[OPE-L] Massimo De Angelis, “Reflections on Tronti”

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Dec 15 2006 - 08:04:39 EST

|  Massimo De Angelis, “Reflections on Tronti”
|  http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=06/12/15/0039249

Reflections on Tronti
Massimo De Angelis
From the commoner

It has been suggested to me, in the corridors of the Historical
Materialism conference held over the week end, that what distinguishes
what we may call, broadly speaking, autonomist marxism with other marxist
approaches is the argument that the “working class” is the agent of
transformation that pushes capital on the defence and forces its
“economic” development rather then, on the contrary, being capital that
“overdetermines” the rest by means of its agency. This suggestion
furthermore is accompanied by the claim that this view is false, since
capital has “more power.” In my view, the insight of 1960s operaismo with
respect to working class agency were not falsified in light of 1980s
capital’s agency, they were simply temporally bounded. Class struggle, in
a process-like manner, have at least two broad actors, not one, and their
tragic-comic struggle develop through highs and lows for both sides,
“scoring points” for both sides. The process of this historical
development of struggle, this very process of “point scoring” for one or
the other, is the stuff of capitalist development. The problem is that
acknowledging this does not give us any hint of how to go beyond capital
and the very specific form of struggle shaping its development.

And I think it is at this point that it is important to underline that
what distinguishes “autonomist marxism” in its operaiste roots to other
forms of marxism, is a specific theoretical attitude, one that takes the
processes that traditionally we understand as “political” and “economic.”
as one. Its unique political methodology is one that allows to ask
research questions as part of a heretic research program, heretic because
it sees the world from one side, that which is constituted within, against
and beyond capital’s own value program, and thus its broad horizon is the
end of capitalism and the begining of history. It is therefore a stand
from where to ask questions as articulated to walks of struggle, rather
than reading the processes making up our world as something that have
already been explained away by some form of marxist theory.
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