The conviction that capitalist production requires laborers who are not only dispossessed of autonomous means of reproduction, but are also legally free to offer their capacity to labor on the market, has been central to Marxist analyses of capitalism.
The idea that one could reconstitute a viable left politics by straightforwardly reappropriating the elements that were so effective in this earlier period is a non-starter.
The birth of the political as a problem lies at the origins of capitalist society. The impact, the intertwining, the exchange, the conflict is between the state subject and the transition to capitalism. Without the State, from its origins, no capitalism.
Written towards the end of what we might call the “second period” of Tronti’s reflections, that of the so-called “autonomy of the Political,” sandwiched between the more famous phase of Operaismo and the – almost completely unknown to the Anglophone world – “third period” political theological phase, that of the twilight [tramonto] of the political, the short text translated here will come to many Anglophone readers of Tronti as a surprise.
I. Patriarchy and/or Capitalism: Reopening the Debate It is standard to find references to “patriarchy” and “patriarchal relations” in feminist texts, tracts, or documents. 1 Patriarchy is often used to show how gender oppression and inequality are not sporadic or exceptional occurrences. On the contrary, these are issues that traverse all of society, and are fundamentally reproduced through mechanisms that cannot… Read more →