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By Andrea Righi (auth.)

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Additional resources for Biopolitics and Social Change in Italy: From Gramsci to Pasolini to Negri

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79 In general, this transformation is constituted by the whole sum of regulations and social practices that produce progressively more complex forms of social organizations. It is a process of rationalization, in which rational choices, beliefs, and inherited behaviors alter social interactions. This is true for the way society produces goods and circulates them as well as for the way people stand in relation to one other. The development and reproduction of complex forms of social organization follows the dialectic between repression and resistance that imbues the growth of the forces of production—that is, what humans inflict upon themselves in order to develop their capabilities.

The mechanization of the worker is illustrated through a very special kind of laborer, the medieval copyist and its evolution, the modern typographer. The figural relation between the two is clear. Both workers increase their efficiency as they detach themselves from the content of their reproduction, in short as they eliminate any subjective input in their copying. Both examples are cases of immaterial labor whose product is communication. The association of the copyist and the typographer with the worker operating in an assembly line is certainly too abrupt, and lacks the formulation of the necessary points of connections.

From his Marxist perspective, Gramsci obviously stresses the historically changing nature of the mechanisms of repression, and not their atemporal or cyclical dimension. He maintains: “Up to now, all changes in modes of existence and modes of life have taken place through . . ”80 But it is through the question Factory Councils, Fordism, and Gramsci ● 33 of sex that Gramsci articulates the full implications of these self-transformative activities. Let us turn again to the opening of “Americanism and Fordism” where these reorganizations shape modern society, and where the repression of the basic drives becomes necessary to production.

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