As I’ve mentioned, I’m in the throes of a move to the discipline of history. I like this decision and am glad I’ve made it (among other things I feel like I’ve gotten a taste of thinking with archival sources and it’s REALLY NEAT). At the same time, I like a lot of the folk and type of folk I used to be more engaged with on a regular basis before, and I like the types of conversations I used to have, or at least aspects of those conversations and the issues in them. Now, I don’t really have time and won’t for a while, but if I did, I’d really like to have a conversation about the claims made about immaterial labor and so forth among folk who take postoperaismo seriously about history. (That’s a bad word choice: I take post-operaismo seriously, though maybe I didn’t take that one new Negri book so seriously because I think it was pretty bad [actually, no: I did take the book seriously. After I finished it I wished I’d had that time back and decided that the book was not worth taking seriously in the way that had]. The distinction here isn’t between those who do and don’t take it seriously – let’s not have such simplistic binaries (ha!), rather the issue is what insights are and are not present in that work.)

It seems to me that the post-operaismo stuff involves implied views or assumptions about what it takes to be a prior era. I’d really like for some of those folk to write out those views more clearly and advocate for them, as I think they’d be easier to dismiss and would make the assertions they make of radical break in the present less egregious (not to say there’ s nothing different, rather the post-op stuff doesn’t offer enough for the differences in the present, as well as the continuities). Sergio Bologna says someplace that the fordist era is still worth studying for reasons along these lines [NOTE TO SELF: FIND THIS REFERENCE]. It doesn’t seem likely this will happen, though. A second option would be to take some of the stuff they see as new about the present and look back to see to what degree they are and aren’t precedented. Two such avenues: immaterial labor, and modes of social organization or political organization and practice which are multitude-like. Another possibly: comparing Marx on real subsumption with the post-operaisti on real subsumption and offering other versions thereof. And another: looking for similar theoretical moves – for instance, I think Thompson had an aleatory sensibility. All of these latter also would involve me doing more work, which makes them more fair, as opposed to the first which would be simply making them other folk do some work. đŸ™‚

And now I gotta run. Over and out.

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