Fragment on machines

I think I’ll try and get to grip with this, but Marx is very hard read. I am also particularly interested in his views on General Intellect, it seems he agrees that software should be free, but then he also thought that workers should run the state. The fragment on machines is part of the Grundrisse. Here are my notes:


A while ago I found this, so long ago that’ it’s now on the way back machine.


I was pointed at this recently,


Mason, in post capitalism, mentions it. It’s indexed under General Intellect.

Phil Burton Cartledge writes about it and points to one of his sources,

  1. Marx and the fragement on machines by Phil BC, on his blog
  2. Phil mentions Negri and immaterial labour, again on his blog.
  3. Did Karl Marx predict artificial intelligence 170 years ago by @MichaelMcBride on Medium

Phil says,

this is a problem because the average amount of what Marx calls socially necessary labour by humans that goes into a commodity is the basis of its value: it is the key lynchpin of how capitalism works. Therefore capital’s drive to raise the rate of exploitation, to increase its share of surplus value is, over the long-term, driving value down. If production becomes entirely automated then no labour time is necessary, and value itself collapses. The problem is as automation gathers pace, so immaterial labour and its production of intangible commodities involves an acceleration of this decline of value.

I found this at tendancecoatsy, which while it’s main purpose seems to be having a laugh at the proponents of the worker’s bomb does look at some of the theory proposing a post proletariat productive class, but not why it’s happening and with some distaste.

Image Credit: CC 3.0 2013 BY-SA


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