SCISSION: THEORETICAL WEEKEND
In place of my own introduction, I give you this paragraph from Harry Cleaver's Introduction to Negri's Marx Beyond Marx.
When surplus labor (value) takes on its monetary form of profit, it becomes a socialized surplus value at the level of social capital. It becomes both a pole and a measure of the antagonistic development of capital. At this point the law of capitalist crisis emerges in the Grundrisse as the continuing contradiction between the working class as necessary labor and capital as surplus labor. The most fundamental dynamic of that law produces the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. This tendency, which has been for so long mystified by Marxists, becomes in Negri's interpretation of Marx an easily understood manifestation of the way working class struggle blocks capitalist development. Although we can critique part of Negri's formulation (it is not necessary to argue that working-class struggle raises necessary labor as long as that struggle forces capital to raise the organic composition of capital through its relative surplus-value strategy), the basic thrust is keen and revealing. It is the continued working-class pressure on capital that accentuates the contradictions and creates crisis. Every time capital responds to workers' demands by expanding fixed capital and reorganizing the labor process, the working class politically recomposes itself in a new cycle of struggle. The full implications of this process become clear in Negri's reading of Marx's fragment on machines. We see how the frantic accumulation of fixed capital leaves less and less scope for capital to impose work and to extract surplus work, thus undermining the very basis of capitalist command. The more value capital sets in motion, the smaller the proportion of surplus value it is able to extort. Today, as capital proceeds to substitute ever more robot machines for increasingly threatened and threatening industrial workers, it faces the very problem Marx foresaw in the Grundrisse: a growing difficulty in finding new ways of putting people to work in order to control them socially.
What follows is the Fragment on Machines mentioned above. It is long and if you aren't interested in Marx or the Grundrisse, or you have other things actually to do in your life, you will probably wan't to move along. Otherwise, I present you THE FRAGMENT ON MACHINES from the Grundrisse by Karl Marx.
Note: Page numbers appear in the midst of everything throughout this....