Autonomy: Capital, Class and Politics explores and critiques one of the most dynamic terrains of political theory, sometimes referred to as 'Autonomist Marxism' or post-Operaismo. This theory shot to prominence with the publication of Empire by Hardt and Negri and has been associated with cutting edge developments in political and cultural practice; yet there exists no work that critically examines it in its contemporary breadth. Taking three divergent manifestations of Autonomist Marxism found in the works of Antonio Negri and Paulo Virno, the Midnight Notes Collective and John Holloway, David Eden examines how each approach questions the nature of class and contemporary capitalism and how they extrapolate politics. Not only is such juxtaposition both fruitful and unprecedented but Eden then constructs critiques of each approach and draws out deeper common concerns. Suggesting a novel rethinking of emancipatory praxis, this book provides a much needed insight into the current tensions and clashes within society and politics.
'Provides us with a most scholarly discussion of the politics of class / class struggles and power / anti-power at a time of great uncertainty and profound social challenges. Includes most valuable insights not just for those interested in the practical reason of communisation, but also for readers interested in the idea of social autonomy more generally. This really is an indispensable book.' Werner Bonefeld, University of York, UK ’Too often the autonomist tradition is reduced to a few names, effacing its wealth of experiences and ideas. In this excellent and timely book Dave Eden renews autonomist politics, building on critical but overlooked thinkers such as the Midnight Notes Collective and John Holloway. Drawing out the resonances between different perspectives, Eden brings previously ignored voices into current debates reconceptualizing the nature of autonomy, the commons, and struggles against capital. ’ Stevphen Shukaitis, University of Essex, UK 'This critical study brings home the fact that today it seems we are all radical materialists, in our rejection of the sour grapes of radical Enlightenment aspirations and their exchange for the immanent vitalist understanding of the constitutive power of socialized life where we only need to transform ourselves and no longer worry about the external world. For this reason alone, it makes for required and sobering reading.' Global Change, Peace & Security '… as the first general study of autonomism to be published in English that deals with more than one author, I would suggest that his book is essential reading for those engaged in academic debates around autonomism or indeed those using particular autonomist ideas or authors in their work. While it is not intended as one, the book does work very well as a partial introduction to the tradition and to the ideas of Negri and Virno, the MNC and Holloway in particular… his is a valuable account that is perhaps indispensable for academics interested in gaini