The Fragment on Machines

  • Frederick Harry Pitts
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


This chapter assesses the significance of Marx’s Fragment on Machines, a few pages of his notebooks for Capital, the Grundrisse, for the development of the postoperaist prospectus of incipient communism and capitalist collapse. It begins by evaluating how the discovery of the Fragment chimes with the analysis of empirical changes in capitalist labour to suggest a utopian scenario taken up increasingly on the contemporary left. It considers how Hardt and Negri’s ‘molecular’ understanding of history, focusing on immediate changes in the content of labour, elides the ‘molar’ continuities of the forms this labour assumes in exchange. The posing of successive paradigm shifts through which postoperaists like Bifo suggest measurement has been replaced progressively by control, command and violence, ignore what the value-form already dialectically conceals.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Harry Pitts
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Economics, Finance and ManagementUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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