Constituent power : the concept of a crisis -- Virtue and fortune : the machiavellian paradigm -- The Atlantic model and the theory of counterpower -- Political emancipation in the American constitution -- The revolution and the constitution of labor -- Communist desire and the dialectic restored -- The constitution of strength.
Negri, a leading Marxist philosopher, has inspired anti-empire movements around the world through his writings and personal example. This work, which began as a conversation between Negri and literary critic Casarino, is the most complete review of the philosopher's work.
A philosopher and political thinker describes a new political grammar free of modernist assumptions. In 2004 and 2005, Antonio Negri held ten workshops at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris to formulate a new political grammar of the postmodern. Biopolitics, biopowers, control, the multitude, people, war, borders, dependency and interdependency, state, nation, the common, difference, resistance, subjective rights, revolution, freedom, democracy: these are just a few of the themes Negri addressed in these experimental laboratories. Postmodernity, Negri suggests, can be (...) described as a “porcelain factory”: a delicate and fragile construction that could be destroyed through one clumsy act. Looking across twentieth century history, Negri warns that our inability to anticipate future developments has already placed coming generations in serious jeopardy. Describing the years 1917-1968 as the “short century,” Negri suggests that by the end of it, all of the familiar markers of modernity had lost their relevance. Confronted with an intolerable reality, indignation and the revolutionary will to transform the world have both taken new forms and must be understood anew, free of modernist assumptions. In the impassioned debates recounted in this book, Antonio Negri attempts to describe the formation of an alternative political horizon and looks for a way to define the practices and modes of expression that democracy could take.Antonio Negri is a philosopher and essay writer. A political and social activist in the 1960s and 1970s in Italy, he taught political sciences for many years and has written numerous books on political philosophy including Marx beyond Marx, The Savage Anomaly, Insurgencies ; and in collaboration with Michael Hardt, Empire and Multitude. (shrink)
Antonio Negri, a leading scholar on Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) and his contemporary legacy, offers a straightforward explanation of the philosopher’s elaborate arguments and a persuasive case for his ongoing utility.
In this essential rereading of Spinoza's (1632-1677) philosophical and political writings, Negri positions this thinker within the historical context of the development of the modern state and its attendant political economy.
In Subversive Spinoza , Antonio Negri spells out the philosophical credo that inspired his radical renewal of Marxism and his compelling analysis of the modern state and the global economy by means of an inspiring reading of the challenging metaphysics of the seventeenth-century Dutch-Jewish philosopher Spinoza. For Negri, Spinoza's philosophy has never been more relevant than it is today to debates over individuality and community, democracy and resistance, modernity and postmodernity.
It is in Sein und Zeit that Heidegger decrees the end of the Geisteswissenschaften and their tradition, when, as he is commenting on the Briefwechsel [exchange of letters] between Dilthey and Yorck von Wartenburg, he pays homage to the latter for “his full understanding of the fundamental character of history as virtuality [...] [which he] owes to his knowledge of the character of being of human Dasein itself.” Consequently, Heidegger continues, “the interest of understanding historicality” is confronted with the task (...) of an elaboration of the “generic difference between the ontic and the historical.” But he must part ways with Yorck when the latter, after having clearly established that difference, moves from virtuality to mysticism. If, on the other hand, once separated from the ontic, “the question of historicality shows itself to be an ontological question which inquires into the constitution of being of historical being”, it is once again towards Dilthey that one must turn, in spite of his confused vitalism. Heidegger effects two operations at once. On the one hand, he expels the Geisteswissenschaften from the position they occupied at the heart of metaphysics, as the inheritors of the Enlightenment and the outcome of Hegelianism. On the other hand, he brings to fulfillment the critical labor which had precisely shown its value in Dilthey’s historicism —acritical labor which develops the search for the meaning of historicity and allows one to move from the theory of objectivity to that of expression, from the acknowledgment of historiography in the context of the critique of cognition to its definition at the heart of the transcendental schematism. Historicity is then posited as an ontological dimension and leaves only its ontic residue for historiography. (shrink)
With the economy deindustrialized and the working class decentralized, a call for alternative horizons for resistance: the university and the art world. What was once the factory is now the university. As deindustrialization spreads and the working class is decentralized, new means of social resistance and political activism need to be sought in what may be the last places where they are possible: the university and the art world. Gerald Raunig's new book analyzes the potential that cognitive and creative labor (...) has in these two arenas to resist the new regimes of domination imposed by cognitive capitalism. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze's concept of “modulation” as the market-driven imperative for the constant transformation and reinvention of subjectivity, in Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity, Raunig charts alternative horizons for resistance. Looking at recent social struggles including the university strikes in Europe, the Spanish ¡Democracia real YA! organization, the Arab revolts, and the Occupy movement, Raunig argues for a reassessment of the importance of cultural and knowledge production. The central role of the university, he asserts, is not as a factory of knowledge but as a place of creative disobedience. (shrink)
Nine letters on art, written to friends from exile in France in the 1980s. Starting from earlier materialist approaches to art, Negri relates artistic production to the structures of social production characteristic of each historical era. This enables him to define the nature of both material and artistic production in the era of post-modernity and post-Fordism - the era Negri characterizes as that of immaterial labour. Negri then seeks to define artistic beauty in this new era, and this he does (...) in terms of concepts that have become fundamental to his thinking - singularity, multitude, abstraction, collective work, event, the biopolitical, the common. Art is living labour, and therefore invention of singularity, of singular figures and objects. But this expressive act only achieves beauty when the signs and language through which it expresses itself turn themselves into community, when they are contained within a common project. The beautiful is not the act of imagining, but an imagination that has become action. Art, in this sense, is multitude. (shrink)
The paradox marking Spinoza’s reappearance in modernity is well known. If Mendelssohn wished to “give him new credence by bringing him closer to the philosophical orthodoxy of Leibniz and Wolff,” and Jacobi, “by presenting him as a heterodox figure in the literal sense of the term, wanted to do away with him definitively for modern Christianity”—well, “both failed in their goal, and it was the heterodox Spinoza who was rehabilitated.” The Mendelssohn-Jacobi debate can be grafted onto the crisis of a (...) specific philosophical model. It generates a figure of Spinoza capable of assuaging the exacerbated spiritual tension of that epoch, and of constituting the systematic preamble of the relation between power and substance—between subject and nature. Spinoza, the damned Spinoza, had a resurgence in modernity as a Romantic philosopher. Lessing won out by recognizing in Spinoza an idea of nature which was capable of balancing the relation between feeling and intellect, freedom and necessity, and history and reason. Herder and Goethe, against the subjective and revolutionary impatience of the Sturm und Drang, based themselves on this powerful image of synthesis and recomposed objectivity: Spinoza is not only the figure of Romanticism; he constitutes its grounding and its fulfillment. The omnipotence of nature was no longer to break off into the tragedy of feeling, but it was to triumph over it, by opposing it to a kingdom of completed forms. Spinoza’s first reception within Romanticism was thus an aesthetic reception, a perception of motion and perfection, of dynamism and forms. And it remained such, even when the general frame and the particular components of Romanticism were subjected to the labor of philosophical critique. Fichte, the real philosophical hero of Romanticism, considered both Spinoza’s and Kant’s systems to be “perfectly coherent,” in the incessant ontological movement of the I. For the Schelling of the 1790s, the assertion of a radical opposition between 1 critical philosophy and dogmatic philosophy—that is, between a philosophy of the absolute I founding itself on the critical philosophy and a dogmatic philosophy of the absolute object and Spinozism—was quickly resolved into an analysis of action which dialectically took on the weight of the objective. Far from becoming antinomial, the absolute position of the I composes itself into a necessary process which, above tragedy, exalts the “spiritual automatism” of the relation between subject and substance. The aesthetic dimension of this synthesis consists in ceaselessly and tirelessly bringing back power and substance, the productive element and the form of production, to perfection. Romanticism, according to Hegel, is characterized by a capacity to overcome the pure objectivity of the ideal and the natural as a true idea of beauty and truth, initially to destroy the union of the idea and its reality, and to locate the latter in the difference, so as then to bring to manifestation the inner world of absolute subjectivity and reconstruct its objectivity where the overcoming of sensibility is appeased in the absolute character of the result. The filiation of this process is still Lessingian, but the new dialectic expresses and articulates its motivations, while insisting on the propaedeutic of the beautiful along the path leading to the absolute. Spinoza, a certain Spinoza, becomes the central figure in this process. (shrink)
Antonio Negri wrote the two essays that comprise Time for Revolution while serving a prison sentence for alleged involvement with radical left-wing groups. Although the essays were written two decades apart, their concerns are the same: is there a place for resistance in a society utterly subsumed by capitalism? In the wake of the global crisis of capitalism heralded by the 2008 crash, the question has never been more relevant and Negri remains an insightful and passionate guide to any attempt (...) to answer it. (shrink)
This paper explores the question of whether it is possible to be communist without Marx. This entails encountering the ontological dimension of communism, that is, the material tenor of this ontology, its residual effectiveness, the desire of human beings to go beyond capital, and the reality of the episode of statism.
_Factory of Strategy_ is the last of Antonio Negri's major political works to be translated into English. Rigorous and accessible, it is both a systematic inquiry into the development of Lenin's thought and an encapsulation of a critical shift in Negri's theoretical trajectory. Lenin is the only prominent politician of the modern era to seriously question the "withering away" and "extinction" of the state, and like Marx, he recognized the link between capitalism and modern sovereignty and the need to destroy (...) capitalism and reconfigure the state. Negri refrains from portraying Lenin as a ferocious dictator enforcing the proletariat's reappropriation of wealth, nor does he depict him as a mere military tool of a vanguard opposed to the Ancien Régime. Negri instead champions Leninism's ability to adapt to different working-class configurations in Russia, China, Latin America, and elsewhere. He argues that Lenin developed a new political figuration in and beyond modernity and an effective organization capable of absorbing different historical conditions. He ultimately urges readers to recognize the universal application of Leninism today and its potential to institutionally -- not anarchically -- dismantle centralized power. (shrink)
This second volume of a new three-part series of Antonio Negri's work is focussed on the consequences of the rapid process of deindustrialisation that has occurred across the West in recent years. In this volume Negri investigates exactly what happens when the class subjects of industrial capitalism are demobilised and the factories close. Evidently capital continues to make profit, but how and where? According to Negri, the creation of value extends beyond the factory walls to embrace the whole of society; (...) the 'mass worker' of industrialism gives way to the 'socialised worker' (operaio sociale) and the terrain of exploitation now becomes the whole of human life. In postmodernity, the metropolis becomes the privileged arena of value extraction. We must therefore understand the global city, with its stratifications, its enclosures and its resistances. Old categories of the private and the public are inadequate to describe the new matrix of production, which is characterised rather by the 'common', the productive space of cognitive and immaterial labour. Today's metropolis can be defined as a space of antagonisms between forms of life produced, on the one hand, by finance capital (the capital that operates around rents), and on the other by the 'cognitive proletariat'. The central question is then how 'the common' of the latter can be mobilised for the destruction of capitalism. In an analysis that runs from the Italian workerism (operaismo) of the 1970s to the present day, From the Factory to the Metropolis offers readers valuable insight into the far-reaching impact of deindustrialisation, presenting both the challenges and opportunities. It will appeal to the many interested in the continuing development of Negri's project and to anyone interested in radical politics today. (shrink)
This the first of a new three-part series in which Antonio Negri, a leading political thinker of our time, explores key ideas that have animated radical thought and examines some of the social and economic forces that are shaping our world today. In this first volume Negri shows how the thinking of Marx and Foucault were brought together to create an original theoretical synthesis - particularly in the context of Italy from May ’68 onwards. At around that time, the structures (...) of industry and production began to change radically, with the emergence of new producer-subjects and new fields of capitalist value creation. New concepts and theories were developed by Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari and others to help make sense of these and related developments - concepts such as biopower and biopolitics, subjectivation and subsumption, public and common, power and potentiality. These concepts and theories are examined by Negri within the broader context of the development of European philosophical discourse in the twentieth century. Marx and Foucault provides a unique account of the development of radical thought in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and will be a key text for anyone interested in radical politics today. (shrink)
Four men in a cell in Rebibbia prison, Rome, awaiting trial on serious charges of subversion. One of them, the political thinker Antonio Negri, spends his days writing. Among his writings are twenty letters addressed to a young friend in France Ð letters in which Negri reflects on his own personal development as a philosopher, theorist and political activist and analyses the events, activities and movements in which he has been involved. The letters recount an existential journey that links a (...) rigorous philosophical education with a powerful political passion, set against the historical backdrop of postwar Italy. Crucially, Negri recalls the pivotal moment in 1978 when the former prime minister of Italy, Aldo Moro, was kidnapped and killed by the Red Brigades, and how the institutions then pinned that killing onto him and his associates. Published here for the first time, these letters offer a unique and invaluable insight into the factors that shaped the thinking of one of the most influential political theorists of our time and they document Negri’s role in the development of political movements like Autonomia. They are a vivid testimony to one man’s journey through the political upheavals and intellectual traditions of the late 20th century, in the course of which he produced a body of work that has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on radical thought and politics around the world. (shrink)
Superati gli ottant'anni, per la prima volta Toni Negri racconta la sua infanzia, la sua formazione politica e intellettuale, gli anni da militante e teorico della sinistra, in cui fu tra i fondatori di Potere Operaio e tra i leader di Autonomia Operaia.
In this book, renowned theorist Antonio Negri examines how Spinoza's thought constitutes a radical break with past ideas and a key tool for envisaging a form of politics beyond capitalism. His philosophy gives us new ways of looking critically at our present, revealing that power must always be seen as a question of antagonism and class struggle.
Writings by Negri on the brief thaw in the cold winter of neoliberalism, Thatcherism, Reaganomics, and counterrevolution. Automation and information technology have transformed the organization of labor to such an extent that the processes of exploitation have moved beyond the labor class and now work upon society as a whole. If this displacement has destroyed the political primacy of the labor class, it has not, however, eliminated exploitation; rather, it has broadened it, implanting it within the given conditions of the (...) most diverse spheres of society. —from The Winter Is Over In late 1995, in opposition to the conservative agenda of Jacques Chirac and his prime minister Alain Juppé and their proposed widespread welfare cuts, French students rose up against their government; public sector workers, together with all the major trade unions, went on strike. When railway workers and Paris Metro personnel joined in the protests, France's public transportation system came to a halt. These extensive social upheavals, the likes of which had not been seen in France since 1968, found widespread public support and fuelled the creation of many political organizations. Chirac backed down from restructuring the public retirement system. Antonio Negri's The Winter is Over comes out of the glimmer of optimism created by the events of 1995, when the long, cold season of neoliberalism, Thatcherism, Reaganomics, reaction, and counterrevolution appeared to have run its course. Published in Italian in 1996, The Winter is Over brings together a series of articles, speeches, and other documents written by Negri between 1989 and 1995 at the threshold of this thaw. It offers a revealing and wide-reaching account of those years of change and brink-of-change, focusing on such topics as the networks of social production, the decline of “limp thought,” the end of applied socialism, the Gulf War, and, finally, Italy's transition to its so-called “Second Republic,” as seen by an exile. (shrink)