I mentioned in the discussion a bit ago with Eric that I’m part of a reading group on some of the english language works of the Italian marxist current sometimes called operaismo. The reading group is connected to this thing here in town called Exco, it’s an Exco class though I don’t like talking about in those terms. (I prefer “reading group.”) The blurb on the reading group is here. I just put up two pages here archiving the starting materials for the reading group. The list of readings (and possible additional readings and background materials) is here. And here I put up four excerpts from the Red Notes book/pamphlet (I mean the latter term as a compliment expressing a sense of urgency and political intent, not a diminutive, the collection is definitely book length) called Working Class Autonomy and the Crisis. I was putting my computer files in better order and stumbled across e-copies of a lot of that collection, I’d forgotten I had that stuff.

We had the first meeting, discussing just overview material rather than any of primary stuff (ie, we read stuff about operaismo rather than examples of it). Discussion was good, cuz the group has great people in it. One thing that came up is that the stuff on the expansion of the definition of the working class (such as the wages for housework stuff and the social/socialized worker stuff, among other things) isn’t really present on the reading list and that’s some of the most exciting and important-feeling stuff related to this material. I’ve got a list I’m building on socialist and marxist feminism and on capitalism and/or patriarchy, which should be its own discussion group (so as not to shortchange that material). This ties to the discussion at Az‘s recently about alternative routes to concepts like immaterial labor, which has also been part of the sticking point between Eric and David in the discussions here and at Eric’s. After that discussion group it might be fun to do a series like immaterial labor vs housework/emotional labor, social(ized) worker and multitude and real subsumption vs wages for housework and similar perspectives.

My notes on the first session’s reading are below.

[They will be, they’re not yet. I decided I want to write another post first – the digression on feminism reminded me I’ve been meaning to say something about this Federici piece. I’m going to publish this blog post in incomplete form, write the post on Federici, then come back here later adding my notes and deleting this bracketed explanation.]

Matheron, “Operaismo”