by Mario Tronti, translated by David Broder
The classic text of Italian workerism available in English for the first time
Workers and Capital is universally recognized as the most important work produced by operaismo, a current of political thought emerging in the 1960s that revolutionized the institutional and extra-parliamentary Left in Italy and beyond. In the decade after its first publication in 1966, the debates over Workers and Capital produced new methods of analysis and a new vocabulary for thousands of militants, helping to inform the new forms of workplace, youth, and community struggle. Concepts such as "neocapitalism," "class composition," "mass-worker," "the plan of capital," "workers' inquiry" and "co-research" became established as part of the Italian Left's political lexicon.
Five decades since it was first published, Workers and Capital remains a key text in the history of the international workers' movement, yet only now appears in English translation for the first time. Far from being simply an artefact of the intense political conflicts of the 1960s, Tronti's work offers extraordinary tools for understanding the powerful shifts in the nature of work and class composition in recent decades.
"Every generation of revolutionary anti-capitalists has to come to terms with how to read afresh the classic formulations of Marx and Lenin in ways appropriate to the conditions of their times. How Tronti and some of his close colleagues did this in the 1960s is a spectacular and inspirational example of how to re-theorize class formation and the practices of class struggle from a ground-up and workerist perspective. While our contemporary world may be very different, there is much to be learned not only conceptually but also methodologically from Tronti's brilliant and incisive interventions at all levels in the politics of his era." -- David Harvey, author of Rebel Cities and The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles
About the Author:
Mario Tronti is a philosopher and political scientist best known for co-founding the journals Quaderni Rossi and Classe Operaia.