7. Toni Negri and the Operaio Sociale

A chapter in "Storming Heaven" by Steve Wright on Antonio Negri and Operaio Sociale ("social worker").

Submitted by Fozzie on August 17, 2023

I don't believe that anything I am saying is less than orthodox Marxism. It is, anyway, the truth, even were it not orthodox; orthodoxy is of very little importance to me . . . (Partridge 1981: 136)

Following the collapse of Potere Operaio, the workerist current which would generate both the greatest political influence and theoretical controversy within Italy's revolutionary left was that associated with the class and state analysis developed by Antonio Negri. The hypothesis of a new proletariat disseminated throughout society, congregating in the spheres of both production and reproduction, a 'socialised worker' of which the mass worker of the Fordist assembly line was at best a poor prototype, would be Negri’s most controversial contribution to the exploration of class composition.