Posts Tagged ‘Negri


Negri’s Political Descartes

Antonio Negri
Political Descartes: Reason, Ideology, and the Bourgeois Project
Area: Rhetorical and Critical Theory

•    The notion of the bourgeois class unity that’s suspect—not capitalism itself
•    Capitalist revolution, not bourgeois one
•    Reformist metaphysics who operate within reality of separation
o    Bourgeois was never revolutionary—only by default
•    History of the bourgeois is always a history of ideology
2: “We find Negri tracing a particularly innovative and prescient ideology for the advance of bourgeois interests at the time of the retreat of its political project in the face of a rising absolutist monarchy and going into the crisis of the progressive impetus of capitalism.”
10: “Since the time of primitive accumulation, the bourgeois class was always merely the ‘result of the dialectical process of class struggle.’ Its existence was derivative from the struggle between the other great social actors.  Negri goes so far as to write that the only continuity that can be asserted of the bourgeoisie is that of money – as means of exchange, not money as capital.  In other words, the realm of the bourgeoisie is the realm of mediation par excellence.”

Here and here, too


Class notes on Virno, H&N/Hardt lecture

Class Notes on Virno/Hardt/Negri and from Hardt lecture
Class notes

•    Multitude—known specifically through Hardt and Negri
•    People: Modes
•    New lexicon needs to be created
•    Refashioning of the individual
•    Return to Spinoza
•    Philosophical recap of people in Hobbes
o    Establishment of state and people
•    Less authoritarian—relation => Rousseau’s General Will
o    Formation of nation state in Renaissance
•    State is the absolute state (whole group of people is French)
•    Notions of people associated with formation
•    Philosophy with Hobbes, Political with unifications = People
o    Idea of people
•    Continuation of power of people
•    Transmutations—certain notion of people
o    Language, class solidarity
•    Line-up with respective nationalisms
•    Multitude doesn’t have rich history as People
•    Unity is not the same as unity of people
•    Deleuze and Guttari: ATP—packs, swarms, multiplicities
•    Some type of connection—not the same when entered into
•    Satre, Fourrier: some of the only 2 to “think” of groups
o    Bigger than the individual, smaller than the society
•    D & G: Multiplicities—doesn’t become closed off
o    No absolute fusion
•    Informational capital
o    Network, informational, Post-Fordism
•    Notion of multiplicity especially apt—what’s the basis of this?
•    Industrial capitalism—shift in terminology to describe new working class
•    Movement from workshops→large factories
•    Less and less access to totality
•    Assembly line:
o    Standardization: one size fits all
o    Taylor: Motion studies, film of workers, increase productivity, simplify movement, most work for time, empirical studies, dehumanized
•    Ford paid workers more so that they could buy the cars they made
o    Develop large consumer base
•    Ford to Ruether: “Use machines instead—no coffee breaks! No strikes!”
•    Ruether to Ford: “Machines will never buy cars!”
•    Kanesianism: shift away from classical economics
•    Inflation not seeing unemployment
•    Fordism becomes abandoned
•    3rd Industrial Revolution: computing technologies
•    Scale of production—dispersion
o    H & N: against concentration
•    Industry has become more informatized
•    Just-in-time production
o    Produce faster—easier to produce only on demand
•    Less absolute specialization, now more teams doing larger tasks
•    Branding and selling the idea
•    Old: Reliability New: Affective relation
•    Toyota-ism/Walmart-ism
o    Poverty would be worse
•    Control, surveillance management
o    Hyperstandardization
o    David Harvey, Condition of Postmodernity
o    Fordist→Post-Fordist
•    Flexible accumulation
o    Closet to real time
o    Employees be more flexible
•    Lifetime employment—never guaranteed again
o    Greater precariousness
o    Paid less, fired more easily
o    Precarity is general situation
•    University hiring: flexible accumulation
•    Virno: cynicism
•    Changes of labor world wide—proletariat replaced with notion of multitude
•    New international economy
•    Shumpeter—Austrian, early 20th century, glorification of the entrepreneur, creative destruction, building, everything to ground—start again more lateral, non hierarchical, get rid of middle management, individual responsibility
•    How this relates to the multitude
o    General intellect—how does this institute change?
•    Cosmopolitanism
•    Responding to dispersal
•    Realist or nationalist
•    What’s the notion of general intellect
o    Generally knowable
•    Idle talk
•    Form rather than fact
•    New political worker arrangement—language
•    Post-Fordist production—ability to network
•    Social capital
•    Intellectual v. manual labor
•    Thinkers v. strangers
•    Exile is everyone’s situation: a common experience, connected through seclusion
•    Responsibility—personal invite
o    New sense of what is common
•    Virtuoso: Performance v. product—labor not separate
•    The whole process is sold
•    82: Virtuoso, language, “humanness,” bio-politics has been translated to capitalistic gain
•    Foucault argues against systems of power
o    Subordinated to systems of power
•    Logic of capital—management of labor power
•    81: Understanding bio-politics
•    Constant variable capital
•    Potentiality rather than fixed quantity
o    Pays in terms of actuality
•    Nor just buying force, but instead personalities
•    Experiencing persona ‘good’
•    Less and less possible to talk about quantity as Marx suggested
•    Grundrisse: “Fragment on Machines”
o    Once mechanization reaches certain place, worker will be adjunct of machine—transition to communism can become easier
•    Capitalists own wealth of all society
o    I.e. science/technology become owned
•    General intellect has some relation to ‘intellectual property’
•    Primitive accumulation—can’t have capital unless great accumulation→into capital
•    Peasants→free, no longer live of soil
•    Accumulation of capital before capitalism based on other forms of accumulation
o    Pre-industrial
o    Marx hints
o    Structural process
•    Primitive: genome, medicine (primitive, herbal)
•    Increasing privitization of what used to be public
•    H & N: central to production process
o    More and more common
•    What potentially common becomes greater
o    Increases possibility of labor
o    Limits of time
•    Capital reaches limits but that limit becomes internalized and expands more aspects of human life to become commodified
•    Regan, Thatcher: Everything privatized, not individuality
•    Pollution credits
•    How have things that are common becoming privatized?
•    Debord and Adorno:
o    All forms of discourse and communication becoming spectacle—separated from the spectator
•    Leisure time and work time all subjected to commodification
o    Music, for Adorno, is all commodified
•    Spread of general intellect becoming important
•    Absolute capital domination (leisure time)
•    Labor as to be more in common
o    Live in a more common world
•    Performance: poesis and intellect
o    Increased exploitation, but commonness
•    Possibility of having same things in common
•    Forces of production
•    Civil disobedience
•    Autonomous in 70s: at least in Italy
o    Worker heroes?
o    Drop out of factories
o    Became zero worker
o    Against deadening effect of Fordism
•    New forms of protest movements
o    Genoa, 9-11, trade union strikes
•    Coalitions from different arenas
•    Immigrant rights
•    Aggregation of different groups and points of view
•    Decentered
•    Pragmatic correlative of multitude
•    Reactive—what’s the effectivity
•    Operating with different language
Hardt Lecture (on reading from Multitude)
•    Transformation of labor
•    One has to verify that people are capable of democracy
o    Cooperative self-rule
•    Habits of training
•    DuBois: black reconstruction
o    Think about population
o    Ignorance and poverty
•    Spinoza: superstition and ignorance
o    “Spontaneously” create democracy
•    How can we verify that people are capable of democracy?
•    Labor
•    Work is one place where people learn collective self-rule
o    Place of greatest un-freedom
•    Changing nature of work—shift in paradigm
•    Immaterial production
•    One shift exerts qualities over the others
•    Qualities enforced over others
o    Temporalities
o    Regimentation has influenced social life as a whole
•    Factories have influenced social lives
•    Ambitious/prudent
•    No longer progressively industrialized
o    E.P. Thompson
•    Work time/non-work time
•    Division of day into three parts
o    Fordist temporality
•    What succeeds the dominance
•    Qualities of factories no longer being imposed in social life
•    “Immaterial” production
o    Images, affects, ideas, code
•    Immaterial component is increasingly important
•    “Affective” labor
o    Healthcare, flight attendants
•    Create a sense of well-being
•    Feminization of labor
o    More women entering wage labor force
o    “Women’s work” becoming more prominent in economy as a whole
•    Non-contract work, no distinction between work time/non-work time
•    Re-gendered re-inscription of gendered roles
•    **Central to production of capital
•    Destruction of workday
o    Always potentially at work
•    Biopolitical production
o    New exploitations
•    Alienation—more sense in affective labor
•    New capacities for self-organization, ability to produce social relations
•    The democratic capacities
o    Realizing possibilities
•    Create society and social relation
•    Where does imposition come from?
o    Multiple rather than dualistic
•    Duratoin
•    Synchronization—not only in factory but at the home
•    Foucault and Deleuze
o    Shift from disciplinary society to control society
•    Foucault: disciplinary society as archipelago
o    Jumping from one to another
o    When outside one, then outside discipline of it
•    But…never really outside discipline
•    Repetition: Adorno and culture industry
o    Entertainment is regimented, too
•    Hegelian alienation bleeding of lived experience (?)
•    Foucault: power is only exercised over willing subjects
•    Resistance is prior to power
o    It’s ontological: Deleuze
o    Struggle for pre-existing power
•    Marx: capitalist brings cooperation
o    Brings and forces cooperation
o    Increases productivity => essential
•    Capital is no longer furnisher of relations
o    Cooperation is established in these relations themselves
•    Creativity on the clock?
o    Polychronism
•    High-context/low-context
o    Not time, but speed now
•    Migrant and survival techniques
•    Potential to be realized
•    Pride: predominant product is changing
•    Production of capital is a production of social relation
•    Production of automobile is the midpoint
•    What’s ultimately produced is relations
o    Only a means towards capital
•    Zizek: Hardt and Negri reproduce Marx’s error
•    Capital: for difference; Now: against difference
•    Has to constantly engage and decrease it
•    Nancy: being with
•    Return to Deleuze and ontological/resistance (sovereignty)
•    Ontological priority over power
o    Creativity happens in moments of resistance
•    Co-optation
o     Materialist teleology => dialectical
•    Determined by struggles
•    No end, no telos
•    Third form? Power → resistance
•    Anti-Oedipus: All reality is productive
o    Power is falling back on production
•    3rd Term: becoming
•    No center to power: Foucault
•    Possibility of social becoming
•    Kim Crenshaw—intersectionality
•    Political organization is required
o    Hegemonic instance must be imposed for that articulation
•    Role of the intellectual: what are people doing and go from there

June 2018
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