Archive for the ‘Negri’ Category
Some years ago, I published an essay in the journal Radical Philosophy. It was called, ‘Refiguring the multitude: from exodus to the production of norms’. It was about swarms, though I didn’t know it at the time. Crucially, it was one of the first published responses to Multitude, Michael Hardt and Toni Negri’s sequel to their best-selling, Empire. If you are into Deleuze and social movements, this one is for you.
Multitude certainly resonates with the high-tech world of 2013. Empire and Multitude are books you should have on your shelf, whatever part of the political spectrum you inhabit. They are books about globalization. Hardt and Negri are essentially right. Of course, they are wrong in important respects too. It was a response to the failure of the anti-globalization movement that got started in the 1990s. I was looking for a theoretical trajectory that would enable me to continue on the line of flight that I’d experienced at the height of this movement, this time reflecting on how swarms and social movements could contribute to creating something, in the first case, a new set of norms.
Negri: The problem of politics seems to have always been present in your intellectual life. Your involvement in various movements (prisoners, homosexuals, Italian autonomists, Palestinians), on the one hand, and the constant problematizing of institutions, on the other, follow on from one another and interact with one another in your work, from the book on Hume through to the one on Foucault. What are the roots of this sustained concern with the question of politics, and how has it remained so persistent within your developing work? Why is the relation between movement and institution always problematic?
Deleuze: What I’ve been interested in are collective creations rather than representations. There’s a whole order of movement in “institutions” that’s independent of both laws and contracts. What I found in Hume was a very creative conception of institutions and law. I was initially more interested in law than politics. Even with Masoch and Sade what I liked was the thoroughly twisted conception of contracts in Masoch, and of institutions in Sade, as these come out in relation to sexuality. And in the present day, I see Francois Ewald’s work to reestablish a philosophy of law as quite fundamental. What interests me isn’t the law or laws1 (the former being an empty notion, the latter uncritical notions), nor even law or rights, but jurisprudence. It’s jurisprudence, ultimately, that creates law, and we mustn’t go on leaving this to judges. I, for my own part, made a sort of move into politics around May 68, as I came into contact with specific problems, through Guattari, through Foucault, through Elie Sambar. Anti-Oedipus was from beginning to end a book of political philosophy.
The article enters a heated debate about the ideals and organization of the postmodern left. Hardt and Negri, two key figures in this debate, claim that their concept of the multitude – a revolutionary, proletarian body that organizes singularities – integrates the insights of Deleuze and Lenin. I argue, however, that Deleuze anticipated and resisted a Leninist appropriation of his political theory. This essay challenges the widely accepted assumption that Hardt and Negri carry forth Deleuze’s legacy. At the same time, the essay advocates Deleuze’s concept of left assemblages – protean political bodies working for freedom and equality – as a valuable but under-appreciated contribution to the liberal-democratic tradition.
How can activists combat the political paralysis that characterises the anti-dialectical Marxism of Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze, without reverting to a dogmatic orthodoxy? This book explores solutions in the ‘negative dialectics‘ of Theodor Adorno.The poststructuralist shift from dialectics to ‘difference‘ has been so popular that it becomes difficult to create meaningful revolutionary responses to neoliberalism. The contributors to this volume come from within the anti-capitalist movement, and close to the concerns expressed in Negri and Hardt‘s Empire and Multitude. However, they argue forcefully and persuasively for a return to dialectics so a real-world, radical challenge to the current order can be constructed.This is a passionate call to arms for the anti-capitalist movement. It should be read by all engaged activists and students of political and critical theory.
This book is a selection of key political and theoretical articles by Toni Negri, spanning the period of his involvement in the Italian revolutionary left since the 1960s. These writings are essential for an understanding of the political outlook of the Italian autonomist movement; a movement which developed one of the most massive and coherent challenges in Europe to the system of austerity politics and the role of the established Left within it in the 1970s. These Negri essays provided a theoretical and critical reference point for ongoing debates in the development of this new class politics of communism, based on the liberation of needs and refusal of the capitalist system of work, from its origins in the “workerism” of the 1960s to the movement of “autonomy” in the 1970s. As such they are still more than relevant to an understanding of today’s problems in a revolutionary class perspective.
Conversación del intelectual y militante italiano Toni Negri con los estudiantes chilenos movilizados en la toma de la Casa Central de la Universidad de Chile, el Viernes 28 de Octubre del 2011.
Como Revista Multitud nos alegra mucho poder estar presentando Toni Negri acá y le agradecemos la gentileza con la que aceptó a venir a este espacio ocupado, lugar donde las cosas suceden. Revista Multitud, al igual que Toni Negri, plantea la necesidad de renovar el análisis de cómo funciona el capitalismo hoy en día, así como cuales son las nuevas alternativas de resistencia a este.
Ver también: Video Mensaje
En una nueva visita a la Argentina, el filósofo italiano relata su fascinación por los nuevos movimientos estudiantiles en Chile y de los indignados en Europa. Acaba de hacer una visita para dar charlas a los estudiantes chilenos.
–Me ha fascinado el discurso de los indignados sobre el miedo. Ellos dicen No tenemos miedo. Es una cosa formidable si pensamos que toda la filosofía política occidental está fundada sobre el concepto de miedo, lo cual organiza el ejercicio de la violencia del ejército y la policía como efecto de nuestro miedo, por el cual les cedemos el poder.
–Es realmente grotesca la situación en la cual nos encontramos nosotros: estamos bajo el ataque de los “mercados” y nadie intenta entender qué cosa son estos mercados y en nombre de qué cosa se están moviendo; quiero decir: la defensa del dólar y, en consecuencia, el ataque a la Europa política. Al mismo tiempo, se hace todo aquello que es necesario hacer para obedecer a los diktat de los mismos mercados. Nadie osa decir que los mercados son internos a la lógica del poder político actual, sea Berlusconi o sea Monti y del cual la izquierda forma parte.
The encounter of Félix Guattari and Antonio Negri took place in 1977. So this approchement serves merely to mark, with perhaps too far-fetched an image, the way that this book could be read today: as a call to respond to defeat by reaffirming faith in collective revolutionary action; with new forms of organising, new ways of association, and new singularisations of collective subjectivity combining militancy with creativity.
This response to a defeat of a collective movement asks us to recommence thinking a way out from the defeat; recognising the depth of the defeat while at the same time declaring faith in the ideas and practices that characterised the movement. This book can, in many ways, be said to sum up a whole period of theoretical reflection of both theorists. To that extent, there are perhaps no theoretical advances in this book – although what an extraordinary confluence of ideas and common interests and desires are to be found here, in this book that emerges, as Negri tells us in his 1990 Postscript, from correspondence between the two authors while the one was in prison.
It did not take much imagination, once the analysis of the current economic crisis had been brought back to its causes and social effects, to foretell urban revolts akin to jacqueries. Commonwealth had predicted that already in 2009. Now is the time to rebuild broad fronts against the crisis and establish within the movements forms of organization-communication-recognition to address political representation.
Well, now we are nonetheless facing movements that express themselves in more or less classic insurrectionary forms and yet are everywhere, thus uprooting the old geopolitical grammar within which someone stubbornly kept thinking.
How can we open a discussion on these complex phenomena from the standpoint of thinking the common? What we argue below has the mere intention to open a space for debate. First and foremost, it eems to us that we need to debunk some interpretations voiced by the mass media of the ruling classes.