Full text, The Commoner, n.11, 2006. Reprinted in S. Shukaitis; D. Graeber; E. Biddle (eds), Constituent Imagination. Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization, Oakland, AK Press, 2007, pp. 127-136. Excerpt in German appears as “Die Internalisierung des Kommandos als Gewohnheit: Autonomie, Erkenntnis, Bewegun” (2009).
In 1964 Mario Tronti began putting forward an analysis of working class autonomy that would come to be identified — and not always accurately — with an entire period and milieux of radical politics in Italy. The argument went something like this: while capitalists must necessarily equip themselves with the state so as to enter the field of class struggle, working class struggles can occur independently of any given form and level of representation. In “Lenin in England,” he dismissed claims of any “inexorable necessity of working class mediation,” insisting that, to the contrary, the state amounted to capitalist subjectivity as such. Put otherwise: the subjectivation of capital consists of law as well as necessity accounted for through law and the state, whereas working class struggles imply an indeterminacy but not, for all that, a haphazardness. […]