Swarms and norms: refiguring the multitude

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.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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