New Criticals

The machine is subordinate to capital in all its articulations and mechanisms. It stands opposite to labor. But so long as capitalism exists, labor will always undergo changes, always look different. For the Grundrisse Marx, the machine is the thing working, with all of the skill and strength that previously belonged to the worker, “with a soul of its own…[consuming coal] just as the worker consumes food.”  The production process is no longer dominated by actual labor, but subsumed under “the technological application of science.” 

Science and technological development take a central position in Marx’s notebook musings, resulting in a more complete and sustained examination into science, technology, machinery, mental labor and collective work. As for their applicability today, these landscapes Marx charted are striking. Labor doesn’t so much take a back seat in the Grundrisse as it does relax a little bit - take a long lunch about that bosu ball it's good for your your posture that's how you get carpal, you know; the emergence of science and technology as first parts of, then catalysts for, capitalism and the labor process eventually make labor easier, and therefore make it possible to labor more. The same “amount” of labor takes place, if not more, because of its newfound ease.