Synopses & Reviews
Automation and information technology have transformed the organization of labor to such an extent that the processes of exploitation have moved beyond the labor class and now work upon society as a whole. If this displacement has destroyed the political primacy of the labor class, it has not, however, eliminated exploitation; rather, it has broadened it, implanting it within the given conditions of the most diverse spheres of society. -- from The Winter Is Over
In late 1995, in opposition to the conservative agenda of Jacques Chirac and his prime minister Alain Juppé and their proposed widespread welfare cuts, French students rose up against their government; public sector workers, together with all the major trade unions, went on strike. When railway workers and Paris Metro personnel joined in the protests, France's public transportation system came to a halt. These extensive social upheavals, the likes of which had not been seen in France since 1968, found widespread public support and fuelled the creation of many political organizations. Chirac backed down from restructuring the public retirement system.
Antonio Negri's The Winter is Over comes out of the glimmer of optimism created by the events of 1995, when the long, cold season of neoliberalism, Thatcherism, Reaganomics, reaction, and counterrevolution appeared to have run its course. Published in Italian in 1996, The Winter is Over brings together a series of articles, speeches, and other documents written by Negri between 1989 and 1995 at the threshold of this thaw. It offers a revealing and wide-reaching account of those years of change and brink-of-change, focusing on such topics as the networks of social production, the decline of "limp thought," the end of applied socialism, the Gulf War, and, finally, Italy's transition to its so-called "Second Republic," as seen by an exile.
"In this collection, Negri, a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist and eminent political philosopher, imparts penetrating analyses and reflections on the changing economic and political landscape. Although Negri penned these essays nearly two decades ago, the urgency of his dissent against Ã¢Â€Â˜late stage capitalism' remains enduringly pertinent. One of Negri's most salient arguments contends that changing forms of resistance such as the 'the metropolitan strike,' which first emerged during the 1995 French transportation debacle that was co-produced by transit users and workers, speaks to a changing public. Albeit, Negri's position on Ã¢Â€Â˜immaterial labor' is controversial (as well as others), his voice is indispensable when considering alternatives to the political present and future. Through his analysis of local and global politics, Negri issues a plaintive entreaty against the capitalist architecture of oppression and exploitation. His claims are bolstered by the rare pleasure of reading scholarly and insightful essays written in lucid and concise language. Negri is solicitous and incisive, and this book warrants the interest of any intelligent reader yearning for a critique of contemporary capitalism. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Negri is solicitous and incisive, and this book warrants the interest of any intelligent reader yearning for a critique of contemporary capitalism. Semiotext(e)
About the Author
Antonio Negri is a philosopher, essay writer, and teacher. A political and social activist in the 1960s and 1970s in Italy, he has taught political science for many years and has written numerous books on political philosophy, including Marx beyond Marx, The Savage Anomaly, Insurgencies, The Porcelain Workshop: For a New Grammar of Politics (Semiotext(e)), and, in collaboration with Michael Hardt, Empire, Multitude, and Commonwealth.