WWW.DISSERTATION.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 23 | 24 || 26 | 27 |   ...   | 43 |

«      Boffo, Marco (2013) Interrogating the knowledge‐based economy: from  ...»

-- [ Page 25 ] --

As previously noted, the systemic properties derived from the hegemony of immaterial labour are completed and complemented by the debate on cognitive capitalism. Anticipating how Hardt and Negri’s theory of immaterial labour could be recast as a ‘globally pre-eminent social structure or régime of accumulation’, improving ‘on the putative hegemony of figures of labour’, Camfield also suggested that such a prospect ‘would probably reproduce the weaknesses of regulationist and social-structure-of-accumulation political economy, including a focus on institutional arrangements at the expense of the contradictory dynamics of capitalism itself’, and failure ‘to capture the articulation of different forms of accumulation’ simultaneously existing ‘in every phase of capitalist development’ (Camfield, 2007, p.38, footnote 89). The core of the cognitive capitalism debate consisting in the encounter between (Negri’s) Italian post-operaismo and French Regulation theory, Camfield’s comments could not have been more foretelling. Indeed, as shown earlier on in this chapter, cognitive capitalism falls prey to the shortcomings of both. Nonetheless, two specific conceptual features of the post-workerist account of contemporary capitalism require further elucidation. Firstly, the post-workerist use of the Marxian categories of formal and real subsumption is highly problematic (if not outright impressionistic). Without disagreement, these concepts do describe the division of labour and organisation of production during specific historical phases characterising the development of capitalist relations of production, and, conceptually, the logic of subsumption can be reversed, given the existence of favourable conditions. However, cognitive capitalism’s account and use of these categories lacks a full-blown conception of formal and real subsumption as dynamic processes potentially taking place in any kind of productive activity and at any historical moment (in accord with the processes of commodification discussed above, and the corresponding movement of activities out of unsocialised and into socialised labour and vice versa). To conceive of them as each merely characteristic of a particular historical phase, not only flattens out different levels of abstraction, but also fails to capture the ways in which they are imbricated, structured and differentially at play in the division of labour and organisation of production, both in specific productive processes as well as all the way through to the world economy. In addition to this impoverished understanding, these Marxian categories are deployed, within the cognitive capitalism debate, to characterise the capital-labour relation with respect to the ‘conflictual relation of knowledge to power that determines the development of the capitalist division of labour’ (Vercellone, 2007a, p.15). However, this account neglects other important economic processes shaping the structure of industries and the adoption of innovation (both technological and organisational), such as competition, the international division of labour, capital accumulation, etc. These mutually reinforcing shortcomings inform cognitive capitalism’s account of crises as caused by the ‘tendential fall of... capital’s control of the division of labour’ (Vercellone, 2007a, p.18), typically post-workerist in both its neglect of political economy and its ‘one-sided stress on the agency of living labor’ (Smith, 2008, p.35).

Echoing Hardt and Negri’s neglect of (Marxist) political economy (Thompson, 2005), these shortcomings derive from the old post-operaista habit of identifying the hegemonic figure of labour, projected onto the whole history of capitalist development through the analytical tools of Regulation theory and (a progressively debased post-)operaismo.

Secondly, the characterisation of the current stage of capitalism as dominated by the general intellect, the triumph of a post-Smithian division of labour, the inseparability of labour power from individual workers allowing for autonomy, and a return to formal subsumption, rests on a flawed conception of labour which, coupled with Negri’s (1991 [1979]) reading of the Grundrisse (Marx, 1993), leads to the rejection of value theory. In this account, ‘the activities in which the cognitive and immaterial dimension of labour is dominant’ are posited as witnessing the ‘destabilisation of one of the structuring conditions of the wage relation, that is to say, the renunciation – compensated by the wage – by the workers to any claim on the property of the product of their labour’. Therefore, in ‘cognitive-labour-producing knowledge, the result of labour’ would remain ‘incorporated in the brain of the worker and … inseparable from her person’ (Vercellone, 2007a, p.33). However, while this fetishizes knowledge and irons out the Marxian distinction between labour and labour-power, echoing in many respects human capital theory and its understanding of education as a form of investment,89 it also glosses over that intellectual work can be fragmented, routinised and rationalised according to the imperatives of the capitalist labour process.90 Furthermore, positing ‘cognitive or knowledge labour (conception) and industrial labour (execution)’ as ‘independent forms of labour’, See Rolle, 2004, Pouch, 2004 and Harribey, 2004 for critiques along these lines. For human capital theory itself, see Schultz, 1961, for whom labourers ‘have become capitalists not from a diffusion of the ownership of corporation stocks, as folklore would have it, but from the acquisition of knowledge and skill that have economic value’ (p.3). More generally, see Fine, Rose, 2001 and Rose, 2006 for critical accounts of human capital theory and its ascendancy in the rhetoric and scholarship of the Washington and post-Washington consensuses.





Indeed, not only can intellectual work be subjected to the division of labour like any other activity under capitalism, but it is telling that Charles Babbage himself drew on Gaspard de Prony’s work to defend ‘what may, perhaps, appear paradoxical to some of our readers’ (and, maybe, post-workerists), that is ‘that the division of labour can be applied with equal success to mental operations, and that it ensures, by its adoption, the same economy of time’ (Babbage, 1835, ch.XIX, p.153). Gaspard de Prony was a French government official charged, in 1793, ‘with the Herculean task of superintending the production of a series of logarithmic and trigonometric tables that would facilitate the transition to the recently adopted decimal system’ (Rosenberg, 1994, p.39). Inspired by the chapter on the division of labour in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, de Prony divided the workload in different phases to be carried out by different groups of “computers” with different, and only the necessary, levels of mathematical knowledge for each phase, thus anticipating the Babbage principle and the basic principles of Taylorism (see Manacorda, 1976 for an account). Further, Braverman (1998 [1974]) has provided significant elements to understand how the principles underlying the division of labour could be shown to inform clerical work and its organisation, and Greenbaum (2004) has provided an account of the role of technology in the organisation of office work from the 1950s to the present.

potentially coexisting but with one dominating the other, ‘the validity of value theory is argued to depend on’ the prevailing ‘form of labour’ (Fine et al., 2010, p.80). Therefore, assuming the prevalence of a ‘relation of capital to labour... marked by the hegemony of knowledges,...

diffuse intellectuality, and... the driving role of the production of knowledges by means of knowledges connected to the increasingly immaterial and cognitive character of labour’ (Vercellone, 2007a, p.16), the labour theory of value is rendered redundant. Thus, cognitive capitalism neglects the ‘important role’ of knowledge ‘in value production per se’, played through determination of the productivity and complexity of labour, with its ‘dualistic approach... precluding diverse forms of... interaction between conception and execution in deference to the necessary predominance of one over the other’ (Fine et al., 2010, p.80).

Thus, on the one hand, overstating the importance of knowledge for work in contemporary capitalism (as opposed to previous phases of capitalism and human history), cognitive capitalism mistakes quantitative shifts in the arrangement of different sectors of the economy for epochal qualitative change. Underpinning this flawed analysis, on the other hand, is the reading of the general intellect as a historical category (Smith, 2008, p.4), coupled with Hardt and Negri’s flawed understanding of Marx’s value theory as an ‘embodied theory of value’ (Cremin, Roberts, 2011, p.184). With this leading to the rejection of value theory on the grounds of the immeasurability of immaterial and biopolitical labour, both errors derive from Negri’s (1991 [1979]) (re)reading of Marx’s Grundrisse (1993) and, in particular, the Fragment on Machines as against Capital (1976, 1978, 1981). Interpreting the restructuring of the labour process in the 1970s through micro-electronics, automation, decreasing wages, fragmentation of productive units and increased labour market flexibility as capital’s response to the struggles of the operaio massa (mass worker) of Fordism, Negri claimed the spread of productive cooperation from the factory to the whole of society, the emergence of the operaio sociale (social worker) as a result of working class re-composition and, ultimately, the subsumption of the whole of social life (as opposed to the sole labour process) by capitalism (Corradi, 2011a, pp.203-207). Marking a break with the original operaismo of the 1960s, Negri’s reading of society and of the Grundrisse against Capital has dominated the last phase of operaismo, the post-operaismo of the 1980s and 1990s, and Hardt and Negri’s trilogy, thus enabling the reading of the recent restructuring of the labour process as (at least partial) confirmation of ‘Marx’s “general intellect” prognosis of the increasing scientific constitution of capitalist production through the erosion of its capitalist forms’ (Haug, 2010, p.212) (note, though, how in Hardt and Negri’s trilogy the general intellect is only brought up in critical discussion of the post-workerism of the 1980s and 1990s in Empire – Hardt, Negri, 2000, pp.29-30, 364-368 – disappearing in Multitude – Hardt, Negri, 2004 – and Commonwealth – Hardt, Negri, 2009 – where it is replaced by “the common”). Last in this line of permutations of Negri’s postworkerism, cognitive capitalism understates ‘the degree to which the general intellect’ operated ‘in Fordism’, overestimating ‘the extent to which it flourishes in contemporary capitalism’ (Smith, 2008, p.23). This is due to a one-sided reading of knowledge, science and technology in the form of mass or diffuse intellectuality, neglecting the factors undermining their dissemination and democratisation (restriction of access, commodification, de-skilling and re-skilling, etc., see Smith, 2008, pp.27-30). However, with ‘“the real abstractions of modernity” – value, money, capital’ – holding ‘with undiminished force in contemporary capitalism’, not least within the labour process, cognitive capitalism’s claims of a realisation of the general intellect ‘in anything like the manner Marx anticipated in communism’ and of reversals of the logic of subsumption are easily dispelled. Indeed, with ‘the real subsumption of the labor process’ occurring ‘whenever the substantive content of the labor process is subject to the valorization imperative’ (Smith, 2008, pp.30-31), the autonomy of labour celebrated by post-operaismo is yet to come.91 2.5.2) From the search of political actors to the neglect of real existing workers Upon closer inspection, Hardt and Negri’s characterisation of the historical development of capitalism through the succession of economic paradigms defined by the predominance of the agricultural, industrial, and then service sector of the economy, and cognitive capitalism’s own account of it as the succession of a mercantile, industrial and then cognitive capitalism, are very similar. While this is evident in the overlap of the features, content and periods putatively characterising each phase, at a deeper level both accounts reproduce and project onto the whole history of capitalism the standard arguments and class analysis of Italian operaismo and its later offspring, post-workerism. Indeed, despite its original commitment to the identification of an agent of social change in the production process, this approach has resulted, ultimately, in the successive elaboration of social figures with little bearing on the real working class, and the corresponding exclusive and strategic predicament of one of its sections, posited as “hegemonic”, against that of the whole. While this process has led postworkerism to become disconnected from the reality and condition of the (majority of the) working class, telling examples of the lack of radical character for workers of post-workerism itself can be found in the failed recognition of the socially devastating character of neoliberal restructuring, doctored by the characterisation of cognitive capitalism as age of the general Here Smith refers to Virno, 2007, but note how this applies equally (if not even more characteristically) to Negri, for the latter has been convinced of living in communism from the 1970s onwards, ‘even if it is only the “communism of capital”’ (Haug, 2010, p.214).

intellect, and the positions held by post-workerists on issues and debates relevant to social justice and economic democracy.



Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 23 | 24 || 26 | 27 |   ...   | 43 |


Similar works:

«ANEXO I REUNIÓN COMISION ENLACE F.A.C.P.C.E./F.A.G.C.E. – AFIP 18 DE MAYO DEL 2006 FACPCE/FAGCE: Miguel Felicevich – Gustavo Feysulaj – Walmyr Grosso Sheridan – Virginia Ariotti – Rubén M. Rubiolo – Pablo Varela – Audce Sergio F Ciarloni María Eugenia – Cusumano Lucía Flores Adela – Ivan G. Ochoa Alicia Fernández – Jose Luis Zanotto Liliana M. De Llanes – Melamed Gustavo – Silvia C. Campañó Victoria Alarcón – Baldo Alberto IAPLICATIVO DE IMPUESTO A LAS...»

«Where are the Experts? Bill VanPatten Hispania, Volume 98, Number 1, March 2015, pp. 2-13 (Article) Published by Johns Hopkins University Press DOI: 10.1353/hpn.2015.0011 For additional information about this article http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/hpn/summary/v098/98.1.vanpatten.html Access provided by University of Strathclyde (12 Feb 2016 17:01 GMT) Hispania White Paper: Where are the Experts? Bill VanPatten Michigan State University M ost collegiate departments where one can fnd Spanish,...»

«Minority Practice, Majority’s Burden: The Death Penalty Today James S. Liebman & Peter Clarke** Although supported in principle by two-thirds of the public and even more of the States, capital punishment in the United States is a minority practice when the actual death-sentencing practices of the nation’s 3000-plus counties and their populations are considered. This feature of American capital punishment has been present for decades, has become more pronounced recently, and is especially...»

«IFE 016 L CE G 2 EN RIN SID SP RE 5 JIT 201 NL AL F IDE PUS U R GON CAM U YOLIVING TO NJIT RESIDENCE LIFE OFFICE FALL 2015-SPRING 2016 TABLE OF CONTENTS Welcome The Residence Halls at NJIT Residence Hall Staff Moving into the Residence Halls Room Amenities..Page 8 What to bring to Campus Living With Your Roommate NJIT Activities NJIT Campus Services Policies Procedures Housing Procedures Safety and Security Frequently Called Numbers Residence Life Contract NJIT RESIDENCE LIFE OFFICE 2 FALL...»

«EL LAGO MARACAIBO Y SU REPERCUSIÓN MEDIOAMBIENTAL FCO.RAMÓN SÁNCHEZ PARDO EL LAGO MARACAIBO Y SU REPERCUSIÓN MEDIOAMBIENTAL Aguas Continentales y Marinas.2007/2008. 4º Geografía Donado a GIECRYAL. 1 EL LAGO MARACAIBO Y SU REPERCUSIÓN MEDIOAMBIENTAL FCO.RAMÓN SÁNCHEZ PARDO ESQUEMA INICIAL 1. INTRODUCCIÓN 2. SITUACIÓN Y MORFOLOGÍA. 3. FUNCIONALIDAD DEL LAGO (recursos y extracciones). 4. PROBLEMÁTICA POR CONTAMINACIÓN. 4.1 ANÁLISIS DE LOS VERTIDOS (Petróleo y Carbón). 5. CULPABLES...»

«University of Pretoria etd – Liptak, R (2004) COMING TO TERMS WITH INTERTEXTUALITY: METHODOLOGY BEHIND BIBLICAL CRITICISM PAST AND PRESENT BY ROMAN LIPTAK A MINI-DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ANCIENT LANGUAGES, UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE MASTER OF ARTS (ANCIENT LANGUAGES AND CULTURE STUDIES) IN THE FACULTY OF HUMANITIES UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA, HATFIELD DECEMBER 2003 University of Pretoria etd – Liptak,...»

«Session No. 631 Using Near Misses to Enhance Safety Performance in Construction Eric Marks, PhD University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL Brian Mckay, MPH, CSP, CIH Fairweather, LLC Anchorage, AK Ibukun Awolusi University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL Introduction While the number of fatalities experienced by the construction industry has been declining over the past twenty years, the rate of decrease has been slowing down, almost stagnant in recent years (ILO 2003). As an industry, construction has...»

«Milan Design Week 2015 Tips from Zuzanna Skalska Head of trends Milano Design Week 2015 Design = Milan is the equation to refer to in order to understand the Milanese FuoriSalone, an event organized for the first time in 1990 by Interni on the occasion of the annual Salone del Mobile. It has now crossed the boundaries of a conventional trade fair, from the point of view of cultural interest and experimentation, to become a festive event, a design project, invading the whole city and respective...»

«RETHINKING THE FUTURE OF NORTHERN AUSTRALIA’S REGIONS More than mines, dams and development dreams Rethinking the future of northern Australia's regions TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements Disclaimer and copyright Executive Summary Northern Australia Beyond the Tropic of Capricorn Strategic Benefits of a Northern Focus Regional Development Priorities [In]Sight: Australia’s Regional Competitiveness Index Applying [In]Sight Results in Policy Analysis Policy Priority: Building Regional...»

«PUBLISHED VERSION Confirmed COURT OF GOVERNORS Minutes Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 26 March 2012 at 5pm in the Large Boardroom, 9th floor, 272 High Holborn, WC1V. Present: Sir John Tusa (Chairman) Sonita Alleyne, OBE (until David Lindsell 6.40pm) Lorraine Baldry Professor Vladimir Mirodan (from 5.10pm) Nigel Carrington John Parmiter Sir Ivor Crewe (until Grayson Perry 6.50pm) John Duffin Elizabeth Reid Clara Freeman, OBE Dr Charles Saumarez Smith, CBE Anya Hindmarch, MBE Helen Scott...»

«International Services Outsourcing: Service Characteristics Strategic Implications Myra Mabel Pérez Rivera, PhD University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus Abstract The process and dynamics of international services outsourcing is basically a microeconomic process that depends on strategic decisions adopted at the firm level. Therefore, it is theorized that effective services management for global marketing, outsourcing or offshoring requires a deep understanding and comprehension of its...»

«KEEPING THE GATES OPEN Keeping the gates open.The case for free third-level education Jan O’Sullivan TD Spokesperson on Education May, 2003 KEEPING THE GATES OPEN: KEEPING THE GATES OPEN THE CASE FOR FREE THIRD LEVEL EDUCATION 1. Introduction What is third level education for? More importantly, who is it for? The answers to these questions, and to the question of how third level education should be funded, depend on our vision of society, of the obligations of the state to its citizens and...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.