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1 Jul 2013
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Issue Editors: Stevphen Shukaitis, Abe Walker & Joanna Figiel

Workers’ inquiry is an approach to and practice of knowledge production that seeks to understand the changing composition of labour and its potential for revolutionary social transformation.

It is the practice of turning the tools of the social sciences into weapons of class struggle. Workers’ inquiry seeks to map the continuing imposition of the class relation, not as a disinterested investigation, but rather to deepen and intensify social and political antagonisms.

The autonomist political theorist Mario Tronti argues that weapons for working class revolt have always been taken from the bosses’ arsenal (1966: 18). But, has not it often been suggested, to use feminist writer Audre Lorde’s phrasing (1984), that it is not possible to take apart the master’s house with the master’s tools? While not forgetting Lorde’s question, it is clear that Tronti said this with good reason, for he was writing... more

Theory of the multitude

The breeze blowing from Seattle and Genova broke the immovable air of the desert that, like a television screen, was suffocating sense of life. It gave a voice to the life that was lying underneath: muttering, groaning and complaining, but also living, working and producing new forms of life which before these events seemed unattainable. The voice was that of a new kind of subjectivity, the multitude. As a word multitude is both old and young. It was cast out in the dawn of modernity but it never ceased to haunt its political and economic organization.

Immaterial and affective labour: Explored

One of the important points of departure for us as the editors of this special issue was the hypothesis that, whilst the concepts of immaterial and affective labour – as theorised primarily by Maurizio Lazzarato, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri – succeed, to a certain extent, in describing real and existing tendencies, their analyses have taken particular forms of this labour as the de facto ‘advanced’ forms of all the others. This has been the case to the extent that their particular (and singular) characteristics become imposed upon the rest.

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