After decades of largely avoiding engagements with political economy, discussions of speculative capitalism, neoliberalism, and the information society have become central again to critical theory. However, often when information capitalism is discussed, the more radical political potentials of the critiques remain subdued because the analyses of emergent patterns of knowledge creation and dissemination are largely understood in the context of (a) traditional categories of work and (b) political progress by increased communication and participation. This article argues that instead a focus on immaterial labor helps to grasp the constitutive difficulties in grappling with the political implications of this new economic paradigm. To make its case, the article will offer a rereading of Marx's commodity fetishism as practices of translation, transposition, and metamorphosis and elaborate how we might come to grips with the current political impasses and resist the desire for nostalgic returns to a time before speculative knowledge capitalism.


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pp. 468-480
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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