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Beyond the Fragment: the Postoperaist Reception of Marx's Fragment on Machines

Research output: Working paperWorking paper and Preprints

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBristol
Publisher or commissioning bodyUniversity of Bristol
DatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Publication series

NameSchool of Sociology, Politics and International Studies Working Paper Series


This paper critiques the purposes to which Marx’s Fragment on Machines is put in postoperaist thought. I suggest postoperaist readings wield influence on contemporary left thinking, via postcapitalism, accelerationism and ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’. Changes in labour lead proponents to posit a crisis of measurability and an incipient communism. I use the New Reading of Marx and Open Marxism to dispute this. Based on an analysis of value as a social form undergirded in antagonistic social relations, I argue the Fragment’s prognosis runs contrary to Marx’s critique of political economy when the latter is taken as a critical theory of society. This theoretical claim bears implications for contemporary left political praxis.

    Research areas

  • Marx, Marxism, Postoperaismo, post capitalism, Capitalism, Labour, Value, Sociology of Work, Critical Theory, Management, Philosophy, Political Economy, Political sociology

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