A crisis of measurability? Critiquing post-operaismo on labour, value and the basic income

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This article critiques post-operaist conceptualisations of immaterial labour from the perspective of Marxian value-form theory. Critiquing the idea of the ‘crisis of measurability’ created by immaterial labour and the contention that this makes redundant the law of value, it contests the novelty, immediate abstractness and immeasurable productivity post-operaists attribute to contemporary labour using the New Reading of Marx. The first part explores this theoretical conflict, asserting that post-operaismo refutes Marx’s value theory only insofar as it holds a productivist understanding of value to begin with. The second reflects upon the political implications through a consideration of the post-operaist advocacy of a universal basic income. Appeals to reward, recompense and redistribution rest upon the veracity of the claims made in the post-operaist treatment of labour, value and their immateriality and immeasurability. A value-form analysis exposes flaws in the assumptions about value and labour that support their case for a universal basic income.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalCapital and Class
Issue number1
Early online date21 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2018

Structured keywords

  • Digital Societies


  • Marx
  • critical management studies
  • Immaterial labour
  • Marxism
  • Labour
  • Capitalism
  • Work
  • post work
  • post capitalism
  • Postoperaismo
  • Antonio Negri
  • abstract labour
  • Political Economy
  • New Reading of Marx
  • Sociology of Work
  • Critical Theory
  • Michael Heinrich
  • Werner Bonefeld
  • Measurement
  • crisis


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