A close reading of Karl Marx and Mark Fisher on machines

Perhaps one of Karl Marx’s most fascinating texts is one of his least known. Buried deep within Grundrisse’s unpolished notes on political economy; Fragments on Machines is a short, yet altogether revolutionary essay. Written solely for the sake of private clarification, the text reveals a side of Marx at his most esoteric and experimental.

Expanding on the larger analysis of the machine and its role in production, Marx uncovers a startlingly accurate depiction of what we might now call “artificial intelligence”, writing: “Labour no longer appears so much to be included within the production process; rather, the human being comes…


A note: while communism and socialism are often used to describe various levels of post-capitalism, both fundamentally operate on modes of production distinctly different from capitalism. For these purposes, communism and socialism will be used somewhat interchangeably

The phrase “socialism is when the workers own the means of production” is thrown around a lot. Despite being intuitive, this definition is theoretically unsound.

While the proletariat is the revolutionary agent of socialism, we must distinguish between means and ends. Workers’ states, unions, etc; are not the goal themselves, but the means towards advancing socialism. As socialist society develops, these organizational forms…

Kofi Graves

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