It’s always a bit embarassing when you’re like “hey why don’t we go/do …” and someone’s all “Yeah, let’s! How do we …?” and you’re going “Well, uhh, actually, I’m not totally sure how, but I think I heard one time that maybe…”

That’s how it was for me a bit. “Hey gang, let’s read the Fragment On Machines!” “Yeah, let’s totally do that! Wait, what is the Fragment On Machines, exactly?” “Uhh… it’s … it’s ….”

It’s a chunk of the Grundrisse. I’ve heard/read it described as being pages 692-706, 693-706, 690-706, or 690-712, based on the pagination in the Penguin and Vintage edition (same as in that link). I’m also not entirely sure where the name comes from. I think it was by folk in the operaisti circles, I think when the Grundrisse was first being translated into Italian. I’m told it appeared in issue 4 of the Quaderni Rossi. Steve tells me that the version there ‘As long as the means of labour remains a means of labour in the proper sense of the term …’ (page 692) and ends bottom of p.706.

In any case, below are my notes on the thing. I took the wide range, pages 690-712.

Marx begins by distinguishing a narrow and an expansive sense of fixed capital. In the former, fixed capital is “means of production in the strict sense” – machinery and that. In the latter sense, “the entire production process and each of its moments, such as circulation (…) is only a means of production for capital.” (690.)

Marx repeatedly speaks of use value in this section. That’s a category I’m interested in and have tried to write a bit on before. Need to get back to that eventually. He writes of “the use value of fixed capital” as being “the technological condition for the occurrence of the process” of the action of the means of production proper” which are “in turn only the material presuppositions for the production process generally, or for the employment and maintenance of the means of labour.” Said means of labor have a function “only within production and for production” and have “no other use value.” (690-691.) The use value of fixed capital is that of acting upon labor power purchased as commodity so as to make use of it’s use value, which is to produce surplus value. That is, the use value of fixed capital is to help the imposition of work. Labor produces capital, and is a moment of capital, one of three parts of capital Marx identifies, the others being the material of labor – raw materials, that which labor works on – and means of labour – tools, means of production, fixed capital. Marx here also makes remarks I don’t fully understand and think are unnecessary, but which it’s worth noting: he identifies the material with use value and the real, as opposed to the formal which is presumably to do with exchange value and the nonreal (or the abstract?).

On page 692 Marx writes about “an automatic system of machinery,” one “set in motion by an automoton, a moving power that moves itself” such that “the workers themselves are cast merely as its conscious linkages.” I don’t know what this is on about. I don’t know of such a machine. Now, there are machines by which some peoples bodies are forced to move at certain speed and to which they are forced to adapt, but those are in the service of and at least in part a result of the power and activity of other people. There’s also an ambiguity in the term “cast” – someone who is “cast” into a role isn’t necessarily the role they play, like actors cast in a play. It could mean then that this view of the worker is only ostensible, an appearance which is not actually the case (like the legal equality of the buyers and sellers of labor power who both ‘freely’ enter into the market).

Similarly further down the page there’s a remark that “In no way does the machine appear as the individual worker’s means of labour” such that it’s function is not “to transmit the worker’s activity to the object”. Is this appearance as distinct from reality? Or something else? And is this appearance the case for all, or is it perspectival? In either case, this sounds silly to me, but particularly if appearance is not here held up as a fiction. Marx goes on, saying that the worker’s activity “is posited in such a way that it merely transmits the machine’s work (…) to the raw materials. (…) it is the machine which possesses skill and strength in place of the worker.” I don’t know what to make of that. I find it uninteresting at best if anything other than an account of machinery as a mechanism for power over workers (ie, machinery is a way to treat workers as if these things were the case).

On 693, immediately following this, Marx writes of workers’ activity being “reduced to an abstraction,” a terminology I don’t find helpful. Repetitive, further removed from prior modes of control over the work place, absolutely. But abstract? As opposed to what? Why use that idiom? Particularly the bit about “the power of the machine itself.” One can talk about the power of tanks and cluster bombs and so on. But people are the ones pointing the weapons, pulling the triggers, and benefitting (though not the same people doing all three generally and not in the same ways). Similarly with machinery in the workplace.

Marx also writes on 693 of objectified labour confronting “living labour within the labour process itself as the power which rules it; a power which, as the appropriation of living labour, is the form of capital.” This is ambiguous. It could mean “this comes to be so” – dead labor comes to take the form of appropriation, machinery, and thus to control living labor in some ways. (The technical composition, as the repressive/police moment of the labor process.) On the other hand, this could mean that this is what dead labor, fixed capital, is as such, though of course varying in its instantiation over time and geographically. I like the second version, which sounds to me like the description of estranged labor – labor as such under capitalism – in the 1844 Manuscripts. I don’t find it at all helpful when this is described as the realization of a tendency, as the description seems to me to be the capital relation as such, thus not specific to some moment of capitalism.

More use value. On 694 Marx writes on “the relation of the use value of capital to the use value of labour capacity”. Labor power’s use value, to the capitalist, is to produce surplus value. The name for this use is labor. (Just as one use value of a sandwich is to provide a tasty meal, and the name of that use is eating.) The use value of capital is to force labor power to labor, to impose work.

Marx also writes on 694 “the production in enormous mass quantities which is posited with machinery destroys every connection of the product with the direct need of the producer, and hence with direct use value; it is already posited in the form of the product’s production and in the relations in which it is produced that it is produced only as a conveyor of value, and its use value only as condition to that end.”

I don’t find that formulation helpful. Direct vs indirect. The point, of course, is that the needs of the producer (qua worker) are met only via the mediation of the wage: one must work to get money to get things to do stuff with (to purchase commodities with satisfactory use values that one can use). This, again, is part of the capital relation as such, and capitalist production has never been about the direct needs of the worker except in compromises imposed via the class struggle. In the 1844 Manuscripts Marx talks about the worker as separated from the product produced, this being one of the defining traits of capitalist production. (He talks about the object as an alien power, enslaving the worker, a formulation which is problematic in the same way that the discussion of machinery is problematic – unnecessarily obscuring that these are relationships between people. The prison doesn’t enslave, the jailer does, along with the company that uses prison labor, and an ensemble of others. The rifle doesn’t murder. The company thug does, along with the company owner.)

Marx writes “The development of the means of labour into machinery is not an accidental moment of capital, but is rather the historical reshaping of the traditional, inherited means of labour into a form adequate to capital. The accumulation of knowledge and of skill, of the general productive forces of the social brain, is thus absorbed into capital, as opposed to labour, and hence appears as an attribute of capital, and more specifically of fixed capital, in so far as it enters into the production process as a means of production proper. Machinery appears, then, as the most adequate form of fixed capital, and fixed capital, in so far as capital’s relations with itself are concerned, appears as the most adequate form of capital as such.”

Again, re: appearance, appears meaning what, and to whom? To my mind, the important point about all this machinery stuff – from the critical perspective – is what Marx writes in Capital v1, ch15, toward the end of sec 5, (I’m quoting from the online version, so I don’t have the page number in front of me) where he says that machinery

“is the most powerful weapon for repressing strikes, those periodical revolts of the working-class against the autocracy of capital. According to Gaskell, the steam-engine was from the very first an antagonist of human power, an antagonist that enabled the capitalist to tread under foot the growing claims of the workmen, who threatened the newly born factory system with a crisis. 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.” (Harry Cleaver’s commentary on all of chapter 15 is worth reading in full.)

So, “the historical reshaping of the traditional, inherited means of labour” is a matter of taking away a certain control of the labor process from the working class. A weapon, used in the class struggle by the bosses. The other important point, which Marx is less good at, is not the critical but the projective or autonomist moment: that of the working class (mis- or ab-)use of machinery, to work less. This is primarily a matter of sabotage and slow downs – a matter of making the capitalist use of machinery, the exercise of the use value of fixed capital, that is, the use value for imposing work on workers, less effective. I want to underline that the technical, while important, is subsidiary to the political. Which is to say, adequation to the capital relation is a political matter, a power relation.

Marx closes notebook six (p695) saying “the means of labour, as a physical thing, loses its direct form, becomes fixed capital, and confronts the worker physically as capital. In machinery, knowledge appears as alien, external to him; and living labour [as] subsumed under self-activating objectified labour.”

The first line could refer to a condition in which workers own(ed) their tools. That is an important issue, but still, it’s not so clear cut, certainly not a matter of simple and clean epochal changes. Rather it’s a variant across the technical composition of different sites of production (technical composition qua means attempted to be put to use by the bosses in the maintenance or ‘regular function’ of the capital relation, from their perspective). Fast food workers sometimes have to buy their uniforms. Workers in the trades buy their tools. Bike messengers and car messengers buy their vehicles, as do so-called “owner-operators” in the trucking industry. We pay for public transportation and/or private transportation to get to work, both in taxes and by fee for service. We buy means of subsistence and education, which as required for the (re)production of the commodity labor power, is a part of the means of labor (in the expanded sense Marx identified at the beginning of the section, p690). There is an important point here, about functionality for capital – producing surplus value – but this is a matter of power and conflict. Sometimes the worker is determined by capital, overpowered. But this is not a foregone conclusion. And these sites are articulated with others all over the place and in time (the expansive sense again from p690).

Taken more narrowly, in the sense that I think Marx means it, as machinery’s domination over the body of the worker, this is not everybody. There’s still, say, the bus drivers who take the factory workers to work, the janitors who clean the plant, the partner who makes a lunch and does the shopping, the grocery clerk, many people in shipping, people in training to become future workers (kids at school, apprentices, etc), construction workers building and maintaining roads and new and old plants, etc.

Marx opens notebook seven (p699) speaking of the “full development” of capital and of the reduction of “direct labour” to being a mere moment of the production process. Once again, what do these terms mean? From whose perspective are they? I think they’re clumsy terms and, again, the only interesting point is about control over the shopfloor (conflict around the boss making use of labor power purchased as a commodity) and the degree and mode in which labor produces the worker as a commodity (1844 Manuscripts, p71).

This is better:

“the quantitative extent and the effectiveness (intensity) to which capital is developed as fixed capital indicate the general degree to which capital is developed as capital, as power over living labour, and to which it has conquered the production process as such.” That is to say, fixed capital is a means and indicator (though not a perfect indicator, as the wind can blow another way) of the boss’s power to force the ability to make use of labor power, to impose labor, just as cops on every corner are a means and indicator for the subjugation of a population (again, an imperfect indicator, with cops and with machinery, as the need for such use of force can – but doesn’t have to – indicate a powerful opponent such that this level of force is needed to keep the status quo in place). Also, crucially, this conquest is reversible. This is part of the power of the operaisti ideas of technical and political composition, though they’re problematic in some ways. One arrangement of power in the shop is challenged via technical recomposition. That is, technical recomposition from the boss’s end is an attempt at political decomposition of the working class.

There’s an ambiguous formulation on 700, where Marx refers to labor as the “indispensable but subordinate moment,” wherein “subordinate” could mean “of secondary importance” but could also mean “on the receiving of a relationship of power and command. The former seems to me the idea of bosses (“I built this company!”) and the latter is the condition of labor under capitalism as such: it’s a relationship of command. Again from the 1844 Manuscripts, labor under capitalism “begets the dominion of the one who does not produce,” ie, the boss, and is of course begotten of that same dominion (80). There’s also Marx’s numerous mentions of the worker as slave, and the quote from Smith (35) referring to capital as a power of command over labor, and Marx’s description of capital as “governing power over labor and its products.” (36.) Hence, subordination from the get go. And of course indispensable, if labor stops so does (eventually) the dominion of the boss.

In this bit of the Fragment, though, Marx means this subordination and indispensable-ness as “compared to general scientific labour, technological application of natural sciences, on one side, and to the general productive force arising from social combination in total production on the other side — a combination which appears as a natural fruit of social labour (although it is a historic product). Capital thus works towards its own dissolution as the form dominating production.”

I take this to mean that these knowledges etc are deployed against workers, used by the bosses as weapons. Fair enough. The “works toward its own dissolution” thing is dumb, though. It doesn’t. Sometimes it may have no option – be cornered into a situation where it is politically forced to do things it doesn’t want and doesn’t take to be in its interests. Absolutely. But there’s no objective development such that capitalism is a stage that indicates and moves toward its own dissolution. On the real movement of the working class does that. If the capitalist are forced to go along for a time toward their own expropriation, that’s something the real movement of the class does, qua motor force. Capital is not the engine, or at least not the sole one.

I’m not going to continue my “meaning what?” and “to whom?” questions re: direct, appearance, etc, though there are points over the rest of the Fragment where these questions to pop up again.

Marx writes on 701 “Capital employs machinery (…) only to the extent that it enables the worker to work a larger part of his time for capital, to relate to a larger part of his time as time which does not belong to him, to work longer for another.”

This is important. Efficiency of production means that the worker produces more commodities during the time worked, such that the quantity of time it takes to produce commodities equal to value invested in wages is shorter. This, of course, presumes that the value of commodities produced stays the same as productivity increases. This is not necessarily, and for Marx just not (as in the tendency of the rate of profit to fall), the case. It may function in the short term, though, and is a mode of competition between capitals. Efficiency of production also reduces the value per item such that the quantity of value needed to purchase means of subsistence drops. So this can mean more use values for workers with their wages, or a downward pressure on wages. The outcomes are politically determined.

It’s important to note that efficiency of production falls under the heading “relative surplus value” in capital, but it’s not the only thing that falls under relative surplus value. Also under that heading, and linked to efficiency, is rate of work. Efficiency is not simply a matter of the same effort and time producing greater product. It’s also (I’m tempted to say primarily) a matter of greater effort during the same time, which is to say, a speed up. I’ve read a bit about this re: line speeds in the introduction of new assembly technology and so on, but just a little. That’s something to read more about. In any case, Marx is on about technologies that expand the time the worker works for the boss and shrink the time it takes to recoup wages. This does not mean that effort is the same or drops. It can increase, that can create the same change in the balance of necessary vs surplus labor time.

This, however, is brilliant:

“Machinery inserts itself to replace labour only where there is an overflow of labour powers. Only in the imagination of economists does it leap to the aid of the individual worker. It can be effective only with masses of workers, whose concentration relative to capital is one of its historic presuppositions, as we have seen. It enters not in order to replace labour power where this is lacking, but rather in order to reduce massively available labour power to its necessary measure. Machinery enters only where labour capacity is on hand in masses.” (702.) Absofuckinglutely.

This as well:

“when fixed capital has developed to a certain extent (…) every interruption of the production process acts as a direct reduction of capital itself, of its initial value. The value of fixed capital is reproduced only in so far as it is used up in the production process. Through disuse it loses its use value without its value passing on to the product. Hence, the greater the scale on which fixed capital develops, in the sense in which we regard it here, the more does the continuity of the production process or the constant flow of reproduction become an externally compelling condition for the mode of production founded on capital.” (703.)

This is the impetus behind just in time production, the drive for more and more profit. The dynamic mentioned a moment ago re: efficiency of labor is basically a matter of falling socially necessary labor time. This means that a good produced at time T(1) will require X hours of work (on average, at the most general level). The same good produced at time T(2) will require X-1 hours of work. And so on. [To be funny and old fashionedly Marxist, how about trying it with a formula: Every good is produced at some point in time, T(y). {I don’t know how to do subs here, that should really be “T sub y.”} The amount of labor (again, on average at the most general of levels, in terms of productivity) it takes to produce a good at time T(y) = X. Time progresses. Later points in time after time T(y) are separated from T(y) by an interval of time, z. Any later point in time is time T(y+z). At any point in time T(y+z) the quantity of labor time required to produce a good will also change, having decreased in some proportion to the interval of time that has passed, (X-z). This of course presumes a steady increase in productivity and some other things, but the very general point holds true.] The value of fixed capital is decreasing because the time it takes to produce new fixed capital of the same type (same use) is dropping, and/or so is the productivity of new versions of said fixed capital. Hence the devaluation in cars and computers, etc. This devaluation means that capitalists want to use their fixed capital as much as possible. Stoppages in production make the firm less competitive.

I once heard a great story from a retired steelworker in the region where my wife grew up, home to many plant closures unfortunately. This guy talked about management refusing to negotiate around contract time. So people at the plant started throwing pennies into one or some machines. This would jam up production, preventing huge quantities of steel from being made, while repairs or corrections were made. (I don’t really get the technical stuff on how that workplace worked.) This cost the company a lot of money, and only cost the workers a few cents. After about three days of this, management agreed to negotiate. This was precisely the dynamic Marx talked about, and a case of workers’ being able to use it a bit to exert power the other way.

On 704 Marx writes “the road along which machinery, by and large, arose, and (…)progresses (…) is, rather, dissection — through the division of labour, which gradually transforms the workers’ operations into more and more mechanical ones, so that at a certain point a mechanism can step into their places. (See under economy of power.) Thus, the specific mode of working here appears directly as becoming transferred from the worker to capital in the form of the machine, and his own labour capacity devalued thereby. Hence the workers’ struggle against machinery. What was the living worker’s activity becomes the activity of the machine. Thus the appropriation of labour by capital confronts the worker in a coarsely sensuous form; capital absorbs labour into itself — ‘as though its body were by love possessed’.”

The parenthetical is Marx’s. Like I keep saying, there’s an important point here, which is that of the uses of machinery for relative surplus value – speed ups and the like. In that sense machinery possesses the working body. On the other hand, the condition of not being one’s own is the condition of selling labor power and of surplus value production as such. To some degree. This is not a foregone conclusion but a matter of conflict, as Mike [LINK] pointed out in a comment [LINK] on the Virno stuff I put up recently.

This social individual stuff is weird:

“No longer does the worker insert a modified natural thing as middle link between the object and himself; rather, he inserts the process of nature, transformed into an industrial process, as a means between himself and inorganic nature, mastering it. He steps to the side of the production process instead of being its chief actor. In this transformation, it is neither the direct human labour he himself performs, nor the time during which he works, but rather the appropriation of his own general productive power, his understanding of nature and his mastery over it by virtue of his presence as a social body — it is, in a word, the development of the social individual which appears as the great foundation-stone of production and of wealth.” (705.)

I don’t know what to do with this. First, the absence of an object is not new (it’s the case with service provision and unwaged labor much of the time, as well as the passages in v2 of Capital on the communications industry, by which Marx means the transportation industry). To some degree the individual is always-already social – no private language, for instance, and sexual reproduction is itself a social behavior.

Marx continues:

“The theft of alien labour time, on which the present wealth is based, appears a miserable foundation in face of this new one, created by large-scale industry itself. As soon as labour in the direct form has ceased to be the great well-spring of wealth, labour time ceases and must cease to be its measure, and hence exchange value [must cease to be the measure] of use value.”

This strikes me as tremendously problematic. First, the new possibilities are not created by industry in the sense of a capricious act of capital. Rather, capital is pushed (the introduction of new technologies as weapons is a response to working class disruption). Second, when was the “theft of alien labour time” ever not miserable? When was it ever wealth for us? Again from the 1844 Manuscripts: “labor produces for the rich wonderful things – but for the worker it produces privation” (73.)

Thus when Marx writes that now “The surplus labour of the mass has ceased to be the condition for the development of general wealth, just as the non-labour of the few, for the development of the general powers of the human head” my response is this is not a cessation, it never was the case. The general wealth, like the general will, is a pernicious fiction. (This connects w/ what I was trying to say about Karl’s class and Carl’s people in my last post, the concept of Nationalokonomie.) To keep beating the 1844 drum, “society always and necessarily stands opposed to the interest of the worker.” (26. This echoes Tronti’s comments on the partiality of the workers’ struggle.) As with the general will of society, ditto the general wealth. So it doesn’t work for me when Marx identifies this transition as contradiction and breakdown.

“With that, production based on exchange value breaks down, and the direct, material production process is stripped of the form of penury and antithesis. The free development of individualities, and hence not the reduction of necessary labour time so as to posit surplus labour, but rather the general reduction of the necessary labour of society to a minimum, which then corresponds to the artistic, scientific etc. development of the individuals in the time set free, and with the means created, for all of them. Capital itself is the moving contradiction, [in] that it presses to reduce labour time to a minimum, while it posits labour time, on the other side, as sole measure and source of wealth. Hence it diminishes labour time in the necessary form so as to increase it in the superfluous form; hence posits the superfluous in growing measure as a condition — question of life or death — for the necessary. On the one side, then, it calls to life all the powers of science and of nature, as of social combination and of social intercourse, in order to make the creation of wealth independent (relatively) of the labour time employed on it. On the other side, it wants to use labour time as the measuring rod for the giant social forces thereby created, and to confine them within the limits required to maintain the already created value as value.”

All of that sounds to me very enamored by the tremendous power of the class enemy, to such a degree that the class enemy disappears behind a wall of objective phenomena. Sounds like bad old historical materialism. The free development stuff is lovely, being the terms for communism, but not when posed in this catastrophist idiom.
Similarly with the rejection of the general will and the general wealth, I’m tremendously suspicious of the emancipatory power of the general intellect (p706).

For Marx, of course, the general intellect is an objective factor (objectified labor in the form of fixed capital). This means it functions for surplus value production. Here’s the passage:

“locomotives, railways, electric telegraphs, self-acting mules etc. (…)are products of human industry; natural material transformed into organs of the human will over nature, or of human participation in nature. They are organs of the human brain, created by the human hand; the power of knowledge, objectified. The development of fixed capital indicates to what degree general social knowledge has become a direct force of production, and to what degree, hence, the conditions of the process of social life itself have come under the control of the general intellect and been transformed in accordance with it. To what degree the powers of social production have been produced, not only in the form of knowledge, but also as immediate organs of social practice, of the real life process.”

Again with the general. And the human. (This is one of the dangers with the 1844 Manuscripts as well – about which I actually have much critical to say, just no time at the moment to write it down, and it doesn’t seem pressing to do that as the bad stuff there strikes me as so bad that I don’t feel a need to hash it out – alienation and estrangement as something “we” do to “ourselves.”) All this positing of unities. Bah. The point is rupture. As Tronti writes in “Social Capital” [LINK –,

“The general social interest remains entirely in the hands of capital. To the workers remains nothing more than their partial class interest.” I need to finish reading that Tronti book! That stuff is so good. Here’s another, from my notes on the introduction. In our project “there is nothing universally human (…) Have you seen a worker struggle with a platform of generically human demands? Nothing is more limited and partial, nothing less universal in the bourgeois sense, than a factory struggle.” [LINK –

I quite like this:

“real wealth is the developed productive power of all individuals. The measure of wealth is then not any longer, in any way, labour time, but rather disposable time. Labour time as the measure of value posits wealth itself as founded on poverty, and disposable time as existing in and because of the antithesis to surplus labour time; or, the positing of an individual’s entire time as labour time, and his degradation therefore to mere worker, subsumption under labour. The most developed machinery thus forces the worker to work longer than the savage does, or than he himself did with the simplest, crudest tools.” (708) in that this is the type of wealth I want. I don’t see why this should be called “real” wealth as opposed to the false wealth of capitalists. Their’s is quite real. It’s coined from the blood of children. That’s the problem, and that we don’t want to continue to mint it from them. Not it’s irreality. That seems wrongheaded to me, an obfuscation or depoliticalization. I’d prefer to just say “our wealth” or something – cop to the partiality of the normative framework. I like the bit about capital being founded on poverty – it’s origin was a creation of poverty (in the sense of creating poverty, and in the sense of that poverty creating capitalism), in the processes of enclosure, creating the “free” proletariat. This positing is obfuscated, of course. For lack of a better term, there’s a materially posited poverty (enclosure) and ideologically posited poverty (scarcity). If machinery makes us work longer, then why is machinery a positive development? (Unless this is a sacrifice for the greater good, as in the Manuscripts? Ugh.)

Along the same lines, “<real economy — saving — consists of the saving of labour time (minimum (and minimization) of production costs); but this saving identical with development of the productive force. Hence in no way abstinence from consumption, but rather the development of power, of capabilities of production, and hence both of the capabilities as well as the means of consumption. The capability to consume is a condition of consumption, hence its primary means, and this capability is the development of an individual potential, a force of production. The saving of labour time [is] equal to an increase of free time, i.e. time for the full development of the individual, which in turn reacts back upon the productive power of labour as itself the greatest productive power. From the standpoint of the direct production process it can be regarded as the production of fixed capital, this fixed capital being man himself." (711-12

I like that version of wealth, economy, saving, but again don't see why that's the real one. I quite like the development of capacities stuff, but there's a problem: how is this distinguishable from the development of capacities for ourselves and capacities qua labor power which capital wants to make use of? There's a theoretical and a political problem here, though I suspect they operate differently and solving one won't necessarily clear up the other. All of 712 is excellent, stuff on subjectification, knowledge and power, discipline, and on capitalism as productive of the capital relation alongside everything else it produces. I also really like the opening of the category of fixed capital, human beings as fixed capital. This is a version of alienation in a way – "we do this" – but I like that it opens room for our power in producing capital, something we of course want to stop doing. It reminds me vaguely of Vanageim's remark somewhere that each of us has a cop in our head, who we need to find and kill.

Those are my notes from top to bottom on the Fragment. I'm very tired so I'm not going to write anymore. I should perhaps look these over again and the Fragment itself, and see if there's anything I want to write or ask about all this. I must admit to being a bit disappointed and underwhelmed. This is in part because I expected to be stunned. Too high of expectations. When I get a chance I plan to revisit some of the Italian secondary literature on this (Negri et al), see if they can make me like the piece better or see if I can cobble together an actual argument.

Oh yeah, three online thingers loosely related –

Virno’s entry on General Intellect from the Lessico Posfordista

Virno’s theses on multitude and post-fordism

Lazzarato’s General Intellect piece

Other stuff: read that Rosdolsky book, and see these –