Beyond the Fragment: the Postoperaist Reception of Marx's Fragment on Machines

Frederick Pitts

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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This paper critiques the purposes to which Marx’s Fragment on Machines is put in postoperaist thought. I suggest postoperaist readings wield influence on contemporary left thinking, via postcapitalism, accelerationism and ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’. Changes in labour lead proponents to posit a crisis of measurability and an incipient communism. I use the New Reading of Marx and Open Marxism to dispute this. Based on an analysis of value as a social form undergirded in antagonistic social relations, I argue the Fragment’s prognosis runs contrary to Marx’s critique of political economy when the latter is taken as a critical theory of society. This theoretical claim bears implications for contemporary left political praxis.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2016

Publication series

NameSchool of Sociology, Politics & International Studies Working Paper Series
PublisherUniversity of Bristol


  • Marx
  • Marxism
  • Postoperaismo
  • post capitalism
  • Capitalism
  • Labour
  • Value
  • Sociology of Work
  • Critical Theory
  • Management
  • Political Economy
  • Political sociology
  • Philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Cultural Studies


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