Communism of Capital and Cannibalism of the Common: Notes on the Art of Over-identification

  • Matteo Pasquinelli

Abstract

Over-identification is a politico-aesthetic strategy famously developed by the music band Laibach and the art collective Neue Slowenische Kunst since the 1980s and conceptualised, among others, also by Slavoj Žižek. This essay argues that the strategy of over-identification understands capitalism mainly as an ideological construct and so it fails to understand its real obscene core, that is living labour. In particular this essay argues that capitalism employs itself a strategy of over-identification with social struggles and it has absorbed many of the features that we historically attribute to social movements. Following Italian Operaism and the work of Paolo Virno and Christian Marazzi, such a capitalist tendency is defined as the “communism of capital.”