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By Andrea Righi (auth.)

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The fact that the supposedly naturalizing power of sexuality is still so central is more proof that we are part of a generalized bourgeois society than the confirmation of Gramsci’s Puritanism. Still there is more. 116 Technology, just like sexuality, is a branch of those multifaceted relations that humans develop, but neglect to universalize and thus give rise to their nonoppressive form. Their potential universalizing force is reduced to a partiality, unrecognizable from its scope and use. Failing to gain access to its universal potential, humans became estranged from their own creation and among themselves.

Whatever productive element Gramsci detects in her figura seems to be directly connected to the filmic. Borelli’s image is in fact at the same time abstract, impalpable, and sensuous. It embodies the sensible representation of an idea. Recoding the organic, lively dimension of human pulsions into the exteriority of her bodily semblance, the diva spiritualizes sexuality. In other words, what fascinates Gramsci here is how the abstract and the sensuous come together as they are mediated by a technical apparatus.

106 It is here that Gramsci makes his prediction. If with Fordism one witnesses the advent of a process of animalization-mechanization of the human, reduced to his or her pure functionality by the effectiveness of production, in the relationships between the sexes too we will see a return, although in a different form, to peasant-like unions. ”107 This easy and always available sexual intercourse is the disenchanted but solid union best suited to the form of production in force. Gramsci’s description of Fordist family looks like a bleak life between two mechanized entities, but it is rooted in the objectivity of a situation where the rationalization of society encompasses production and reproduction.

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