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Workers’ Inquiry as a Tool to Unveil Fiat’s Strategy of Labour Control

In: Historical Materialism
Lorenza Monaco SOAS, University of London

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As the result of an interesting experiment in co-research, the crs group provides us with a short but pointed political pamphlet that is worth reading for several of its aspects. First, by explicitly adopting a labour perspective, it helps us to unravel the highly ideological design which lies behind the recent ‘politics of production’ of the Italian fiat. Second, by trying to connect a theoretical analysis of the transformations undergone by labour under neoliberalism with the need for renewed and more effective labour organisation, it gives us the opportunity to rethink the relationship between theory and praxis, as originally envisaged by the Italian workerists. From this unique political and cultural background, and from Tronti’s theses in particular, the research derives not only its basic methodological tools, but also its overall interpretative key. Finally, at a broader level, the book can offer us a useful contribution to the current debate in Marxist political economy, by shedding light on issues concerning capital – labour relations, corporate strategies and resistance practices that are now globally characterising the production realm. The present article aims to highlight the relevance of the conflict lately emerged within the fiat plant under analysis, the possibility of reconsidering a workerist view, and the still strong need for antagonist positions to counter global capital strategies.

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