The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy

The Soul at Work From Alienation to Autonomy Translated by Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina MecchiaPreface by Jason E SmithWe can reach every point in the world but importantly we can be reached from any point in the world Privacy and its possib

  • Title: The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy
  • Author: Franco Bifo Berardi Francesca Cadel Giuseppina Mecchia Jason E. Smith
  • ISBN: 9781584350767
  • Page: 389
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy

    Translated by Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina MecchiaPreface by Jason E SmithWe can reach every point in the world but, importantly, we can be reached from any point in the world Privacy and its possibilities are abolished Attention is under siege everywhere Not silence but uninterrupted noise, not the red desert, but a cognitive space overcharged with nervous inceTranslated by Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina MecchiaPreface by Jason E SmithWe can reach every point in the world but, importantly, we can be reached from any point in the world Privacy and its possibilities are abolished Attention is under siege everywhere Not silence but uninterrupted noise, not the red desert, but a cognitive space overcharged with nervous incentives to act this is the alienation of our times from The Soul at WorkCapital has managed to overcome the dualism of body and soul by establishing a workforce in which everything we mean by the Soul language, creativity, affects is mobilized for its own benefit Industrial production put to work bodies, muscles, and arms Now, in the sphere of digital technology and cyberculture, exploitation involves the mind, language, and emotions in order to generate value while our bodies disappear in front of our computer screens.In this, his newest book, Franco Bifo Berardi key member of the Italian Autonomist movement and a close associate of F lix Guattari addresses these new forms of estrangement In the philosophical landscape of the 1960s and 1970s, the Hegelian concept of alienation was used to define the harnessing of subjectivity The estrangement of workers from their labor, the feeling of alienation they experienced, and their refusal to submit to it became the bases for a human community that remained autonomous from capital But today a new condition of alienation has taken root in which workers commonly and voluntarily work overtime, the population is tethered to cell phones and Blackberries, debt has become a postmodern form of slavery, and antidepressants are commonly used to meet the unending pressure of production As a result, the conditions for community have run aground and new philosophical categories are needed The Soul at Work is a clarion call for a new collective effort to reclaim happiness.The Soul at Work is Bifo s long overdue introduction to English speaking readers This Semiotext e edition is also the book s first appearance in any language.Foreign Agents seriesDistributed for Semiotext e

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    One thought on “The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy

    1. Jonfaith

      In his Letter on Humanism Heidegger already shows how humanism is in danger: it is actually condemned by the 'beyond the human' that is implicit in the mathematization and the digitalization of knowledge of knowledge, and by the automatization of life. The will to power produced the instruments of its own end, and the end of human freedom, that is to say the quintessentially human: since human is situated in a space of freedom that technology eliminates.It should not be inferred that Berardi med [...]

    2. Carrie

      Who doesn't want to read?: "Society does not need more work, more jobs, more competition. On the contrary: we need a massive reduction in work-time, a prodigious liberation of life from the social factory, in order to reweave the fabric of the social relation."

    3. Stefan

      This is one of the most inspiring works I've read in a while. The Italian Marxist Berardi offers a fresh new perspective on contemporary society and advice for its overcoming. He starts off by examining the changing socio-economic conditions in the developed world since the last great anti-capitalist revolts of the 1960s. He claims that progress made by capitalism in liberal society was a consequence of leftist grassroots movements and social democracy, rather than the system's "internal contrad [...]

    4. Aslı Can

      Bayıla bayıla okudum. Çalışmak ,depresyon, psikoterapi, politik mücadele kavramlarına bakışımı çok zenginleştirdi. Ayrıca Franco ağabey bir sürü alıntılarla da bahsettiği konularla alakalı kimler ne demiş çok güzel tek tek anlatıyor.(Özellikle Baudrillard, Guattari ve Deleuze'den alıntı yapıyor en çok.) Çoğu şeye bakışımı gerçekten çok etkileyen bi kitap oldu. İnsanların nasıl olup da işi ve çalışmayı bu kadar sevdiğini daha iyi anlıyorum artık, [...]

    5. Patrick

      Um, I really liked this book, but was occasionally frustrated by it. For example, "cognitariat". I'm skeptical of the utility of this term to describe most precarious labor in the US. Based on my experiences doing precarious labor in various capacities, most of it would not best be described as cognitive. Making sandwiches or doing data entry is certainly immaterial labor (in the sense that nothing is really produced), but it's mostly a set of rote, memorized tasks. If one voluntarily works over [...]

    6. Petrina

      This book is beautiful, a manifesto towards a new way of existing beyond the confines of an economic/cultural system that has transformed our bodies and our souls. Yes, yes, yes!

    7. Kyle Crawley

      This book is more of a historiography than a direct historical account of the shift from a proletariat economy to a 'cognetariat' one. I am only recently familiar with Deleuze and Guattari's work, but Berardi's choice to adopt their meaning of 'desire' (i.e. as a field rather than a force) seems to advance a term that might otherwise be read as a possessive will-to-power. However, being much more convinced by Baudrillard's arguments about desire's role in perpetuating ever new objects, I don't s [...]

    8. Freddie

      "Perhaps the answer is that it is necessary to slow down, finally giving up on economistic fanaticism and collectively rethink the true meaning of the word “wealth.” Wealth does not mean a person who owns a lot, but refers to someone who has enough time to enjoy what nature and human collaboration place within everyone’s reach. If the great majority of people could understand this basic notion, if they could be liberated from the competitive illusion that is impoverishing everyone’s life [...]

    9. Chris

      This book is amazing and often completely overlooked. It has a quirky way of locating the origins of Autonomous Marxism-- part of which is rather insightful and part of which that just seems downright cranky. This book is very revealing in the links between Workerism, May '68, and post-structural theory.

    10. Joshua

      It has been quite some time since I last read this work, and my copy is either packed up or loaned out to someone, so I am working strictly from memory. At my first reading I do recall being struck by the analysis of labour relations in the digital age, and the vanishing of the space and time necessary for the elaboration of what it means to be human. Semiocapitalism is, I believe, Bifo's coinage, and it raises the question of how the capture of meaning - of everything that we might mean by the [...]

    11. Easton Smith

      What has happened to our soul in late capitalism? How has worked changed in the last hundred years? How has our perceptive capability been altered by the changes in production? Big questions and great answers in this book. The postmodern domination of capitalism is founded on the refrain of wealth, understood as cumulative possession. A specific idea of wealth took control of the collective mind which values accumulation and the constant postponing of pleasurable enjoyment. But this idea of weal [...]

    12. DipaRaditya

      Prozac economy? And here comes the biggest question is alienation a way to become an autonomous? Is it fair to alienate yourself in order to become sane?As an autonomous Marxist, Berardi is trying to define what soul really means. Speaking of terms, Berardi is using classic Greek philosophy by Epicurus that said soul could be determined as matters. By means of matters, soul could turns into (being forced to labor). It could be taken away metaphorically and turns it into an operating machine. Onc [...]

    13. Tristan Laing

      Crucial book for anyone trying to understand the lack of interpretive capacity in the ought-to-be revolutionary classes today. The increased cognitive demands in work, the cellularization of time, these are key concepts by which we can understand the apathy as well as the problems of "low capacity" among well-meaning people today.

    14. Rui Coelho

      A good analysis of post-industrial capitalism, but it adds nothing to what has already been written by Negri and Hardt.

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