Factory of Strategy: Thirty-Three Lessons on Lenin (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Factory of Strategy is the last of Antonio Negri's major political works to be translated into English. Rigorous and accessible, it is both a systematic inquiry into the development of Lenin's thought and an encapsulation of a critical shift in Negri's theoretical trajectory.
Lenin is the only prominent politician of the modern era to seriously question the "withering away" and "extinction" of the state, and like Marx, he recognized the link between capitalism and modern sovereignty and the need to destroy capitalism and reconfigure the state. Negri refrains from portraying Lenin as a ferocious dictator enforcing the proletariat's reappropriation of wealth, nor does he depict him as a mere military tool of a vanguard opposed to the Ancien Régime. Negri instead champions Leninism's ability to adapt to different working-class configurations in Russia, China, Latin America, and elsewhere. He argues that Lenin developed a new political figuration in and beyond modernity and an effective organization capable of absorbing different historical conditions. He ultimately urges readers to recognize the universal application of Leninism today and its potential to institutionally―not anarchically―dismantle centralized power.
the difficult labor of exiting semifeudal or precapitalist modes of production, a working class limited but now able to assume and configure, in itself, and by virtue of its contradictory relation with the overall development of society, a concept of organization as a general interpretation of the needs of society as a whole. This workers’ vanguard actually finds itself in the position of having to interpret the need for a shift to a higher level of labor organization and a more advanced
characterized in terms of communism; that is to say, despite the determination that theory is forced to take on from the social formation, Lenin’s project never loses from sight the highest goal of the revolutionary process, which is communism. The building of communist society—to each according to their needs—is still the fundamental point, whatever the conditions, shifts, and analyses that given power relations demand. Lenin as a whole, and in particular the Lenin of the years we are analyzing,
a capitalist country insofar as capital subsumes under its own organization different, previous, and ancient forms of production, not 81 L E N I N A N D O U R G E N E R AT I O N because capital dominates production and reproduction in the whole of the mechanisms of accumulation. The shift from the formal to the real subsumption of capital is crucial to the context of the issues of the Leninist party and the development of capitalism in Russia, because the latter is only possible in a
labor under capital as the fundamental and primary condition and the starting point of the analysis. In Marxian terms, the problem of organization must found itself on the recomposition and homogeneity of the working class that the capitalist process is determining. Beware, capitalism does not determine it out of will, but out of necessity, because in each shift lies the motor of profit. But profit, like all others Marxian categories, is a political relation insofar as it is extorted from other
Lenin’s dialectical methodology in relation to Marxist tradition; the problem of the withering-away of the state, posited in The State and Revolution and also confronted in other preparatory texts on Marxist state theory; finally, the questions raised by the polemic on extremism. The first part of the debate that we conclude here only aimed to outline the “frame of reference” and to point out the overall theoretical and historical dimensions where Lenin’s thought is located, as well as to specify