LTV, Working class (fwd)

Jonathan P. Beasley-Murray jpb8 at acpub.duke.edu
Wed Oct 26 10:48:02 MDT 1994


Well, I'm not sure if the marxism list is necessarily the repository of
the orthodox, Justin.

Things have been a little quiet here recently.  About the LTV debate,
someone suggested the possibility of collating all the messages and
putting them somewhere accessible--on spoon's ftp site, for example.  I
hope to get this done at some point, but it may take a while.

On the working class, I wonder if anyone else has read Negri and has any
thoughts on his analysis of the mass worker making way for the socialized
worker.  If the mass worker is his term for the massification of labor
power under the factory system, the socialized worker is the result of the
real subsumption of society under capital, in which the production of
value and its law of command is generalized and, correlatively, we have to
see the working class on a much broader basis, also (women, students,
unemployed...).

I wonder why exactly he adopts this temporal framework: it seems to me
that there has always been production of value or at least the production
of the means of reproduction of value permeated throughout society.  Why
should women etc. only suddenly become important, except in so far as
this position valorizes retrospectively the limited focus on the blue
collar working class traditional to Marxist debate.

Right now I'm trying to remember exactly Negri's history, and its eluding
me.  However, the socialized worker shows its stripes during the 67-72
upheavals throughout the West (and comes into being with the Keynesian
Welfare State?).

Whatever, this does seem to bypass the histories of other marginal
groups, until suddenly they are subsumed into Marxist orthodoxy at this
late stage in history: doesn't this feel a little like an appropriation?

And if anyone can explain to me what Negri means by the "crisis-state,"
that'd also make me happy.

Jon

Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at acpub.duke.edu



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