on lew’s and daniel’s suggestion, we’re reading a berardi article, biopolitics and connective mutation, this week.
Unlike orthodox Marxists, Berardi’s autonomist theories draw on psychoanalysis, schizoanalysis and communication theory to show how subjectivity and desire are bound up with the functioning of the capitalism system, rather than portraying events such as the financial crisis of 2008 merely as an example of the inherently contradictory logic of capitalist accumulation. Thus, he argues against privileging labour in critique and says that “the solution to the economic difficulty of the situation cannot be solved with economic means: the solution is not economic.” Human emotions and embodied communication becomes increasingly central to the production and consumption patterns that sustain capital flows in post-industrial society, and as such Berardi uses the concepts of “cognitariat” and “info labour” to analyze this psycho-social process. Among Berardi’s other concerns are cultural representations and expectations about the future — from proto-Fascist Futurism to post-modern cyberpunk (1993). This represents a greater concern with ideas and cultural expectations than the determinist-materialist expression of a Marxism which is often confined to purely economic or systemic analysis.