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Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire

by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri

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602531,627 (3.89)1
In their international bestseller Empire, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri presented a grand unified vision of a world in which the old forms of imperialism are no longer effective. But what of Empire in an age of "American empire"? Has fear become our permanent condition and democracy an impossible dream? Such pessimism is profoundly mistaken, the authors argue. Empire, by interconnecting more areas of life, is actually creating the possibility for a new kind of democracy, allowing different groups to form a multitude, with the power to forge a democratic alternative to the present world order.Exhilarating in its optimism and depth of insight, Multitude consolidates Hardt and Negri's stature as two of the most important political philosophers at work in the world today.… (more)
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On Hardt and Negri

EMPIRE and MULTITUDE, by Hardt and Negri, are frustrating and irritating books. But most critics miss their one great innovation. They have replaced capital and commodity as the key concepts of Marxism and postmarxism. Instead, what is most important for studying social change is the production and reproduction of society itself. The technical term they have invented to try to explain this is bioproduction.

But they do not know what to do with this one great innovation. Class analysis may be less useful now than it was for classical Marxism, but we could start by imitating Marx. How would we define classes by their relation to the means of production of society? An elementary beginning would be: the state; non-state persons who control the big institutions; workers who have enough resources so that they can start their own businesses, or join worker coops, if they do not like their bosses; lesser workers; and everyone else.

Something missing? Yes. Women as a class, mothers and other child rearers, but also women as the primary transmitters of the local system of morality. More than all the others, they create society. They are the least appreciated source of future social change.

(I have also posted this at my Academia.edu website. See my LT profile.) ( )
  johnclaydon | Jun 17, 2020 |
A lot more readable than Empire but lacks the almost poetic beauty in philosophical composition that brought Empire together. Largely seems to want to explain, sometimes almost apologize for the first work. ( )
  uptownbookwormnyc | Apr 6, 2013 |
A sequel and defence of the authors' 'Empire'. ( )
  Fledgist | Jan 21, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Hardtprimary authorall editionscalculated
Negri, Antoniomain authorall editionsconfirmed
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In their international bestseller Empire, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri presented a grand unified vision of a world in which the old forms of imperialism are no longer effective. But what of Empire in an age of "American empire"? Has fear become our permanent condition and democracy an impossible dream? Such pessimism is profoundly mistaken, the authors argue. Empire, by interconnecting more areas of life, is actually creating the possibility for a new kind of democracy, allowing different groups to form a multitude, with the power to forge a democratic alternative to the present world order.Exhilarating in its optimism and depth of insight, Multitude consolidates Hardt and Negri's stature as two of the most important political philosophers at work in the world today.

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