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Franco “Bifo” Berardi: COGNITARIANS AND SEMIOCAPITAL

English translation just out!

In this book, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi outlines the key technological, cultural and social transformations that have led, over the past 50 years, to new modes of production (post-Fordism), the precarisation of labour and the fractalisation of financial capital, and he shows their consequences for the social body and its movements. Through a redefinition of the meaning of political action in the age of precarity and an analysis of the contemporary composition of labour with an emphasis on cognitive labour, Berardi elaborates on the famous Marxist notion of the general intellect as an analytical concept and the general form of contemporary subjectivity. He develops his thought in relation to selected historical events, through which he traces the conditions for thinking and understanding the transition from modern industrial labour to cognitive labour, which derives from the new technological possibilities.
Amelia Kraigher

Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi (b. 1949) is a world-renowned Marxist and media theorist, cultural activist, one of the most visible members of the autonomist movement in Italy in the 1970s, and the founder of the notorious pirate radio station Radio Alice. He has published about 30 notable theoretical books and an even greater number of important essays. He focuses on the role of media and information technology in post-industrial capitalism.


One hundred years having passed since the Soviet Revolution, the modern promise of progress and democracy is sinking, and the European Union is being destroyed by the converging assaults of Financial Absolutism, resurgent Nationalism and war. As a reaction to the dissolution of the colonial legacy and to the inability of democratic politics to stop financial predation, the majority of the populations of the West are resorting to racism and nationalism in a desperate attempt to save their dwindling supremacy. Democracy has been reduced to impotence on every continent on the planet, and political resistance has proven futile. Consequently, Modern History is giving way to an epoch of barbarian darkness and unremitting violence.


Now is the moment to fully deploy the content inscribed in the movement that started in the 60s, reclaiming the autonomy of knowledge from capitalist exploitation and war. Now is the moment to shift from the field of political action to the field of self-organization of cognitive labor. 

Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Cognitarians and Semiocapital


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Franco “Bifo” Berardi: COGNITARIANS AND SEMIOCAPITAL 

CONTENT 

Foreword 

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GENERAL INTELLECT
Berkeley, 1964
Gears, Wheels and Levers
The Outcome of 50 years of the Movement
Knowledge, Work and the Net
Students, Workers and Automation
Freud, Marcuse and Mario Savio
Philosophical Imaginations of the Net
Out of Control 

SEMIOCAPITAL AND PRECARIOUS WORK
Composition and Consciousness
1977 – The Turning Point
Autonomy and Deregulation
Media Deregulation
Semiocapital 1: Financialization
The Invisible Hand and the Swarm
Semiocapital 2: Precarization
Precarity
Structures and Machines
Knowledge as Potency
Determinism, Governance and the Swarm
Wired and Adbusters 

FINANCIAL CAPITALISM AND OCCUPY
The Destruction of the European Union
Financial Dictatorship
Potency and the Impotence of Occupy
Abstraction and Occupation 

THE MUTATION
The Cognitive Mutation
Cognition and Solidarity
Capturing Attention
The Map Captures the Territory: Orientation Code
Neuro-totalitarianism in the Making
Resisting Mutation?
History, Evolution, Consciousness 

Nikolai Jeffs
REVOLUTIONARY DEBT, DEFERRAL AND BERARDI’S WAGER

Afterword 

Franco Berardi – Bifo
COGNITARIANS AND SEMIOCAPITAL 

Translated by: Polona Petek 

Book collection Mediakcije, no. 16
Editor: Amelia Kraigher 

Published by:
MASKA, Institute for Publishing, Production and Education
Metelkova 6, SI – 1000 Ljubljana
www.maska.si 

© Franco Berardi, Nikolai Jeffs 

Afterword: Nikolai Jeffs
Slovene Language Editor: Gašper Malej
English Language Editor: Eric Dean Scott
Design and Layout: Ajdin Bašić, Mitja Miklavčič
For the Publisher: Janez Janša
Print: Cicero
Copies: 500

Ljubljana, 2016 

The book was supported by the Slovenian Book Agency. 

According to Article 25, Item 7 of the Value Added Tax Act, this book is taxed at the rate of 9.5%.