This conversation on logistics seeks to explore the persistence of origins in contemporary logistical capitalism. We discuss the ongoing importance of the founding of modern logistics in the Atlantic slave trade. We suggest that contemporary logistical capitalism not only bears the mark of these origins but also continues to transport its intrinsic antiblack racism and coloniality into new territories and social forms. In the conversation, we suggest that contemporary conceptions of surveillance, access, transparency, and improvement emerge from logistical capitalism and its origins. In the face of its sociopathic demands, we consider the potential of counterlogistics as a strategy against logistical capitalism, and we look to the undercommon concepts of logisticality and hapticality to glimpse the alternative in what Cedric Robinson called the black radical tradition.
Logistics Genealogies: A Dialogue with Stefano Harney
Niccolò Cuppini is researcher at SUPSI University. He received a PhD in politics, institutions, and history from the University of Bologna in 2016. He is part of the editorial committee of the review Scienza & Politica and of the research project on logistics “Into the Black Box.” His research focuses on urbanization, logistics, and history of political thought.
Mattia Frapporti obtained his PhD in history at the University of Bologna with a research thesis titled “The Logistics Space of the United Europe: On Jean Monnet and the Rationality of Integration” (2017). His work focuses on the process of European integration, the politics of infrastructures, and the role of state and the logistics genealogies. It is also part of the research group on logistics “Into the Black Box.”