In a remarkable gesture Berardi sets-up a schematic opposition between the 'net-economy', valorised as the site of the general intellect that 'is challenging the proprietary principle that has ruled Modern capitalist society', and 'criminal capitalism', associated with militarism and the abandonment of legal rule. In light of the fact that this 'split' exactly replicates the relative funding sources of the US Republicans and Democrats (cf. Davis 2009) it's unsurprising that Berardi embraces Obama as prophet of the general intellect:
Obama's victory in the US may be the opening of a new period in the evolution of mankind. This event has injected new hope in the peaceful army of the general intellect all over the world. The new President was voted in by cognitive labor, and his victory is the defeat of the criminal class represented by Cheney-Bush. But this victory marks only the beginning of the fight, that will be the fight of intellectual force against the brutal force of ignorance, violence and profit.
While I can certainly agree with Berardi's comments on the privatisation of experience, the shattering of social solidarity, and the pernicious effects of privatised car culture, the fact that computers has a great deal to do with these dynamics (and permitted the possibility of the complex financial products which helped produce the current crisis) is bypassed for a political fable of libertarian cyerculture tamed by 'the man' (it's as if The Baffler never happened...).
Berardi's solution is to conduct a kind of therapy on the desire for private property. His argument is that 'semiotic goods' are not annihilated through use (just like tables?) and so permit common use and collectivisation. Now we no longer have to look forward to a wave of suicides, but communism is back, surfing on the wave of commanlity of knowledge, the ideological crisis of private ownership, and the mandatory communilisation of need.
Of course this can't be the old communism of 'Will and voluntarism' (the entirely predictable targets), but 'A totally new brand of communism'.
___, 'Alterity and Desire', in Simon O’ Sullivan and Stephen Zepke (eds.), Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New (London: Continuum, 2008b), pp. 22-32.
Davis, Mike, 'Obama at Manassas', New Left Review 56 (March - April 2009): 5-40.