POLI 364 - Lecture (Mar 13/15th)
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Timeline of the Anti-Capitalist Movement
Skilled workers >>> Dignity of Labor/Trade Unionism/Leninism >>> Mass
Worker/Ford & Taylor/Assembly Line Production >>> Refusal of Work >>> Social
Worker/Feminism/Commodification of dissent/Anti-Political >>> Intellectual Worker
(Multitude)/”Just in time” production/Toyotaism
Liberal/Imperial State >>> Keynesianism/Social Security >>> Welfare State >>>
Hayek/Thatcher/Reagan >>> Neoliberal State/Cybernetics/Networks >>> Decline
of State Sovereignty/Private Security/Empire
The answer to the question, “who is the working class” is constantly changing,
because the individual who comprises labour changes, parallel to the current mode
Autonomists stress the role of the labourers themselves in driving capitalist
expansion and evolution; capitalism only grows when it adapts in response to the
working class movement.
Multitude = the current configuration of the exploited class, the intellectual
workers of the post-globalized western world; this is a term used by Virno, as well
as Negri & Arendt
One point made by Virno is that the distinction between labour and non-labour has
all but disappeared in modern society.
“Unemployment is non-remunerated labor and labor, in turn, is remunerated
This is why the term curriculum vitae, which used to symbolize the life
accomplishments of an individual, is now synonymous with the word resume.
In applying for a job, it is not enough to simply have the knowledge or skills
necessary to perform the task; rather, “jobs” now entail abilities drawn from all
aspects of one's life (sociability), and not just occupational ability.
Implication: the exploited class is no longer skilled labour, but rather, it is a
socialized labour class (human capital.) This is also referred to as the
“immaterialization” of labour, or the “affected” labourer.
This is the complete re-theorization of the constitution of the working class.
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