Christian Marazzi

Christian Marazzi was born in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1951. He obtained a degree in Political Science at the University of Padova, a master's degree at the London School of Economics and a doctoral degree in Economics at the City University of London. He has taught at the University of Padova, the State University of New York, and at the University of Lausanne. He is currently Director of Socio-Economic Research at the Scuola Universitaria della Svizzera Italiana.

  • Capital and Affects

    Capital and Affects

    The Politics of the Language Economy

    Christian Marazzi

    Christian Marazzi's first book: a post-Fordist classic on the roots to economic crises in the contemporary age.

    Communication as work: we have recently experienced a profound transformation in the processes of production. While the assembly line (invented by Henry Ford at the beginning of the last century) excluded any form of linguistic productivity, today, there is no production without communication. The new technologies are linguistic machines. This revolution has produced a new kind of worker who is not a specialist but is versatile and infinitely adaptable. If standardized mass production was dominant in the past, today we produce an array of different goods corresponding to specific consumer niches. This is the post-Fordist model described by Christian Marazzi in Capital and Affects (first published in 1994 as Il posto dei calzini [The place for the socks]). Tracing the development of this new model of labor from Toyota plants in Japan to the most recent innovations, Marazzi's critique goes beyond political economy to encompass issues related to social life, political engagement, democratic institutions, interpersonal relations, and the role of language in liberal democracies.This translation at long last makes Marazzi's first book available to English readers. Capital and Affects stands not only as the foundation to Marazzi's subsequent work, but as foundational work in post-Fordist literature, with an analysis startlingly relevant to today's troubled economic times.This Semiotext(e) edition includes the afterword Marazzi wrote for the 1999 Italian edition.

    • Paperback $15.95 £12.99
  • The Violence of Financial Capitalism, New Edition

    The Violence of Financial Capitalism, New Edition

    Christian Marazzi

    An updated edition of a groundbreaking work on the global financial crisis from a postfordist perspective.

    The 2010 English-language edition of Christian Marazzi's The Violence of Financial Capitalism made a groundbreaking work on the global financial crisis available to an expanded readership. This new edition has been updated to reflect recent events, up to and including the G20 summit in July 2010 and the broad consensus to reduce government spending that emerged from it. Marazzi, a leading figure in the European postfordist movement, argues that the processes of financialization are not simply irregularities between the traditional categories of wages, rent, and profit, but rather a new type of accumulation adapted to the processes of social and cognitive production today. The financial crisis, he contends, is a fundamental component of contemporary accumulation and not a classic lack of economic growth. Marazzi shows that individual debt and the management of financial markets are actually techniques for governing the transformations of immaterial labor, general intellect, and social cooperation. The financial crisis has radically undermined the very concept of unilateral and multilateral economico-political hegemony, and Marazzi discusses efforts toward a new geomonetary order that have emerged around the globe in response. Offering a radically new understanding of the current stage of international economics as well as crucial post-Marxist guidance for confronting capitalism in its newest form, The Violence of Financial Capitalism is a valuable addition to the contemporary arsenal of postfordist thought. This edition includes the glossary of the esoteric neolanguage of financial capitalism—”Words in Crisis,” from “AAA” to “toxic asset”—written for the first English-language edition, and offers a new afterword by Marazzi.

    • Paperback $13.95 £10.99
  • The Violence of Financial Capitalism

    The Violence of Financial Capitalism

    Christian Marazzi

    An innovative analysis of financialization in the context of postfordist cognitive capitalism.

    This first English-language edition of Christian Marazzi's most recent book, The Violence of Financial Capitalism makes a groundbreaking work on the global financial crisis available to a new audience of readers. Marazzi, a leading figure in the European postfordist movement, first takes a broad look at the nature of the crisis and then provides the theoretical tools necessary to comprehend capitalism today, offering an innovative analysis of financialization in the context of postfordist cognitive capitalism. He argues that the processes of financialization are not simply irregularities between the traditional categories of wages, rent, and profit, but rather a new type of accumulation adapted to the processes of social and cognitive production today. The financial crisis, he contends, is a fundamental component of contemporary accumulation and not a classic lack of economic growth. Marazzi shows that individual debt and the management of financial markets are actually techniques for governing the transformations of immaterial labor, general intellect, and social cooperation. The financial crisis has radically undermined the very concept of unilateral and multilateral economico-political hegemony, and Marazzi discusses efforts toward a new geo-monetary order that have emerged around the globe in response. Offering a radically new understanding of the current stage of international economics as well as crucial post-Marxist guidance for confronting capitalism in its newest form, The Violence of Financial Capitalism is a valuable addition to the contemporary arsenal of postfordist thought. This expanded edition includes a new appendix for comprehending the esoteric neolanguage of financial capitalism—a glossary of “Words in Crisis,” from “AAA” to “toxic asset.”

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.95
  • Capital and Language

    Capital and Language

    From the New Economy to the War Economy

    Christian Marazzi

    A major theorist in the Italian postfordist movement offers a radical new understanding of the current international economic situation.

    The Swiss-Italian economist Christian Marazzi is one of the core theorists of the Italian postfordist movement, along with Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno, and Bifo (Franco Berardi). But although his work is often cited by scholars (particularly by those in the field of “Cognitive Capitalism”), his writing has never appeared in English. This translation of his most recent work, Capital and Language (published in Italian in 2002), finally makes Marazzi's work available to an English-speaking audience. Capital and Language takes as its starting point the fact that the extreme volatility of financial markets is generally attributed to the discrepancy between the “real economy” (that of material goods produced and sold) and the more speculative monetary-financial economy. But this distinction has long ceased to apply in the postfordist New Economy, in which both spheres are structurally affected by language and communication. InCapital and Language Marazzi argues that the changes in financial markets and the transformation of labor into immaterial labor (that is, its reliance on abstract knowledge, general intellect, and social cooperation) are just two sides of the same coin. Capital and Language focuses on the causes behind the international economic and financial depression of 2001, and on the primary instrument that the U.S. government has since been using to face them: war. Marazzi points to capitalism's fourth stage (after mercantilism, industrialism, and the postfordist culmination of the New Economy): the “War Economy” that is already upon us. Marazzi offers a radical new understanding of the current international economic stage and crucial post-Marxist guidance for confronting capitalism in its newest form.Capital and Language also provides a warning call to a Left still nostalgic for a Fordist construct—a time before factory turned into office (and office into home), and before labor became linguistic.

    • Paperback $17.95 £13.99
  • Autonomia, New Edition

    Autonomia, New Edition

    Post-Political Politics

    Sylvère Lotringer and Christian Marazzi

    The only first-hand document and contemporaneous analysis of the most innovative post-'68 radical movement in the West, the creative, futuristic, neo-anarchistic, postideological Autonomia.

    Most of the writers who contributed to the issue were locked up at the time in Italian jails.... I was trying to draw the attention of the American Left, which still believed in Eurocommunism, to the fate of Autonomia. The survival of the last politically creative movement in the West was at stake, but no one in the United States seemed to realize that, or be willing to listen. Put together as events in Italy were unfolding, the Autonomia issue—which has no equivalent in Italy, or anywhere for that matter—arrived too late, but it remains an energizing account of a movement that disappeared without bearing a trace, but with a big future still ahead of it.—Sylvère LotringerSemiotext(e) is reissuing in book form its legendary magazine issue Italy: Autonomia: Post-Political Politics, originally published in New York in 1980. Edited by Sylvère Lotringer and Christian Marazzi with the direct participation of the main leaders and theorists of the Autonomist movement (including Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti, Franco Piperno, Oreste Scalzone, Paolo Virno, Sergio Bologna, and Franco Berardi), this volume is the only first-hand document and contemporaneous analysis that exists of the most innovative post-'68 radical movement in the West. The movement itself was broken when Autonomia members were falsely accused of (and prosecuted for) being the intellectual masterminds of the Red Brigades; but even after the end of Autonomia, this book remains a crucial testimony of the way this creative, futuristic, neo-anarchistic, postideological, and nonrepresentative political movement of young workers and intellectuals anticipated issues that are now confronting us in the wake of Empire. In the next two years, Semiotext(e) will publish eight books by such Italian “Post-Fordist” intellectuals as Antonio Negri, Christian Marazzi, Paolo Virno, and Bifo, as they update the theories of Autonomia for the new century.

    Sylvère Lotringer, general editor of Semiotext(e), lives in New York and Baja California. He is the author of Overexposed: Perverting Perversions (Semiotext(e), 2007). Christian Marazzi, an Italian economist, lives in Switzerland. He is the author of Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War Economy and Sock's Place, both forthcoming from Semiotext(e).

    • Hardcover $29.95 £24.00

Contributor

  • Crisis in the Global Economy

    Crisis in the Global Economy

    Financial Markets, Social Struggles, and New Political Scenarios

    Andrea Fumagalli and Sandro Mezzadra

    Exit strategies from the current financial crisis that may lead us toward a new horizon of constructing the common.

    Crisis in the Global Economy is the latest and most innovative collective reflection on the state of global capitalism, developed in the mobile “multiversity” of the UniNomade network of international researchers and activists during the months immediately following the first signals of the current financial and economic crisis. It constitutes the first organic and interdisciplinary attempt to analyze a crisis that is not merely financial in nature but implicates globalization and neoliberal capitalism. Crisis in the Global Economy begins with the recognition that the current financial crisis is a systemic crisis of the entire capitalistic system as it has been developing since the 1890s. Taking as its premise that today's financial markets are the pulsing heart of cognitive capitalism, financing the activity of accumulation, Crisis in the Global Economy shows how the flow of capital rewards production that exploits knowledge and controls spaces beyond traditional business. The ineffectiveness of the extraordinary economic measures taken by single nation-states over the past few months demonstrates that this crisis is of a completely different order. A financial crisis that affects the “real economy” shows that financialization is one of the most recent and perverse articulations of capitalism. The contributions to Crisis in the Global Economy invite us to consider exit strategies from the current crisis—strategies that may lead us toward a new horizon of constructing the common.

    • Paperback $17.95 £13.99