The present contribution interprets current digital transformations of work and related power dynamics through the lens of Alquati’s concept of hyper-industrial society. The paper starts from a re-elaboration of Alquati’s thought, mainly on the basis of the re-reading of some unpublished writings dating back to the 1990s and 2000s. In particular, it takes up the categories of (a) hyper-industrialisation, (b) enhancement versus impoverishment of human capacity, and (c) machinic subjectivity, and reconsiders them in light of current technological developments. These categories are then used as tools for analyzing three work contexts in which processes of digitization appear to be particularly intense: manufacturing, banking, and work in digital distribution platforms. This empirical exploration shows how current transformations of work can be interpreted as effects of a hyper-industrial mode, understood as an abstract organizational logic capable of dividing, standardizing and reassembling objects and knowledge.
Keywords: Digital capitalism, technological change, subjectivity, power, hyper-industrial, platform capitalism.