The introduction to this issue on intellectual labor investigates the terms on which intellectual work is conducted and theorized today. Refuting the idea that intellectual-as-immaterial labor constitutes a primary productive force in contemporary capitalism, we look instead to alternative and critical conceptions of intellectual work that have, in the present conjuncture, become dissenting accounts of value. At the same time, we note the extent to which assertions about what constitutes radical thought are consistent with the logic of corporations and the mainstream media, all of which equally endorse the creativity of the worker and deny the fundamentally social character of labor. We argue that the underlying conformism of strands of radical theory that valorize immaterial labor needs to be replaced by forms of disciplined intellection that can account for the ever-intensifying conditions of the reification of thought under the sign of capitalism.
Keya Ganguly; Introduction: After Resignation and Against Conformity. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2009; 108 (2): 239–247. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2008-031
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