fallout was widely discussed and eventually prompted many women to seek out ‘separatist’ alternatives that provided a base for the articulation of autonomist spaces that were ostensibly free from the spectre of patriarchal violence.” [Alexander Vasudevan. The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting. London and Brooklyn, New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2017. Page 117.]
      “I … examine a range of ‘occupations’ from urban squatting to workplace and university occupations to protest camps, focusing on the production of what I would like to call the ‘autonomous city.’ In so doing I zoom in on the relationship between alternative infrastructures, the constitution of urban commons and a revivified right to the city.…
      “Perhaps the most important point of reference for labour activism and radical autonomous movements in the Global North over the past few decades remains, however, Italian autonomism and the broader autonomous Marxist tradition which it came to inspire ….
      “As ‘emerging spaces of protest, radical pedagogy and collective creativity,’ university occupations should be seen as part of a broader practice of commoning …. This is the thrust of the argument in a recent essay by [Zach] Schwartz-Weinstein …, who shows how student movements in recent years have seized on, adopted and reworked a rich radical tradition rooted in autonomist and post-workerist thinking, one which focuses on the ‘common’ or the ‘commons’ as the very spaces, materials and practices that possess or have acquired a certain autonomy from capital and/or the state ….”
      [Alexander Vasudevan, “The autonomous city: Towards a critical geography of occupation.” Progress in Human Geography. Volume 39, number 3, 2015. Pages 316-337.]
      “Both commons and commune have been important theoretical frames for the occupation movement in the last half-decade. They are not synonymous terms, and emerge from linked but competing political and theoretical tendencies in the Euro-American ultraleft. ‘Commons’ emerges from an autonomist Marxist and postworkerist tradition affiliated with the Italian struggles of the 1960s and 1970s; Antonio Negri and his colleague Michael Hardt are perhaps the most famous theorists to Anglophone readers, along with the Midnight Notes collective and its affiliates: Peter Linebaugh, Marcus Rediker, George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, and others. ‘Commons’ refers to spaces and things that are controlled neither by capital nor the state, but rather shared, available to and for all. This concept enters the political language of the Occupy movement as something to be defended, or, in more advanced versions such as those articulated by Gigi Roggero and the Edu-factory Collective, to be produced—water as commons, city as commons, and indeed education as commons, or as something that has never been a commons but perhaps should and could be made one through struggle.”
      [Zach Schwartz-Weinstein, “Not Your Academy: Occupation and the Futures of Student Struggles.” Is This What Democracy Looks Like? 2012. Creative Commons. Retrieved on March 7th, 2017.]
    113. autonomist critique of Laclau and Mouffe (Heidi R. Johnson): She argues that autonomism is preferable to the theory developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (addressed in a subsequent chapter of this book).
      “As classical Marxist theorists, [Ernesto] Laclau and [Chantal] Mouffe propose a theory of radical democracy that relies upon a model for society in which social movements themselves engage in a contest, or in antagonisms, with each other. These antagonisms result in some social movements negating parts of the identities of other social movements. In contrast to this, autonomist theories allow for individuals to maintain their separate, unique identities. These separate individuals, though, can work towards the same goal of defying the logic of capitalism through adopting alternative lifestyles and practices.…
      “For Laclau and Mouffe, both conflict and division are markers of a pluralist democracy. I argue that conflict, insofar as it involves negation, is unnecessary and avoidable. Differences can be maintained without conflict, and autonomist theories recognize this. The consequences of conflict and negation would be similar to the consequences of the competion that is present in capitalist societies. Social movements that have more of an advantage or more privilege when compared to other movements would be more likely to achieve hegemony. Autonomist theories seek to protect singular identities rather than proposing their negation.…
      “Laclau and Mouffe’s theory involves exclusion, negation, and representation that precludes self-advocacy to an extent, and thus should not serve as the model for society. It also does not do what it purports to do—maintain an open social field. Autonomism, on the other hand, maintains singular identities while allowing for an open social field. Autonomism is thus preferable to Laclau and Mouffe’s theory.”
      [Heidi R. Johnson. Transformation Without Negation: An Autonomist Critique of Laclau and Mouffe. M.A. thesis. University of Illinois. Springfield, Missouri. Fall, 2011. Pages 1-3.]
    114. autonomous micro–politics (Michael Rustin): He proposes an autonomist approach to plurality in a British “democratic culture.”
      “… [An] autonomous micro-politics could develop, as part of the general cultural shift to smaller-scale institutions that is discussed below. A party of the left, in some combined shade of Green and Red, would then have the opportunity to campaign openly for support, and to seek to reshape the political agenda. This would be an improvement on the various tactics of entryism to which the Left has felt obliged to resort by the preponderant power of the [British] Labour Party under a plurality system.…
      “The concepts of decentralization and ‘autonomism’ are also consistent with a heightened priority to the idea of a democratic culture, as the basis for programmes in popular education, for diversified media, and for self-expression through the arts, physical recreation, and environmental improvement and access. An advantage of such ‘goods’ is that they are inherently social in nature: even cultural competition depends on a moral community’s recognition and participation.”
      [Michael Rustin, “Restructuring the State.” New Left Review. Series I, number 158, July–August 1986. Pages 43-58.]
    115. Guattari–Deleuze Effect (Gilles Deleuze as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Félix Guattari as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Deleuze (1925–1995) and Guattari (1930–1992) developed a distinctive and nuanced poststructuralist approach to autonomism (“post–autonomism”). The term used for this listing, Guattari–Deleuze Effect, is take from Éric Alliez (MP3 audio file).
      “The Guattari–Deleuze Effect then, so as to compress into a single syntagm the efficacy of the Guattari Effect in and by [Gilles] Deleuze. Because by celebrating a militant exit from philosophy in [Félix] Guattari’s name alone, this discourse would inevitably miss something that is of a quite different nature and which should in fact found it, from the point of view of a first Guattari Effect of/within the Deleuzo–Guattarian adventure. The effect obliges us to come back to it, not so as to conclude, but to start again. It is, in effect, a matter of a critique and clinic of philosophical discourse undertaken as a theoretical practice of transversalization – ‘on the absolute horizon of all creative processes’ where political experimentation as such originates, from a Guattarian perspective that gives it a radical new meaning.” [Éric Alliez, “Conclusion: The Guattari–Deleuze Effect.” The Guattari Effect. Éric Alliez and Andrew Goffey, editors. London and New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 2011. Pages 260-274.]
      “The initial catalyst for this collection of explorations of the Guattari Effect was a conference of the same name held at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University in London in April 2008. Over two days, a series of participants sought to verify the ramifications of this effect across a number of domains, in its constitutive relationship with concepts and non-concepts, its critical and clinical resonances, its ampliative operations within the social and the political and its ethicoaesthetic dimensions. In an exploration of both [Félix] Guattari’s written oeuvre and of the social, artistic and analytic practices that he innervated – from Oceanic anthropology and contemporary art to institutional therapy and autonomist political praxis – the conference mapped out some of the connections of this effect with the highly uncommon theoretico-practical notion of the collective assemblage of enunciation.” [Éric Alliez and Andrew Goffey, “Introduction.” The Guattari Effect. Éric Alliez and Andrew Goffey, editors. London and New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 2011. Pages 1-14.]
      “[Félix] Guattari’s affirmation of aesthetic creation as the contemporary paradigm of political resistance draws on the Italian autonomia movement’s struggle for autonomous production, but his interest in art and artists clearly departs from autonomia’s emphasis on the worker and work as the subject and site of revolutionary practice. So, while Guattari follows autonomia’s claim that capitalism subsumes all productive processes, he maintains that some ‘psychotic’ and ‘unconscious’ aspects of these production processes ‘involve a dimension of autonomy of an aesthetic order.’ For Guattari, autonomous aesthetic production is an art-work, a process in which a sensation produces new forms of life ‘before’ being semiotized and subsumed by capitalism. As such, the art-work is a ‘refusal of work’ in the autonomist sense inasmuch as it resists being instrumentalized and exploited by art’s institutions, but this is not a refusal of art per se, and in fact Guattari’s affirmation of the autonomy of aesthetic production offers an alternative to the usual autonomist strategies of refusal and sabotage.” [Stephen Zepke, “From Aesthetic Autonomy to Autonomist Aesthetics: Art and Life in Guattari.” The Guattari Effect. Éric Alliez and Andrew Goffey, editors. London and New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 2011. Pages 205-219.]
      “Generally, one can say that contemporary history is increasingly dominated by rising demands for subjective singularity — quarrels over language, autonomist demands, issues of nationalism and of the nation, which, in total ambiguity, express on the one hand an aspiration for national liberation, but also manifest themselves in what I would call conservative reterritoriallsations of subjectivity. A certain universal representation of subjectivity, incarnated by capitalist colonialism in both East and West, has gone bankrupt — although it’s not yet possible to fully measure the scale of such a failure.” [Félix Guattari. Chaosmosis: an ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis, translator. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. 1995. Page 3.]
      “The Unconscious presented as a universe of noncontradiction, of the heterogenesis of opposites, envelops the manifest Territories of the symptom, whose tendency towards autonomisation, autopoietic, pathic and pathogenic repetition threatens the unity of the self. And this will reveal itself moreover during the history of the analytical clinic to be increasingly precarious, indeed fractalised. Freudian cartography is not only descriptive; it is inseparable from the pragmatics of transference and interpretation. In any event, I would argue that it should be disengaged from a significational perspective and understood as a conversion of expressive means and as a mutation of ontological textures releasing new lines of the possible — and this from the simple fact of putting into place new assemblages of listening and modelisation. The dream, as an object of renewed interest, recounted as a story concealing keys to the Unconscious, put through the screen of free association, undergoes a profound mutation. Just as after the revolution of the Ars Nova in Fourteenth Century Italy music will no longer be heard in the same way within the European cultural atmosphere, so too the nature of the dream and oneiric activity will intrinsically change within their new referential assemblage. And, at the same time, a multitude of psychopathological refrains will no longer be lived, and consequently modelised, in the same way. And the obsessive who washes his hands a hundred times a day exacerbates his solitary anguish within the context of a profoundly modified Universe of reference.” [Félix Guattari. Chaosmosis: an ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis, translator. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. 1995. Pages 62-63.]
      “In Western Europe, a new figure of subjectivity arose from the ruins of the late Roman and Carolingian empires. It can be characterized by a double articulation combining two aspects: first, the relatively autonomous base territorial entities of ethnic, national or religious character, which originally constituted the texture of feudal segmentarity, but have survived in other forms up to the present day; and second, the dcterritorializcd subjective power entity transmitted by the Catholic Church and structured as a collective setup on a European scale.
      “Unlike earlier formulas for imperial power, Christianity’s central figure of power did not assert a direct, totalitarian-totalizing hold over the base territories of society and of subjectivity. Long before Islam, Christianity had to renounce its desire to form an organic unity. However, far from weakening processes for the integration of subjectivity, the disappearance of a flesh-and-blood Caesar and the promotion of a deterritorialized Christ (who cannot be said to be a substitute for the former) only reinforced them. It seems to me that the conjunction between the partial autonomy of the political and economic spheres proper to feudal segmentarity and the hyperfusional character of Christian subjectivity (as seen in the Crusades and the adoption of aristocratic codes such as the Peace of God, as described by Georges Duby) has resulted in a kind of fault line, a metastable equilibrium favoring the proliferation of other equally partial processes of autonomy. This can be seen in the schismatic vitality of religious sensibility and reflection that characterized the medieval period; and of course in the explosion of aesthetic creativity, which has continued unabated since then; the first great ‘takeoff’ of technologies and commercial exchange, which is known to historians as the ‘industrial revolution of the eleventh century,’ and was a correlate of the appearance of new figures of urban organization.”
      [Pierre-Félix Guattari, “Regimes, Pathways, Subjects.” Brian Massumi, translator. The Guattari Reader. Gary Genosko, editor. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc. 1996. Pages 95-108.]
      “First, when the communist movement deigns at last to pay attention to the problems of the unconscious, of sexuality, when a great reconciliation is at hand, are we going to spoil the whole deal? Second, the recovery by the Right. On the first point, it’s precisely my belief that all the consequences must be drawn from the fact that the communist movement, the socialist movement, the leftist movements, etc., have never unreservedly accepted to consider the desiring economy in its relation to the work of revolutionaries. Let it suffice to mention the famous conversation between [Vladimir] Lenin and Clara Zetkin!
      “A certain degree of tolerance undoubtedly exists today between the labor movement and psychoanalysis. There are two ways of looking at it: on the one hand, there are the resistances manifested by the revolutionary movement, the labor movement, and on the other there is the psychoanalytical movement proper. It is quite obvious that the labor movement and the revolutionary movement participate in the repression of desire; therefore they are not very willing to face questions which could eventually break their internal bureaucratic equilibrium. In this sense your question is justified. It should, however, be added immediately that the psychoanalytic movement has contriblltcd a good deal to these resistances; indeed, it has consistently promoted them. The psychoanalytical movement has organized itself on the basis of a complete split between social formations and unconscious ones; it has set up a radical separation between what happens in political and social struggles and what takes place in ‘private life’ with the couple, the child, etc. Psychoanalysts have discarded social issues and politicians have considered that desiring economy did not concern them. The two groups finally appear to be acting in complicity. Such a reconciliation between Marxism and Freudianism is inseparable from their respective entry into the University. The preliminary step was the emasculation of Marxism. It was thus necessary, on the one hand, that Freudianism shift once and for all from its origins to an ideology of the Oedipus, of the signifier, and that Marxism, on the other hand, reduce itself to an exercise in textual practice so that the welding of the two could be worked out As for the text, nothing is left of it but a powerless residue cut off from any revolutionary opening.”
      [Félix Guattari, “Psycho-Analysis and Schizo-Analysis: An Interview with Félix Guattari.” Arno Münster, interviewer. Semiotext(e): The Journal of a Group Analyzing the Power Mechanisms which Produce and Maintain the Present Divisions of Knowledge. Volume II, number 3, 1977. Pages 77-85.]
      “To know oneself, to learn to think, to act as if nothing were self-evident—wondering, ‘wondering that there is being’—these, and many other determinations of philosophy create interesting attitudes, however tiresome they may be in the long run, but even from a pedagogical point of view they do not constitute a well-defined occupation or precise activity. On the other hand, the following definition of philosophy can be taken as being decisive: knowledge through pure concepts. But there is no reason to oppose knowledge through concepts and the construction of concepts within possible experience on the one hand and through intuition on the other. For, according to the Nietzschean verdict, you will know nothing through concepts unless you have first created them-that is, constructed them in an intuition specific to them: a field, a plane, and a ground that must not be confused with them but that shelters their seeds and the personae who cultivate them. Constructivism requires every creation to be a construction on a plane that gives it an autonomous existence. To create concepts is, at the very least, to make something. This alters the question of philosophy’s use or usefulness, or even of its harmfulness (to whom is it harmful?).” [Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. What Is Philosophy? Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell, translators. New York: Columbia University Press. 1994. Page 7.]
      Reign of affirmation in the will to power. Only affirmation subsists as an independent power; the negative shoots out from it like lightning, but also becomes absorbed into it, disappearing into it like a soluble fire. In the man who wants to perish the negative announces the superhuman, but only affirmation produces what the negative announces. There is no other power but affirmation, no other quality, no other element: the whole of negation is converted in its substance, transmuted in its quality, nothing remains of its own power or autonomy. This is the conversion of heavy into light, of low into high, of pain into joy. This trinity of dance, play and laughter creates the transubstantiation of nothingness, the transmutation of the negative and the transvaluation or change of power of negation.” [Gilles Deleuze. Nietzsche and Philosophy. Hugh Tomlinson, translator. London and New York: Continuum. 1983. Page 176.]
      “It is not that the ambulant sciences are more saturated with irrational procedures, with mystery and magic. They only get that way when they fall into abeyance. And the royal sciences, for their part, also surround themselves with much priestliness and magic. Rather, what becomes apparent in the rivalry between the two models is that the ambulant or nomad sciences do not destine science to take on an autonomous power, or even to have an autonomous development. They do not have the means for that because they subordinate all their operations to the sensible conditions of intuition and construction—following the flow of matter, drawing and linking up smooth space. Everything is situated in an objective zone of fluctuation that is coextensive with reality itself.” [Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Nomadology: The War Machine. Brian Massumi, translator. Seattle, Washington: Wormwood Distribution. 2010. Page 33.]
      “Being ashamed for the body implies a very particular conception of the body. According to this conception, the body has autonomous external reactions. The body is an animal. What the body does it does alone. Lawrence makes [Baruch] Spinoza’s formula his own: we do not know what a body can do! In the midst of his tortures, an erection; even in the state of sludge, there are convulsions that jolt the body, like the reflexes that still animate a dead frog. And there are the gestures of the dying, that attempt at raising their hands that makes all the agonizing Turks ripple together, as if they had practiced the same theatrical gesture, provoking [D. H.] Lawrence’s mad laughter.” [Gilles Deleuze. Essays: Critical and Clinical. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco, translators. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1997. Page 123.]
      “The autonomy of the effect is … defined initially by its difference in nature from the cause; in the second place, it is defined by its relation to the quasi-cause. These two aspects, however, give sense very different and even apparently opposed characteristics. For, insofar as it affirms its difference in nature from corporeal causes, states of affairs, qualities, ami physical mixtures, sense as an effect or event is characterized by a striking impassibility (impenetrability, sterility, or inefficacy, which is neither active nor passive). This impassibility marks not only the difference between sense and the demited states of affairs, but also the difference from the propositions which express it. Viewed from this angle, it appears as a neutrality (a mene double extracted from the proposition, or a suspension of the modalities of the proposition). On the contrary, as soon as sense is grasped, in its relation to the quasi-cause which produces amd distributes it at the surface, it inherits, participates in, and even envelops and possesses the force of this ideational cause. We have seen that this cause is nothing outside of its effect, that it haunts this effect, and that it maintains with the effect an immanent relation which turns the product, the moment that it is produced, into something productive. There is no reason to repeat that sense is essentially produced.” [Gilles Deleuze. The Logic of Sense. Mark Lester with Charles Stivale, translators. Constantin V. Boundas, editor. London: The Athlone Press. 1990. Pages 95.]
      “[Pier Paolo] Pasolini says: the director ‘has replaced wholesale the neurotic’s vision of the world by his own delirious vision of aestheticism.’ It is in fact a good thing that the character should be neurotic, to indicate more effectively the difficult birth of a subject into the world. But the camera does not simply give us the vision of the character and of his world; it imposes another vision in which the first is transformed and reflected. This subdivision is what Pasolini calls a ‘free indirect subjective.’ We will not say that the cinema is always like this – we can see images in the cinema which claim to be objective or subjective – but here something else is at stake: it is a case of going beyond the subjective and the objective towards a pure Form which sets itself up as an autonomous vision of the content.” [Gilles Deleuze. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, translators. Minnepolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1986. Page 74.]
      “It is true that our extensive parts and our external affections, insofar as they realize one of our relations, pertain to our essence. But they do not ‘constitute’ this relation or that essence. Moreover, there are two ways of pertaining to essence. ‘Affection of essence’ is to be understood first in a purely objective way: the affection does not depend on our essence but on external causes acting in existence. Now, these affections sometimes inhibit or jeopardize the realization of our relations (sadness as a diminution of the power of acting), and sometimes strengthen or augment it (joy as an increase). And it is only in the latter case that the external or ‘passive’ affection is compounded by an active affection which depends strictly on our power of acting and is internal to, constitutive of, our essence: an active joy, a self-affection of essence, such that the genitive now becomes autonomous and causal. In this way, pertaining to essence takes on a new meaning that excludes evil and badness. Not that we are thus reduced to our own essence; on the contrary, these internal, immunal affections are the forms by means of which we become conscious of ourselves, of other things, and of God, from within and eternally, essentially (the third kind of knowledge, intuition). Now, the more we attain to these self-affections during our existence, the less we lose in losing existence. in dying or even in suffering, and the better we will be able to say in fact that evil was nothing, or that nothing bad, or almost nothing, pertained to essence.” [Gilles Deleuze. Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. Robert Hurley, translator. San Francisco, California: City Lights Books. 1988. Pages 42-43.]
      “There was the ‘autonomist’ movement in Italy. Today, there is the collective vision of the threat of war facing Europe, of nuclear devastation. And then there is Poland—and we pass on to other things. But it’s all going to come back. All these flashes don’t mean that there is a total incoherence in this subjectivity, but simply that an effort is being made to perceive something which is not yet registered, inscribed, identified. I believe that the forces which in Europe now rally around the peace movement are the same which, in other phases, will rally around the ecological movement, around regionalist movements, around X number of components of what I call the molecular revolution. What I mean by that expression is not a cult of spontaneity or whatever, only the effort to not miss anything that could help rebuild a new kind of struggle, a new kind of society.” [Félix Guattari. Soft Subversions: Texts and Interviews, 1977-1985. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2009. Pages 117.]
      “The persistence is really a repetition, the expression of a death instinct. By seeing it merely as a continuity, we miss the question implied in it. It seems natural to prolong the resolution of the oedipus complex into a ‘successful’ integration into society. But surely it would be more to the point to see that the way anxiety persists must be linked with the dependence of the individual on the collectivity described by [Sigmund] Freud. The fact is that, barring some total change in the social order, the castration complex can never be satisfactorily resolved, since contemporary sociery persists in giving it an unconscious function of social regulation. There becomes a more and more pronounced incompatibility between the function of the father, as the basis of a possible solution for the individual of the problems of identificarion inherent in the structure of the conjugal family, and the demands of indusrial societiesi, in which an inregrating model of the father/king/god pattern tends to lose any effectiveness outside the sphere of mystification. This is especially evident in phases of social regression, as for instance when fascist, dictatorial resimes or regimes of personal, presidential power give rise to imaginary phenomena of collective pseudo-phallicization that end in a ridiculous totemizarion by popular vote of a leader: the leader atually remains essentially without any real control over the signifying machine of the economic system, which still continues to reinforce the power and autonomy of its functioning.” [Félix Guattari. Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics. Rosemary Sheed, translator. New York: Penguin Classics imprint of Penguin Publishing Group. 1984. Page 13.]
      “… [The] geography of relations is particularly important to the extent that philosophy, the history of philosophy, is encumbered with the problem of being, IS. They discuss the judgement of attribution (the sky is blue) and the judgement of existence (God is), which presupposes the other. But it is always the verb to be and the question of the principle. It is only the English and the Americans who have freed conjunctions and reflected on relations. This is because they have a very special attitude to logic. They do not conceive it as an ordinary form containing in itself the first principles. They tell us, on the other hand, that you will either be foreqd to abandon logic, or else you will be led to invent one! Logic is just like the main road, it is not at the beginning, neither does it have an end, one cannot stop. Precisely speaking, it is not enough to create a logic of relations, to recognize the rights of the judgement of relation as an autonomous sphere, distinct from judgements of existence and attribution.” [Gilles Deleuze in Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet. Dialogues. New York: Columbia University Press. 1987. Pages 56-57.]
      “… we cannot be content with saying that analogical language proceeds by resemblance, whereas the digital operates through code, convention, and combinations of conventional units. For one can do at least three things with a code. One can make an intrinsic combination of abstract elements. One can also make a combination which will yield a ‘message’ or a ‘narrative,’ that is, which will have an isomorphic relation to a referential set. Finally, one can code the extrinsic elements in such a way that they would be reproduced in an autonomous manner by the intrinsic elements of the code (in portraits produced by a computer, for instance, and in every instance where one could speak of ‘making a shorthand of figuration’).” [Gilles Deleuze. Francis Bacon: the logic of sensation. Daniel W. Smith, translator. London and New York: Continuum. 2003. Page 114.]
      “… the assertion of an identity of being amounts to something more than a mere identity of connection; so that it appears likely that connection already involves something more than order. And indeed, identity of connection means not only the autonomy of corresponding series, but an isonomy, that is, an equality of principle between autonomous or independent series. Consider two corresponding series, but with unequal principles, that of one being in some way eminent in relation to that of the other: between a solid and its proj ection, a line and an asymptote, there is indeed an identity of order or correspondence, but not, strictly speaking, an ‘identity of connection.’ The points of a curve are not linked together (concatenantur) in the same way as those of a straight line. In such cases one can speak of parallelism only in a very vague sense. ‘Parallels,’ in the strict sense, require an equality of principle between the two corresponding series of points.” [Gilles Deleuze. Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza. Martin Joughin, translator. New York: Zone Books imprint of Urzone, Inc. 2005. Pages 107-108.]
      “[Félix] Deleuze and [Gilles] Guattari would accept the contours of [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels’ free association, but not the strategy of a workers’ party or the state, both of which they entirely reject as a political strategy. Instead, they are much closer to the tradition of classical anarchism, with its insistence on a social revolution rather than a political one. In a social revolution, a workers’ party does not seize the state. Instead, ordinary people directly take up the project of governing themselves, bypassing both parties and the state …. Modern analogues to this more anarchist-inspired line of thinking are the tradition of Italian autonomism associated most closely with Antonio Negri …, a friend and colleague of Deleuze and Guattari, and the work of Henri Lefebvre …, especially his politics of autogestion, or self-management. In line with these traditions, Deleuze and Guattari seek to strip away the apparatuses of capture, especially that of the state, and return desiring-production to its rightful and original autonomy.” [Mark Purcell, “A new land: Deleuze and Guattari and planning.” Planning Theory & Practice. Volume 14, number 1, 2013. Pages 20-38.]
      “[Félix] Deleuze and [Gilles] Guattari have … both supported larger radical political movements, such as the grassroots Italian Autonomist Movement of the 1970s and 1980s, and Deleuzian concepts seem to have been particularly applicable, especially the ‘body without organs’ …. Guattari … helped develop the anarchistic Free Radio Movement in France, and also embarked on an extensive tour of Brazil, talking with militants and activists organizing the Workers’ Party in their struggle to come to power: the aim was to build a popular movement based on an alliance of various cultural, political and sexual minorities.…
      “… bureaucratic and more autonomous activities have to be combined, but they can never be fully integrated, and actors can take advantage of this structural looseness to manage their own activity to a considerable extent. Areas of teaching in preschools and personal research at postgraduate level also feature degrees of licensed autonomy, as a part of their necessary operations, where the educational system expects people to be creative.”
      [David Ernest Harris, “Applying Theory to Practice: Putting Deleuze to Work.” Rise: International Journal of Sociology of Education. Volume 2, number 2, June 2013. Pages 142-166.]
      1. Oedipal triangulation: Deleuze and Guattari develop an “Oedipal” critique of capitalism.
        “As [Karl] Marx observes, in the beginning capitalists are necessarily conscious of the opposition between capital and labor, and of the use of capital as a means of extorting surplus labor. But a perverted, bewitched world quickly comes into being, as capital increasingly plays the role of a recording surface that falls back on (se rabat sur) all of production.” [Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1983. Page 11.]
        “From the very beginning Oedipus exists in one form and one form only: open in all directions to a social field, to a field of production directly invested by libido. It would seem obvious that parents indeed make their appearance on the recording surface of desiring-production. But this is in fact the crux of the entire Oedipal problem: What are the precise forces that cause the Oedipal triangulation to close up? Under what conditions does this triangulation divert desire so that it flows across a surface within a narrow channel that is not a natural conformation of this surface? How does it form a type of inscription for experiences and the workings of mechanisms that extend far beyond it in every direction? It is in this sense and this sense only that the child relates the breast as a partial object to the person of his mother, and constantly watches the expression on his mother’s face.” [Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1983. Pages 47-48.]
        “What is this combined sort of schizo-incest? It is opposed in numerous ways to a neurotic Oedipal incest. The Oedipal incest occurs, or imagines that it occurs, or is interpreted as if it occurs, as an incest with the mother, who is a territoriality, a reterritorialization. Schizo-incest takes place with the sister, who is not a substitute for the mother, but who is on the other side of the class struggle, the side of maids and whores, the incest of deterritorialization. Oedipal incest corresponds to the paranoiac transcendental law that prohibits it, and it works to transgress this law, directly if it can bear to do so, symbolically for want of anything better: demented father (Kronos, the most honest of fathers, as [Franz] Kafka said); abusive mother; neurotic son — before becoming paranoiac in turn and before everything starts up again in the familial-conjugal triangle — since in fact such transgression is nothing but a simple means of reproduction. Schizo-incest corresponds, in contrast, to the immanent schizo-law and forms a line of escape instead of a circular reproduction, a progression instead of a transgression (problems with the sister are certainly better than problems with the mother as schizophrenics well know). Oedipal incest is connected to photos, to portraits, to childhood memories, a false childhood that never existed but that catches desire in the trap of representation, cuts it off from all connections, fixes it onto the mother to render it all the more puerile or spoiled, in order to have it support all the other, stronger interdictions and to prevent it from identifying itself as part of the social and political field. Schizo-incest, in contrast, is connected to sound, to the manner in which sound takes flight and in which memory-less childhood blocks introduce themselves in full vitality into the present to activate it, to precipitate it, to multiply its connections. Schizo-incest with a maximum of connection, a polyvocal extension, that uses as an intermediary maids and whores and the place that they occupy in the social series — in opposition to neurotic incest, defined by its suppression of connection, its single signifier, its holding of everything within the limits of the family, its neutralization of any sort of social or political field.” [Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. Dana Polan, translator. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1986. Page 67.]
      2. sign systems: Informed by the work of French novelist Marcel Proust as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, Deleuze expores an approach to deciphering these systems.
        “Learning is essentially concerned with signs. Signs are the object of a temporal apprenticeship, not of an abstract knowledge. To learn is first of all to consider a substance. an object, a being as if it emitted signs to be deciphered, interpreted. There is no apprentice who is not ‘the Egyptologist’ of something. One becomes a carpenter only by becoming sensitive to the signs of wood, a physician by becoming sensitive to the signs of disease. Vocation is always predestination with regard to signs. Everything that teaches us something emits signs; every act of learning is an interpretation of signs or hieroglyphs. [Marcel] Proust’s work is based not on the exposition of memory, but on the apprenticeship to signs.…
        “… The worlds are unified by their formation of sign systems emitted by persons, objects, substances; we discover no truth, we learn nothing except by deciphering and interpreting. But the plurality of worlds is such that these signs are not of the same kind, do not have the same way of appearing, do not allow themselves to be deciphered in the same manner, do not have an identical relation with their meaning. The hypothesis that the signs form both the unity and the plurality of the search must be verified by considering the worlds in which the hero participates directly.”
        [Gilles Deleuze. Proust and Signs: The Complete Text. Richard Howard, translator. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 2000. Pages 4-5.]
      3. the rhizome: Deleuze and Guattari define this term as the subtraction of uniqueness from multiplicity.
        “Subtract the unique from the multiplicity to be constituted; write at n - 1 dimensions. A system of this kind could be called a rhizome. A rhizome as subterranean stem is absolutely different from roots and radicles. Bulbs and tubers are rhizomes. Plants with roots or radicles may be rhizomorphic in other respects altogether: the question is whether plant life in its specificity is not entirely rhizomatic. Even some animals are, in their pack form. Rats are rhizomes. Burrows are too, in all of their functions of shelter, supply, movement, evasion, and breakout. The rhizome itself assumes very diverse forms, from ramified surface extension in all directions to concretion into bulbs and tubers. When rats swarm over each other. The rhizome includes the best and the worst: potato and couchgrass, or the weed. Animal and plant, couchgrass is crabgrass. We get the distinct feeling that we will convince no one unless we enumerate certain approximate characteristics of the rhizome.” [Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 2005. Pages 6-7.]
        “The codename for this [‘strongest’] programme [‘transdisciplinarity in its most critical relation to philosophy’] is ‘rhizome.’ But this does not forbid – rather it calls for – the development of the philosophical foundation in science and the (badly named) human sciences, to which the programme of transdisciplinary research arising from structuralism is attached. ‘No longer to relate one’s activity to oneself as an agent,’ [Gilles] Deleuze thus stated in 1956, so as to submit oneself to a foundation that will present itself as a third – the ‘third foundation’, like the French ‘Third Estate.’ Deleuze explains that ‘the foundation is the third because it is neither the pretender, nor what it pretends to, but the instance that makes what is pretended docile enough for the pretender.’” [Éric Alliez, “Rhizome: (With no return).” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 167, May/June 2011. Pages 36-42.]
        “… the main question for ISIL [Islamic State in the Levant] will be how to organize their administration in the long run—in the ‘tree’ or the ‘rhizome’ way. The answer cannot lie in using totalitarian control—the sheer size of conquered territory alone makes delegation a necessity in and of itself. In other words, ISIL has to be able to assure its non-ideological employees and allies of its purpose and place in the Middle East ….” [Tuomas Kuronen and Aki-Mauri Huhtinen, “Organizing Conflict: The Rhizome of Jihad.” Journal of Management Inquiry. Volume 26, number 1, January 2017. Pages 47-61.]
        “[Gilles] Deleuze and [Félix] Guattari are principally interested in lines of flight and moments of deterritorialisation that escape the binary coding of the State apparatus. Deleuze and Guattari think becomings, multiplicities, and proliferation as a form of counter-praxis to binary oppositions. They are interested in what escapes from social cleavages. Instead of East-West they look for the ruptures and breakthroughs that are occurring elsewhere. Thinking otherwise than molarity (the molar), they seek to disclose rebellions in the North and the South.
        “Molecularity is discerned as a potential site of creativity and refusal. Normal identities, binary-molar apparatuses (male/female, culture/nature) are contrasted with provisional identities of becoming. The rhizome is an image of thought which attempts to account for thought’s trajectory and speed. It is contrasted to the traditional image of Occidental thought, the tree and the root. The rhizome is different from roots and radicles [part of a seedling]. Rats which swarm over each other are invoked as an instance of a rhizome. Rhizome contains both lines of segmentarity (recuperation) and lines of deterritorialisation (escape). Rhizomes are compared with arborescent structures. The rhizome contains elements which resist the sedentary structures of hierarchy and centralised organs.”
        [Joff. The Possibility of an Anti-Humanist Anarchism. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2000. Page 7.]
        “Cells of artists willing to work in coalitions of activists: this is good. But artists distributing their capacities more widely, by joining activist cells already on the ground: this is even better. The gift that only artists can give is to transversally disperse their desires and capacities — which the consolidated and specialized identity of ‘artist’ wants to contain and professionalize — and to playfully re-combine them with new elements, in new ensembles and models of militant practice. The rhizomes are there, in which to spread oneself out among several groups at once, as a [Félix] Guattari-style free radical and ‘agent of enunciation.’ In theory, this wouldn’t preclude, as part of a pragmatic survival strategy, artists working simultaneously as artists, in or out of artist cells, and even maintaining positions in the academy or institutions. But in practice one would need to remain vigilant and realistic about the processes of recuperation, and to remember that no one can do all things well, and especially not at the same time.” [Gene Ray. Art Schools Burning & Other Songs of Love and War. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2011. Page 25.]
        “… instead of … [an] authoritarian model of thought, [Gilles] Deleuze proposes a rhizomatic model which eschews essences, unities and binary logic, and seeks out multiplicities, pluralities and becomings. The rhizome is an alternate, non-authoritarian ‘image’ of thought, based on the metaphor of grass, which grows haphazardly and imperceptibly, as opposed to the orderly growth of the aborescent tree system. The purpose of the rhizome is to allow thought ‘to shake off its model, make its grass grow — even locally at the margins’ …. The rhizome, in this sense, defies the very idea of a model: it is an endless, haphazard multiplicity of connections, which is not dominated by a single centre or place, but is decentralised and plural. It embraces four characteristics: connection, heterogeneity, multiplicity, and rupture …. It rejects binary divisions and hierarchies, and is not governed by an unfolding, dialectical logic. It thus interrogates the abstractions that govern thought, which form the basis of various discourses of knowledge and rationality. In other words, rhizomatic thought is thought which defies Power, refusing to be limited by it — rhizomatics ‘would not leave it to anyone, to any Power, to “pose” questions or to “set” problems’ ….” [Saul Newman. War on the State: Stirner and Deleuze’s Anarchism. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2009. Page 7.]
        “There is an inherent complexity in any social group. Not only must we remember the individuals who make up the group, we must also remember the relationships between them — and while the number of individuals increases arithmetically, the number of relationships grows exponentially. If we have 99 people, and add 1 more, we’ve only added one individual, but 99 new relationships. It seems that it was precisely that complexity that drove the growth of the primate brain. If that is true, then the seperation from Australopithecine to Homo was likely driven by a social evolution. This is the same time we start to see the first stone tools, and possibly the first evidence for hunting, rather than scavenging. Hierarchical troops make social groups less complex, by fitting all members into a strict hierarchy — chimpanzees can get by simply remembering the individuals and their rank. Rhizomatic societies — that is, egalitarian societies — have an exponential number of relationships, as each individual relates to every other individual in new and different ways. As humans became hunter-gatherers, the simple hierarchical model that served so many other primates ceased to suffice. We needed to become egalitarian to survive, and in order to do that, we needed bigger brains relative to our bodies.” [Jason Godesky. Thirty Theses. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2006. Page 38.]
      4. chaosmic spasm: Guattari talks about the transformation of these spasms into “riches and unforeseen pleasures.”
        “Psychoanalysis, institutional analysis, film, literature, poetry, innovative pedagogies, town planning and architecture — all the disciplines will have to combine their creativity to ward off the ordeals of barbarism, the mental implosion and chaosmic spasms looming on the horizon, and transform them into riches and unforeseen pleasures, the promises of which, for all that, are all too tangible.” [Félix Guattari. Chaosmosis: an ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis, translator. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. 1995. Page 135.]
        “… the chaosmic spasm describes the transitional moment where nonsensical chaos folds over into meaningful complexity that can be effectively integrated into a new mode of schizoid human subjectivity that is sensitive to endless change and uncertainty. For [Félix] Guattari …, this mode of subjectivity-endlessly-in-the-making, which he calls subjectivization, is the only way to live with the kind of complexity that global capitalism or, in his words, integrated world capitalism has thrown humanity into.… It is this cold, unliveable, technocapitalist world that Guattari wants to over-turn through the chaosmic spasm, which indicates the apocalyptic collapse of human significance in a blizzard of empty communication and the possibility of a new way of making meaning that is able to express humanity’s place in the world, where the world is built upon an understanding of ecological being on the earth.” [Mark Featherstone, “Chaosmic Spasm: Guattari, Stiegler, Berardi, and the Digital Apocalypse.” CM : Communication and Media. Volume 11, number 38, 2016. Pages 243-268.]
      5. difference and repetition: Deleuze critically examines these concepts, including a focus on “eternal return.”
        “As the movement of life shows, difference and repetiition tend to become interiorised in signal-sign systems both at once. Biologists are right when, in posing the problem of heredity, they avoid allocating distinct functions, such as variation and and reproduction, to these systems, but rather seek to show the underlying unity or reciprocal conditioning of these functions. At this point, the theories of heredity necessarily open on to a philosopphy of nature. It is as if repetition were never the repetition of the ‘same’ but always of the Different as such, and the object of difference in itself were repetition. At the moment when they are explicated in a system (once and for all) the differential, intensive or individuating factors testify to their persistence in implication, and to eternal return as the truth of that implication. Mute witnesses to degradation and death, the centres of envelopment are also the dark precursors of the eternal return. Here again, it is the mute witnesses or dark precursors which do everything – or, at least, it is in these that everything happens.” [Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition. Paul Patton, translator. New York: Columbia University Press. 1994. Page 256.]
        “… Difference and Repetition constitutes a metaphysical repetition of the structuralist zeitgeist. This becomes clear if one notes the definite correspondence between the arguments of Difference and Repetition and the article, presumed to be written in 1967, ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?,’ which first appeared in a 1972 volume on the History of Philosophy edited by François Châtelet. Indeed, it could be shown that the structuralist metaphysics presented in Difference and Repetition conforms exactly to the claims advanced in that article.” [Frédéric Fruteau de Laclos, “Common senses: Deleuze and Lyotard between ground and form.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 197, May/June 2016. Pages 13-23.]
      6. pure immanence: He considers transcendence and the “transcendental field.”
        “The transcendent is not the transcendental. Were it not for consciousness, the transcendental field would be defined as a pure plane of immanence, because it eludes all transcendence of the subject and of the object. Absolute immanence is in itself: it is not in something, to something; it does not depend on an object or belong to a subject. In [Baruch] Spinoza, immanence is not immanence to substance; rather, substance and modes are in immanence. When the subject or the object falling outside the plane of immanence is taken as a universal subject or as any object to which immanence is attributed, the transcendental is entirely denatured, for it then simply redoubles the empirical (as with [Immanuel] Kant), and immanence is distorted, for it then finds itself enclosed in the transcendent. Immanence is not related to Some Thing as a unity superior to all things or to a Subject as an act that brings about a synthesis of things: it is only when immanence is no longer immanence to anything other than itself that we can speak of a plane of immanence. No more than the transcendental field is defined by consciousness can the plane of immanence be defined by a subject or an object that is able to contain it.” [Gilles Deleuze. Pure Immanence: Essays on A Life. Anne Boyman, translator. New York: Zone Books imprint of Urzone, Inc. 2001. Pages 76-77.]
      7. machinic unconscious: Guattari discusses the mechanisms, words, and images, which are used by the unconscious mind.
        “We have the unconscious we deserve! And I must acknowledge that the structuralist psychoanalyses are even less appropriate in my view than the Freudians, Jungians, or Reichians. I would see the unconscious instead as something that we drag around with ourselves both in our gestures and daily objects, as well as on TV, that is part of the zeitgeist, and even, and perhaps especially, in our day-to-day problems. (I am thinking, for example, of the question of ‘the society we choose to live in’ that always resurfaces around the time of each electoral campaign.) Thus, the unconscious works inside individuals in their manner of perceiving the world and living their body, territory, and sex, as well as inside the couple, the family, school, neighborhood, factories, stadiums, and universities… In other words, not simply an unconscious of the specialists of the unconscious, not simply an unconscious crystallized in the past, congealed. in an institutionalized discourse, but, on the contrary, an unconscious turned towards the future whose screen would be none other than the possible itself, the possible as hypersensitive to language, but also the possible hypersensitive to touch, hypersensitive to the socius, hypersensitive to the cosmos … Then why stick this label of ‘machinic unconscious’ onto it? Simply to stress that it is populated not only with images and words, but also with all kinds of machinisms that lead it to produce and reproduce these images and words.” [Félix Guattari. The Machinic Unconscious: Essays in Schizoanalysis. Taylor Adkins, translator. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2011. Pages 9-10.]
      8. ecosophic cartographies: Guattari considers particular visions of the world which, when adopted by a considerable number of individuals, are, nonetheless, characterized by some uncertainty.
        “The ‘ecosophic cartographies’ that must be instituted will have, as their own particularity, that they will not only assume the dimensions of the present, but also those of the future. They will be as preoccupied by what human life on Earth will be thirty years from now, as by what public transit will be three years from now. They imply an assumption of responsibility for future generations, what philosopher Hans Jonas calls ‘an ethic of responsibility.’ It is inevitable that choices for the long term will conflict with the choices of short-term interests. The social groups affected by such problems must be brought to reflect on them, to modify their habits and mental coordinates, to adopt new values and to postulate a human meaning for future technological transformations. In a word, to negotiate the present in the name of the future.
        “It is not, for all that, a question of falling back into totalitarian and authoritarian visions of history, messianisms which, in the name of ‘paradise’ or of ecological equilibrium, would claim to rule over the life of each and everyone. Each ‘cartography’ represents a particular vision of the world which, even when adopted by a large number of individuals, would always harbor an element of uncertainty at its heart. That is, in truth, its most precious capital; on its basis, an authentic hearing of the other could be established. A hearing of disparity, singularity, marginality, even of madness, does not arise only from the imperatives of tolerance and fraternity. It constitutes an essential preparation, a permanent return to the order of uncertainty, a stripping-bare of the forces of chaos that always haunt structures that are dominant, self-sufficient, and imbued with belief in their own superiority. Such a hearing could overturn or restore direction to these structures, by recharging them with potentiality, by deploying, through them, new lines of creative flow.”
        [Félix Guattari. Remaking Social Practices. Sophie Thomas, translator. The Guattari Reader. Gary Genosko, editor. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc. 1996. Pages 262-272.]
        “Despite having recently initiated a partial realization of the most obvious dangers that threaten the environment of our societies, they [political groupings and executive authorities] are generally content to simply tackle industrial pollution and then from a purely technocratic perspective, whereas only an athico-political articulation – which I call ecosophy – between the three ecological registers (the environment, social relations and human subjectivity) would be likely to clarify these questions.
        “Henceforth it is the ways of living on this planet that are in question, in the context of the acceleration of techno-scientific mutations and of considerable demographic growth. Thtoogh the continuous development of machinic labour, multiplied by the information revolution, productive forces can make available an increasing amount of time for potential human activity. But to what end? Unemployment, oppressive marginalization, loneliness, boredom, anxiety and neurosis? Or culture, creation, development, the reinvention of the envinonment and the enrichment of modes of life and sensibility? In both the Third World and the developed world, whole sections of the collective subjectivity are floundering or simply huddle around archaisms as is the case, for example, with the dreadful rise of religious fundamentalism.
        “The only true response to the ecological crisis is on a global scale, provided that it brings about an authentic political, social and cultural revolution, reshaping the objectives of the production of both material and immaterial assets. Therefore this revolution must not be exclusively concerned with visible relations of force on a grand scale, but will also take into account molecular domains of sensibility, intelligence and desire. A finalization of social labour, regulated in a univocal way by a profit economy and by power relations, would only lead, at present, to dramatic dead-ends. This is obvious from the absurd and burdensome economic supervisions of the Third World, which lead some of its regions into an absolute and irreversible pauperization. It is equally evident in counfies like France, where the proliferation of nuclear power stations threatens, over a large part of Europe, the possible consequences of Chernobyl-style accidents. One need hardly mention the almost delirious stockpiling of thousands of nuclear warheads, which, at the slightest technical or human error, could automatically lead to collective extermination. In all of these examples it is the same dominant modes of valorizing human activities that are implicated.”
        [Félix Guattari. The Three Ecologies. Ian Pindar and Paul Sutton, translators. London and New Brunswick, New Jersey: The Athlone Press. 2000. Pages 28-29.]
        “My argument … is that, with the increasing development of the machines of production of signs, images, syntax, and artificial intelligence, the question of the enunciation of subjectivity will pose itself ever more forcefully. In what follows, I shall classify what I see as this reconstitution of social and individual practices under three complementary headings: social ecology, mental ecology, and environmental ecology.
        “If today, human relationships with the socius, the psyche, and ‘nature’ are increasingly deteriorating, then this is attributable not only to objective damage and pollution but to the ignorance and fatalistic passivity with which those issues are confronted by individuals and responsible authorities. The implications of any given negative development may or may not be catastrophic; whatever the case, it tends today to be simply accepted without question. Structuralism, and subsequently postmodernism, have accustomed us to a vision of the world in which human interventions – concrete politics and micropolitics – are no longer relevant. The withering away of social praxis is explained in terms of the death of ideologies, or of some supposed return to universal values. Yet those explanations seem to me highly unsatisfactory. The decisive factor, it seems to me, is the general inflexibility of social and psychological praxes – their failure to adapt – as well as a widespread incapacity to perceive the erroneousness of partitioning off the real into a number of separate fields. It is quite simply wrong to regard action on the psyche, the socius, and the environment as separate. Indeed, if we continue – as the media would have us do – to refuse squarely to confront the simultaneous degradation of these three areas, we will in effect be acquiescing in a general infantilization of opinion, a destruction and neutralization of democracy. We need to ‘kick the habit’ of sedative consumption, of television discourse in particular; we need to apprehend the world through the interchangeable lenses of the three ecologies.”
        [Félix Guattari, “The Three Ecologies.” Chris Turner, translator. New Formations. Number 8, summer 1989. Pages 131-147.]
    116. panopticon society (Guy Standing): Borrowing the utilitarian Jeremy Bentham’s term, “panopticon,” Standing, a British economist, critically (indeed, prophetically) describes the inadvertent creation of a new “precarious” (and autonomous) social class, the global precariat. It appears to have resulted from the failures of neoliberalism for many average workers. Right now, in this writer’s view, we are witnessing the rise of this new class in both Europe and the United States and, with it, the threat and reality of considerable social disorganization.
      “In the 1970s, a group of ideologically inspired economists captured the ears and minds of politicians. The central plank of their ‘neo-liberal’ model was that growth and development depended on market competitiveness; everything should be done to maximise competition and competitiveness, and to allow market principles to permeate all aspects of life.
      “One theme was that countries should increase labour market flexibility, which came to mean an agenda for transferring risks and insecurity onto workers and their families. The result has been the creation of a global ‘precariat,’ consisting of many millions around the world without an anchor of stability. They are becoming a new dangerous class. They are prone to listen to ugly voices, and to use their votes and money to give those voices a political platform of increasing influence. The very success of the ‘neo-liberal’ agenda, embraced to a greater or lesser extent by governments of all complexions, has created an incipient political monster. Action is needed before that monster comes to life.…
      “… Usually, the struggle has been about use and control over the key assets of the production and distribution system of the time. The precariat, for all its rich tapestry, seemed to lack a clear idea of what those assets were. Their intellectual heroes included Pierre Bourdieu …, who articulated precarity, Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas, and Michael Hardt and Tony Negri …, whose Empire was a seminal text, with Hannah Arendt … in the background. There were also shades of the upheavals of 1968, linking the precariat to the Frankfurt School of Herbert Marcuse’s … One Dimensional Man.”
      [Guy Standing. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. 2011. Page 1-2.]
      “While the ‘social factory’ is not right as an image of how life for the precariat is being constructed, a better image is a ‘panopticon society’, in which all social spheres are taking the shape envisaged by Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon papers of 1787 …. It is not just what is done by government but what is allowed by the state in an ostensibly ‘free market’ society.” [Guy Standing. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. 2011. Page 132.]
      “The ‘precariat’ … loses control not only over time but also over the reproduction of ‘skill’ and sense of personal occupation. Thus, for precarious workers it would be irrational to learn a deep body of techniques if faced by a constantly changing production system in which the division of labour is not slowly and predictably changing but is subject to radical uncertainty. The ‘flexibility’ implies more risk to labour learning. This has not been adequately incorporated in assessments of labour markets and inequality. If there is an increased probability of having to learn new skills to maintain a decent income, the rate of return to any job training is reduced. To compound the problem, by the nature of human physiology, it is harder with age to learn new skills. This must impart insecurity, since everybody ages.” [Guy Standing. Work After Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship. Northampton, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar. 2009. Pages 77-78.]
      “His [Guy Standing’s] latest work, The Precariat, aims in part to rehearse … [certain] themes for what Standing calls ‘the lay reader.’ But it also introduces a new claim: that there is now a new class in the making, a ‘global precariat.’ Standing argues once again that the dynamics of globalization, along with concerted government drives for labour flexibility—a euphemism he abhors—have led to a fragmentation of older class divisions. He locates the ‘precariat’ in the bottom half of what is now a seven-class system.” [Jan Breman, “A Bogus Concept?” Review article. New Left Review. Series II, number 84, November–December 2003. Pages 130-138.]
      “For Guy Standing’s vision to come to fruition it certainly needs more than an intellectual war of position – intellectuals are also needed to build global strategies to inform and unite working people. The global war of movements is already going on worldwide. Intellectual guidance is needed to support the Global Justice and Solidarity Movement. Apart from theoretical analysis, intellectuals should take a side in this real world struggle.” [Mona Meurer, “Work After Globalization: Building Occupational Citizenship.” Review article. Global Labour Journal. Volume 2, number 2, 2011. Pages 68-70.]
      “… in a Panopticon what can be the necessity of curious locks? What are the prisoners to pick them with? By what means are they to come at any sort of pick-lock tools, or any other forbidden implements? and supposing the locks of these doors picked, and the locks of more than one other set of doors besides, what is the operator the better for it? Lock picking is an operation that requires time and experiment, and liberty to work at it unobserved.” [Jeremy Bentham. Panopticon of the Inspection House: Containing the Idea of a New Principle of Construction applicable to any Sort of Establishment, in which Persons of any Description are to be kept under Inspection. London: T. Payne. 1791. Page 108.]
      “[Guy] Standing’s new book-long essay seems to be the first one in whose title the latter noun appears. The allusion to proletariat is fully intended, as the subtitle ‘the new dangerous class’ suggests.…
      “Standing concludes his wide-ranging exploration of many aspects of the precariat and its political dynamics with some engaged proposals about what an imaginary post-laborist, post-social democratic political left can and should do in response to the plight of the precariat. For the time being, it remains an open question both whether the precariat is (in the process of becoming) a ‘class’ and, if so, whether it has the capacity of becoming dangerous, and to whom.”
      [Claus Offe, “The Vanishing Shadow of the Future.” Review article on “The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class.” Archives of European Sociology. Volume 52, number 3, December 2011. Pages 466-474.]
      “The precariat is now widely considered as the most underprivileged social class. This interpretation draws on Guy Standing’s well-known formulation of the concept. The British sociologist maintains that neoliberal emphasis on market competitiveness has enabled the ‘transfer of risks and insecurity onto workers and their families.’ Moreover, ‘the globalization era has resulted in a fragmentation of national class structures,’ and, while social classes have not disappeared, ‘a more fragmented global class structure emerged.’ As a consequence, Standing claims, ‘[t]he “working class,” “workers” and the “proletariat” … terms embedded in our culture for several centuries’, figure today as ‘little more than evocative labels.’” [Francesco Di Bernardo, “The impossibility of precarity.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 198, July/August 2016. Pages 7-14.]
      “The role of migrants in the advanced capitalist economies defined by neoliberalism and increased flexibilization, globalization and mobility has gained attention in political economy, labour market studies, in sociological and ethnographic perspectives and more recently in (critical) border studies. The migrant is often described as the emblem of the precariat – the precarious figure per se. [Guy] Standing also situates migrants as a central group in the growing precariat but does not prescribe the group much potential for agency. Change is not bound to come from this part of the precariat.” [Martin Bak Jørgensen, “Precariat – What it Is and Isn’t – Towards an Understanding of What it Does.” Critical Sociology. Volume 42, numbers 7–8, November 2016. Pages 959-974.]
      “For [Guy] Standing the precariat is primarily a class in the making. In perhaps more familiar Marxist terms it is a class in-itself but not yet one for-itself. And this is the crux of the political problem for Standing: what if the becoming of this incipient class does take the trajectory hoped for or desired? The word itself, precariat, is formed by combining precarity and the proletariat, but the combination of those words does not necessarily mean that its trajectory will take the same path or direction of the working class (although the development of working class politics frequently veers from outcomes that are expected of it by economists, party theorists, and union organizers alike).” [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Recomposing precarity: Notes on the laboured politics of class composition.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 3, August 2013. Pages 641-658.]
    117. precarious communism (Richard Gilman-Opalsky): He proposes a precarious approach to autonomist Marxism.
      “Precarious communists are distinguished from ‘communists’ in the following ways: 1. They point out and bring to the front that capitalism, an ideology and system of life driven by the accumulation of capital, and the cultural-valuational norms and material reality of existing capitalist society – in short, that capital itself – is at the root of the most pressing problems of all forms of precarity. Unlike ‘communists,’ precarious communists are also precarious about communism itself. Precarious communists prefer and defend the internal logic of communism, the notion of the overall health of the commons, and they prefer and defend the cultural-valuational norms of communism, which centrally include an ethical obligation to others (i.e., Sittlichkeit [ethics or customs]). They prefer and defend other possible material realities than those of capitalism, realities that they can variously imagine and represent. But precarious communists distrust all political parties, nationally framed struggles, and conventional or institutional remedies, even if they do favor some over others. 2. In the various stages of development which the multiple movements of the precariat must pass through, they always and everywhere assess the relation of the problem to capital, and work precariously toward an experimental and self-conscious communism.” [Richard Gilman-Opalsky. Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2014. Page 66.]
      “The meaning and complexity of marriage cannot be given any structural explanation through class analysis. [Karl] Marx went too far in his generalizations about ‘bourgeois marriage,’ and couldn’t foresee the assimilation of liberal feminist demands into bourgeois, heterosexual marriages. Like capitalism, marriage has proven more dynamic and flexible than the structural analysis had indicated. In other words, marriage can survive innumerable permutations, and even get much-needed reinvigorations from recombination, as can be seen with the movement for same-gender marriage. Many people blockaded from marriage want to get in, which is inadvertently good news for the tradition of marriage because it helps to guarantee the indefinite lifespan of the institution, i.e., more people wanting and seeking to be married. Feminist and queer incursions into the domain of monogamous marriage are not the same as the abolitionist cause of ending marriage altogether. But, precarious communists are resolutely uninterested in standardizing an approach to the various problems of marriage. The problems of marriage cannot be solved programmatically or categorically, and for that very reason, they are problems that call for an autonomist politics that understands the necessity of making – and keeping – common cause with people of multifarious lifeways. As there is no precarious communist party, there is no party line on marriage.” [Richard Gilman-Opalsky. Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2014. Pages 84-85.]
      “Assuming the political supremacy of the proletariat, [Karl] Marx allowed for the temporary use of despotic means to reverse the backwards conditions of bourgeois production, to safeguard revolutionary changes, and to help create the conditions under which despotic means are no longer necessary. But precarious communists do not need to worry about the uses of despotism. We are incapable of despotism because we have no grand plan to carry out, we are unskilled in bureaucracy, and would seek the negation of any supreme power as a matter of dialectics, distrust, or subversive inclination. Precarious communists know too much history to look for answers in state power. As has been discussed, we have healthy anarchist sensibilities. Our capabilities are for autonomy, not for autocracy. Precarious communists are autonomists.” [Richard Gilman-Opalsky. Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2014. Page 92.]
      “Precarious communists don’t want to run the government. We have been running from or against governments everywhere in various ways for a very long time. And we cannot follow the lead of those fake libertarians who oppose the government, yet do not oppose capital, for they haven’t noticed the colonization of government by capital, which is largely what has made government so dangerous.” [Richard Gilman-Opalsky. Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2014. Page 123.]
    118. creative precariat (Greig de Peuter as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He considers “autonomous organising and street–level protest in Europe.”
      “Artists and other cultural workers are, moreover, among the protagonists of struggles against exploitation and inequality in the neoliberal era. Spatial disaggregation of the workforce, exclusion from union representation, and the apparent difficulty of stemming income inequality through collective bargaining are some of the reasons why the problem of precarity has been posed beyond the confines of workplaces, in public spaces, via social movements. Indeed, the circulation of the concept of ‘precarity’ was itself propelled by autonomous organising and street-level protest in Europe in the early 2000s …. And, more recently, the dissident wave of occupations, cycling from North Africa to New York, has been read by labour researchers as, in part, a response to conditions of precarity ….” [Greig de Peuter, “Beyond the Model Worker: Surveying a Creative Precariat.” Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research. Volume 6, 2014. Pages 263-284.]
    119. precarious liberation (Franco Barchiesi): He develops an autonomist Marxist approach to the liberation of labor in South Africa.
      “In South Africa, labor’s precarious liberation continuously disturbs disciplinary practices with a multitude of unruly, unpredictable longings. The unions’ capacity to represent a changing world of work seems, conversely, more unequivocally in trouble.” [Franco Barchiesi. Precarious Liberation: Workers, the State, and Contested Social Citizenship in Postapartheid South Africa. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 2011. Page 94.]
      “The South African events of the 1980s and early 1990s titillated my early activist and theoretical practices within operaista (or ‘autonomist’ in a broad English-speaking usage) Marxism, which posited the capacity of workers’ struggles to shape social relations independently from the dialectics of production and the requirements of organization. The South African labor movement shone as an example of militancy that, originating from the wage relation, subverted and transcended it to ignite a broader revolutionary transformation.” [Franco Barchiesi. Precarious Liberation: Workers, the State, and Contested Social Citizenship in Postapartheid South Africa. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 2011. Page xv.]
      “the ideal virtuous worker as citizen opposes the imagined social pathologies of disruptive radicalism and entitlement claims. But actual workers retain, nonetheless, the ability to autonomously contrast work as an icon of state normativity with their troubled material experiences of employment. As a normative universal the employment imperative can only incompletely signify the subjectivities it presupposes, thereby laying the foundations for new claims and antagonisms.” Page xvii.]
      “Signifying practices do not express a material social condition, a transparent form of membership, or a self-evident cultural affiliation, but rather autonomously elaborate a multilayered system of meanings responding to duress, necessity, and socioeconomic crisis. But signification also reclaims a political space out of what would otherwise be mere survival: it expresses the subversive claim that the work-citizenship nexus of official discourse is incommensurable with, and untranslatable into, workers? quotidian experiences.” Page 16.]
      “Unionization had brought not only better wages, company benefits, and generous in-house agreements, but also pride in struggles that “pushed the breadline level” through a type of workplace activism fusing political aspirations and a strong sense of autonomy.” Page 235.]
      “Chauvinist rancor and regressive identities can fill the symbolic space vacated by the decline of employment unless the incommensurability between the official values of work and its actual experiences enables alternative political imaginations. My research indicated that such possibilities are indeed open as workers are remarkably autonomous in signifying their own precariousness not only as a labor market phenomenon but as a process subverting identity, community, and citizenship.” Page 247.]
      “On one hand I examined policy guidelines, experts’ assessments, politicians’ pronouncements, and trade unions’ declarations, which routinely imagine specific subjects – workers, citizens, unemployed, social movements, and so on – to cognitively organize material relations and conceptualize, predict, and guide the conducts of actors. On the other hand, ethnographic fieldwork highlighted autonomous subjective capacities to appropriate, modify, and criticize official categories.” Page 257.]
    120. revolutionary Realpolitik (Assoziation Dämmerung): Beginning in, but moving beyond, the animal liberation movement and autonomism, this association focuses on the emancipatory political “goal of social transformation.”
      “Our group, Animal Rights-Action-North (Tierrechts-Aktion-Nord, TAN), has changed. Neither our theoretical nor our practical work remain the same. With this change, we have taken a step away from the current animal liberation movement, without breaking with it. The name Animal Rights-Action-North no longer lives up to these political intentions. We will therefore continue our work under the name Assoziation Dämmerung (Association Dawn). For our friends, this is no reason for mourning, for our enemies, none for joy: we remain committed to the goal of the liberation of humans and animals, but our understanding of the conditions of the struggle for this goal have broadened and the members of the group have changed.…
      “… even the ecological movement has by no means impeded progression of the global stock corporation for the exploitation of nature. It has only – sadly – served to modernise it. ‘Green capitalism’ is no real alternative to the system of blind domination of nature. At best it can simply shift its destructive force to other areas. There is no alternative to consciously modelled – and thus non-capitalist – social production methods that respect humans and nature in their mutual dependence.
      “On a theoretical level, this means for us emphasising the revolutionary, and towards social/class struggle directed momentum of historical materialist theory, without which there would never have been a critical theory of society. We contest any attempt to play off the ideas of the Frankfurt School against the revolutionary impulse of [Max] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels. The advocacy for the damned of this earth does not go against the critical theory of [Theodor] Adorno, [Max] Horkheimer and [Herbert] Marcuse. The opposite is true: it is upon just these struggles that this theory must be formulated, communicated and mediated; in these struggles it must demand the experience of solidarity, in which objectifi ed consciousness can be broken down. A “critical theory” which refuses to acknowledge real political intervention and misuses theoretical reflection as an argument against practical class struggle is none after all.…
      “Revolutionary Realpolitik …
      “Single issue politics, as practiced by many autonomist and other non-parliamentary groups, has, despite some impressive results in social struggles, proved to be both theoretically and practically inadequate. Theoretically, because a social relationship of exploitation and domination, such as the one between humans and animals, cannot be analysed and explained simply through itself, but only through a critical theory of society. Practically, because the varied positions that exist in society re-emerge in almost all political movements, leading to the forming of the same factions throughout the political spectrum. In capitalist society, the boundaries run between the classes as well as the marginalised and their oppressors, not between individual priorities in political work or particular activists’ preferences. Crucial is not in which area one builds resistance against the domination of capital, but that one does so here and now.
      “The allegedly ‘left wing scene,’ animal liberation, anti-fascist and anti-racist or anti-sexist groups do not automatically stand for the struggle for liberated society—sometimes quite the opposite. For that reason, they do not automatically provide a positive point of reference. The animal rights or animal liberation movement has always orientated itself by the undogmatic left. The few cases in which it positioned itself beyond human-animal relations, this happened in form of a distancing from the traditional left, as if there were no graver problem, as if there was not the central problem: capitalism.
      “The animal rights and animal liberation movement can no longer afford to underestimate this basic problem. If it continues to not break out of the spell of bourgeois ethics and no less bourgeois idealistic pop-left discourses, this will be a historical failure for which we do not want to be jointly responsible any more. It is not enough to condemn speciesism as (morally) wrong thinking. The causes of this murderous ideology must be fought—its economic basis must be removed.
      “In this spirit, we want to try to influence social discourse in the future by organizing events as well as delivering our own talks and statements, where and to the extent to which our energies allow us to do so. However, we cannot be effective alone. Furthermore, we will therefore connect with other organizations and establish networks and structures. We see potential allies in emancipatory action groups, Marxist organizations, local district initiatives, the animal rights and animal liberation movement, in trade unions, the anti-nuclear movement, antiimperialist organizations, left wing parties or the peace movement—as long as the tension between the goal of social transformation and concrete politics is maintained in these groups.”
      [Editor. Social Theory, Ideology Critique and Class Struggle: Constitutional Manifesto of Assoziation Dämmerung. Hamburg, Germany: Assoziation Dämmerung (Association Dawn or Association Twilight). August, 2011. No pagination.]
    121. autonomist Zionism (Dimitry Shumsky [Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, דִּימִיטְרִיּ שׁוּמְסְקִיּ, Diymiyṭəriyy Šūməsəqiyy]): He examines forms of autonomist Zionism. In certain cases, Palestine was envisioned as a confederation of autonomous Jewish and Arab entities.
      “… even the Zionist mainstream shared a basic outlook regarding Palestine’s future political complexion, which I call autonomist Zionism and which rested on an autonomist interpretation of national self-determination. Statehood in Palestine was envisaged within a confederational political framework embracing both a Jewish and an Arab autonomous entity. A common governing body would deal with civil and territorial matters, but would refrain from intervening in purely national-cultural matters that would be the exclusive perview of the respective autonomous authorities.…
      “… I would propose … distinctions … between various degrees of autonomist Zionism as they arose out of general interpretations of the principle of national self-determination and were then related to the national status of Jews in Palestine in particular. Thus Hans Kohn and Hugo Bergmann, the radical autonomist Zionists, favored a bi-national state while preferring to speak of the immigration of large numbers of Jews rather than the creation of a Jewish majority in Palestine. [David] Ben-Gurion, Berl Katznelson, and [ZeꞋev] Jabotinsky (as well as Ahad HaꞋam), who may be defined as moderate autonomist Zionists, aspired, by contrast, to a Jewish state with a firm Jewish majority.”
      [Dimitry Shumsky, “Brith Shalom’s uniqueness reconsidered: Hans Kohn and autonomist Zionism.” Jewish History. Volume 25, number 3/4, 2011. Pages 339-353.]
    122. project of autonomy (Cornelius Castoriadis [Greek/Hellēniká, Κορνήλιος Καστοριάδης, Kornḗlios Kastoriádēs as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): His autonomist approach critiques various obstacles which prevent the realization of personal autonomy. Castoriadis, in the second half of his career, jettisoned aspects of Marxist theory.
      “Politics is a project of autonomy. Politics is the reflective and lucid collective activity that aims at the overall institution of society. It pertains to everything in society that is participable and shareable. De jure, this self-instituting activity does not take into account and does not recognize any limit (physical and biological laws are not of concern to us here). Nothing can escape its interrogation, nothing, in and of itself, stands outside its province.
      “But can we stop at that? …
      “The answer is in the negative, both from the ontological point of view—before any de jure consideration—and from the political point of view—after all such considerations.
      “The ontological point of view leads to the most weighty reflections, ones which, however, are almost totally irrelevant from the political point of view. In all cases, the explicit self-institution of society will always encounter the bounds I have already mentioned. However lucid, reflective, willed it may be, the instituting activity of society and individuals springs from the instituting imaginary, which is neither locatable nor formalizable.”
      [Cornelius Castoriadis. Philosophy, Politics, Autonomy. David Ames Curtis, editor. New York and Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 1991. Pages 169-170.]
      “One can ask, parenthetically, what an autonomous society—namely, a society capable of calling its own institutions, explicitly and lucidly, back into question—will be like in this regard. In a sense, it, too, obviously will not be able to exit from this circle. It will affirm that social and collective autonomy ‘is valid and worthwhile.’ Certainly, it will be able, downstream, to justify its existence through its works—among which will be the anthropological type of autonomous individual it will create. But the positive evaluation of these works will still depend upon criteria—more generally, social imaginary significations—it will have itself instituted. I say all this in order to recall that, when all is said and done, no sort of society can find its justification outside itself. One cannot exit the circle, and it is not here that we would have something that can constitute the grounding for a critique of capitalism.” [Cornelius Castoriadis. Figures of the Unthinkable: Including Passion and Knowledge. Anonymous translator. No publisher or date of publication provided. Page 85.]
      “… the idea that the autonomous action of the masses can constitute the central element of the socialist revolution, whether admitted or not, will always remain of secondary importance to a coherent Marxist, for it is without any genuine interest and even without any theoretical or philosophical status. The Marxist knows where history must go. If the autonomous action of the masses does go in this direction, it teaches the Marxist nothing; if it goes somewhere else, it is a bad autonomy, or rather it is not an autonomy at all, since if the masses are not directed towards the correct aims, this is because they still remain under the influence of capitalism. When the truth is given, all the rest is error, but error means nothing in a determinist universe: error is only the product or enemy class action and of the system of exploitation.” [Cornelius Castoriadis. The Imaginary Institution of Society. Kathleen Blarney, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1997. Page 31.]
      “Tradition and authority gradually ceased to be sacred and innovation stopped being a disparaging word (as it typically was during the ‘true’ Middle Ages). Even though it appeared only in embryonic form—and in perpetual accommodation with the powers that be (Church and monarchy)—the project of political and intellectual autonomy actually did reemerge after a 15-century eclipse. An uneasy compromise between this social–historical movement and the (more or less reformed) traditional order was reached in the ‘classical’ 17ᵗʰ century.” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “The Retreat from Autonomy: Post-modernism as Generalised Conformism.” Democracy & Nature. Volume 7, number 1, March 2001. Pages 17-26.]
      “Contrary to a confused prejudice still dominant today—which is at the basis of the contemporary version of classical ‘liberalism’—the capitalist imaginary stands in direct contradiction to the of emancipation and autonomy. Back in 1906 Max Weber derided that capitalism might have anything at all to do with democracy, can still share a laugh with him when thinking of South Africa, Taiwan, Japan from 1870 to 1945 and even today. Capitalism subordinates everything to the ‘development of the forces of production’; producers, and then as consumers, are to be made completely subordinate to it.” [Cornelius Castoriadis and David Ames Curtis, “The Pulverization of Marxism-Leninism.” Salmagundi. Number 88/89, fall 1990–winter 1991. Pages 371-384.]
      “The era that is just now particularly grievous instances of this of Stalinism of course, but also, in an empirically different but philosophically equivalent fashion, with [Martin] Heidegger and Nazism. I will conclude on a … point: the question raised by the relationship between, on the one hand, the criticism and the vision of the philosopher-citizen and, on the other, the fact that, from the standpoint of the project of autonomy and democracy, the great majority of men and women living in society are the source of creation, the principal bearers of the instituting imaginary, and that they should become active subjects of an explicit politics.” [Cornelius Castoriadis and David Ames Curtis, “Intellectuals and History.” Salmagundi. Number 80, fall 1988. Pages 161-169.]
      “Behind this sumbebekos [Greek/Hellēniká, συμβεβηκός, symbebēkós], this ‘happening’ [an evolution in Soviet society] … stands another factor: the emergence of the military sub-society as an increasingly autonomous agent, and the dominant position it acquired regarding the ultimate orientation of the regime.” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “The Destinies of Totalitarianism.” Salmagundi. Number 60, spring–summer 1983. Pages 107-122.]
      “Philosophy is a central element of the Greek-Western project of individual and social autonomy; the end of philosophy would mean no more and no less than the end of freedom. Freedom is threatened not only by totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, but also, in a more hidden but no less deep fashion, by the waning of conflict and critique, the spreading of amnesia and irrelevance, the growing inability to put into question the present and the existing institutions, be they strictly ‘political’ or weltanschaulich [ideological].” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “The ‘end of philosophy’?” Salmagundi. Number 82/83, spring–summer 1989. Pages 3-23.]
      “In a democracy, the people are sovereign, that is to say, they make laws and the Law. Or, put in another way, society makes its institutions and institutes itself. It is autonomous, it is self-instituted obviously and explicitly, it works on itself its own rules, values and meanings. Autonomy or freedom entails and presupposes the autonomy, the freedom of the individuals, and is at the same time impossible without the latter. This very autonomy comprises the core target of our political project. But autonomy, which is, at least in appearance, guaranteed by law, by the constitutions, by declarations of human and civil rights, is based, all things considered, both de jure and de facto, on the collective law, the Law in the formal, as well as in the informal sense.” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “‘Paideia’ and Democracy.” Counterpoints. Volume 422, 2012. Pages 71-80.]
      “… one would be autonomous if one were absolutely outside any external influence and fully spontaneous. Now, this is just nonsense. This is a philosophical phantasy. Philosophy has put up this phantasy, and it judges reality against this phantasy. It doesn’t exist. Autonomy, as I understand it in the field of the individual, is not a watertight frontier against everything else, a well out of which spring absolutely spontaneously, absolutely original contents. Autonomy is an on-going process, whereby you always have contents which are given, borrowed – you are in the world, you are in society, you have inherited a language, you live in a certain history.” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “Cornelius Castoriadis: An Interview.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 56, autumn 1990. Pages 35-43.]
      “Cornelius Castoriadis, the French philosopher and psychoanalyst of Greek origin, was the last great representative of the tradition of Western Marxism which tried to save the practical-political intuitions of [Karl] Marx’s work through a resolute abandonment of its dogmatic kernel. In Castoriadis’s theory this effort reached new levels of originality and intensity, comparable only with the major achievements of a Maurice Merleau-Ponty or a Herbert Marcuse.
      “It was not primarily theoretical considerations which awoke Castoriadis’s doubts concerning the traditional assumptions of Marxism, but the experience of political practice. He was born in Athens in 1922, and joined the Trotskyist Fourth International during the Second World War, having directly experienced the dictatorial policy of the Stalinist Greek Communist Party. However, he almost immediately came into conflict with his own organization, with whose stance towards the Soviet Union and analysis of advanced capitalism he was unable to concur, while still a philosophy student in France.”
      [Axel Honneth, “Cornelius Castoriadis, 1922–1997: Last of the Western Marxists.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 90, July/August 1998. Pages 2-8.]
      “Imaginary significations are constitutive then of all societies. An autonomous society by contrast is one that is ‘origin of the significations it creates – of its institution – and it knows itself as such’ (my emphasis). Similarly, an autonomous subject is one who ‘posit[s] one’s own law for oneself’ …. Consequently for Castoriadis religion par excellence is the imaginary institution that precludes society’s knowledge of itself as self-creation. This is because religion posits an extra-social source for its organization of society that occludes its own work.” [Chistopher Houston, “Islamism, Castoriadis and Autonomy.” Thesis Eleven. Number 76, February 2004. Pages 49-69.]
      “… the constraints which the Marxist framework placed on a satisfactory theorization of autonomy were to be felt by [Cornelius] Castoriadis and, from 1965 onwards, he explicitly abandoned it. Rejecting both the determinant role of the economic and the privileged position of the working class, Castoriadis sought to provide a theory of history as intrinsically open and non-determinable coupled with a theory of the subject that could support the potential for individual autonomy while recognizing that each individual is inescapably a social construct. Both aims have been central directions which social theory has followed in the last 30 years or so and Castoriadis was one of the first to formulate and pursue them.” [Kanakis Leledakis, “An Appreciation of Cornelius Castoriadis (1922-1997): Theorist of Autonomy and Openness.” European Journal of Social Theory. Volume 2, number 1, 1999. Pages 95-98.]
      “Despite [Cornelius] Castoriadis’s repeated insistence on the obsolescence of the Marxian philosophical problematic, manifesting itself, for example, in his declaration of the exclusivity of Marxian and revolutionary theory, it is nevertheless true that he himself remains committed to a certain element of the Marxian ontology, and that his various theoretical formulations can only be evaluated in the context of this enduring commitment. In Axel Honneth’s words, ‘Castoriadis’s work is firstly and above all Marxist self-criticism,’ the revolutionary core of Marxism that Castoriadis seeks to preserve being found in the concept of creative praxis aiming at social transformation, although of course a creative praxis freed from its teleological subordination to an economic logic of development.” [Christopher Holman, “Autonomy and Psychic Socialization: From Non-Alienated Labour to Non Surplus Repressive Sublimation.” Critical Horizons. Volume 12, issue 2, 2011. Pages 136-162.]
    123. autonomous production of living labor (Gigi Roggero as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): The article develops an autonomist analysis of rent. Additional commentary is provided by Aras Özgün (MP3 audio file).
      “As elaborated in the postoperaista [postautonomist] debate, the common assumes an antagonistic double status: it is both the plane of the autonomy of living labor and it is subjected to capitalist ‘capture.’ Consequently, what is at stake is not the conservation of ‘commons,’ but rather the production of the common and its organization into new institutions that would take us beyond the exhausted dialectic between public and private.…
      “… the common is not a mere duplication of the concept of cooperation: it is simultaneously the source and the product of cooperation, the place of the composition of living labor and its process of autonomy, the plane of the production of subjectivity and social wealth. It is due to this fact that today the plane of the production of subjectivity is the production of social wealth that capital is less and less able to organize the cycle of cooperation ‘upstream.’ The act of accumulation, the capture of the value produced in common by living labor/knowledge, takes place more and more at the end of the cycle.…
      “… Today, rent is the form of capitalist command that captures the autonomous production of living labor.”
      [Gigi Roggero, “Five Theses on the Common.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 22, number 3, July 2010. Pages 357-373.]
      “Michael Hardt’s … and Gigi Roggero’s … works are a part of the recent discussions of reviving or reformulating ‘communism’ once again as an alternative ethico-political construction. The contemporary failure of neoliberal politics in every field it pertains to (as well as an overall social program) testifies to the timely nature of these debates and makes such an alternative utterly urgent. At this point, renegotiating the ‘public good’ against ‘private interests’ and retreating into the comforts of liberal democracy in an orderly fashion is no longer an option …. This impossibility arises not because of the absence of a general, naïve, and vague nostalgia about the good old New Deal, but because today the social antagonism inherent to capitalism has transformed beyond what could possibly be contained within the limits of a fine balance between ‘public’ and ‘private,’ as was once implied by the political ethics of liberal democracy.” [Aras Özgün, “A Common Word.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 22, number 3, July 2010. Pages 374-381.]
    124. the Locusts (anonymous): The author develops a fascinating allegory for an autonomist collective.
      “At first glance, the Locusts are a loosely-organized collective that operate two privacy suites in Locus. (The collective noun for Locust inhabitants is Lokies, not Locusts, so this is actually less confusing than it looks.) The suites are located at opposite ends of Locust, and are more or less equivalent to/indistinguishable from the privacy suites run by other collectives. As is usual for people who operate privacy suites, they believe privacy is important and are thus extremely cautious about their privacy. They also advocate for each other regularly, more strongly than the average coop might, although this is to be expected since they also share values that most of transhumanity doesn’t (namely, particularly valuing personal privacy in a world that has apparently moved beyond it). People who try to join their collective are usually gently told that they don’t need any more help right now and directed towards one of the other groups.
      “They are all asyncs.…
      • “Black Cross has requested that the PCs [personal computers?] (who should probably be Locus residents or at least fellow-autonomists on a visit) investigate what the hell is going on with the Locusts, since all their attempts at getting someone into the group have failed. ‘Luckily,’ one of the PCs is an async that manages to spot the hidden invitation patterns….
      • “Brady Hoover wants the PCs to get some information from some small hypercorp or other and is offering a large reward in hard credits and/or g-rep. The hypercorp turns out to be a front for Cognite, and the information turns out to be on the Lost Generation.
      • “Cognite is offering a large bounty for asyncs, and an extra large bounty for any Lost they happen to come across. After the PCs manage to find and kidnap one from Locus, they find that the rest of the Locusts are after them. Why the hell is an autonomist collective that operates privacy suites, of all things, calling in all their favors to fight them?”
      [Anonymous. The Locusts. Privately published. 2014. No pagination.]
    125. Precarity Pilot (Paolo Plotegher as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He proposes an autonomist approach to helping individuals “subvert their careers.”
      “In its own words, and with a full, clear voice, Precarity Pilot constitutes a ‘subversive career service’: this text aims to contribute with some tools to help people to subvert their careers. As the title implies, it’s not simply a matter of analysing existing career models, but of redefining them. My role here is that of a subversive career advisor. As such, I am also working out this subversion for myself, but not solely by myself, and not without impasses, arguments with friends and complicated negotiations.…
      “Dominant models are those we receive often without criticizing them, and we don’t criticize them especially when we don’t perceive them as dominant. Such awareness and criticism are important to operate subversively. Precarity Pilot offers tools to critically analyse precarity, precariousness and neo-liberal models of career. I will make reference to some of those other tools but without starting again from a critique of neo-liberal career models and of our working conditions. I would encourage you to collectively re-build this critique yourselves, you and your friends, by using the tools available here and also by sharing your experiences. This is how in effect it all began with the Cantiere, a militant investigation that preceded Precarity Pilot. A questionnaire was created by designers for designers, reconnecting with an autonomist practice that has in [Karl] Marx’s ‘A Workers Inquiry’ its antecedent. Militant investigation: how to produce a knowledge that can be turned into action, starting from your shared conditions and experiences as students, interns, workers, the unemployed, the oppressed, the ambitious, the precarious, the anxious, the (self) exploited, the rebellious, the paranoid.”
      [Paolo Plotegher. Redefining career models: ambitions, values, stereotypes, or, how to turn a career into a commons. Olang, South Tyrol, Italy: Precarity Pilot. 2015. Page 1.]
    126. parochiality (Andrew Derek Ross Abbott): He develops an approach, informed by autonomist Marxism and other perspectives, on the “precarious artworker.”
      “The bias to which I refer in the interpretation of relational work is an exaggeration of what, for the purposes of this essay I will call, its ‘parochiality.’ That is, it is common for critics and artists to evaluate the intentions and efficacy of a socially engaged work in terms only of its immediate operation within the space in which it intervenes – a space which is often delimited or created by the work itself and, as such, it is responsible for. Only focusing on the local effect of socially intervening art leads to two errors in its interpretation and evaluation. First is that the socially engaged artwork pertains to an autonomous field. Second is that it is primarily concerned with pragmatic solutions to immediate problems. The first, then, overplays socially intervening art’s naïve utopianism, while the second reduces it down to ultimately conservative reformism.” [Andrew Derek Ross Abbott. Radical Resonances: Art, Self-organised Cultural Activity and the Production of Postcapitalist Subjectivity; or, Deferred Self-Inquiry of a Precarious Artworker, 2008 – 2011. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). The University of Leeds. Leeds, England. February, 2012. Page 77.]
      “Contextualised by poststructuralist, postanarchist and Autonomist Marxist political philosophy and debates in contemporary art criticism and theory, the thesis and dossier of practice contribute to a richer understanding of – and expanded language with which to discuss – the relation between art and politics. It draws links between normally unconnected practices, identifying the often overlooked or underplayed aesthetic experience within socially engaged art and the political resonances of aesthetic experience, attending to gaps in thought and practice around art and social change.” [Andrew Derek Ross Abbott. Radical Resonances: Art, Self-organised Cultural Activity and the Production of Postcapitalist Subjectivity; or, Deferred Self-Inquiry of a Precarious Artworker, 2008 – 2011. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). The University of Leeds. Leeds, England. February, 2012. Page 5.]
    127. autonomous sphere (Bruno Latour as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Latour, the originator of actor network theory (discussed in a later chapter), proposes his own version of autonomism.
      “‘Nature,’ as we now know, does not refer to a domain of reality but to a particular function of politics reduced to a rump parliament, to a certain way of constructing the relation between necessity and freedom, multiplicity and unity, to a hidden procedure for apportioning speech and authority, for dividing up facts and values. With political economics, naturalism inundates the inside of the collective. Thanks to the notion of self-regulating markets, it will be possible to do without the question of government altogether, since the relations that are internal to the collective are going to be similar to those which connect predators and their prey within ecosystems. The power relations put an end to discussion in any form, but the power in question is not the Sovereign’s; it is the power, vouched for by Science, of inevitable necessity. No balance, no equilibrium is preferable to the forces of recall of ‘nature in us.’ The ideal, moreover, would be to have no government at all. Inside the collective itself the bulk of relations between humans and nonhumans will become an autonomous sphere as distinct from that of politics and values as the stars, the vast seabeds, or the penguins of Adélie Land. The three natures combined will stifle the collective for good. The laws of the nature that is cold and gray, the moral requirements of the nature that is warm and green, the harsh necessities of the nature that is ‘red in tooth and claw’ put an end to all discourse in advance: politicians may have the last word, but they have nothing more to say.” [Bruno Latour. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. Catherine Porter, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 2004. Page 133.]
      “If we bring about the Copernican counter-revolution we are then obliged to take the work of the intermediaries much more seriously, since it is no longer their task to transmit the power of Nature and that of Society, and since they nevertheless all produce the same reality effects. If we now enumerate the entities endowed with autonomous status, we find far more than two or three. There are dozens. Does nature abhor a vacuum or not? Is there a real vacuum in the pump, or could some subtle ether have slipped in? How are the Royal Society’s witnesses going to account for the leaks in the air pump? How is the King of England going to consent to let people go back to talking about the properties of matter and reestablishing private cliques just when the question of absolute power is finally about to be resolved? Is the authenticity of miracles supported by the mechanization of matter or not? Is [Robert] Boyle going to become a respected experimenter if he devotes himself to pursuing these vulgar experimental tasks and abandons the deductive explanation, the only one worthy of a scholar? All these questions are no longer caught between Nature and Society, since they all redefine what Nature may be and what Society is. Nature and Society are no longer explanatory terms but rather something that requires a conjoined explanation. Around the work of the air pump we witness the formation of a new Boyle, a new Nature, a new theology of miracles, a new scholarly sociability, a new Society that will henceforth include the vacuum, scholars, and the laboratory. History does something. Each entity is an event.” [Bruno Latour. We Have Never Been Modern. Catherine Porter, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 1993. Pages 80-81.]
      “Among the slight tensions which run through the Council [of State], the first is the ongoing examination that each member has to go through at the hand of all of his peers during the review sessions and the deliberation, and by means of which he proves the quality of his work to his colleagues. On this particular warm day in June the examination begins badly for the reporter who suffers a slight loss of authority by allowing himself, quite unusually, to be interrupted in the middle of the reading of his note by the reviser, who addresses the sub-section in the following terms: ‘There is an omission here, because there is an argument that has not been cited.’ Let us take note of this omission, and take as our fi rst value object the weight, or the authority of a member, her capacity to speak without being interrupted, and to gain her colleagues’ support for her opinion. This particular ‘value object,’ the members’ authority with respect to their colleagues, changes from session to session, and throughout their entire career at the Council dealing with cases and files. It changes because of the continuous processing of case-loads, through the altering and crushing of opinions rubbing against each other, piled on top of one another, polished as pebbles by people who see each other constantly, who sit side by side for whole mornings or afternoons, and who end up knowing each other with the mixture of respect, equality, indifference and autonomy that is characteristic of monks collaborating in an intellectual task in a monastery, with no clear hierarchical divisions.” [Bruno Latour. The Making of Law: An Ethnography of the Conseil d’Etat. Marina Brilman and Alain Pottage, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2010. Pages 129-130.]
      “What did the factish [Latour’s portmanteau of ‘fact’ and ‘fetish’] do before it was broken by the anti-fetishist’s blow? To say that it mediated action between construction and autonomy is an understatement, and relies too heavily on the ambiguity of the term mediation. Action is not what people do, but is instead the ‘fait-faire [do-it-yourself],’ the making-do, accomplished along with others in an event, with the specific opportunities provided by the circumstances. These others are not ideas, or things, but nonhuman entities, or … propositions, which have their own ontological specifications and populate, along with complex gradients, a world that is neither the mental world of psychologists nor the physical world of epistemologists, althought it is as strange as the first and as real as the second.” [Bruno Latour. Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 1999. Page 288.]
    128. Bourgeois Autonomism and Constructivist Marxism (Johan Söderberg as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Adam Netzén as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Using actor network theory and the work of Georg Lukács, Söderberg and Netzén distinguish between the work of Bruno Latour, on the one hand, and autonomist Marxism and Open Marxism, on the other.
      “… we might elect to call Bruno Latour a ‘Bourgeois Autonomist.’ By the same token, the Autonomists and Open Marxists might be dubbed ‘Constructivist Marxists.’ In their own distinct ways, they are building on the critique of reified modes of thinking that was initiated by Georg Lukács. The writings of Lukács is nowadays held to be as dead as the proletarian revolution to which he swore allegiance. But his polemic against the scientific interpretation of the world as a collection of facts and laws frozen in time and existing independently of man-made history is more popular than ever. We propose that the application of this critique to the social sciences is the common denominator of Bourgeois Autonomism and Constructivist Marxism, once forked by [Karl] Mannheim and ever since kept apart by their political differences. The actuality of this kind of reasoning is suggested by the surging popularity of both ANT [actor network theory] and Autonomist/Open Marxism among their respective constituencies. Another cursor is that similar-sounding arguments are surfacing in neighbouring disciplines.” [Johan Söderberg and Adam Netzén, “When all that is theory melts into (hot) air: Contrasts and parallels between actor network theory, autonomist Marxism, and open Marxism.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 10, number 2, 2010. Pages 95-118.]
    129. relational autonomy (Peter Nelsen, Jennifer K. Walter, Lainie Friedman Ross, Suze Berkhout, Carolyn Ells, Matthew R. Hunt, Jane Chambers-Evans, John Christman, Polycarp Ikuenobe, Catriona Mackenzie, Andrea C. Westlund, and others): Variously informed by feminist theory, relational theory, and critical social theory, approaches to autonomous emancipation from oppression or domination are developed.
      “This paper argues for a conception of autonomy that takes social oppression seriously without sapping autonomy of its valuable focus on individual self-direction. Building on recent work in relational accounts of autonomy, the paper argues that current conceptions of autonomy from liberal, feminist and critical theorists do not adequately account for the social features of belief formation. The paper then develops an alternative conception of relational autonomy that focuses on how autonomy contains both individualistic and social epistemic features. Rather than consider autonomy to reside in an impenetrable inner citadel, a place immune from external influences, the paper argues that we must acknowledge the hermeneutic relationship between individual and social processes of belief adjudication. Taking such an argument seriously results in the need to alter our conception of autonomy and the schooling needed to foster its growth.…
      “… While the general literature associated with relational autonomy blurs the lines between the inner world of choice and rationality and that of the external, they do not provide a truly revised, relational definition of autonomy. Such theories are useful because they expose how autonomy’s growth and maintenance is relational, but they do not address a central issue: What does autonomy within the conditions of social oppression entail? …
      “The first step toward a more relationally-focused notion of autonomy that I have offered here is to build into the definition the criterion that autonomous individuals engage in critical examination of their belief formation and decision making processes, especially ones that may be influenced oppressive social conditions. The aim is to analyze how agents come to understand themselves and their ‘innermost’ desires with respect to their potential origins within such oppressive social conditions.…
      “… relational autonomy requires, then, that autonomous individuals have much more skill at epistemological analysis than current conceptions presume, and it may require that such analysis be a part of a much more social process of inquiry. As paradoxical as it may seem, individual autonomy may be enhanced when individuals inquire with others.”
      [Peter Nelsen, “Oppression, Autonomy and the Impossibility of the Inner Citadel.” Studies in Philosophy and Education. Volume 29, number 4, July 2010. Pages 333-349.]
      “Although relational autonomy highlights the ways in which systems and societal oppression can undermine one’s ability to develop the capacities for autonomy, we believe it is important to investigate not only the ways in which providers in the healthcare system can reinforce these systems of oppression but what their responsibilities are to provide autonomy-supporting care for patients who are victims of oppression.…
      “In this paper, we incorporate common components from several current theories of autonomy to employ a conception of relational autonomy that includes possessing the capacities of self-determination, self-cohesion, and self-respect, acknowledging that these components are all necessary but may not be sufficient for a full theory of relational autonomy.”
      [Jennifer K. Walter and Lainie Friedman Ross, “Relational Autonomy as the Key to Effective Behavioral Change.” Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology. Volume 20, number 2, June 2013. Pages 169-177.]
      “Most feminist accounts of relational autonomy reject individualist notions of the ‘self,’ which idealize self-sufficiency and rugged independence as fundamental aspects of character and moral life ….
      “Relational views of autonomy recognize and account for the ways in which the beliefs, values, and desires that inform autonomous action are constituted within social relations that include relations of interdependence …. A relational approach attends not only to ‘choice,’ but also to the ways that practices themselves shape the very capacity for autonomy ….”
      [Suze Berkhout, “Relational Autonomy on the Cutting Edge.” The American Journal of Bioethics. Volume 12, number 7, July 2012. Pages 59-61.]
      “In this article, we argue that patient-centered care can be improved by explicitly integrating a feminist formulation of autonomy, called relational autonomy, as an essential component.…
      “The term relational autonomy refers to conceptions of autonomy grounded on the social nature of people’s lives …. On these views, people are integrally connected with a social environment marked by economics, politics, ethnicity, gender, culture, and so on. Their identity is formed and shaped by their social environment, as well as their experience of embodiment, interactions with others, and possibilities for a good life. Along with interconnection, the fact of interdependence pervades this relational understanding of the self, as people are only dependent and independent relative to the circumstances in which they find themselves …. This is the starting place whence conceptions of relational autonomy are formed.
      “In a relational approach, autonomy emerges within and because of relationships …. An individual’s identity and relationships with others are shaped by an embodied experience that influences how both the individual and others perceive and interpret different intersecting bodily characteristics (which include age, skin pigmentation, sex characteristics, different abilities and inabilities, etc.). Important skills and capacities are learned and practiced through interactions with others (e.g., patience, perseverance, trust, self-confidence, problem solving, effective communication). Social factors (e.g., culture, religion, the love and well-being of a spouse, a particular work ethic, value of charity) similarly are integral to one’s sense of identity, one’s interests, and what skills are learned. How relationships with others and the whole structure of society support, limit, or enable autonomy is taken into account explicitly (to the extent one is able) when the autonomy of specific individuals or groups (or autonomy tendencies within groups) is examined.”
      [Carolyn Ells, Matthew R. Hunt, and Jane Chambers-Evans, “Relational autonomy as an essential component of patient-centered care.” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics. Volume 4, number 2, fall 2011. Pages 79-101.]
      “Feminists have been especially vocal in the claim that the idea of autonomy central to liberal politics must be reconfigured or abandoned so as to be more sensitive to relations of care, interdependence, and mutual support that define our lives and which have traditionally marked the realm of the feminine.…
      “In recent work on the notion, theorists from various corners have developed conceptions that include specifications of proper social and interpersonal relations in spelling out what self-government means. Relations defined by one’s culture, religion or social role of the sort just mentioned – those central to the person’s sense of self – would have to be supported in order for self-governing agency to be possible. Of particular relevance here are those theorists who require that competent, authentic choice requires being recognized by significant others as having normative authority, self-trust, or answerability.
      “These conditions are meant to capture the ways that persons can be oppressed by others’ not taking them seriously, by denigrating or dismissing their point of view.”
      [John Christman, “Relational Autonomy and the Social Dynamics of Paternalism.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. Volume 17, number 3, June 2014. Pages 369-382.]
      “‘Relational autonomy’ is the label that has been given to an alternative conception of what it means to be a free, self-governing agent who is also socially constituted and who possibly defines her basic value commitments in terms of interpersonal relations and mutual dependencies. Relational views of the autonomous person, then, valuably underscore the social embeddedness of selves while not forsaking the basic value commitments of (for the most part, liberal) justice. These conceptions underscore the social components of our self-concepts as well as emphasize the role that background social dynamics and power structures play in the enjoyment and development of autonomy. However, when conceptions of relational autonomy are spelled out in detail, certain difficulties arise which should give us some pause in the utilization of such notions in the formulation of principles of justice, especially those motivated by feminist and other liberatory concerns.” [John Christman, “Relational Autonomy, Liberal Individualism, and the Social Constitution of Selves.” Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition. Volume 117, number 1/2, January 2004. Pages 143-164.]
      “The idea of ‘relational autonomy’ is understood in philosophical literature as an alternative conception of what it means for one to be a free and self-governing person, in that such a person is socially constituted and embedded in a social environment, culture, or tradition that indicates value commitments, social obligations, interpersonal relationships, and mutual dependencies. The African view of relational autonomy is defined and bolstered by communal realities, relationships, values, interests, obligations, and modes of meaning. These social relationships and obligations not only shape individuals’ rational options, choices, and decisions but also give meaning to the notion of a free choice.” [Polycarp Ikuenobe, “Relational autonomy, personhood, and African traditions.” Philosophy East and West. Volume 65, number 4, 2015. Pages 1005-1029.]
      “The term ‘relational autonomy’ is … an umbrella term that covers a number of different views. There are differences of view, for example, about whether autonomy is a social capacity mainly in the sense that social relationships contribute to its development or whether it is social in a more constitutive conceptual sense. There are also differences concerning whether the conditions necessary for autonomy should be understood procedurally or substantively.” [Catriona Mackenzie, “Relational Autonomy, Normative Authority and Perfectionism.” Journal of Social Philosophy. Volume 29, number 4, winter 2008. Pages 512-533.]
      “… it is not always clear whether relational theorists are offering a fundamentally new approach to autonomy. After all, many mainstream accounts of autonomy have turned out to be quite hospitable to the feminist emphasis on relationality. Most currently influential accounts are procedural in the sense that they treat some form of reflective endorsement of motivating desires or values as the key to autonomous choice and action. While adherents of such accounts may not have paid sufficient attention to social factors in the past, most can accommodate the reality that the capacities needed for reflective endorsement must be developed during a relatively long period of dependence on parents and other caregivers. Moreover, procedural accounts of autonomy are, by design, neutral with respect to the content of an autonomous agent’s desires, preferences, and values, imposing formal rather than substantive constraints on autonomous choice and action. Substantive independence is neither necessary nor sufficient for autonomy on such accounts, nor does substantive dependence (or interdependence) pose any special problem. Finally, procedural accounts do not generally require that the autonomous agent’s desires or values be developed or endorsed in the absence of social forces.” [Andrea C. Westlund, “Rethinking Relational Autonomy.” Hypatia. Volume 24, number 4, fall 2009. Pages 26-49.]
      “Unlike in North America and Europe, in other societies, individual autonomy does not play as central a role. In differing cultural contexts, relational autonomy is morally more acceptable than individual autonomy. Furthermore, in these cultures, when we talk about relational autonomy, the stress is more often on relation than on autonomy. In the Far East, in Africa, and even in some minority groups within Western societies, other values are considered more important.” [Fabrizio Turoldo, “Relational Autonomy and Multiculturalism.” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. Volume 19, number 4, October 2010. Pages 542-549.]
      “In what follows, I hope to suggest the broad contours of an account of moral traces that highlights its relational features. Looking at moral traces through a relational lens accentuates, and perhaps even intensifies, the obligations that they incur. Put differently, relational conceptions of autonomy require a more careful account of moral traces—one that focuses on what we owe one another. By a relational conception of autonomy, I mean a view of agency that sees the choices we make as shaped by our relations with and commitment to others. Highlighting moral traces as central to the moral life is a way to recognize the importance of human accountability, which ensures that we are always fully aware of how our actions affect others. Ultimately, the significance of the effect of moral traces does not lie simply in protecting an agent’s integrity or sense of herself as morally whole but rather in how it promotes the building and maintaining of relations.” [Aline H. Kalbian, “Moral Traces and Relational Autonomy.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Volume 96, number 3, 2013. Pages 280-296.]
      “This essay argues for a re-examination of the notions of autonomy and undue pressure in the contexts of patienthood and relational identity. In particular, it examines the characteristics of families and their role in adult patients’ decision-making. It adopts a broad definition of family that includes people who are emotionally or psychologically close to one another. Such definition can include biological and adopted families as well as other domestic and intimate relationships. Building on the feminist conception of the relational self and examining the context of contemporary institutional medicine, this paper argues that family involvement and consideration of family interests can be integral in promoting patients’ overall agency.” [Anita Ho, “Relational autonomy or undue pressure? Family’s role in medical decision-making.” Scandinavian Journal of Caring Services. Volume 22, number 1, March 2008. Pages 128-135.]
      “… [Some] feminist philosophers … theorize a ‘relational autonomy’ and propose that a negotiated community of relationships in a social polity is able to recognize the universal moments transcending pluralism. An ecological, planetary, imperative is one such moment.…
      “… Importantly, I suggest, a cautious and careful feminist re-theorization of autonomy as relational autonomy directs attention to social interdependency, while also opening spaces for appropriately self-reflective and self-directed action. This formulation offers an important reconceptualisation of the homo economicus rationale derived of Kantian and utilitarian philosophies embedded in modernist organization theory and governing conceptions of the range and direction of individual action within organizations. Moreover, it also offers a further development beyond postmodern feminist critiques of organizational practices that have largely exclusively emphasized oppressive constrictions of gendered subjects and discursive subjectification of persons.”
      [Catherine Casey, “Contested rationalities, contested organizations: Feminist and postmodernist visions.” Journal of Organizational Change Management. Volume 17, number 3, 2004. Pages 302-314.]
      “My rather bold claim is that once the temporal scope of autonomy is opened up, we need not only to reconsider how to incorporate social conditions of autonomy. We may also have to reconsider the very distinction between causallyand constitutively relational accounts, which is itself a synchronic (and not a diachronic) distinction. Of course, within the limits of this paper, I will not be able to fully substantiate this claim or to develop a conception of ‘diachronic autonomy’ that does justice to what I call the ‘social and temporal dynamics’ of autonomy. But I hope to give at least some reasons why it might be a worthwhile task to reconsider relational autonomy from the perspective of our temporal extendedness, and to set the stage for further discussions.” [Holger Baumann, “Reconsidering Relational Autonomy. Personal Autonomy for Socially Embedded and Temporally Extended Selves.” Analyse & Kritik. Volume 30, number 2, November 2008. Pages 445-468.]
      “… a practical ideal of inclusion – not unlike certain feminist proposals for relational autonomy – could still be employed to interpret autonomy as a regulative, revisable principle of reason. This is revisable in precisely the sense of taking on board our vulnerabilities as men and women. The principle of inclusion would, then, be inseparable from our concern with how we should conduct ourselves as rational readers and writers of our lives, attentive to each other.” [Pamela Sue Anderson, “Autonomy, vulnerability and gender.” Feminist Theory. Volume 4, number 2, August 2003. Pages 149-164.]
    130. autonomist councilism (Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation): They propose an approach, informed partially by autonomism and councilism, to anarcho–communism.
      “… globally, the ZACF [Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation] bases itself on the proud fighting tradition of some 155 years of mass anarchist militancy, starting with the Pan-European Revolt of 1848 and stretching across Africa, Latin America, Asia, Australasia, North America and Europe. The Federation stands on the internationalist libertarian federal tradition of the First International, on the autonomist councilism of the Parisian and Macedonian Communes and of the Russian, Ukrainian and German Soviets, on the mass-based anarcho-syndicalist tradition of the International Workers’ Association, and on the armed anarchist insurrectionary tradition of the Mexican, Russian, Ukrainian, Manchurian, Spanish and Cuban Revolutions. These traditions continue today in the International Libertarian Solidarity network and in the anarchist-influenced global mass anti-capitalist struggles of the new millennium, the ultimate aim of which is an Internationalist Social Revolution ….” [Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation, “Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation: Interim Skeleton Constitution.” Zabalaza: A Journal of Southern African Revolutionary Anarchism. Number 4, June 2003. Pages 2 and 6.]
    131. union autonom (Émile Pouget): He considers that, in joining a union, the member does not lose her or his autonomy.
      Union Autonom
      “However superior the union may be to every other form of association, it does not follow that it has any intrinsic existence, independent of that breathed into it by its membership. Which is why the latter, if they are to conduct themselves as conscious union members, owe it to themselves to participate in the work of the union. And, for their part, they would have no conception of what constitutes the strength of this association, were they to imagine that they come to it as perfect union members, simply by doing their duty by the union financially.…
      “The constituent part of the union is the individual. Except that the union member is spared the depressing phenomenon manifest in democratic circles where, thanks to the veneration of universal suffrage, the trend is towards the crushing and diminution of the human personality. In a democratic setting, the elector can avail of her will only in order to perform an act of abdication: her role is to ‘award’ her ‘vote’ to the candidate whom she wishes to have as her ‘representative.’
      “Affiliation to the union has no such implications and even the greatest stickler could not discover the slightest trespass against the human personality in it: after, as well as before, the union member is what she used to be. Autonomous she was and autonomous she remains.”
      [Émile Pouget. What is the union? Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1905. Page 4.]
      “We cannot make it too clear that the autonomous working-class movement has been, and is still, obstructed by all the forces of obscurantism and reaction, and also by the democratic forces that are, but under new and hypocritical disguises, the continuation of old societies in which a handful of parasites and maintained in plenty by the forced labour of plebeians.…
      “the dogma ‘Sovereignty of the people,’ which teaches that all men are brothers and equals, this democratic right ends by sanctioning economic slavery and oppressing men of initiative, progress, science and liberty.
      “Trade union right is the exact opposite. Starting from individual sovereignty and the autonomy of human beings, it ends in agreement in order to live in solidarity, so that its logical, unquestionable consequence is the realisation of social liberty and equality.”
      [Émile Pouget. The Basis of Trade Unionism. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1908. Pages 2 and 12.]
    132. autonomous base nucleus (o.v.): This piece offers an anarcho–autonomist perspective on revolutionary struggle.
      “Mass structures, autonomous base nuclei are the element linking the specific informal anarchist organisation to social struggles.
      “The autonomous base nucleus is not an entirely new form of struggle. Attempts have been made to develop these structures in Italy over the past ten years. The most notable of these was the Autonomous Movement of the Turin Railway Workers, and the Self-managed leagues against the cruise missile base in Comiso.
      “We believe the revolutionary struggle is without doubt a mass struggle. We therefore see the need to build structures capable of organising as many groups of exploited as possible.…
      “A radical change in the way society — exploitation — is being run can only be achieved by revolution. That is why we are trying to intervene with an insurrectional project. Struggles of tomorrow will only have a positive outcome if the relationship between informal specific anarchist structure and the mass structure of autonomous base nuclei is clarified and put into effect.
      “The main aim of the nucleus is not to abolish the State or Capital, which are practicably unattackable so long as they remain a general concept. The objective of the nucleus is to fight and attack this State and this Capital in their smaller and more attainable structures, having recourse to an insurrectional method.
      “The autonomous base groups are mass structures and constitute the point of encounter between the informal anarchist organisation and social struggles.
      “The organisation within the nucleus distinguishes itself by the following characteristics:
      1. “autonomy from any political, trade union or syndical force;
      2. “permanent conflictuality (a constant and effective struggle towards the aims that are decided upon, not sporadic occasional interventions);
      3. “attack (the refusal of compromise, mediation or accommodation that questions the attack on the chosen objective).”
      [o.v. Autonomous Base Nucleus. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2009. Pages 1-2.]
    133. autonomous workers’ nuclei (Alaric Malgraith): He proposes an autonomist approach to revolution.
      “Sabotage is perhaps the most effective means of crippling Leviathan. The successful sabotage of the Megamachine’s infrastructure can be seen as blocking the arteries of Leviathan. Block enough and Leviathan’s very heart stops beating. Sabotage can be used to liberate specific areas or beings such as when construction vehicles are torched to protect a forest or factory farm lines are dismantled to save enslaved animals, or sabotage can be used to dismember Leviathan itself and disrupt the functioning of the planetary work machine. Some potential targets for sabotage intended to have a more generally disruptive affect could include the roads, rail lines and ports that unite the planetary work machine, as well as the gas stations and vehicles that facilitate this union. The circuitry of the Megamachine should be taken out to disrupt communication between Leviathan’s reproduction cells. This would include power generating stations, cell phone towers, radio towers and internet hubs. Government and corporate offices should be immediately targeted for eviction and destruction (preferably in that order.) This includes police stations, military barracks, post offices, banks, malls, etc. Industrial targets are a priority. One of the tasks of the Insurrectional and Revolutionary Workers’ Nucleus is the sabotage, dismantling and reclamation of factories (i.e. by using them as housing, social centers, etc.) Other industrial targets include hydroelectric dams and infrastructure related to resource extraction. Schools, churches, prisons and other societies of control should be eliminated through subversive infiltration and external opposition. Many of the above territories to be liberated can be reclaimed and used in furtherance of liberating more territories (i.e. as meeting places, warehouses for supplies, autonomous zones, permacultural/re-wilded regions.)” [Alaric Malgraith. Autonomous Workers’ Nuclei: A New Vision for the Post-Industrial Labour Movement. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2009. Page 15.]
    134. cyber–autonomism (Paolo Gerbaudo as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He describes the do–it–yourself approach used by anti–globalization activists.
      “My argument can be schematically summarised as follows. Anti-globalisation activists adopted a techno-political approach that I describe as cyber-autonomist. This approach was deeply informed by the [19]70s and [19]80s counter-culture, DIY [do it yourself] culture, and the tradition of alternative media, from pirate radios to fanzines. These different inspirations shared an emphasis on the struggle for the liberation of individuals and local communities from the interference of large-scale institution. Drawing on these antecedents, cyber-autonomism approached the Internet as a space of autonomy. The movement of the squares has instead adopted what I describe as a cyberpopulist attitude which sees the Internet as a space of mass mobilisation in which atomized individuals can be fused together in an inclusive and syncretic subjectivity. This approach reflects the populist turn that has marked the movement of the squares, as seen in its adoption of a discourse of the people, or of the 99% against the elites ….
      “These two techno-political orientations evidently reflect the process of technological evolution from the more elitist web 1.0 to the massified web 2.0 of social network sites. But their understanding cannot be reduced to this technological transformation. It also needs to encompass a plurality of other factors, and account for the seismic shift in attitudes and perceptions caused by the financial crisis of 2008 and connected ideological developments. Paralleling the turn of social movements from anarcho-autonomism to populism as the dominant contestational ideology, digital activism has transitioned from a view of the Internet as a space of resistance and counter-cultural contestation, to its understanding as a space of counterhegemonic mobilisation.”
      [Paolo Gerbaudo, “From Cyber-Autonomism to Cyber-Populism: An Ideological History of Digital Activism.” tripleC: Cognition, Communication, Co-operation. Volume 15, number 2, 2017. Pages 478-491.]
    135. project of liberation (Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories): They argue for “the absolute autonomy of individuals and groups.”
      “From the moment that the bourgeois overthrew the feudalist system and took hold of the State and the economy the potential for the liberation of the exploited class existed. Class division is the contradiction that must be solved. The exploited are not immature and always in search of leaders to save them, but are quite often in search of new ways with which to resist exploitation, to resist work, to subvert the economy. Our task, as anarchists is to demonstrate simple and easily reproducible actions and tactics. Our task is to attack easily identifiable class enemies; bosses, landlords, politicians, police. Our goal is to unify the diverse strands of struggle in a movement that will assault capitalism itself.…
      “Autonomy is the prerequisite of social freedom. Only the absolute autonomy of individuals and groups, the freedom to associate or disassociate with others at will, can allow the natural tendency towards solidarity and mutual aid to take root. The principle of self-determination must grow from the free individual out towards the community, and further outwards to distinct cultural groups and geographic regions. Autonomy provides the basis for meaningful interrelations between groups and territories on the basis of communism; the equality of access to the means of existence and social life. Revolution is a project that develops decentralized organizational structures on the one hand while it attacks the centralized formations of the class enemy on the other. Revolutionaries must take the initiative to constantly fight against any tendency towards centralization if they are to defend freedom. From this perspective, revolutionary initiative becomes a project based on combining the struggle for individual liberation with the social struggle to overthrow the capitalist system and the class enemy.…
      “Anarchists should dive headfirst into unpredictable and uncontrollable waters to realize their project of social self-liberation. The destructive concept of true freedom demands it.”
      [Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories. A Project of Liberation. Portland, Oregon: Venomous Butterfly Publications. 2003. Pages 7-8, 14, and 26-27.]
    136. anarcho–autonomism (Alastair Pennycock, Evan Mauro, Ruth Reitan, and others): They discuss various anarchist approaches to autonomism.
      “… [A] position that … is generally at odds with critical applied linguistics is what I call the anarcho-autonomous position, combining a more radical leftist politics with a view that this nevertheless has nothing to do with applied linguistics. The best known proponent of such a position in a related field is Noam Chomsky. It might appear that there is little point in discussing this position since its linguistic theory is of minimal relevance to applied domains and its view on knowledge and politics does not lend itself to adoption in critical applied linguistics. Nevertheless, there are important reasons for giving some space to these views: First, the political and epistemological frameworks I present in this chapter are common but not inherent conjunctions; thus, it is interesting to consider how and why they fit together but also important to see how they might not and what other possible conjunctions there may be (the same can be said of the liberal-structuralist position I outlined earlier). Second, Chomsky presents an interesting case of a public intellectual known both for his linguistic and for his political work. Third, although these two strands of his work seem separate, they do connect at certain levels and thus present an intriguing political and philosophical position with implications for understanding the politics of knowledge. And finally, there are well-known applied linguistic researchers, such as Mike Long, who share a similar orientation toward anarcho-syndicalist politics on the one hand … and rationalism and realism on the other.” [Alastair Pennycock. Critical Applied Linguistics: A Critical Introduction. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 2001. Page 33.]
      “… [A] post-avant-garde development … is The Coming Insurrection … by the Invisible Committee, which resuscitates the avant-garde’s signature genre, the manifesto, in a blistering anarcho-autonomist critique of the contemporary global order. The text’s call to action tries to dissolve any residual twentieth-century vanguardism in the very act of negating the category of authorship – with its “invisibility” metaphor, and the claim that the manifesto’s ideas are drawn directly from the multitudes themselves ….” [Evan Mauro. Fables of Regeneration: Modernism, Biopolitics, Reproduction. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). Hamilton, Ontario. February, 2012. Pages 64-65.]
      “In this introduction, I will first survey the burgeoning literature on transnational activism and global civil society in order to situate, analyze, and theorize the AGM within the three historical traditions—and contentious relations—of the political left: namely liberal reformism, marxian revolution, and anarcho-autonomist radicalism. Doing so helps us to understand this diverse and dispersed mobilization cycle as growing out of, and still rooted in, the left and thus constitutive of it today. I argue that what is unique about this ‘global left’ is that it has not fractured into its historical three tendencies, but instead has woven itself into a metaphorical frayed braid, which is now entwining with transgressive and potentially transformative strands beyond the traditional left–right spectrum, those of indigenous and other anti- and de-colonial struggles.” [Ruth Reitan, “Theorizing and Engaging the Global Movement: From Anti-Globalization to Global Democratization.” Globalizations. Volume 9, number 3, June 2012. Pages 323-335.]
      “… the Minister of the Interior, Michèle Alliot-Marie, brushing aside Republican legal niceties, intervenes to strongly underline the presumption of guilt and to classify the whole affair under the rubric of terrorism, linking it to the supposed rise of an insurrectionist ‘ultra-left’ (ultragauche), or ‘anarcho-autonomist tendency’ (mouvance anarcho-autonome), filling in the vacuum left by the collapse of the institutional Left …. Invoking anti-terrorist legislation, the nine are interrogated and detained for 96 hours; four are subsequently released.” [Alberto Toscano, “The War Against Preterrorism: The ‘Tarnac Nine.’” Best of the Anarchist Tubes. Volume 2, number 2, February 2009. Page 4.]
      “I have the honor of bringing to your attention the following information communicated by our intelligence service: an illicit anarcho-autonomous group, with operations on French soil and links to militants of the same ideology embedded abroad, is planning to commit violent acts for the purpose of seriously disturbing the public order through intimidation. This group of some twenty activists, with bases of operation in Paris as well as the provinces, has conspired with foreign extremists in order to build a subversive force. On January 31, 2008, one of the leaders of this group and a female Parisian anarcho-autonomist militant illegally entered Canada from the United States on foot, having first left a backpack in the vehicle of a Canadian national that was found by the police as the car went through an immigration checkpoint.” [David Dufresne, “Tarnac, General Store: Anarchist farmers vs. Inspector Clouseau.” Namara Smith, translator. Double Bind. Issue 16, spring 2013. Pages 1-26.]
      “Journalist cops, politicos, and jackals came from all sides to hurriedly denounce an imaginary ‘anarcho-autonomist’ movement.” [Editor, “On Sabotage Considered as One of the Fine Arts.” Dark Nights: For Mutual Aid & Solidarity. December, 2008. No pagination.]
      “The State criminalizes revolt and tries to smother all “unauthorized” dissidence. What’s targeted is our ideas and our method of struggle, outside of parties, unions or other organizations. Faced with this anger that the State can neither reach, nor manage, nor recuperate, it isolates and designates the internal enemy. The police use their files and general information to construct ‘profile types.’ The figure used in our case is an ‘anarcho-autonomist’ cell. Power assimilates this figure as terrorist. Constructing a danger for creating a consensus for its population, reinforcing its control and justifying repression.” [Bruno and Ivan. Letter from the Prisons of Fresnes and Villepinte in France. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2008. Pages 1-2.]
      “To philosopher Robert Paul Wolff, anarchy, or a society without the need of leaders, best fits with autonomy, or dutiful freedom since only it can sustain the individual and collective aspects of liberty. For example, one cannot claim that democratic republics of today cohere with people’s innate capacities for freedom since each election is a ‘tyranny of the majority.’ That is, it is impossible to claim that democracies truly embrace freedom since they do not require unanimous decisions to push forward policies that will affect all people. As such, democracies do not represent everyone’s autonomy, and because they only represent and work best for the majority, the autonomy of those who lose in an election cycle goes mute.” [Rocco A. Astore. The Importance of Autonomy in Anarchy and Statelessness. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2017. Page 3.]
    137. bodily autonomy (Anarchist Federation): They focus on issues concerning the liberation of women.
      “Today we are still faced with many problems that have to be overcome. Recent revelations within the authoritarian left have revealed a culture that is predisposed to the cover-up of rape and abuse against women and a subsequent closing of ranks by the leadership and a large part of the party membership. We should not be so smug as to think that similar problems do not exist within the anarchist movement and that women do not face problems of sexual harassment, belittling from male comrades, not being taken seriously, and so on. If we are to construct a relevant anarchist movement then we must take up the call for women’s liberation. This means not just around the question of collective child care, the need for socialised crèches [nurseries] both within the movement and in society as a whole, birth control and contraception, for the rights of bodily autonomy the whole question of unwaged work, the need to transform housework, the struggle around equal pay, but also against the objectification and role stereotyping of women in advertising and the media, against sexual harassment in the street, at work and in the home, for open access to medical aids to transition; all told, the struggle against structural misogyny and its intersecting forms such as transmisogyny and misogynoir.” [Anarchist Federation. Revolutionary Women. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2015. Page 21.]
    138. worker’s autonomy (Alfredo Bonanno as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and the comrades of Kronstadt Editions): They propose an autonomist and anarchist approach to the workers’ struggle.
      “The road ahead of the proletariat is blocked: the reformist parties, trade unions and employers have coalesced to obstruct any growth in the level of the struggle, or any conquests which could lead to a revolutionary transformation of production relations. The proletariat have only one alternative: that of building communism directly, passing over the counter-revolutionary bureaucratic structures. In order to do this we must provide analyses of and realise in practice, elements organised by the base at the level of production: autonomous workers’ nuclei.
      “These nuclei must not, in our opinion, be confused with the company, the factory, etc., but their concept must widen to a global vision of factory, living area, school and land.
      “Within this globality the idea of autonomy must be re-interpreted by the working class and related to the autonomy of each individual, element of constant reference and correction of any tendency to construct the former at the cost of the latter. Here the action of a minority which has acquired a revolutionary consciousness has its place: to point out the ever present dangers of bureaucratisation, any involution towards the control of the struggle by a minority, certain corporative tendencies intrinsic to the workers’ movement, and all the other limitations which centuries of oppression have developed. Their very delicate task is therefore that of fusing together struggle and organisation, uniting them in daily praxis. This requires analytical clarity in order that the second should be maintained within the usable limits of the first, and to prevent its autonomous essence being destroyed by the organisational aspect, leaving it in name only.”
      [Alfredo Bonanno and the comrades of Kronstadt Editions. Worker’s Autonomy. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2009. Page 5.]
      “The conclusion of working class autonomy comes to us, as we have seen, from the impossibility of breaking through the counter-revolutionary circle in any other way. That this impossibility is supposed to be due to a pretended historical process is something which does not concern us. Workers’ autonomy is not another philosophical ‘form’ like so many others, it is an objective necessity. Workers must look after their own interests: the religious stimulus towards a delegate to take care of their interests must be fought.
      “Here a question arises. What determines the birth and development of the autonomous organization of the struggle within the working class? Is it automatic, a direct consequence of the impossibility of a revolutionary outlet due to the ‘holy alliance’ between capital, parties and trade unions? Or does a precise minority exist, acting within the masses, developing a progressive clarification of the dangers, obstacles and possibilities: i.e. pushing the masses to act for themselves?
      “The most exact answer would be an illustration of the two factors alongside each other. But in practice the most serious problem which arises is that of the precise historical character of the industrial proletariat, and their ‘hegemonic’ role in the revolutionary perspective. It would seem to some that without the birth of the industrial proletariat the tendency towards autonomous organization would not have come about. We find such reasoning curious for two reasons: first, it insists on giving the industrial proletariat the historic role of ‘guide,’ and proposes an illogical alternative in history the possibility of a ‘non-existence’ of the proletariat. But the proletariat do exist. Industry and its development have their place in history, the industrial revolution determined the birth of capitalism and this has evolved to the present day as we know it, and shows clear signs of going in a certain direction. All this leads to a simplification of our problem. A large part of the working class today are made up of the industrial proletariat. They are directly linked in their class configuration to the development of the industrial revolution, which is logical. But we do not understand how from this we can pass to the affirmation that the industrial workers must play a predominant role over the rest of the working class. Not only that, we do not understand the second question: why autonomy must only come about within the industrial proletariat.”
      [Alfredo Bonanno, “After Marx, Autonomy.” Worker’s Autonomy. Elephant Editions, editor. Richmond, Indiana: Old Mole Literature Distribution. 2005. Pages 5-18.]
    139. non–vanguardist forms of social research (Stevphen Shukaitis [Greek/Hellēniká, Στέβεν Σκουκαίτης, Stében Skoukaítēs as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): Shukaitis, an anarcho–autonomist, conducts research into a variety of subjects. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Essex (the Centre for Work, Organization, and Society and the Essex Business School). Some of the biographical information below is dated:
      Stevphen Shukaitis is a research fellow at the University of London, Queen Mary. He is a member the Planetary Autonomist Network and the editorial collective of Autonomedia and ephemera: theory & politics in organization. He seeks to develop non-vanguardist forms of research as part of the global conspiracy against capitalism.” [Editor, “Author Bios.” Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization. Stevphen Shukaitis and David Graeber with Erika Biddle, editors. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2007. Pages 320-324.]
      Consistent Imagination is organized into four stanzas that comprise the editor’s view of the relationship between radical theory and the ‘movement of movements’ of social change, each with an editorial introduction. The first is titled Moments of Possibility//Geneology of Resistance and attempts to address the central question of this book: how does one negotiate between the desire for and practice of a total rupture of the existing order while working to understand the existing order? In the parlance of the book ‘Where are the fault lines between academia, activism, and the orgasms of history?’” [Aragorn! Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization. Review. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2008. Page 1.]
      1. imaginal machines: Shukaitis develops an anarcho–autonomist approach to “the socially and historically embedded manifestations of the radical imagination.”
        “The task is to explore the construction of imaginal machines, comprising the socially and historically embedded manifestations of the radical imagination. Imagination as a composite of our capacities to affect and be affected by the world, to develop movements toward new forms of autonomous sociality and collective self-determination.” [Stevphen Shukaitis. Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 10.]
        “To restore the social-technical machines of a particular organization or movement, we need to attempt to identify forms of resonance between desiring machines, between imaginal machines constructed and animated by constituent power.…
        “… The social imaginary is not a network of symbols, or a series of reflections, but the capacity for symbols and reflections to be created in the first place. It is these shared capacities, and their ability to give rise to new forms of what is thinkable, of new social possibilities or organizations and new modes of understanding. Social imaginaries are not emergent in and of themselves, they are composed through the workings of many imaginal machines, devices created through social relationships and struggles that do not necessarily encompass the entire social field (even if they aspire to).”
        [Stevphen Shukaitis. Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Pages 13-14.]
        “Zombies or no zombies, the logic of ‘incorpse-oration’ is not one that is likely to be done away with anytime soon. Rather it is a question of how it is dealt with, to ward off the bony hands of the old world that constantly grasp and claw at our feet just when we thought we had escaped. This is the defining task of any radical politics that seeks to remain so, to find ways to not be transformed into just another tool for capitalist valorization or state power. This requires the continual rebuilding and reformulation of imaginal machines capable of animating new forms of self-organization and autonomy in the revolutions of everyday life.” [Stevphen Shukaitis. Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 29.]
        “While the theoretical vocabulary and language of autonomist politics has proliferated like so many Brooklyn hipsters, fittingly enough, it has done so in a superficial manner. Paradoxically, the radical intent underlying autonomism has seemingly vanished. Rather than understanding capitalist development as having been determined by the movement of working class resistance, autonomist concepts have been used in ways that make capitalist development seem like a hermetically closed, self-directing process.… By understanding primitive accumulation not as a one-time event that underlies the formation of capitalism, but rather a process of violence and separation that persists and is expanded through the incorporation of the energies of social resistance, I hope to provide some new considerations for moving beyond capitalism.” [Stevphen Shukaitis. Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 32.]
        “The point here is not to attempt to reopen and revisit the entire history of the avant-garde and its relations to politics, for that would be far too vast. Rather, it is to revisit and draw from this history is a specific way, namely to consider ways through which the conjunction of artistic and revolutionary machines enables the building of imaginal machines, or the possibility for forms composition drawing from aesthetic politics. This question becomes all the more pressing when the legacy of the historical avant-garde is far beyond simply being dead, it is rather undead, become monstrous, reemployed, and turned into all sorts of zombies bent on devouring the brains of living creativity.” [Stevphen Shukaitis. Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 101.]
      2. autonomist refusal of work: He develops an autonomist Marxist approach to the subject.
        “… when we discuss the refusal of work, it is only part of the story that is usually considered: namely, the aspects that are most socially visible. Something always remains hidden away, tucked below the gaze of power. Although that is more often than not a benefit rather than a downfall to many forms of social resistance, for the purposes of this essay we are considering the moments when these subterranean social currents burst through the surface and openly declare themselves.…
        “This is the center of an autonomist refusal of work: a perspective that focuses specifically on the compositional elements of that refusal. The twin concepts of political and technical composition, which are of great importance for understanding what makes operaismo different from other forms of Marxism …, are likewise important in understanding work refusal as a compositional practice rather than as an individualistically oriented gesture.”
        [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Learning Not to Labor.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 26, number 2, 2014. Pages 193-205.]
      3. autonomous self–organization and self–management in the workplace: Shukaitis develops an anarcho–autonomist approach to worker self–management.
        “Forms of autonomous self-organization and self-management in the workplace operate as immanent critiques of existing forms of work organization as they stipulate, in practice, that there exist other possibilities for how workplaces might operate. They function in ways that could be described as (even if this is not usually done) forms of “propaganda of the deed” and as direct action.13 This is not to say that they are in any way violent or confrontational at all, as is often assumed about such practices, but rather that they embody a form that follows this spirit and inspiration, namely that of taking political action without recourse to the state as a locus of making demands. For example, the idea behind acts of “propaganda of the deed” is that they will inspire others to take part in forms of political action and organizing that they would not otherwise. Worker self-management then can be understood as overturning the violence of dispossession and command instilled in wage slavery from the founding acts of originary accumulation to the myriad methods of discipline, control and surveillance often deployed on the job directly. Similarly, direct action does not necessarily indicate any form of violence at all, but rather acting outside the mediation and forms designated by the state or other bodies. So, while this can take the form of a blockade outside of a questionable financial meeting or military base, or intervening in situations based on notions of the illegitimate authority of the state, it can equally be understood as the creation of spaces and methods for autonomous self-organization and community without appealing to the authority or assistance of those that are not directly involved in the process of co-creation.…
        “… To put it in autonomist terms, the formation of the social factory involves the dual movement of capitalist work relations outside of the workplace and greater energies of social creativity into the workplace.”
        [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Sisyphus and the Labour of Imagination: Autonomy, Cultural Production, and the Antinomies of Worker Self-Management.” Affinities: Theory, Cultures, Action. Volume 4, number 1, 2010. Pages 57-82.]
      4. questions of strategy: Shukaitis develops an approach to strategizing.
        “Anarchist and autonomous milieus are very reticent to discuss questions of strategy. Often this position is without very good reason, for the world is burdened with a history of less-fortunate associations with a top-down military logic, or with a tightly controlled attempt to centralize party formation and leadership. And these are the very things that autonomous movements from Occupy to the recent student and anti-austerity movements have so often been trying to leave behind or get rid of. They thought they were gone, only to find their return the day after the day after the revolution. So why, then, bring these concepts back into play as a way to frame a book of autonomous theory and politics.…
        “This unwillingness even to raise questions of strategy comes up against its own limits and has its own problems, even if they are not the same problems of top-down forms of command. In autonomous politics, a lack of coordination and organization can lead into a hippie dropout politics, or minimal cohesion and splintering of the core of the political. Or it can lead to the creation of a political vacuum, where the more decisively authoritarian perspectives will take over the center of the political. But even this is getting too deeply mired in the problem for what is just a preface, a user’s guide to how to approach this text, which will get us dug into it much more deeply before hopefully finding a way out.”
        [Stevphen Shukaitis. The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics and Cultural Labour After the Avant-Garde. London and New York: Rowman & Littlefield International. 2016. Kindle edition.]
      5. strategy of overidentification: Shukaitis defines it as “working through the remaining utopian energies and the traumas of the past rather than repressing them.”
        “A strategy of overidentification, as well as of the Retro-Avant-Garde, working through the remaining utopian energies and the traumas of the past rather than repressing them, opens up other avenues for reformulating critique and intervention. A strategy of overidentification enacts a transition away from considering the dynamics of recuperation as problems to be avoided, to considering them as possibilities to be exploited and worked through, in, and against; but only against by working in them rather than seeking escape by recourse to an unproblematic outside. It is at this juncture where the question of transition is transformed into one of composition and recomposition, working from within the disarticulation and re-articulation of collective imaginaries.” [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Overidentification and/or bust?” Variant. Volume 37, spring/summer 2010. Pages 26-29.]
      6. workers inquiry and class composition in relation to the business school: Shukaitis applies the methodology of workers’ inquity to the business school.
        “What I want to suggest here is that at this juncture it is desirable to rethink workers inquiry and class composition in relation to the business school. In particular, to what extent is it possible to utilize spaces within business school and management departments for engaging in forms of workers’ inquiry and militant research useful to ongoing organizing efforts and movements. This might seem a quite strange proposal, for it is more often that the business school is the location from which processes of class decomposition are launched, where the tools for the more efficient and intensive exploitation of labor are developed and circulated through future managerial populations as they are socialized into, these roles. And it is true that business schools are deeply ambivalent places. The rise of the business school during the 1980s is closely connected to the neoliberal assault against the gains of movements during the 1960s and 1970s. But this is precisely why such a suggestion is all the more pressing in relevant: to understand the enemy from within and develop tools for the recomposition of cycles of struggle by stealing from the master’s workshop.” [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Workers’ Inquiry: Militant research and the business school.” Fifth Estate. Number 380, spring 2009. Online publication. No pagination.]
      7. horrors of our present: Shukaitis considers the tendency to see these horrors “as comprising a false totality.”
        “There exists a tendency, shared across different strains of radical political thought, to see the horrors of our present as comprising a false totality, that when torn asunder, will reveal a more liberatory existence hidden beneath. This is to understand revolution as revelation; as the dispelling of the conditions of false consciousness, and a reclamation of an autonomous existence that continues to live on, albeit deformed, within this world we must leave behind.
        “For the autonomist, this comes in the form of the autonomous activity of the working class whose existence was disrupted, not destroyed, by the violent upheavals that formed the economic basis of capitalism (a process which Marx observes plays the same role in political economy that ‘original sin’ does in theology). In primitivist thought, this becomes a reclaiming of a mythical ancestral past crushed, but never fully destroyed, by the weight of technological development and the machinations of alienation.”
        [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Revelation Vertigo.” Fifth Estate. Number 375, spring 2007. Online publication. No pagination.]
      8. precarity: Shukaitis argues that the utility of this concept lies not in the concept itself but, rather, in the manner in which it is employed.
        “It is not a question of literal translation of the words, but a translation that finds resonance with a particular cultural, social, and political context. Rather, the task is to learn from the way that discussions around precarity have been developed to ferment political antagonisms and everyday insurgency in a particular context, and to see how a process like that can occur elsewhere, drawing from particularities of the location. The grounds of politics themselves are precarious, composed of an uncertain and constantly shifting terrain. Whether a concept such as precarity is useful for recomposing the grounds and basis for a radical politics is not something determined by the concept itself; but rather how those who use it employ it.” [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Whose Precarity Is It Anyway?” Fifth Estate. Number 374, winter 2006/2007. Pages 17-21.]
      9. the metropolis: Shukaitis develops an anarcho–autonomist approach to resisting the space of the production of capital.
        “In recent years there has emerged within radical theory and organizing coming out of Europe, Italy and France specifically, a focus on the metropolis as both a space of capitalist production and resistance to it. This is based on an argument developed over many years within autonomous social movements that we live in the social factory, that exploitation does not just occur within the bounded workplace but increasingly comes to involve all forms of social interactions that are brought into the labor process. In the social factory our abilities to communicate, to relate, to create and imagine, all are put to work, sometimes through digital networks and communications, or through their utilization as part of a redevelopment or revitalization of an area based on the image of being a creative locale. Given this argument it becomes possible to look at the rise of the discourse of the creative city and the creative class, most popularly associated with its development by Richard Florida, and then seized upon by large numbers of urban planners and developers. The rise of the idea of the creative class is not just a theorization of the changing nature of economic production and social structure, it is, or at very least, has become a managerial tool and justification for a restructuring of the city space as a factory space.” [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Art Strikes and the Metropolitan Factory.” Joy Forever: The Political Economy of Social Creativity. Michał Kozłowski, Agnieszka Kurant, Jan Sowa, Krystian Szadkowski, and Jakub Szreder, editors. London: MayFlyBooks. 2014. Creative Commons. Pages 227-236.]
      10. cognitive architecture of utopian political thought in the global justice movement: Shukaitis considers the construction of “shared mental communities” in the global justice movement.
        “Over the past ten years, from 1994 to 2004, there has been a veritable explosion in the multitude of forms of social resistance and radical political organizing in many parts of the world. From the Zapatista National Liberation Army of Chiapas to the No Border camps throughout Europe, from the World Social Forum as a gathering of the forces of an emergent international civil society to the glocalized politics of neighborhood assemblies, from the barrios of Argentina to the streets of New York, these years have borne witness to the emergence of a movement of many movements that take the space of the global sphere as an understood starting point of resistance, rather than the something to be achieved. Whether one is considering immigrant and labor organizing in the US, the landless farmers of Brazil, insurrectionary street parties from London to Genoa, or the truly massive outpourings of voices opposing the invasion of Iraq on several days of global action, these practices of social resistance function in a fluid and networked manner that requires a rethinking of concepts of space and utopian politics in relation to how these movements function. It is this relation, one that might be called the cognitive architecture of utopian political thought in the global justice movement (GJM), that this intervention will begin to explore.…
        “… It is the creation of these common perceptions, cognitive frameworks, and patterns of thought within social spaces and shared mental communities that determine whether spaces of alienation and dislocation lead to normlessness, withdrawal, or varying forms of increased social and political engagement. There is no set or inevitable pattern to such, but a fluid process varying across time and space that is dependent on a host of social and situational factors.”
        [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Space. Imagination // Rupture: The Cognitive Architecture of Utopian Political Thought in the Global Justice Movement.” University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 8, 2005. Pages 1-14.]
      11. nomadic educational machine: Shukaitis argues for “an approach to education based on creating undercommons.”
        “While the extent of this ‘substantial degree of freedom’ might very be debatable within the current political climate of the university and more generally, the point nevertheless remains: that one can find ways to use the institutional space without being of the institution, without taking on the institution’s goals as one’s own. It is this dynamic of being within but not of an institutional space, to not institute itself as the hegemonic or representative form, that characterizes the workings of the nomadic educational machine. It is an exodus that does not need to leave in order to find a line of flight.
        “This essay argues against the creation of a distinct area of anarchist studies within the academy in favor of an approach to education based on creating undercommons and enclaves within multiple disciplines and spaces. In other words, to disavow anarchism as object of anarchist studies in favor of a politics of knowledge constantly elaborated within a terrain of struggle. The impossibility of anarchism qua “Anarchist Studies” proper, far from closing the question of the politics of knowledge from an anarchist perspective, opens the matter precisely from the perspective that more often than not this occurs in the infrapolitical space of … the “hidden transcript of resistance,” the space of minor knowledges and experiences that do not seek to become a major or representative form, instead forming tools from discarded refuse and remains.”
        [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Infrapolitics and the nomadic educational machine.” Contemporary Anarchist Studies: An introductory anthology of anarchy in the academy. Randall Amster, Abraham DeLeon, Luis A. Fernandez, Anthony J. Nocella, II, and Deric Shannon, editors. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2009. Pages 166-174.]
      12. commodity politics: Shukaitis inquires whether an object can be regarded as a comrade.
        “… what is to be done for those who are lost in the supermarket? Would the goal of commodity politics be to break on through the mystical shell of the commodity in order to listen to it speak? If it was possible to break through the fetish character of commodities, would it then be easier to listen to their stories of exploitation and misery, and based upon them formulate new forms of politics? …
        “… While it is necessary to pass through the politics of the commodity it is inadvisable to remain there. The question then is in passing through commodity politics to more fundamental questions of politics and organization, what is it that we learned from the talking commodities that we encountered along the way? What I would venture here is that the task is learning from commodities and objects not as active substances so that we can include them in a democracy of objects.…
        “Commodity politics raises the question of whether we can relate to objects as comrades, through that vastly expanding our conceptions of labour, perhaps even forming a post-humanist labour movement …. It is the challenge of a communism of objects: not a mastery over them, but a comradely working through and with them.”
        [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Can the object be a comrade?” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 2, May 2013. Pages 437-444.]
    140. autonomous minority structures (Conspiracy of Cells of Fire): The members of this group are serving time, in a Greek prison, for anarchist activities.
      “From this point on, any comrade who agrees (obviously without having to identify herself) with these three key points of the informal agreement we are proposing can— if she wants—use the name Conspiracy of Cells of Fire in connection with the autonomous cell she is part of. Just like the Dutch comrades who, without us knowing one another personally but within the framework of consistency between discourse and practice, attacked the infrastructure of domination (arson and cyber attacks against Rabobank) and claimed responsibility as the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (Dutch Cell).
      “We feel that a network of such cells, devoid of centralized structure, will be capable of far exceeding the limits of individual plans while exploring the real possibilities of revolutionary coordination among autonomous minority structures. These structures—without knowing one another personally—will in turn be able to organize arson and bombing campaigns throughout Greece, but also on an international level, communicating through their claims of responsibility.
      [Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (prisoners). The Sun Still Rises. Bristol, England?: Dark Matter Publications. Spring, 2012. No pagination.]
    141. grassroots autonomous media (Sandra Jeppesen, Anna Kruzynski, Aaron Lakoff, and Rachel Sarrasin): Their specific focus is on Montreal, Quebec.
      “… [An] understanding of the diversity of grassroots autonomous media tactics allows us to move away from genrerelated interpretations of tactics such as culture jamming, and a scholarly fetishization of social media use by social movements, to understand the wide diversity of communicative action to be driven by the desired audience and actions.
      “Affinity group media invites people into safer spaces, such as radical queer sex parties, queer and trans people of colour art spaces, or antiracist art and activism shows. This media links sociality, culture, politics, and everyday life, producing spaces for friendships, alliances, intimacies and understandings to develop that will ground and motivate the political organizing.
      “Mass mobilization media, on the other hand, reaches out to the general public to see if there is a possibility of motivating them to participate in a protest, attend a talk, or get involved in media production. Rather than creating safer spaces, this kind of media is about shifting consciousness and encouraging people to think and act beyond their comfort zone.
      “These diverse communicative tactics, used in a very sophisticated and nuanced way to target different audiences to compel them to take action, disabuse us of the notion that autonomous media only reaches small activist audiences.
      “For each communicative tactic, activists spoke about the desired audience and actions, acknowledging that there are many types of relationships being developed within antiauthoritarian communities and collectives, but also in relationships being nurtured and developed with others in the broader social justice movement, the community at large, and global movements.
      “For anti-authoritarians, political communication is about building relationships and taking action with others. Engaging a diversity of communicative tactics is necessary for media activists to develop a range of grassroots social and political relationships in multiissue movements with intersectional analyses of feminist, queer, antiracist and anticolonial politics. This diversity of media tactics is connected to a deeper understanding and acceptance of the diversity of tactics in social movements, based on mutual aid, respect and egalitarianism in practice.”
      [Sandra Jeppesen, Anna Kruzynski, Aaron Lakoff, and Rachel Sarrasin, “A Diversity of Media Tactics: Grassroots Autonomous Media in Montreal.” New Developments in Anarchist Studies. PJ Lilley and Jeff Shantz, editors. Brooklyn, New York: Thought Crimes imprint of Punctum Books. 2015. Creative Commons. Pages 187-197.]
    142. worker’s–based autonomy (Russell Maroon Shoatz): He distinguishes this form of autonomy from Leninist vanguardism.
      “The following is a short outline of various workers struggles against early European imperialism, as practiced in Suriname, Jamaica, a number of southern areas of what is today the U.S., and finally Haiti. I’ll outline how workers who had been enslaved fought longer than [Karl] Marx’s, ‘fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and peoples struggles…’ in order to ultimately be able to exercise their own forms of self-determination and ‘political rule.’ And although all of them were as stratified as we are today, they were still able to democratically derive methods and policies that were collectively pursued by decentralized formations of their own making. And once winning their freedom from the various imperialist powers, unlike the later states ruled by Marxist vanguard formations, they never again relinquished their worker’s-based autonomy, until this day, with one exception (Haiti) which deserves special attention.
      “Afterwards, I hope that you do your own in depth research and study, because to most people the bulk of this history will be unfamiliar. Then you can decide whether such organizational forms and methods would be useful to us in our struggle to save ourselves and the planet.”
      [Russell Maroon Shoatz. Autonomous Resistance to Slavery and Colonization: two essays by Russell Maroon Shoats. Chicago, Illinois: Not Yr Cister Press. 2013. No pagination.]
    143. undercommons of enlightenment (Stefano Harney as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Fred Moten): They develop an anarcho–autonomist approach to the university.
      “… the subversive intellectual came under false pretenses, with bad documents, out of love. Her labor is as necessary as it is unwelcome. The university needs what she bears but cannot bear what she brings. And on top of all that, she disappears. She disappears into the underground, the downlow lowdown maroon community of the university, into the undercommons of enlightenment, where the work gets done, where the work gets subverted, where the revolution is still black, still strong.…
      “Perhaps the biopower of the enlightenment knows this, or perhaps it is just reacting to the objecthood of this labor as it must. But even as it depends on these moles, these refugees, it will call them uncollegial, impractical, naive, unprofessional. And one may be given one last chance to be pragmatic – why steal when one can have it all, they will ask. But if one hides from this interpellation, neither agrees nor disagrees but goes with hands full into the underground of the university, into the Undercommons – this will be regarded as theft, as a criminal act. And it is at the same time, the only possible act.
      “In that undercommons of the university one can see that it is not a matter of teaching versus research or even the beyond of teaching versus the individualisation of research. To enter this space is to inhabit the ruptural and enraptured disclosure of the commons that fugitive enlightenment enacts, the criminal, matricidal, queer, in the cistern, on the stroll of the stolen life, the life stolen by enlightenment and stolen back, where the commons give refuge, where the refuge gives commons. What the beyond of teaching is really about is not finishing oneself, not passing, not completing; it’s about allowing subjectivity to be unlawfully overcome by others, a radical passion and passivity such that one becomes unfit for subjection, because one does not possess the kind of agency that can hold the regulatory forces of subjecthood, and one cannot initiate the auto-interpellative torque that biopower subjection requires and rewards. It is not so much the teaching as it is the prophecy in the organization of the act of teaching. The prophecy that predicts its own organization and has therefore passed, as commons, and the prophecy that exceeds its own organization and therefore as yet can only be organized. Against the prophetic organization of the undercommons is arrayed its own deadening labor for the university, and beyond that, the negligence of professionalization, and the professionalization of the critical academic. The undercommons is therefore always an unsafe neighborhood.”
      [Stefano Harney and Fred Moten. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2013. Page 26-28.]
      “Debt at a distance is forgotten, and remembered again. Think of autonomism, its debt at a distance to the black radical tradition. In autonomia, in the militancy of post-workerism, there is no outside, refusal takes place inside and makes its break, its flight, its exodus from the inside. There is biopolitical production and there is empire. There is even what Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi calls soul trouble. In other words there is this debt at a distance to a global politics of blackness emerging out of slavery and colonialism, a black radical politics, a politics of debt without payment, without credit, without limit. This debt was built in a struggle with empire before empire, where power was not with institutions or governments alone, where any owner or colonizer had the violent power of a ubiquitous state. This debt attached to those who through dumb insolence or nocturnal plans ran away without leaving, left without getting out. This debt got shared with anyone whose soul was sought for labor power, whose spirit was borne with a price marking it. And it is still shared, never credited and never abiding credit, a debt you play, a debt you walk, and debt you love.” [Stefano Harney and Fred Moten. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2013. Page 64.]
    144. Queer anarchist autonomist zones (Sandra Jeppesen): She argues for a form of anarchist autonomism for the Queer community.
      “Queer autonomous zones thus are open-ended spaces in which participation of all comers is encouraged through a direct (rather than liberal) democracy model. They are facilitated via engagement with a multiplicity of intersectional antioppression politics. Interactions in queer autonomous spaces develop sustainable social relations and value-practices, based on mutual respect, consent, sexual liberation, and non-normativity, in which people engage in open-ended processes of developing alternative ways of being, feeling, thinking, engaging, acting and becoming-liberated. The question is – what’s next? How do we continue to expand our movements and theorizing to extend the becoming-liberated of queer?” [Sandra Jeppesen, “Queer anarchist autonomous zones and publics: Direct action vomiting against homonormative consumerism.” Sexualities. Volume 13, number 4, August 2010. Pages 463-478.]
    145. autonomous self–creation (Silas Crane): Crane considers, using a version of anarchist autonomism, how a “community of revolutionary agents creates itself in the flesh.” He also presents an anarchist alternative to statism and corporatism.
      “… [The] infinite labor of willing, imagining, and desiring is the spiritual praxis through which the community of revolutionary agents creates itself in the flesh. The starting-point for this labor is not a determinate empirical class whose boundaries could be demarcated through an analysis of objective social conditions. It is a not-yet community whose engagement springs from a common desire to create and re-create itself experimentally through the self-critical participation of its members. It is a community that has no fixed identity, because it reveals itself only from the inside, through its own work of autonomous self-creation. It is a community that has no ideology, because its only law is a passionate love of liberty, and its only authority is the boundless emancipatory power of the human imagination. It is a community that has no past or present, because it is by nature a movement, an experiential work-in-progress. It is a community that has no limits, because it travels the path of absolute freedom, and dissolves all barriers by walking steadfastly into the horizons of the unknown.…
      “The very idea of a state-instituted, corporate-managed framework for public discussion is alien to the possibility of free and open experimentation among self-governing individuals. The historical attempt to confine this practice of experimentation to the realm of “civil society” is itself rooted in the violent enforcement of private property and the surrender of decision-making power into the hands of centralized bureaucracies. Now the question inevitably arises: How can any society pursue a project of radical self-criticism when its central institutions are built on the foundations of economic exploitation, political specialization, and social hierarchy? How can any of us speak of “consensus” and “recognition” when the very form of subjectivity that defines public life is infected with false authority and false value at every level of its constitution? These are questions for which the bourgeois tradition of political philosophy – with its authoritarian belief in rationality as the basis for rule – can provide no answer.
      “A culture of anarchic self-creation would begin by putting an end to all of this – not only through the invention of radically self-governing political and economic forms, but through techniques of communal experimentation, arts of individual self-expression, and pursuits of democratic beauty as the animus for a collective art of living. To say that a culture of the self is essential to overcoming the dominant cult of power is to say that our everyday submission to false authority and false value is inseparable from our spiritual tendency towards self-renunciation. The ultimate nihilistic expression of this tendency is a generalized condition of self-dispossession – dispossession of individual desires, dispossession of individual creative powers, dispossession of responsibility for deciding who we are – and this condition is the starting point of “politics” as practiced by the heirs of modern political theory.”
      [Silas Crane. Authoritarianism and Self-Creation. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2008. Pages 3 and 6-7.]
    146. autonomy and independence for subordinate classes (James C. Scott): He considers two form of autonomy—inside and outside the state.
      “The large bureaucratic organizations that characterize the modern era may be originally modeled on the monastery and the barracks, but they are essentially a product of the last two and a half centuries. This is another way of saying that there is a long history of life outside the state and that life inside the state until the eighteenth century sharply distinguished between a formally unfree population (slaves, serfs, and dependents), on the one hand, and a large smallholder population on the other that disposed, in theory and often in practice, of certain rights to found families: to hold and inherit land, to form trade associations, to choose local village leaders, and to petition rulers. Relative autonomy and independence for subordinate classes thus came in two forms: a life on the margins, outside the state’s reach, or a life inside the state with the minimal rights associated with small property.” [James C. Scott. Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 2012. Pages 88-89.]
    147. moral autonomy (Judith Scheele): She considers anarchy among the “Tubu–speakers in northern Chad.”
      “Although Tubu patterns of kinship, with their bilateral exogamy, are thus formally reminiscent of East rather than North African examples …, the values that underpin them – personal moral autonomy and a denial of reciprocity – rather echo Middle Eastern ethnography ….
      “… Drawing on recent anthropological reflections on value, this article has replaced a search for political institutions with an analysis of those values that appear central to Tubu social interactions and their local interpretations: moral autonomy and disorder, ‘conjugated’ with reference to the three meanings of the term‘value’ identified by [David] Graeber ….”
      [Judith Scheele, “The values of ‘anarchy’: moral autonomy among Tubu-speakers in northern Chad.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Volume 21, number 1, 2014. Pages 32-48.]
    148. Liberated Space (anonymous): To the author, liberation is a prerequisite for autonomy.
      “We should begin with our proposal to move from ‘Autonomous’ Spaces towards Liberated Space. We conceive the ‘Autonomous’ Space as a potential that has lost significance, direction and power as a weapon for destruction of the existent and as a tool of things yet to come. ‘Autonomous’ spaces still have the potential for genuine face to face interaction between people, experimentation of relationships, music, art, rebellion etc. but are frequently limited to ritualized relationships and codified behaviour.
      “It is important for us to acknowledge that there are no ‘Autonomous’ Spaces within Capital. We cannot simply step over the border of Capital into Autonomy regardless of how comforting that sounds. Capital seems to us a social relationship as well as a material force. It enforces its domination over all terrain be it the streets of Moscow, the plains of Africa or the wilderness of Antarctica. Every space is a commodity to be consumed or capitalised upon.
      “We believe for a space to be truly autonomous it must first be liberated. Liberated in our sense doesn’t just mean taking something out of the hands of capitalists (the mere re appropriation of a building) but rather taking space and finding ways to use it as a weapon against the state and capital themselves.
      “Put simply, liberated space would not look like taking over a building and filling it full of barricades that block out any light that the outside world potentially has to offer, but beginning to reconceptualise space and see the subversive qualities in the architecture and space that surrounds us. A market becomes a point of interaction, a park becomes a training space, a car becomes a torch of solidarity, a field becomes a hideout, a roof a lookout, a prison a target.”
      [Anonymous. From Autonomous Space Towards Liberated Space: Some Points for Discussion and Debate. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2010. Pages 1-2.]
    149. autonomist activism (Ann Deslandes and Debra King): They report the results of a discourse analysis of texts on the web.
      “In constructing new ways of engaging with society and new visions of how society might be, social activists need to negotiate numerous social, political, philosophical and personal contradictions and tensions. Utilizing data from a discourse analysis conducted on web-based texts, this article focuses on three such tensions experienced by autonomous activists: autonomy versus collective, operationalization versus institutionalization and evasion of versus subjection to mainstream authorities.… [R]eflexivity augments cognitive and emotional reflexivity within autonomous activism, and provides further insight into how autonomous activists succeed in reconstituting their practice in ways that reaffirm their principles.…
      “… affinity-based strategies [were] used in anarchist actions during the Spanish Civil War …, and peace and anti-nuclear demonstrations during the 1970s and 1980s ….
      “The term ‘autonomous activism’ as used in this article is distinct from its more traditional political connotations – i.e. Marxist autonomism, primarily associated with Italian radical workers’ movements such as operaismo and Autonomia.”
      [Ann Deslandes and Debra King, “Autonomous activism and the global justice movement: Aesthetic reflexivity in practice.” Journal of Sociology. Volume 42, number 3, 2006. Pages 310-327.]
    150. Autonomist Leadership (Simon Western): He develops a anarcho–autonomist approach to leadership.
      “I use the term ‘autonomist leadership’ to describe the leadership of egalitarian-inspired social movements, and more recently it can be found in organizations that are attempting to rethink it leadership, distributing it more freely and without the formality of role. Autonomist leadership is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of organizational and social life, yet is very under-researched and theorized.…
      “Autonomist leadership is informed by anarchist thinking. Anarchists wish to remove all authoritarian forms of social organization and replace them with non-hierarchical and non-authoritarian forms, which challenges the classical idea of leadership. The anarchist cry of ‘No God, No Master’ sums up their disdain for authoritarian leadership; however anarchist theorists provide interesting and polemic ideas that paradoxically inform contemporary society about leadership. Many anarchists claim to ‘reject all leadership’ yet what they actually reject is domination domination and subjugation to the authority of another ….
      “For anarchists and others from autonomist, libertarian and other new social movements leadership exists but not in its classic form. It is a fluid entity, functioning not as positional power, and not with authority over others. [Mikhail] Bakunin’s description reflects what I call ‘autonomist leadership,’ a form of leadership imbued with mutuality and autonomist principles.…
      “… Autonomous leadership: The principle of autonomy applies to both leaders and followers. Anybody and everybody can take up leadership, there is no ranking or hierarchy, it is freely available to all. Neither leader or follower are coerced into their role, all act with autonomy.”
      [Simon Western. Leadership: A Critical Text. Second edition. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc. 2013. Pages 79-80.]
      “Autonomist Leadership is the name given to the non-hierarchical, informal and distributed forms of leadership found in emancipatory social movements, and, in particular, in networked social movements. This paper establishes how Autonomist Leadership has emerged from anarchist theory and practice, and thrives in the digital and physical networks of contemporary social movements, utilising mobile communications and digital platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.…
      “… This develops my … work on Autonomist Leadership by setting out the five principles that make Autonomist Leadership distinctive, i.e. Spontaneity, Autonomy, Mutuality, Affect and Networks.…
      “This paper discusses this emergence of Autonomist Leadership, setting it firstly in the context of anarchist theory and practice, and then within critical leadership literature, before addressing the challenges created by the paradox of Autonomist Leadership being enacted in so called leaderless movements. Autonomist Leadership has delivered powerful results within protest movements, as seen in the Arab Spring revolutions and the Occupy and Indignados movements, yet these large movements have struggled to move beyond the phase of protest. A key reason for this is the disavowal of all leadership (including autonomous forms) that occurs within these movements. When activists associate all forms of leadership with hierarchy and authoritarianism, the Autonomist Leadership they enact takes place in the context of a paradox that creates a cognitive and emotional dissonance. This leads to internal tensions and conflicts (often in passive aggressive forms) limiting and displacing the movements’ agency and constraining them from developing the form of non-hierarchical leadership they have pioneered. As shown later in this paper, this dissonance problem could be overcome by adopting a critical leadership theory approach which reveals how leadership can be distributed, informally and non-hierarchically (therefore removing the contradictions). Yet in spite of this, the disavowal of leadership continues, and this paper claims that this is due to the strong affective investments activists have to being leaderless.”
      [Simon Western, “Autonomist leadership in leaderless movements: anarchists leading the way.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 14, number 4, November 2014. Creative Commons. Pages 673-698.]
    151. militant ethnography (Jeffrey S. Juris): He proposes an autonomist Marxist approach to ethnography.
      “The dominant political forces within the GSF [Genoa Social Forum] … were characterized by autonomous Marxist, socialist, and social-democratic perspectives, and the use of strictly nonviolent tactics.…
      “Militant ethnography thus not only generates compelling analyses, it can also help inform concrete strategies and decision-making. If ethnographic methods driven by political commitment and guided by a theory of practice break down the distinction between researcher and activist during the moment of fi eldwork, the same cannot be said for the moments of writing and distribution, where one has to confront vastly different systems of standards, awards, selection, and stylistic criteria.”
      [Jeffrey S. Juris, “Practicing Militant Ethnography with the Movement for Global Resistance in Barcelona.” Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization. Stevphen Shukaitis and David Graeber with Erika Biddle, editors. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2007. Pages 164-176.]
    152. autonomist subject (Gavin Grindon): He distinguishes this subject from the subject as conceived by the situationists.
      “… the Situationists can be seen as granting the spectacle too much power to autonomously recuperate dissent, because they tend to ignore the working class as the subject that actually produces the spectacle and instead focus exclusively on the commodity relation. The autonomist perspective breaks with the Situationists’ obsessive concern for totality. The Situationist subject, acting creatively outside the spectacle, but then recuperated by it, is replaced by the autonomist subject whose creativity is caught within and compromised by the machinic relations of the social factory.” [Gavin Grindon, “The Breath of the Possible.” Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization. Stevphen Shukaitis and David Graeber with Erika Biddle, editors. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2007. Pages 94-107.]
    153. autonomist–separatists (Amy S. Cox): She traces the history of French military extremism between these separatists and anti–autonomists.
      “… there was a series of small reforms aimed at quelling nationalist cries that were never genuine and consistently failed to meet the demands for autonomy. In addition, when the anti-autonomist terrorist groups … began engaging the autonomist movement in general, the Government made a serious error by “appearing to treat pro-French underground organisations much more leniently than those which were anti-establishment.” Again, they drove significant sections of Corsican public opinion into hardline positions, which would otherwise have remained indifferent. The mass of this Corsican public was, as Jean-Noel Colonna wrote …, confused between the increasing extremism of both the autonomist-separatists, on the one hand, and the Government on the other.” [Amy S. Cox. Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: The Government’s Role in Generating Support for Ethnic Terrorists. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). McGill University. Montreal, Quebec. August, 2009. Page 128.]
    154. utopian pedagogy (Mark Coté, Richard Day, and Greig de Peuter): They develop an autonomist Marxist approach to pedagogy.
      “Although the preceding discussion has focused on academic intellectuals, they are but one protagonist in what we call utopian pedagogy. Once again, we return to [Antonio] Gramsci’s dictum that ‘We are all intellectuals,’ but now would like to demonstrate how this formulation fruitfully connects to the concept of the ‘general intellect,’ as developed by autonomist Marxism. Proposing high-technology capitalism as the ‘era of general intellect,’ autonomists see the general intellect manifesting in, and from, the subjectivities of ‘immaterial labour’: capacities of language, speech, affect, learning, etc.… In short, immaterial labour is becoming the ether of everyday life, the target of capitalist expropriation, and hence a central site of struggle. One of the challenges facing utopian pedagogy is therefore to reconstruct ‘institutions of knowledge, of creation, of care, of invention and of education that are autonomous from capital’—that is, to reconstruct the general intellect from within and against its current confines.” [Mark Coté, Richard Day, and Greig de Peuter, “Utopian Pedagogy: Creating Radical Alternatives in the Neoliberal Age.” The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. Volume 29, number 4, August 2007. Pages 317-336.]
    155. communization theory (MP3 audio file): It is a Marxist or anarchist, a revolutionary, an anti-state, an insurrectionist, and a non-dogmatic approach to establishing libertarian communism. See the online publications, Endnotes and riff–raff.
      “The goal of any insurrection is to become irreversible. It becomes irreversible when you’ve defeated both authority and the need for authority, property and the taste for appropriation, hegemony and the desire for hegemony. That is why the insurrectionary process carries within itself the form of its victory, or that of its defeat. Destruction has never been enough to make things irreversible. What matters is how it’s done. There are ways of destroying that unfailingly provoke the return of what has been crushed. Whoever wastes their energy on the corpse of an order can be sure that this will arouse the desire for vengeance. Thus, wherever the economy is blocked and the police are neutralized, it is important to invest as little pathos as possible in overthrowing the authorities. They must be deposed with the most scrupulous indifference and derision.…
      “Communes are obviously vulnerable to surveillance and police investigations, to policing technologies and intelligence gathering. The waves of arrests of anarchists in Italy and of eco-warriors in the US were made possible by wiretapping. Everyone detained by the police now has his or her DNA taken to be entered into an ever more complete profile. A squatter from Barcelona was caught because he left fingerprints on fliers he was distributing. Tracking methods are becoming better and better, mostly through biometric techniques. And if the distribution of electronic identity cards is instituted, our task will just be that much more difficult. The Paris Commune found a partial solution to the keeping of records: they burned down City Hall, destroying all the public records and vital statistics. We still need to find the means to permanently destroy computerized databases.”
      [The Invisible Committee. The Coming Insurrection. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2009. Page 86.]
      “Communization is getting out of factories and connecting them to each other without exchange, destroying them as enterprises. Communization will circulate goods without money, open the gate isolating a factory from its neighborhood, close down another factory where the work process is too alienating to be technically improved, do away with school as a specialized place which cuts off learning from doing for 15 odd years, pull down walls that force people to imprison themselves in 3-room family units – in short, it will tend to break all separations.…
      “Communization at its most simple level is the production of what one needs without entering into exchange or commodity production. Getting a little more knotty, communization as an act or set of actions is either the establishment of social relations that are outside of capitalist organization or the set of activities that destroy capitalism itself by establishing communism here and now.
      “Communization is also connected to a heterodox body of theories generally referred to as communization theory. One of the most important theorists in this area is Gilles Dauvé.… Alain Badiou’s book Ethics can also loosely be said to be in this field of thought. Since I am not particularly well versed in these perspectives I will simply leave these names here so that people can track down pertinent information for themselves.
      “Communization theory (CT) is distinct from conventional marxist theories and organizational forms in a few ways. ONE, CT is non-dogmatic. Conventional marxist approaches adhere to particular organizational forms and need a revolutionary agent (the party, the workers, new social movements, the multitude). CT maintains a degree of humility in saying that revolution is not a science that we cannot say with certainty who or what will be capable of causing a rupture large enough to unseat capital. So CT lacks the prescriptive, dogmatic, totalitarian baggage that is so deeply a part of marxist practice generally.
      “TWO, CT does away with the evolutionary schema of stages of history and the necessity of mediating forms of social organization. Conventional marxism calls for all sorts of totalitarian schemes to consolidate order after a succesful revolution: dictatorship of the proletariat, one party rule, the rapid industrialization of the means of production, and so on. It also disciplines its desired masses into obedient hordes waiting for something called the ‘Ideal Conditions.’ CT does away with the call for transitional states and instead values immediacy. The idea is that, in CT, communizing acts are not dependent upon a party or dogma to mediate ones actions. Furthermore, there is no need to wait for anything or anyone else to act. Do not wait for the so-called ideal conditions, act now. CT is an explicitly anti-statist approach within marxism.
      “THREE, CT looks for the possibilities for communization within the moment of any revolt. There is an optimism, absent in dogmatic or formalized variations of marxism, that any outburst or revolt can organize spontaneously organize and exceed its original cause leading to a rupture that the professionals of revolution could neither predict nor bring into it’s fold. A friend of mine said that communization theory is an intentional forgetting of the 20ᵗʰ century. What distinguishes CT from conventional marxism is that it is a non-strategic theory – it is a theory of tactics. It asks the question, ‘What is the tactic(s) that are capable of or generates the rupture that overthrows capitalism and its social relations?’
      “But all that being said, it worth mentioning that communization and CT are marxian perspectives, not anachist ones.”
      [Different authors, “What in the hell is ‘Communization’?Anarchy101. February, 2013. Retrieved on July 18th, 2016.]
      “Short of treating the historical mutations of the class-relation as themselves the sources of class power, the power to undertake communization (something that would smack of ‘historical mysticism’), communization theory, as a thoroughgoing theory of emancipation from capital’s abstract domination, cannot do without some theory of power. What’s more, unless we treat the capabilities of the state as themselves entirely subsumed by capital, something that seems unpersuasive given the different articulations of state(s) and capital(s) on the present scene, it would appear necessary to consider the relevance, for strategic purposes, and thus for the particular shape taken by communizing activity, of the distinction between economic and extra-economic coercion.” [Alberto Toscano, “Now and Never.” Communization and its Discontents: Contestation, Critique, and Contemporary Struggles. Benjamin Noys, editor. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2012. Pages 85-101.]
      “The neo-communists – ex-anarchists do not speak for a moment about the destruction of the state. Instead, they speak in a denunciatory, political way aiming for its wide consumption and present themselves as the far left of the left government, which they denounce, but without openly declaring war against it.… We do not seek neither a reform of the system, nor its leftist grooming; all we want is its total destruction. However, we live in strange days and we have to rearm even the most fundamental parts of anarchy ….” [Imprisoned members’ cell. Communization: The Senile Decay of Anarchy. Untorelli Press (location unknown). July, 2015. Page 5.]
      “There is no need to create the capitalist preconditions of communism any more. Capitalism is everywhere, yet much less visible than 100 or 50 years ago when class distinctions ostensibly showed up. The manual worker identified the factory owner at one glance, knew or thought he knew his enemy, and felt he’d be better off the day he and his mates got rid of the boss. Today classes still exist, but manifested through infinite degrees in consumption, and no one expects a better world from public ownership of industry. The ‘enemy’ is an impalpable social relationship, abstract yet real, all-pervading yet no monster beyond our reach: because the proletarians are the ones that produce and reproduce the world, they can disrupt and revolutionize it. The aim is immediate communization, not fully completed before a generation or more, but to be started from the beginning. Capital has invaded life, and determines how we feed our cat, how we visit or bury friends, to such an extent that our objective can only be the social fabric, invisible, all-encompassing, impersonal. (Although capital is quite good at hiring personnel to defend it, social inertia is a greater conservative force than media or police.) A human community is at hand: its basis is present, a lot more so than a century ago. Passivity prevents its emergence. Our most vital need: others, seems so close and so far at the same time. Mercantile ties are both strong and fragile.” [Gilles Dauvé and François Martin. Eclipse and re-emergence of the communist movement. Revised edition. London: Antagonism Press. 1997. Ebook edition.]
      “Communism is not a set of measures to be put into practice after the seizure of power. It is a movement which already exists, not as a mode of production (there can be no communist island within capitalist society), but as a tendency which originates in real needs. Communism does not even know what value is. The point is not that one fine day a large number of people start to destroy value and profit. All past revolutionary movements were able to bring society to a standstill, and waited for something to come out of this universal stoppage. Communization, on the contrary, will circulate goods without money, open the gate isolating a factory from its neighbourhood, close down another factory where the work process is too alienating to be technically improved, do away with school as a specialized place which cuts off learning from doing for 15 odd years, pull down walls that force people to imprison themselves in 3-room family units – in short, it will tend to break all separations.” [Gilles Dauvé. Capitalism and communism. No location. Undated. Ebook edition.]
      “There is really no choice between reproducing the social structures of a system we know to be destroying the world and trying to construct a different sociality, or rather different socialities. There is no middle ground in between, no transitional form that reproduces capitalism but prepares the ground for something else. There is no neutral ground in between, but most of us have little option but to ride both horses at once, to live contradictory lives in which we reproduce capitalist forms while we throw our energy into creating different ways of doing things. Communization is inevitably a confused and impure movement, a movement that advances interstitially, through creating, expanding and multiplying cracks and promoting their confluence. All these cracks are so many communisms, so many communizings. Either we create a new world or we die with this one.” [John Holloway, “Variations on different themes: A response.” Journal of Classical Sociology. Volume 12, number 2, May 2012. Pages 332-348.]
      “For The Invisible Committee revolution is a communisation process which is already in progress as a destructive praxis within the spectacle, a process where things are done in common, used and extracted from the cycle of capital. ‘To communize something means to liberate its use and on the basis of this liberation to develop refined, intensified and more complex conditions.’ It is thus not about first seizing power and then creating communism. The Invisible Committee firmly rejects such a notion of a programme that has to be realised, or a goal that lies far into the future. Communism cannot be deferred. Hic Rhodus, hic salta! as [Karl] Marx writes, ‘Here is Rhodes, here jump!’” [Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, “Art, Revolution and Communisation: On the Transcendence of Art as Meaning without Reality.” Third Text. Volume 26, issue 2, March 2012. Pages 229-242.]
      “Communisation theory is primed to do what only a minority of Marxist feminists have attempted to do over the last 50 years of inquiry: re-articulate the capitalist mode of production as being constituted no less by the man/woman relation than by the class relation. What would ideally emerge from such a project is a ‘single system’ in which the gender relation and the class relation are equally necessary elements within a totality, rather than the subsumption of one to the other, or the erection of a ‘dual system’ of two different and autonomous systems of patriarchy and capitalism. We say communisation is ‘primed’ for this project because one of the major interventions of communisation theory has been to theorize communism as the abolition not only of capitalists, but also of workers; of work itself and thus of value; of the wage labor relation itself and thus of the distinction between ‘work’ and ‘life.’ This distinction is cast in a variety of terms including the conceptual dyads public/private; social/nonsocial; public/domestic, and is almost unequivocally understood by gender theorists as a grounding element in the production of gender.…
      “Communization has now been able to say, there is never a proletarian who is not gendered, so we must also be able to say, there is never a proletarian or a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’ who is not raced. We must also be able to articulate the way that the binary categories of ‘men’ and ‘women’ describe a structure of appropriation, but do not describe people (who vary in gender and experience of gendered violence far more than the discussion has indicated thus far). We look forward to communizationists, the ones we know and read, or ones we don’t yet know, taking up these issues. If not, communization will become as archaic and as useless as any other communist tendency — or worse, a small but sly tool of the counterrevolution.”
      [P. Valentine, “The Gender Distinction in Communization Theory.” LIES: A Journal of Materialist Feminism. Volume 1, 2012. Creative Commons. Pages 191-208.]
      “The emergence of both the critical Marxism of value-form theory and the theory of communisation was premised on these struggles and the revolutionary hopes they engendered. Just as these two tendencies were produced in the same moment, they waned simultaneously with the wave of struggles that had produced them. The [19]70s crisis of accumulation, rather than leading to an intensification of struggles and their development in a revolutionary direction, actually gave rise to a radical capitalist restructuring in which the movements and the revolutionary expectations linked to them were comprehensively defeated. This restructuring led to the relative eclipse of these discussions. Just as the discussion of communisation in France emerged in the early [19]70s, only to fade away in the [19]80s and early [19]90s before resurfacing again recently, contemporary interest in ‘systematic dialectic’ is in many ways a return to the value-form debates of the [19]70s, after a period when the discussion had gone relatively quiet.” [Editor, “Communisation and Value-Form Theory.” Endnotes. Issue 2, April 2010. Pagination unknown.]
      “… it might be worth mentioning that the term ‘communisation’ has a history within communist theory and its actual if not now existent iterations – for [Vladimir] Lenin and [Joseph] Stalin it meant the transition to a ‘higher phase of communism’ and thus was implicitly always a way off in the future, once socialism had been achieved, then we could move on to communism. Generically, communisation can mean just the process of the abolition of private property and direct control of production by a classless humanity.” [Marina Vishmidt in Neil Gray and Marina Vishmidt, “The Economy of Abolition/Abolition of the Economy: Neil Gray in exchange with Marina Vishmidt.” Variant. Issue 42, winter 2011. Pages 7-11.]
    156. Théorie Communiste (Maya Andrea Gonzalez as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): With specific reference to Theéorie Communiste (MP3 audio file, “Communist Theory”), Gonzalez examines the role of communization theory in abolishing gender.
      “Until recently, the theory of communization has been the product of a small number of groups organized around the publication of a handful of yearly journals. If few of those groups have taken up the task of theorizing gender, it is because most have been wholly uninterested in examining the real basis of the divisions that mark the existence of the working class. On the contrary, they have busied themselves with trying to discover a revolutionary secret decoder-ring, with which they might be able to decipher the merits and shortcomings of past struggles. Thus, most partisans of communization have thought the revolution as an immediate overcoming of all separations, but they arrived at this conclusion through an analysis of what communization would have to be in order to succeed where past movements failed, rather than from a focus on the historical specificity of the present.
      “For this reason, the tendency organized around Théorie Communiste (TC) is unique, and we largely follow them in our exposition. For TC, the revolution as communization only emerges as a practical possibility when these struggles begin to ‘swerve’ (faire l’écart) as the very act of struggling increasingly forces the proletariat to call into question and act against its own reproduction as a class. ‘Gaps’ (l’écarts) thereby open up in the struggle, and the multiplication of these gaps is itself the practical possibility of communism in our time. Workers burn down or blow up their factories, demanding severance pay instead of fighting to maintain their jobs. Students occupy universities, but against rather than in the name of the demands for which they are supposedly fighting. Women break with movements in which they already form a majority, since those movements cannot but fail to represent them. And everywhere, the unemployed, the youth, and the undocumented join and overwhelm the struggles of a privileged minority of workers, making the limited nature of the latter’s demands at once obvious and impossible to sustain.”
      [Maya Andrea Gonzalez. Communization and the abolition of gender. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2012. Page 4.]
    157. two names of communism (John Roberts): In the post–Soviet era, Roberts critically distinguishes failed Bolshevik communist politics from communization theory.
      “The recent explosion of writing on the communist idea, ideal and ‘communization’ recovers or expands a moment in the early to mid-1980s when French political theory and philosophy (in particular Félix Guattari and later Jean-Luc Nancy) and post-operaism in Italy were thinking through the content of communist practice against the defamation of the name and legacy of communism under Stalinism and Maoism.…
      “This leads us to link the current writing on the communist idea and communization to the key problem of this longer political sequence: the fundamental radical impasse between working-class politics and the state-party form. The electoral and political demise of workers’ and Communist parties is not the consequence of an enduring crisis of the Left (or even the demise of the industrial working class), but of this political form, which the very real political crisis of the Left (after the collapse of European and Soviet Communism) has simply covered up or deflected.…
      “One of the consequences of this [the collapse of the Soviet Union] is a split … between communism as a name in politics and communism as a name in philosophy; communism as a (failed) political tradition and set of strategies, and communism as an (emergent) emancipatory theory. The current re-engagement with and re-theorization of the communist idea and legacy are hyperconscious of this split as a condition of political renewal. Thus, if the limited communization of the early Soviet Union remains a source of invaluable political knowledge in the making of a revolution, the legacy of ‘actually existing Communism’ as a depoliticized state form cannot be deflected or suppressed in the renaming of communism as an emancipatory politics in the present. The failure of this state form and its reification of the name ‘communism’ have to be brought to bear on the political uses of the name ‘communism’ now.…
      “… Indeed, communization theory would do well to remember the decisive importance of workers’ action in any realistic process of communization!”
      [John Roberts, “The two names of communism.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 177, January/February 2013. Pages 9-18.]
    158. Delusional (Endnotes): A critique, based upon communization theory, is presented of both councilism and Leninism.
      “Communization is typically opposed to a traditional notion of the transitional period which was always to take place after the revolution, when the proletariat would be able to realise communism, having already taken hold of production and/ or the state. Setting out on the basis of the continued existence of the working class, the transitional period places the real revolution on a receding horizon, meanwhile perpetuating that which it is supposed to overcome. For us this is not a strategic question, since these matters have been settled by historical developments – the end of the programmatic workers’ movement, the disappearance of positive working class identity, the absence of any kind of workers’ power on the horizon: it is no longer possible to imagine a transition to communism on the basis of a prior victory of the working class as working class. To hold to councilist or Leninist conceptions of revolution now is utopian, measuring reality against mental constructs which bear no historical actuality. The class struggle has outlived programmatism, and different shapes now inhabit its horizon. With the growing superfluity of the working class to production – its tendential reduction to a mere surplus population – and the resultantly tenuous character of the wage form as the essential meeting point of the twin circuits of reproduction, it can only be delusional to conceive revolution in terms of workers’ power. Yet it is still the working class which must abolish itself.” [Endnotes, “What are we to do?” Communization and its Discontents: Contestation, Critique, and Contemporary Struggles. Benjamin Noys, editor. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2012. Pages 23-38.]
    159. open Marxism (John Holloway, Werner Bonefeld, Richard Gunn, André C. Drainville, Peter Burnham, Simon Susen, John Michael Roberts, Martin Spence, and others): This perspective views human social relationships as less predictable or fixed and more fluid or contradictory. It has been influenced by various currents within libertarian Marxism—such as, autonomism, communization, and council communism—as well as by anarchism.
      “Capital accumulation, for example, is understood not as struggle but as the context within which struggle takes place; capitalist crisis is understood not a intensification of struggle but as providing opportunities for struggle. The categories are understood as closed categories rather than as conceptualisations of antagonistic relations, as relations of struggle, and therefore open. All this has been said before, and is indeed central to the argument of ‘open Marxism.’ What is new for me, perhaps, is the realisation that the central category in all this is labour. A closed, unitary concept of labour generates a closed understanding of all the categories, while an understanding of labour as an open antagonism gives rise to an understanding of all categories as open antagonisms.” [John Holloway. Crack Capitalism. New York: Pluto Press. 2010. Page 160.]
      “The concept of ‘open Marxism’ does not refer to the come-one, come-all eclecticism of ‘neo-Marxism’ which, more often than not, reproduces in new language the determinism of the worst of ‘orthodox Marxism,’ but to the rigorous recognition of the openness of the categories themselves, which are open simply because they are conceptualisations of open processes. The notion of openness can be illustrated by contrasting the categories of profit and surplus value. Profit is a closed (or fetishised) category because it refers to a thing, without reference to the way that the thing is produced: as a closed category, it is also a-historical, devoid of movement. The category of surplus-value, on the other hand, is an open (or de-fetishising) category because it points to the antagonistic process by which that ‘thing’ is created, and therefore to the open-ended, uncertain and dynamic nature of that process. A similar contrast can be made between the bourgeois and the Marxist concepts of ‘class.’ The bourgeois concept of class is a static concept which refers to a group of people who have something in common; for Marx, a class is one pole of the antagonism rooted in production, an antagonism which is inherently dynamic and uncertain.” [John Holloway, “Open Marxism, History and Class Struggle Some Comments on Heide Gerstenberger’s Book, ‘Die subjektlose Gewalt: Theorie der Entstehung bürgerlicher Staatsgewalt.’” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 13, winter 1993. Pages 76-86.]
      “In the centre of critique is the opening of the most important atom of all: labour. Concrete labour (potentially conscious life-activity) exists in the form of abstract labour, but exists in-against-and-beyond abstract labour, exists as the crisis of abstract labour. Crisis is the moving of concrete doing in-against-and-beyond abstract labour, revolution is the breaking of concrete doing against-and-through abstract labour: of the creative force of human activity (force of production) against-and-through the dynamic social cohesion woven by abstract labour.
      “This is the pivot, this is the core of the newly emerging grammar of anti-capitalism. Why? Because if we split open labour, we can no longer conceptualise capitalism or class struggle as the antagonism between labour and capital. Labour (at least if we understand it as abstract labour) is the creator, day-in, day-out, of capital. Labour is on the same side as capital, and not just labour in the narrow sense but the whole world of theory and practice that springs from the dominance of abstract labour.”
      [John Holloway, “Crisis and critique.” Capital & Class. Volume 36, number 3, October 2012. Pages 515-519.]
      “We talk about ‘open Marxism’ in order to emphasize the importance we attach to the ‘opening of categories’ and to understanding them as being self-antagonistic. If we think of ‘labour,’ for instance, the crucial point is to conceive of it as a self-antagonistic category, rather than as a unitary concept. ‘Labour,’ as I see it, is a category which obscures the antagonism between ‘concrete labour’ and ‘abstract labour.’ As such, it conceals the power of concrete labour and human creativity; it exists in the form of abstract labour, or―as Richard Gunn puts it―it exists ‘in the mode of being denied.’ On this account, ‘concrete labour’ exists in the form of being denied. This means inevitably that it exists in, against, and beyond its own denial.” [John Holloway in John Holloway and Simon Susen, “Change the World by Cracking Capitalism?: A Critical Encounter between John Holloway and Simon Susen.” Sociological Analysis. Volume 7, number 1, spring 2013. Pages 23-42.]
      “‘Openness,’ here, refers not just to a programme of empirical research – which can elide all too conveniently with positivism – but to the openness of Marxist categories themselves. This openness appears in, for instance, a dialectic of subject and object, of form and content, of theory and practice, of the constitution and reconstitution of categories in and through the development, always crisis-ridden, of a social world. Crisis refers to contradiction, and to contradiction’s movement: this movement underpins, and undermines, the fixity of structuralist and teleological-determinist Marxism alike. Rather than coming forward simply as a theory of domination – ‘domination’ reporting something inert, as it were a heavy fixed and given weight – open Marxism offers to conceptualise the contradictions internal to domination itself. Crisis, understood as a category of contradiction, entails not just danger but opportunity. Within theory, crisis enunciates itself as critique.” [Werner Bonefeld, Richard Gunn, and Kosmas Psychopedis (editors’ introduction). Open Marxism. Volume I. Dialectics and History. London: Pluto Press. 1992. Page xi.]
      “In the study of the world economy, open Marxism proposes to go beyond problem-solving realism …, to rejuvenate and challenge the traditional agenda of IPE [international political economy] …, to move beyond ‘marxist fundamentalism,’ and to articulate a sweeping ‘general critique of positivist, mechanical, and economistic perspectives within Marxism and other traditions’ ….” [André C. Drainville, “International Political Economy in the Age of Open Marxism.” Review of International Political Economy. Volume, 1, number 1, spring 1994. Pages 105-132.]
      “The author of Crack Capitalism [John Holloway] is to be applauded for taking issue with the erroneous presuppositions underlying so-called orthodox Marxism and making a case for an alternative approach, commonly known as ‘open Marxism’ or ‘autonomous Marxism.’ The fundamental differences between ‘orthodox Marxism’ and ‘open Marxism’ manifest themselves in five paradigmatic oppositions: closure versus openness, necessity versus contingency, positivity versus negativity, heteronomy versus autonomy, and universality versus particularity.” [Simon Susen, “‘Open Marxism’ against and beyond the ‘Great Enclosure’?: Reflections on how (not) to crack capitalism.” Journal of Classical Sociology. Volume 12, number 2, 2012. Pages 281-331.]
      “… ‘open Marxism’ … rejects what is seen as a Marxist predilection to either reify the technical process of capital accumulation or to reify the moment of labour’s struggle against the alienating world of capitalist power. Seeking instead to ‘reveal the social form of labour in capitalist society’ …, open Marxists develop categories that comprehend why labour is compelled to assume alienated forms of existence under capitalism.” [John Michael Roberts, “From reflection to refraction: opening up open Marxism.” Capital & Class. Volume 26, number 4, autumn 2002. Pages 87-116.]
      “Open Marxism … applies the concept of abstract and concrete mentioned above to the decomposing reality of the enchanted and perverted world of capitalism. It necessarily contains, and is founded on, the principle of doubt: instead of the certainty of the orthodox manner of making use of concepts, it reclaims the incompletness of the process ot thinking, it readopts the unpredictability of the ‘legitimacy of chance’ ([Karl] Marx) and it reconsiders the historically adequate policy of critique and destruction.” [Werner Bonefeld, “Open Marxism.” Common Sense: A journal of a wholly new type. Issue 1, May 1987. Pages 34-38.]
      “[John] Holloway argues that the ‘unifying thread’ of all these cracks [in Crack Capitalism] is the desire to overcome the alienated labor of capitalism and replace it with activity that is voluntary, fulfilling, and socially useful. After reviewing Holloway’s foundational theoretical argument, which offers an enriched understanding of alienated labor, we focus particular attention on the concrete implications of his analysis for transformational organizing. Several issues are crucial: the role of revolutionary organizers and organizations, the role of counter-institutions, and the question of whether, and how, the struggle for reform can be productively conducted within capitalist states and other dominant institutions.” [Kevin Young and Michael Schwartz, “Can prefigurative politics prevail? The implications for movement strategy in John Holloway’s Crack Capitalism.” Journal of Classical Sociology. Volume 12, number 2, 2012. Pages 220-239.]
      “This article examines the main lines of argument developed within the autonomist or Open Marxist tradition, focusing especially on the work of [John] Holloway and [Antonio] Negri.…
      “Both Open Marxism’s focus on form analysis and the analytical tool of class composition are enormously valuable. In considering capitalist forms as modes of existence of social relations, form analysis helps us grasp those social relations in all their messy, actually existing variety. And by understanding instances of class struggle in terms of the systemic tension between variable and constant capital, with living labour as an active creative force, class composition helps us grasp the moving reality of struggle.…
      “… Despite its often daunting levels of abstraction, Open Marxism has the potential to make a real contribution to Marxist renewal, and this potential is rooted in its warm, appealing humanism. This is not always obvious: Negri’s tendency in particular has been described as positively anti-humanist …. But his constant insistence on the cooperative character of social labour belies this; and the passionate humanism infusing Holloway’s work is inescapable. By stressing capitalist forms as modes of existence of social relations, Holloway reminds us that social relations themselves—the sensuous reality of human intercourse, of people being alive together—are the heart of the matter. This connects Open Marxism with an earlier current of Marxist humanism: with [Raya] Dunayevskaya, who also stressed the importance of form and fetishism …; and with [Herbert] Marcuse, who regarded ‘the humanistic idea … not merely as origin and end but as the very substance of Marxian theory’ ….”
      [Martin Spence, “Form, fetish, and film: Revisting Open Marxism.” Capital & Class. Volume 34, number 1, 2010. Pages 99-106.]
      “… the interstitial revolution will not necessarily end capitalism, as capitalism will not simply die from the fact that communism peacefully, cunningly, like a cancer, grows and grows and grows in capitalism’s interstices: I suggest that capitalism will die because of the decay of capitalism, not the growth of communism, and that these two processes are neither the same nor related in any linear manner. Second, there are anti-capitalist screams and cracks that are not at all, and cannot even potentially become, communist: there are reactionary, anti-emancipatory forms of anti-capitalism, and as these were decisive factors in the catastrophic history of the twentieth century, their theoretical reflection needs to be more than a critical afterthought; it needs to be central. One way of putting this would be that, like many other variants of autonomist and left-wing Marxism, [John] Holloway’s theory suffers from a lack of a theory of fascism. In spite of these reservations, though, his conception is of great importance, and my way of trying to deal with my own reservations will probably make clear enough why I think it is.” [Marcel Stoetzler, “On the possibility that the revolution that will end capitalism might fail to usher in communism.” Journal of Classical Sociology. Volume 12, number 2, May 2012. Pages 191-204.]
    160. the open Marxism of Henri Lefebvre (Henri Lefebvre as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): The work of Lefebvre (1901–1991) work was placed into this tradition by Greig Charnock.
      “In this paper, I have demonstrated how we might justifiably include Henri Lefebvre within an open Marxist tradition; that is to say, his work resists dogmatism or the allure of fetishised, closed forms of thought that allow for the construction of generally applicable frameworks, categories and models to be developed for largely analytical, hence affirmative, purposes. Like other writers in the tradition his theory is resolutely critical, his critique is negative. Like Marx, Lefebvre recognises that ‘human beings are their own self-creations: they create themselves’ …. This insight thoroughly informs his writing on (political) space. And, even when Lefebvre concluded that Marx was indeed premature in his depiction of the demise of capitalism, and when he feared the state had succeeded in penetrating every aspect of everyday life, he never abandoned ‘the possible’ and his theoretical method reflected this. Because of this, Lefebvre could detect the real movement of contradiction through his metaphilosophy, illuminating the path of Becoming toward a ‘real’ but not-yet-existing, differential urban society, freed from the reign of abstraction.” [Greig Charnock, “Challenging New State Spatialities: The Open Marxism of Henri Lefebvre.” Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography. Volume 42, number 5, November 2010. Pages 1279-1303.]
      1. critique of everyday life: According to Lefebvre, critique is not merely possessing an abstract knowledge of everyday life but knowing how to transform it. The original French designation is “critique de la vie quotidienne” (MP3 audio file).
        “Thinking people were obsessed with the political drama. Rightly so. But they were forgetting that although the political drama was being acted out or decided in the higher spheres – the State, parliament, leaders, policies – it still had a ‘base’ in matters relating to food, rationing, wages, the organization or reorganization of labour. A humble, everyday ‘base.’ Therefore many Marxists saw criticism of everyday life as useless and antiquated; they perceived it as a reworking of an old-fashioned, exhausted critique of bourgeois society, little more than a critique of triviality – therefore a trivial critique.
        “For this reason philosophers today are experiencing difficulties of a kind unknown to their predecessors. Great or small, profound or superficial, their lives have lost that simplicity and elegance of line they attribute (fictitiously, no doubt) to the lives of their illustrious models. Philosophers and philosophy can no longer be isolated, disguised, hidden. And this is precisely because everyday life is the supreme court where wisdom, knowledge and power are brought to judgement.”
        [Henri Lefebvre. Critique of Everyday Life. John Moore and Gregory Elliott, translators. The one–volume edition. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2005. Verso ebook edition.]
        “Up until the middle of the century, the revolutions are peasant-based, including aborted revolutions in Indonesia and elsewhere, including the agrarian reforms that were basically accomplished through peasant revolutions, as in Mexico. After this I began to fo cus my attention on urban questions, because they were mounting; the great movement of urbanization fo llowing all the economic transformations began right around the years between 1955 and 1960. It is the world that is changing. So naturally, since I am not a systematic or dogmatic spirit, I do not cling to the past. Given the number of questions, it would almost be necessary to publish continuously, a sort of continuous bulletin that would fo llow the transformations of everyday life, the transformations of the State in a world that is paradoxical because there are some things that have remained fixed and others that have entirely changed.” [Henri Lefebvre. State, Space, World: Selected Essays. Gerald Moore, Neil Brenner, and Stuart Elden, translators. Neil Brenner and Stuart Elden, editors. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 2009. Page 161.]
        “… [Spiritual] products contain a truth. They express concrete human life by transposing it. They become the elements of ways of life or cultures which have always had a partial validity and certain of which (especially Greek life and culture) can perhaps be integrated into the modern world once this has been organized and renewed. In general, such ways of life resulted from the repetition and accumulation of the humblest actions of practical life. History displays, however, in most great civilizations, a distressing contradiction between the magnificence of ideological justifications, costumes and words, and the monotony of everyday gestures. Only the future will be able to resolve this form of contradiction between consciousness and reality.” [Henri Lefebvre. Dialectical Materialism. John Sturrock, translator. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 2009. Pages 141-142.]
        “The everyday can … be defined as a set of functions which connect and join together systems that might appear to be distinct. Thus defined, the everyday is a product, the most general of products in an era where production engenders consumption, and where consumption is manipulated by producers: not by ‘workers,’ but by the managers and owners of the means of production (intellectual, instrumental, scientific). The everyday is therefore the most universal and the most unique condition, the most social and the most individuated, the most obvious and the best hidden. A condition stipulated for the legibility of forms, ordained by means of functions, inscribed within structures, the everyday constitutes the platform upon which the bureaucratic society of controlled consumerism is erected.” [Henri Lefebvre, “The Everyday and Everydayness.” Christine Levich, translator. Yale French Studies. Number 73, 1987. Pages 7-11.]
        “… Lefebvre considered the everyday to be the decisive category linking the economy to individual life experiences. Whereas the economic had long played an overarching role under capitalism, the everyday was now acquiring the same significance. The declared goal of his intellectual project was, above all, a ‘revalorization of subjectivity’ and the quest for spaces that allow for autonomy and creativity.” [Klaus Ronneberger, “Henri Lefebvre and Urban Everyday Life: In Search of the Possible.” Stefan Kipfer and Neil Brenner, translators. Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Reading Henri Lefebvre. Kanishka Goonewardena, Stefan Kipfer, Richard Milgrom, and Christian Schmid, editors. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2008. Page 135.]
        “Henri Lefebvre has had an extraordinary effect, the depth and breadth of which we are only now beginning to appreciate. Lefebvre, steeped in the French Communist Party tradition yet one of its most trenchant critics, and just as much a situationist come the 1960s, offered a highly philosophical rationale for the reframing of politics as inherently spatial. Space is the ontology of politics for Lefebvre. The production of space is what capitalism does – capitalism has survived since the nineteenth century, he once famously remarked, ‘by occupying space, by producing a space.’” [Neil Smith, “New geographies, old ontologies: Optimism of the intellect.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 106, March/April 2001. Pages 21-30.]
        “Building on a foundation of radical romanticism, [Henri] Lefebvre developed a dialectical and experimental utopianism that expands the horizon of possibilities. As such, his Utopian practice suggests how architects and planners could recuperate an aptitude for establishing settings where everyday life can flourish. Largely because the failures of 1968 are looked on as Utopia’s last stand, contemporary urban and architectural practices have not really deepened since Lefebvre wrote on cities. Hopes for alternatives have progressively ebbed since then, increasingly replaced by flows of capitalist realism.” [Nathaniel Coleman, “Utopian Prospect of Henri Lefebvre.” Space and Culture. Volume 16, number 3, June 2013. Pages 349-363.]
      2. rhythmanalysis: Lefebvre critically examines the analytical use of rhythm as both theory and method.
        “A fundamental forecast: sooner or later the analysis succeeds in isolating from within the organized whole a particular movement and its rhythm. Often coupled empirically with speculations (see, for example, doctors in the field of auscultation, etc.), the analytic operation simultaneously discovers the multiplicity of rhythms and the uniqueness of particular rhythms (the heart, the kidneys, etc.). The rhythmanalysis here denned as a method and a theory pursues this time-honoured labour in a systematic and theoretical manner, by bringing together very diverse practices and very different types of knowledge: medicine, history, climatology cosmology poetry (the poetic), etc. Not forgetting, of course, sociology and psychology, which occupy the front line and supply the essentials.” [Henri Lefebvre. Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life. Stuart Elden and Gerald Moore, translators. London and New York: Continuum. 2004. Page 16.]
        “At no moment have the analysis of rhythms and the rhythmanalytical project lost sight of the body. Not the anatomical or functional body, but the body as polyrhythmic and eurhythmic (in the so-called normal state). As such, the living body has (in general) always been present: a constant reference. The theory of rhythms is founded on the experience and knowledge [connaissance] of the body: the concepts derive from this consciousness and this knowledge, simultaneously banal and full of surprises – of the unknown and the misunderstood.” [Henri Lefebvre. Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life. Stuart Elden and Gerald Moore, translators. London and New York: Continuum. 2004. Page 67.]
        “Some men lift a heavy load. In this simple action the reality of the object governs the activity directly. The shape of the load, its volume, the direction it has got to be moved in, are the objective conditions which the action obeys. Moreover the number of men able to help and their physical strength enter as determining elements into the sequence of synchronized movements which will lead to the load being shifted. By virtue of a reciprocal adaptation of men and object, the activity of this human group will acquire a form, a structure and a rhythm. These remarks can be extended from a very simple case like this to very complex ones: the manufacture of an object, a laboratory experiment, etc. Every time human effort is applied to a ‘product,’ a concrete unity is formed between subject and object, looked at practically. The subject and object are not merged, neither are they abstractly distinct; they are opposed in a certain relationship. They form a clearly determined dialectical whole.” [Henri Lefebvre. Dialectical Materialism. John Sturrock, translator. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 2009. Page 108.]
        “This rhythmological study is inextricably linked to the study of everyday life. Everyday life revolves around an abstract, quantitative time that has been gradually instituted in the Occident with the invention of clocks—that is, when clocks and watches have become an essential part of everyday life. Once adopted as a measure of labor-time, this homogenous and decanonized time instantly imposed itself. By becoming the time of everydayness, it subordinated to the organization of work in space all aspects of the everyday: the time for sleeping and waking up, the time for eating and for private life, the relationship between parents and children, leisure and entertainment, and other domestic interactions. At the same time, biological rhythms persist; everyday life is traversed by great rhythms that are both cosmic and vital, such as the days and nights or the months and seasons. As a result, the everyday revolves around a conflictual unity between these biological rhythms and the repetitive process associated with homogenous time.” [Henri Lefebvre and Catherine Regulier, “The rhythmanalytical project.” Mohamed Zayani, translator. Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 11, number 1, spring 1999. Pages 5-13.]
        “The process of rhythmanalysis, as [Henri] Lefebvre proposes, does not aim to ‘isolate an object, or a subject, or a relation [but it] seeks to grasp a moving but determinate complexity (determination not entailing determinism).’ The entire concept of rhythmanalysis is therefore one of using rhythm as a tool or a method, rather than an object of analysis. In this manner rhythm can be an instrument of understanding for a broad array of topics outside the field of music: one can listen to space as one listens to music. Even Lefebvre’s focus on the body as a central referent for any study of rhythm and cycles is not one of subjectifying the body, but using it as a starting point in analysis and as a tool (our body as a free-range metronome).” [Aleksandra Vojcic, “Henri Lefebvre and Elements of Rhythmanalysis.” Theoria. Volume 21, 2014. Pages 71-103.]
        “Rhythms have specific characteristics, which Lefebvre explores. Wherever time, space and an expenditure of energy coincide, there is rhythm. Rhythm is always relative; faster rhythms imply slower rhythms, and vice versa. Silence is a rhythm as much as the noise of hubbub, which the rhythmanalyst can dissect to identify the specific rhythms of which it is composed. Rhythms are about repetition, yet repetition produces difference. We need to be outside of rhythms to notice and analyse rhythms. Usually taken for granted, rhythms become clearer with their breakdown, the onset of arrhythmia. It is when providing specific insights into the workings and analysis of rhythms that I think Lefebvre is at his best. His rhythmanalysis urges us towards a more cadenced understanding of the worlds, whichever worlds, we choose to investigate.” [Dave Horton, “Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life.” Time & Society. Volume 14, number 1, 2005. Pages 157-159.]
        “Rhythm makes us remember, repeating by rote, making habits and routines; but it is amnesiac, making us forget – only to return afresh. As Henri Lefebvre reminds us, ‘dawn is always new’ …. Rhythm is double-sided, it doubles up, even double-crosses itself, both the earthly and ethereal, enforcing the work of labour as much as the play of pleasure. Rhythm has equal facility to be a regressive or progressive political weapon, as we discuss below. Rhythm is multiply inflected, both traumatic and cathartic. There is a rhetoric to rhythm, we feel it, it carries an affective charge, conveying meaning as feeling and tone, rather than logic or information.” [Julian Henriques, Milla Tiainen, and Pasi Väliaho, “Rhythm Returns: Movement and Cultural Theory.” Body & Society. Volume 20, numbers 3 and 4, 2014. Pages 3-29.]
      3. architectonics: He conducts an analysis of the persistence of social space.
        “It may be asked whether global space is determined by architectonics …. The answer must be no – and this for several reasons. First of all, the global level is dependent upon dialectical processes which cannot be reduced to binary oppositions, to contrasts and complementarities, or to mirage effects and reduplications, even though such effects or oppositions may well be integral – and integrative – components thereof. They are, in other words, necessary but not sufficient conditions. The global level mobilizes triads, tripartite conflicts or connections. It will do no harm to recall the most essential of these connections now: capitalism cannot be analysed or explained by appealing to such binary oppositions as those between proletariat and bourgeoisie, wages and profit, or productive labour and parasitism; rather, it is comprised of three elements, terms or moments – namely land, labour and capital, or in other words rent, wages and profit – which are brought together in the global unity of surplus value.…
        “To recapitulate: social space, which is at first biomorphic and anthropological, tends to transcend this immediacy. Nothing disappears completely, however; nor can what subsists be defined solely in terms of traces, memories or relics. In space, what came earlier continues to underpin what follows. The preconditions of social space have their own particular way of enduring and remaining actual within that space. Thus primary nature may persist, albeit in a completely acquired and false way, within ‘second nature’ – witness urban reality. The task of architectonics is to describe, analyse and explain this persistence, which is often evoked in the metaphorical shorthand of strata, periods, sedimentary layers, and so on. It is an approach, therefore, which embraces and seeks to reassemble elements dispersed by the specialized and partial disciplines of ethnology, ethnography, human geography, anthropology, prehistory and history, sociology, and so on.”
        [Henri Lefebvre. The Production of Space. Donald Nicholson-Smith, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell, Inc. 1991. Pages 229-230.]
    161. open Marxist theory of imperialism (Alex Sutton): He applies an open–Marxist perspective to imperialism.
      “The enduring nature of imperialism means that a theory of imperialism will be perennially useful in demystifying its origins and qualities. This paper seeks to show that an open Marxist (OM hereafter) approach is valuable in identifying the necessary qualities of imperialism and its origins in the capitalist social form. Theories of imperialism rest on a theory or conception of the state, which is where OM’s contribution to social theory is most robust. The purpose of this paper is to move towards an OM account of imperialism, and to identify the basic form of a theory of imperialism that is consonant with OM. The paper argues that extant theories of imperialism are dissonant with OM based upon their conceptions of the state, and social relations more broadly.” [Alex Sutton, “Towards an open Marxist theory of imperialism.” Capital & Class. Volume 37, number 2, 2013. Pages 217-237.]
    162. open Marxist methodology for the study of the global political economy (Peter Burnham): He argues for this approach over “deterministic ‘closed Marxism.’”
      “The call for the development of ‘open Marxism’ … is a response to the crisis of the various forms of deterministic ‘closed Marxism’ which have dominated radical discourse since the arrival of the state ideology Marxism-Leninism.…
      “Open Marxism offers a way out of … [a] conceptual morass. A careful, critical reading of [Karl] Marx’s ‘method of political economy’ can be employed to produce a coherent, non-reductionist account, which avoids the tautological reasoning of orthodox state/market analysis and which yields a robust methodology for understanding global social relations. Rather than begin with rigidified forms it is necessary to introduce levels of abstraction which slowly build up our knowledge, from labour and value to the commodity and the capitalist state form, and finally arriving at a conception of the world market where ‘all the nationally separated component parts of bourgeois society compete with each other‘ ….
      “This approach highlights the importance of Marx’s central concept: the social relations of production. It is the organization of the social relations of production, and in particular the social determination of labour, which forms the crux of Marx’s analysis. By rooting our worldview in the notion of the constitutive power of labour we can understand the passage of history in terms of the struggles waged to establish and maintain historically specific forms of organized social relations.”
      [Peter Burnham, “Open Marxism and Vulgar International Political Economy.” Review of International Political Economy. Volume 1, number 2, summer 1994. Pages 221-231.]
    163. logic of autonomism and prefigurative political action (Juuso V. M. Miettunen as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an open Marxist approach to autonomism.
      “In theorizing the logic of autonomism and prefigurative political action this chapter will put forward the argument that the idea of social change driving the movements can be understood through Holloway’s notion of building ‘power-to.’ …
      “This discussion will draw from Marxian theory which ‘is valued precisely for its breadth and depth of analysis, as well as its practical orientation toward social struggles. As “an argument about movements, and an argument within movements,” Marxism simultaneously offers a theorisation of power structures, popular agency, and social transformation in conjunction with related strategic questions’ …. Yet, autonomism poses considerable challenges to many of the dominant assumptions and practices in Marxist theory and movements.”
      [Juuso V. M. Miettunen. Prefigurative Politics: Perils and Promise. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Kent. Canterbury, England. August, 2015. Page 13.]
      “The theoretical tradition of Open Marxism (OM) emerged out of the Conference of Socialist Economists (CSE)…. Open Marxism is perhaps best understood as a response to two theoretical traditions; ‘Structural Marxism’ and ‘autonomist Marxism.’ The ‘openness’ of OM can be seen as a response to the perceived closed nature of in particular the structural Marxism of Louis Althusser which they accused of inadequate attention to social action and the consequent inability to explain the processes by which social life is constituted and the ‘human values affirmed/revoked through those conditions‘ ….” [Juuso V. M. Miettunen. Prefigurative Politics: Perils and Promise. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Kent. Canterbury, England. August, 2015. Page 32.]
    164. critiques of autonomism, communization theory, and open Marxism: Several critiques—whether qualified or more expansive—are presented.
      1. critique of political autonomy (Gilles Dauvé as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He recognizes the importance of autonomy while, at the same time, arguing that it is insufficient.
        “It seems only die-hard party builders could object to autonomy: who wants to be a dependant? Yet we may wonder why autonomy has become a buzzword lately. Trotskysts are not authoritarian any more. Any leftwinger now is all for ‘autonomy,’ like nearly every politician looking for working class vote talked of ‘socialism’ in 1910. The popularity of this notion may be a sign of growing radicalism. It certainly also has a lot to do with contemporary daily life and the spaces of freedom it grants us: more open communication channels, new types of leisure, new ways of meeting, making friends and travelling, the ‘network society,’ the Internet, etc. All these activities have one thing in common: everyone is at the same time constantly on his own and constantly relating to everyone and everything.…
        “Everybody wishes collective decisions. So do we. And the best way to get it is for each of us to take part in the decision-making. But once you and I are part of it, we still have to make the decision. Is this ‘self’ strong enough? Autonomists have their answer ready; the individual self may be weak, but the collective self is strong. Who’s being naïve here? Adding individual wills only transforms them into something qualitatively different if and when they act differently. So we’re back to where we started. Aggregating selves widens the scope of the problem without solving it. The solution can only come, not from what autonomy is supposed to give us, but from what it is founded upon. Autonomy in itself is no more creative than any form of organization.
        “Many radicals believe in the equation autonomy + anti-State violence = revolutionary movement and see it vindicated for instance in the Oaxaca [a Mexican state with a capital of the same name] protracted insurrection. While this event is one of the strongest outbursts of proletarian activity in the recent years, it demonstrates that autonomous violence is necessary and insufficient. A revolutionary movement is more than a liberated area or a hundred liberated areas. It develops by fighting public and private repression, as well as by starting to change the material basis of social relationship. No self-managed street fighting and grassroots district solidarity, however indispensable they are, inevitably contain the acts and the intentions that bring about such a change. So it’s the nature of the change we’ve got to insist upon: creating a world without money, without commodity exchange, without labour being bought and sold, without firms as competing poles of value accumulation, without work as separate from the rest of our activities, without a State, without a specialized political sphere supposedly cut off from our social relationships… In other words, a revolution that is born out of a common refusal to submit, out of the hope to get to a point of no return where people transform themselves and gain a sense of their own power as they transform reality.”
        [Gilles Dauvé. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Autonomy. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2008. Pages 27-28.]
      2. reactive autonomy (Filler Collective): They present an anarcho–autonomist critique of the autonomism at the University of Pittsburgh as “reactionary.”
        “Reactive Autonomy
        The emergence of an autonomous scene at Pitt [University of Pittsburgh] is not the result of the spontaneous self-organization of radicals. In this early stage, it is a reaction-formation to the alienation of both Campus Life and the Populist Left..…
        “Autonomy attracts us because we’ve seen its potential to transform one’s sense of individual and collective power, to seduce spectators into active participation: its potential to inspire others to search for liberatory experiences and projects on their own terms. But autonomy is also a process. It requires intentionally theorizing and experimenting with our conceptions of autonomy in order to determine what practices will result in the active provocation, solicitation, and circulation of contradictory and complementary insurgent desires. Without continual experimentation and negation, without an intention that goes beyond ‘fuck that liberal bullshit,’ we become passive consumers of the aesthetics and practices associated with autonomy, all the while reproducing the same relationships and arrangements of space that centralize power, agency, and legitimacy. In other words, we can cling to ‘spontaneity,’ ‘horizontalism,’ or ‘self-organization’ (abstractions likely passed down from Occupy) all we want, but these words are practically meaningless until we start to facilitate spaces that provide the skills, platforms, tools, dialogue, material and emotional support required to inspire and nurture spontaneity, horizontalism, self-organization, autonomy.
        “The radicalism in our autonomous scene is reactionary primarily because it fails to break from the frameworks we are reacting to. Just because Pitt doesn’t recognize our crews as legitimate student organizations and none of us have ‘club presidents’ doesn’t mean anything’s changed. The reactionary autonomist stagnates with their radicalism as an aesthetic; they parade their consensus processes, rowdy actions, militant rhetoric, nominally non-hierarchical meetings, and discourse pissing-contests in order to disguise the fact that they are reproducing the same organizing styles found in the populist camp, albeit with a sexier attitude.”
        [Filler Collective. For a University Against Itself: Filler #6. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2017. Pages 16-17.]
      3. limits of Nick Dyer-Witheford’s commonism (Mike Neary and Joss Winn): To the authors of the article, those limitations can be traced to the limitations of autonomist Marxism itself.
        “While commonism draws attention to progressive forms of collaborative labour, its focus is very much on the positive redistribution of goods and resources. The implication is that different forms of exchange produce different forms of social activity, ‘shared resources generate forms of shared co-operation – associations – that coordinate the conversion of further resources into expanded commons’ …. The focus is very much on exchange relations rather than searching for more substantive underlying levels of social determinations in the ways in which social relations are produced.…
        “The limits of [Nick] Dyer-Witheford’s commonism are the limits of Autonomist Marxism. Autonomia does provide a powerful theorisation, the strength of which is its ability to connect and reconnect with movements of revolutionary resistance. However, its populist and enduring appeal is also a source of its theoretical weakness. By presenting the working class as the substance of radical subjectivity, Autonomia is presenting labour as a fetishised and transhistorical category, transgressing the key formulation of [Karl] Marx’s mature social science.”
        [Mike Neary and Joss Winn, “Open education: Common(s), commonism and the new common wealth.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 12, number 4, 2012. Pages 406-422.]
      4. critique of the autonomist theory of post–Fordism (Duy Lạp Nguyên as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): To Nguyên, some approaches to autonomist Marxism have mischaracterized the modern capitalist system.
        “This essay outlines a critique of the autonomist theory of post-Fordism as a stage of capitalism defined by immaterial forms of production that purportedly constitute ‘value beyond quantification,’ which is to say, value exceeding the measure of spatialized time. The essay argues that this concept of immaterial labor – proposed as a corrective to [Karl] Marx’s ‘quantitative theory of value’ – elides the crucial distinction in Marx’s analysis between two entirely different kinds of spatialized time: the time required for the production of material goods and the time that determines their (exchange) value. This elision, the essay argues, results in a fundamental mischaracterization of contemporary capitalism.…
        “For past thirty years, the theory of post-Fordist production developed in the works of Autonomist Marxists (including Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno and Franco Berardi) has provided one of the most widely employed critical frameworks for understanding the increasing significance of culture, affect, information, and digital labor in the contemporary global economy. This theory emerged, in part, out of a phenomenological critique of the spatialized concept of time (as the measure of value) employed in Marx’s analyses of capitalism. For the Autonomists, this spatialized time – inherited from the Western metaphysical tradition – is no longer sufficient as a measure of value, given the prevalence within contemporary capitalism of immaterial (and immeasurable) forms of production. As I show in this essay, this account of post-Fordist production is based upon a fundamental misreading of Marx.”
        [Duy Lap Nguyen, “Against Autonomy: Capitalism Beyond Quantification in the Autonomist Reading of Marx.” Postmodern Culture. Volume 25, number 3, May 2015. Pagination unknown.]
      5. frustrated workerism (Maciej Żurowski as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): The article critiques the German autonomist movement, from the international revolutionary democratic communist perspective of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee), as “not part of the left.”
        “The Autonome [Autonomous] understood themselves as a radical libertarian left that aimed to operate and live ‘autonomously’ of political parties, trade unions, and – to some extent – capitalist society itself. The alternative structures they created in the form of squats and youth centres set the scene for a life-stylist, direct action-fixated subculture that was hostile to the ‘talking left’ and held ordinary people (‘society’) in contempt. One was not required to use one’s brain too much to be part of the Autonome scene – theory came second-best behind romantic left idealism, street-wise bravado and, especially later, a philistine political correctness. Frankly, it was enough just to be there, wear the right badge and like the right bands.…
        “… [A] ‘non-dogmatism’ … had its roots in the frustrated workerism of the new left. The latter’s revolutionary impatience was accompanied by a rejection of ‘vanguardism,’ relying on the spontaneous movement of the masses. When this was not forthcoming, the ‘coopted’ working class was ditched and replaced by ‘third world’ nationalism, liberation struggles of the specially oppressed, autonomist projects, movementism and so on. It is true that for the ‘anti-Germans,’ this served as a conveyor belt for their present anti-working class politics: at the end of the process we see them identifying the working class with Nazism and the ruling class with progress. The answer, however, is not found in a new workerism or spontaneism, which in the long run can only result in a repeat of the cycle.”
        [Maciej Zurowski, “Anti-Germans: Not part of the left.” Weekly Worker. Issue 932, October 2012. Online publication. No pagination.]
      6. critique of communization (Donald Parkinson): His critique includes a focus on abilities of professionals to establish monopolies.
        “Immediate communization is … impossible because of the realities of specialization under capitalism, where a large and essentially petty-bourgeois strata of professionals with skillsets necessary for the reproduction of society (surgeons for example) are able to use their monopolies on skills and information to assert a privileged position above proletarians in society. This strata would have much reason to resist communism and withhold their skills at the expense of society to assert material privileges. As a result concessions would have to given to this strata until their skill monopolies can be broken through the collective reorganization of production and education in a way to challenge the very basis of the mental/manual division of labor. Such a process would not happen overnight, problematizing the notion that a immediate transcendence of capitalism is possible. In other words transition isn’t something revolutionaries choose but something imposed by objective conditions. Communism must be created from the raw material produced by capitalism, raw materials that aren’t as malleable as the ‘revolutionary will’ of communists would like them to be.” [Donald Parkinson, “Nothing new to look at here: Towards a Critique of Communization.” Communist League Tampa. June 30th, 2015. Web. No pagination. Retrieved on May 21st, 2017.]
      7. catastrophism in communization (Benjamin Noys): He argues that communization theory underestimates the violence used by “anti–revolutionary forces” and overestimates the ease in challenging those forces.
        “I’d say if there is a kind of ‘catastrophism’ in communization, it comes not so much in any belief that catastrophe leads to communism, but in some unconvincing statements about the process of communization as the revolutionary moment. The assertion that the rapid spread of communization will overcome the forces of the state and capital, and the assumption that deviations of the revolution will be due to tensions among the revolutionary forces, underestimate the violence of anti-revolutionary forces and the ease with which they might be overcome. Communization could answer that it is setting out conditions for what would be a truly communizing revolution, and this may not take place. While this may be true, I don’t think these descriptions convincingly account for how we might pass from moments of seizure and sharing into new forms of global production and distribution.” [Benjamin Noys, “The Main Currents of Communization: Interview With Benjamin Noys.” C. Derick Varn, interviewer. The North Star. June 28st, 2013. Online publication. No pagination.]
      8. world class contradictions (Andreas Bieler as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Adam David Morton): They offer a qualified critique of open Marxism.
        “It is argued that an adequate approach to a theory of the state and political economy within critical international theory is not possible without engaging with Open Marxism, although such an approach on its own is not enough. The argument has therefore focused on ‘world class contradictions’ in a double sense. Firstly, some of the contradictions within Open Marxism itself have been highlighted that are of major (i.e. ‘world class’) importance in adequately understanding the modalities of power in the context of globalisation. Secondly, we have aimed to stress the importance of remaining engaged with the state as a site of class (-relevant) struggle and strategic selectivity whilst maintaining awareness of the wider dimension of ‘world class’ (i.e. global) contradictions.” [Andreas Bieler and Adam David Morton, “Globalisation, the State and Class Struggle: A ‘Critical Economy’ Engagement with Open Marxism.” British Journal of Politics and International Relations. Volume 5, issue 4, November 2003. Pages 467-499.]
      9. relative theoretical weakness of the open Marxist project (John Michael Roberts): Roberts also makes a qualified critique of open Marxism
        “In this paper I wish to critically engage with the project of open Marxism. While I am sympathetic with their aims, I argue that open Marxists do not take their insights far enough. Indeed I shall suggest that there is, at present, a danger of reductionism implicit in their overall project based upon the theoretical reduction of discrete social forms of life to the main contradiction between capital and labour within the capitalist mode of production. Thus while open Marxists successfully detail how social forms reflect the contradiction between capital and labour, they do not at present demonstrate with equal insight how social forms also refract this contradiction in their own unique and qualitative way. Part of the reason for this failure lies in the relative theoretical weakness of the open Marxist project. This weakness is related, I believe, to a failure to open up the categories of Marxism to the idea of refraction. That is, open Marxists have yet to develop a set of categories which usefully allow us to explore the distinct ideological characteristics of social forms of life which, at first glance, seem to have nothing whatsoever in common with capital and labour.” [John Michael Roberts, “From reflection to refraction: opening up open Marxism.” Capital & Class. Volume 26, number 87, 2002. Pages 87-116.]
      10. history and open Marxism (Heide Gerstenberger as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): She develops a multifaceted critique of John Holloway’s open Marxism.
        “From the Marxist side I expected: extreme culturalism, historicism, politicist analysis, false conception of class. I find three of them in John Holloway’s contribution. The first is missing. It is omitted because the author undertook the quite incomprehensible effort of divesting a very extensive concrete analysis of every element of historical concreteness in order to seek thereunder the naked frame of a history of the forms of exploitation. Whatever clashes with this perspective is not even perceived as a theoretical provocation, but simply left out of view.“
        “The argument that there was a revolutionary difference in the conditions of social dynamics is bound up with the stress on the separation of the economy (and of politics) from the total complex of the social practice of domination. Holloway denies this difference. In his view the working out of the class contradiction is determinant not only for the development of capitalism but also for the ‘societies’ which preceded capitalism historically. Indeed I too – that should be obvious – tried for a long time to explain the dynamic of the development of domination in the kingdoms I was examining comparatively in terms of the unfolding of the contradiction of feudal relations of exploitation. However, this interpretation does not stand up to historical analysis.…
        “Class struggle is seen by Holloway not only as being completely open but also as supra-historically determining and at the same time hidden. His is a concept of class which is immune to empirical evidence. It not only saves historians the trouble of struggling with the sources but also denies their results the quality of an argument. To be precise, it construes the historical dynamic as the unfolding of a Marxist system of categories.”
        [Heide Gerstenberger, “History and ‘Open Marxism’: A Reply to John Holloway.” John Holloway, translator. Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 14, 1993. Pages 58-62.]

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