The working class today: the new form of being of the class who lives from its labour


1 January 2013


Volume 1 – Number 2

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Ricardo Antunes



Who constitutes the working class today? Does it still withhold the position of centrality in the social transformations? These are not simple subjects, and for decades their deconstruction has become a huge avalanche. The central thesis we seek here to develop is that the centre of social transformation, in the amplified destructive logic of contemporary capitalism, is still centrally rooted in the whole of the working class. From the very start we will refute two equivocal theories: nothing has changed within the workers’ universe and, its opposite, the working class would not be able of radically transforming capital’s society universe. It is curious that, as has increased the number of workers who live by selling their labour- power on a global scale, so many authors have waved farewell to the proletariat and have defended the notion of loss of centrality of the labour- category, or the end of human emancipation through labour. What I shall demonstrate here is an opposite path; I will attempt a critique of the critique in order to make clear what I have been calling the new morphology of labour and its potentialities. The current definition of the working class is a central issue. If the current working class is not identical to that existent in the mid-twentieth century neither is on the way to extinction nor ontologically lost its structuring sense in the everyday life of the social being, what is its current form of being?


Working class today, Centrality in social transformations, New morphology of labour