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Assignment for next class with key ideas outlined a. Read Marx, “On the Jewish Question,” pp. 46-69 b. Focus primarily on Marx’s critique of the egoistic theory of human nature and how “political emancipation” (Bauer) differs from genuine “human emancipation” (Marx’s goal) c. The issue of Marx’s purported anti-Semitism (see the second half of the essay) is one that we will touch on only briefly; but we’ll return to it in reading Empire; it’s best to address the issue once we have more understanding of Marx’s project d. The essay has some strange sections in it and some stilted writing; but don’t let it bog you down! Keep reading and you’ll see some remarkable moves on Marx’s part Syllabus a. Books: b. First half of the course: i. McLellan’s version of Marx is the best version available ii. The complete texts of everything we’re reading are available online at Marxists.org; note that some of the translations there are not great iii. You can also find dozens and dozens of additional resources there iv. If you need help with reading Marx, there are several good online resources available v. For a quick overview, go with Wolff’s article on SEP http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/marx/ vi. Callincos’s RIKM offers a nice overview http://www.istendency.net/pdf/revideas.pdf vii. Balibar’s TPM is excellent—look around online and you’ll find it in pdf form viii. Those are just a few of the better intro books; there are literally hundreds of other books you can use c. Second half of the course: i. The main text is Hardt and Negri’s Empire ii. This is available all over the place for free in pdf form iii. The recommended texts are all linked in the syllabus iv. Be prepared to read more material in the second half of the course—the reading is generally easier, though, so you’ll be fine
3. 4. 5.
Two exams for the course (equally weighted; final not comprehensive) a. The first exam will focus on key concepts from Marx—we will get 1 or 2 of them per day and I’ll explain what to focus on for the exam Brief paper—I’ll give you a handout on that later I’ll put the notes online before the midterm and final a. I recommend taking thorough notes every day; files can get lost and there will be things I emphasize in class that you will definitely want to focus on
6. I take no attendance and you can have all of my notes; that means if you don’t want to come to class, or you’d rather do something besides class stuff while here (text, chatting, surfing online, etc.), you need not and should not come to class 7. General approach to reading Marx a. We are reading Marx in the context of a philosophy department course on his work, but we will not read him as a philosopher (or economist, etc.) b. We will do Marx the honor of reading him how he wanted to be read: as someone who was trying to arm the working class with weapons to revolt against capitalism Harry Cleaver offers a nice statement of this kind of approach in Reading Capital Politically
“I intend to return to what I believe was Marx’s original purpose: he wrote Capital to put a weapon in the hands of workers. In it he presented a detailed analysis of the fundamental dynamics of the struggles between the capitalist and the working classes. By reading Capital as a political document, workers could study in depth the various ways in which the capitalist class sought to dominate them as well as the methods they themselves used to struggle against that domination. . . . When Capital has been read, more often than not, it has been treated by Marxists of various persuasions as a work of political economy, of economic history, of sociology, or even of philosophy. Thus it has been an object of academic study rather than a political tool. The legacy of this Marxist tradition has served to all but remove the book from the battlefields of the class struggle. 9. We’ll read Marx in a manner similar to how Cleaver reads him—as offering his readers tools and weapons to understand and contest class struggle a. We will ask of Marx: b. Does his work help us understand the way capitalism functions, then and now? c. And does his work help us contest capitalism and transform the way we live? d. “On the Jewish Question” is an ideal starting point e. It will introduce us to Marx’s ideas about what would constitute genuine human emancipation
As you’ll see, it won’t be gained through liberalism and gaining equality security, property and so on through the State
Assignment for next class a. Read Marx, “Towards a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: Introduction” (KMSW, 71-80) i. We’ll be focusing on: 1. Marx’s critique of religion and . . . 2. His “discovery” of the proletariat as a universal, revolutionary class “On the Jewish Question” a. Background i. Marx studied law first and then philosophy, and eventually did a dissertation on post-Aristotelian Greek philosophy ii. He was unable to find a teaching post due to his academic associations, political views, and anti-religious views iii. The lack of a university position led him toward journalism (his unstable economic situation and lack of a secure income was an issue throughout his life; Engels will be instrumental here) iv. The pieces you are reading for today and next class were both published in the German-French Yearbooks, a periodical that was the joint product of several of Marx’s friends and associates (Arnold Ruge being the chief financial force) v. In searching around for a more amenable place to live and produce the journal (the group’s atheist and radical views were not welcome in Germany), they settled on Paris vi. At the time, there were many radical underground groups writing and organizing in Paris—they found the environment more hospitable for their work vii. The group was also experimenting with some communal living models at the time viii. Marx is 25-26 years old when he is working on these texts and looking for a place to live and establish himself b. The historical situation for Jews i. The situation for Jews in Germany and Prussia at the time is horrific; there is everyday bigotry coupled with structural discrimination (outright denial of opportunity to work in certain industries; restrictions on commercial activities) ii. Bauer’s essay is trying to address this situation and offer a solution iii. Marx’s own father suffers from this kind of discrimination (he had to convert to Protestantism to gain access to the bar and practice law) iv. This should make it clear that Marx’s purported anti-Semitism in the second half of the essay is not a straightforward matter —Marx is no fan of this kind of discrimination v. The real question for Marx is: How to solve discrimination and have a truly just society? And is such discrimination the byproduct of a more fundamental cause? Bauer’s solution to the Jewish issue i. Don’t get bogged down here—make it clean and simple ii. Like Marx, Bauer is emphatically against discrimination against Jews—he is a “Left Hegelian” interested in social justice and a freer society iii. Bauer thinks that the way to get social justice and genuine emancipation is by becoming fully atheist, i.e., by renouncing religion and its alienating tendencies and placing society on a secular humanist basis iv. For Bauer, Jews arguing for emancipation wanted essentially to be treated like Christians—but this simply means more religion, more servility to God, more alienation from immanent human powers v. We’ll discuss this in more detail next time when we look at Marx’s views on religion The main point is this: i. While Marx is all for renouncing religion, he doesn’t believe that religious alienation is the key issue here, the chief obstacle to emancipation ii. The fact that people are drawn to the illusions of religion is the consequence of something more basic, another kind of alienation (socio-economic, in brief) iii. So Bauer’s work does not offer a full solution to the problem of emancipation for Jews and other disenfranchised groups iv. Let’s see how Marx makes the case
Marx’s case against Bauer a. The US as counter-example i. Marx is studying US and French economics and politics at the time and invokes that material here ii. The point is simple: nation states can allow people to be religious and still give them political equality: the US is a prime example (religious freedom with no sanctioned state religion) iii. So Bauer’s notion that you have to give up religion to have political equality misses the mark
b. The real point, the real problem is that full political equality does not actually amount to genuine emancipation for human
beings i. How so? What does political equality entail? What does he mean here? ii. See p. 58, “So we do not say to the Jews . . .” Rights of Citizen and Man
c. In brief, political equality entails granting (narrowly) all individuals the rights of citizen d.
e. i. These are the rights that allow people to engage in the political arena (rights to free speech, vote, and so on) Political equality also entails granting (more universally and broadly) all individuals the rights of man i. These are what all human beings are supposed to have by birth, in principle ii. Equality, security, liberty, property So, what does political equality, what do these two sets of rights amount to when they are offered and protected by the state in capitalist societies? i. At first glance, sheer contradiction 1. At the level of the state, we are supposed to see each other as full political equals, as citizens and human beings— beings worthy of respect and admiration! 2. In everyday life, we are supposed to pursue our own individual, private, self-interested desires on the market, jealously guard our property, compete with people and try to take advantage of them within the rule of law, etc.— beings for whom I have no special affection! ii. But look closer . . . 1. The capitalist nation-state and everyday life are actually interested in maintaining the exact same thing 2. The political sphere (where we have our “rights” established and protected) is actually designed to protect our petty, egoistic desires 3. My property, my security, my freedom (to make money), my equality (of opportunity in the marketplace) 4. The state and everyday life encourage me to view my fellow human being as a tough competitor (at best) and a hostile enemy (at worst) 5. There is no shared social life, no community, no rich, shared, communal existence 6. There are just hostile atoms, little monads competing against each other with a state there to ensure the competition doesn’t erupt into total violence 7. See p. 61, “Thus, none of the so-called rights of man . . .” So, if Bauer gets his way with political emancipation via renunciation of religion, all we’ll get is more people gaining access to monad-ville i. We need to move ourselves out of monad-ville toward a way of life that emancipates our faculties and lets us fully develop our shared social natures and existence So, does Marx want to end discrimination against Jews? i. Absolutely; Marx definitely believes that discrimination against Jews and other groups is wrong ii. And fixing these issues in the state through political emancipation (a la Bauer) would be a genuine advance (p. 54, “Political emancipation is of course a great progress”) iii. But he does not believe that addressing these forms of discrimination via the state is really what is at stake here iv. At stake is genuine human emancipation So, what does genuine emancipation look like? i. At the very least, it means becoming fully aware of and recovering our social, communal natures ii. Capitalist society encourages and ensures that we remain isolated monads in hostile relationships with each other iii. Radicals interested in genuine human emancipation cannot settle for grating more and more people the “privilege” of having the right to be egoistic monads iv. Marx believes we can and desire to do better v. And better means creating the conditions for a richer, more communal, more social life vi. Read p. 64, “The actual individual man . . .” What will that look like exactly? Hold on to that question—we’ll get to it soon
Assignment for next class a. Read Marx, “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts” (KMSW, 83-95) i. We’ll be focusing on: 1. in general, the concept of alienation, and . . . 2. more specifically, the concept of alienated labor Recap
a. We began with the suggestion that we should read Marx first and foremost as a writer who is trying to put weapons in the hands of
workers who are on the battlefield of class struggle i. Recall that this is not the only way to read Marx, but it is certainly a charitable and helpful angle from which to read and assess his work ii. The assigned essay for today should give you a strong sense of how this particular way of reading Marx can help to illuminate his work We read “On the Jewish Question,” bracketing the complicated questions of religion (at the beginning of the essay) and money and anti-Semitism (in the second half of the essay) in order to focus on the question of the State and emancipation i. Marx’s first tool, the first weapon he has to offer workers is the suggestion that workers should not look to the State in capitalist nation-states for full emancipation
ii. The only emancipation available through the State is political emancipation, which is to say the granting of various
“rights” to citizens and human beings iii. Rights to what? Rights to egoism, which is to say, rights for atomistic individuals to pursue their self-interests on the marketplace (as capitalists, as laborers, as police, etc.) The capitalist State functions to protect the market “game”; to use Foucaultian language, it produces and maintains subjects of Capital, subjects who ensure that the game of profit and inequality rolls on i. Consequently, genuine human emancipation is to be found outside the purview of the capitalist State ii. So, with regard to capitalist States and rule (arche, αρχἠ), Marx is an anarchist, against the State, as a solution to political issues iii. Marx’s position on States per se is a bit more complicated, and we’ll talk about that soon iv. For now, let’s return to religion and see how it fits into our analysis of class struggle
The critique of religion a. The first page of the essay sums up Marx’s (and the young Hegelians’) position on religion i. If literalist Judeo-Christian theism is what you offer up to Marx, he is an atheist—he thinks such theism is illusory ii. But that kind of atheism is beside the point for Marx iii. The real point of the critique of religion is to show that religion is a symptom and a medicine iv. The kind of religion Marx is criticizing occurs as the result of finding oneself in a cultural- and life-situation that is unbearable (one averts one’s eyes from the Real and looks instead toward an illusory other-world) v. It also functions as a kind of medicine and drug (opium), with numbing and euphoric short-term effects but with long-term consequences that are ultimately harmful b. At bottom, for Marx the criticism of religion (which he shares with Feuerbach and other left Hegelians) should lead to a critique of the socio-economic conditions that encourage people to turn to religion i. When people turn to religion, they turn away from the socio-economic and existential pain of everyday life ii. But they are also, unknowingly, being turned away from their full human potential, their ability to live socially, to live well with each other iii. That is why Marx is committed to atheism—he is committed to creating the socio-economic conditions that allow us to embrace existence iv. In brief, he is committed to living immanently, in this world, in such a way that the full powers of human potentiality are taken back from God and fulfilled within human society itself c. This point can’t be emphasized strongly enough, as it helps to bring Marx into an interesting conjunction with the two other “hermeneutists of suspicion” (Freud and Nietzsche) i. Freud and Nietzsche, too, are atheists, if what is offered under the name of religion is the “infantile,” literalist version ii. But the rejection of the illusions of atheism is here, too, not the ultimate point iii. The ultimate point is that religion has to be critiqued (for its illusions) . . . iv. and ultimately overcome (despite its medicinal effects) because it blocks human flourishing and potentiality 1. So, for Nietzsche the death of God signals the re-opening of the space of potentiality wherein human beings have the elbow room to create immanently and live joyfully 2. And, for Freud leaving behind the illusions of religion is required in order to avoid the repressive effects of religious beliefs and the insanity they produce in religious subjects
d. Now what this means for Marx is that people that have turned to religion for such reasons have to suffer a kind of violence if they are
to move beyond their condition i. Marx’s writings are intended to enact this kind of violence on such people ii. They are also intended to enact violence on the “masters,” the ruling class, that have put people in this horrible condition Thus, Marx’s writings are weapons intended to strike and hit hard—at both the workers themselves and the ruling class; i. See the passages on pp. 73-4 for the pain inflicted on the religious workers: “But war on the situation in Germany!” ii. See p. 77 for the kind of violence that must be done in order to challenge the ruling class: “This is the question . . .” iii. In brief, the religious masses of disenfranchised workers need to be shaken up (this implies the ideology is at work) iv. And the ruling class needs to be overthrown by material force (which implies a logic and strategy of revolution) v. More on ideology and revolution in the coming classes . . .
The Universal Revolutionary Class a. The middle section of Marx’s piece focuses on the differences between the French Revolution of 1789 and the current German situation b. The bottom line for us is that Germany is theoretically advanced (owing to Hegel’s philosophy) and politically backward c. So, Marx wonders: How will the two line up? When will practice become revolutionary? When will practice become as radical as the critique? d. Recall that at this time, Marx is in Paris and is hanging around revolutionary intellectuals and workers; and he is also witnessing firsthand the radicalization and communization of German immigrant workers in Paris e. Notice the massive impression this situation had on his thought:
“When communist artisans form associations, education and propaganda are their first aims. But the very act of associating creates a new need the need for society - and what appears to be a means has become an end. The most striking results of this practical development are to be seen when French socialist workers meet together. Smoking, eating and drinking are no longer simply means of bringing people together. Company, association, entertainment which also has society as its aim, are sufficient for them; the brotherhood of man is no empty phrase but a reality, and the nobility of man shines forth upon us from their toil-worn bodies” (EPM) 8. It is at this point that Marx throws in his revolutionary lot and hopes with the disenfranchised workers, the proletariat a. The key passage here is on p. 81 b. The difficult portion to understand is how the proletariat has a “universal character” c. Are not workers simply another identity group, much like Jews were for Marx? Or that other groups that struggle for civil rights might be for contemporary Marxists? d. The answer is that the workers’ struggle is revolutionary, not reformist e. It doesn’t aim to reform the State and gain the rights to egoism—instead, it strikes right at the very heart of capitalism and its political institutions f. It aims to overthrow the current status quo and replace it with a way of living that is in the best interests of the vast majority of humanity g. That is why the proletariat is different from identity groups, such as Marx saw Jews and such as contemporary Marxists see groups that struggle against racism, sexism, environmental destruction, animal abuse, etc.
See handouts 9. Badiou gives us a nice understanding of this distinction between universal, revolutionary political actions and the reformist “poetics” of identity politics (see handout) a. For Badiou, the properly Marxist understanding of “universal” here means a transformation of the political order as a whole and one that is in the best interests of everyone, that is, the vast majority of humanity 10. Zizek underscores these same points by recalling us to the way in which the proletariat is universal inasmuch as it transforms the normal order: a. “The dimension of universality thus emerges (only) where the ‘normal’ order enchaining the succession of the particulars is perturbed.” 11. Assignment for next class a. Read Marx, “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts” (KMSW, 95-104) i. These brief pages are considered among the very best Marx has written by those who like the more “humanist” Marx (certain existentialists, Frankfurt School, Lukács, Marcuse, Feenberg, etc.) ii. Anti-humanist readers of Marx, like Althusser, consider these pages mistaken starting points for Marx that he later corrected (much of the stuff on species-being will come in for critique; we’ll look at Althusser more when we discuss ideology) iii. Either way, the pages make for some interesting reading 12. Recap a. Marx’s writings are, by and large, aimed at understanding the logic of capital and developing tools and weapons intended to: i. hasten capitalism’s demise and . . . ii. help establish ways of living that are more fitting of the unique nature of human beings To this end, we saw Marx argue that these more fitting ways of living, the establishment of which would constitute genuine human emancipation, are not to be found through the capitalist nation-State (OJQ) We then saw Marx’s arguments for the position that critiquing the illusions of infantile forms of religion does not suffice for genuine human emancipation (“Towards a Critique”) i. What is required is understanding the psychological and socio-economic conditions under which people turn to infantile religion ii. And what is further required is transforming those socio-economic conditions so that people can be genuinely emancipated We also saw Marx suggest that the only genuinely revolutionary class in society is the proletariat, i.e., the most disenfranchised workers (“Towards a Critique”) i. He suggests that this class is also unique in that it has a universal character
13. The Universal and Revolutionary Character of the Proletariat a. So . . . are not workers simply another identity group, much like Jews were for Marx? Similar to the way in which other groups that struggle for civil rights (race, sex, etc.) might be for contemporary Marxists? b. For Marx, the answer is an emphatic NO. The revolutionary proletariat has nothing to do with workers gaining access to the rights of egoism or reforming certain institutions within society c. The workers’ struggle is revolutionary, not reformist d. It strikes right at the very heart of capitalism and its socio-political institutions e. It aims to overthrow the current status quo and replace it with a way of living that is in the best interests of the vast majority of humanity
co-autonomous creators. Before examining how a worker’s labor is alienated in capitalist society. drinking. for they are the most abject (non)members of society. but it remains a very useful entry point into Marx’s larger project i. g. So. species-being) . and we’ll return to them at length throughout the semester 17. under capitalist societies. labor under the conditions of capitalist society does not produce a rich. See p. Now with EPM we go one level deeper to understand the fundamentally abject. . . while the wealthy get to enjoy the fruits of her labor ii. First. collectively and individually i. ideally.” b. our species-being (#1: loss of freedom) i. the fruits of our labor return to us in an unrecognizable form 20. for contemporary Marxists) Let’s delve into this just a bit more . that is. shared social lives d. “The dimension of universality thus emerges (only) where the ‘normal’ order enchaining the succession of the particulars is perturbed” 16. 88: “Political economy hides the alienation . See handouts 14. But we can gather from multiple texts some clues on a non-alienated life (and we’ll have plenty more on this next time) c. . we lose our “essence. 88: “Firstly. Second. now we can get a good sense of what Marx is up to as we turn to the more specific points concerning economics and post-capitalist life in EPM a. we workers no longer work for ourselves or even for the well-being of the collective ii. In brief. and the things we produce. etc. See p. Zizek underscores these same points by recalling us to the way in which the proletariat is universal inasmuch as it transforms the normal order: a. labor under the conditions of capitalist society alienates us from our essence. We do not labor creatively but blindly. that labour is exterior to the worker . When we lose our creativity. Marx is never as explicit about these positive points and positions as we might like b. we are dispossessed of things that our properly our own (labor. We are working for forces and individuals who are foreign to ourselves and our collective well-being e. fundamentally alienated state of the proletariat within capitalist societies a. forced to labor according to the necessity of market forces (much like animals are forced to labor by instinctual necessity) ii. Side note on breaks and continuity in Marx’s project b.” c. Marx emphasizes the idea that human beings are social. That is why the proletariat is different from identity groups (“Jews” for Marx. rewarding existence for the worker i. let’s lay out briefly and quickly the four main ways labor is alienated in capitalist societies of the sort Marx is analyzing a. For Badiou. is to develop rich. the former meaning something like dispossession and the latter referring to something strange or alien i. labor under the conditions of capitalist society alienates us from our species-being (#2: loss of sociality) . . . labor under the conditions of capitalist society is miserable. Third. . etc.) iii. let’s try to figure out what non-alienated life and labor would look like 19. our freedom in labor. The worker barely survives on her pay. Marx uses two key words for alienation: Entäusserung and Entfremdung. it is incomplete and fragmentary. the vast majority of humanity 15. our potentiality. the properly Marxist understanding of “universal” here means a transformation of the political order as a whole and one that is in the best interests of everyone. The basic idea here is that. we only feel like ourselves in our animal functions (eating. The point of the section on alienated labor is to “correct” the analysis of labor provided by Adam Smith and other capitalists (many of the pages preceding the selection are not reprinted here for you. . Non-alienated life and labor a. and their aim is to topple the nation-State and build new ways of living (all other activist groups are presumably working within the logic of capital) 18. . animal abuse. ii. revolutionary political actions and the reformist “poetics” of identity politics (see handout) a. The point. c. rewarding. So. groups that struggle against racism.” our species-being d. b. The capitalist State is an obstacle to genuine human emancipation The critique of religion should lead to a fight aimed at transforming the socio-economic conditions that force people to turn to religion for comfort and distraction The group that will lead this fight for transformation is the proletariat. they consist of long quotations from economists) c. environmental destruction. sexism. Badiou gives us a nice understanding of this distinction between universal. There is no joy in the activity of work—it is drudgery and misery that is avoided like the plague as soon as one punches the clock at the end of the shift ii. Fourth.f. These ideas about universality are problematic and contentious for several reasons. Our distinctly human “nature” as workers and creators is alienated from us. EPM was not fully published until 1932. we work together to transform the world and find our way in and through it i. essentially unrewarding in and of itself i. This process of working and finding our way in the world should be ours. But under capitalist societies.
properly understood. if you are short on time. This is in stark contrast to the impoverished. . we work as isolated egos. rather than being part of cooperative collective iii. It’s not required. just recommended 22. historical forms of community Influenced by Hegel. focus on pp. we develop rich. we will focus on the concept of ideology and its connection with Marx’s materialist view of history (this will extend into our analysis of the Manifesto) i. It is not a return to older. In the second portion of EPM. there is no “motor” to drive history along Key things to get in what follows: genuine communism (a) develops historically out of capitalism. once such antagonisms cease. and 199-202 iii. both the antagonism between the human and the natural world (the labor process involved in working in and through the natural world we talked about last time) ii. Work does not befit our species-being as autonomous creators (merely obeying the blind necessity of market forces) 4. (b) allows us to recover our social natures. that lives together and produces together ii. 125-6. full communism with “crude communism” and other inadequate forms that are unable to fully abolish private property i. shared creators (mere competition with other laborers. communal. The proletariat are the only revolutionary and (hence) only universal class in society iv. i. calls for transformation of socio-economic conditions (“Towards a Critique”) iii. continued a. 180-81.org/archive/marx/works/1844/james-mill/index. The critique of religion. and (c) unleashes our natural human potential c. antagonism comes to an end . The best summary of these two latter points. 192. e. Note: This material is not polished. look like He contrasts genuine. and the need to abolish private property 3. EPM. no sense of common creative forces) 23. Here we lose the sense of being part of the larger human condition part of a larger collective. f. d. As we just noted. Work does not allow the worker to live well (only mere survival) 2. Alienation (dispossession and becoming-foreign of what is one’s own) happens in four key ways in capitalist societies 1. Read Marx and Engels. communism would b. Genuine human emancipation is to be found outside the purview of the capitalist nation-State (OJQ) ii. atomized lives we lead under capitalism 1. .” iv. i. . shared. Instead.marxists. and he is responding to various ideas about non-capitalist life that are floating around at the time in France and elsewhere—don’t worry about them for now (we’ll discuss other kinds of communism in CM and elsewhere) Here. see “Since human nature is the true communal nature of man .e. Recap a.i. Assignment for next class a. This text contains much more than we could ever cover in a single class. and we’ll see those critiques soon when we turn to Empire Marx also sees his communism as different from other forms of communism in genuinely recapturing the social nature of the human i.” because as we’ll see in CM. social lives and communities 1. Marx’s conception of communism develops historically by overcoming the limits of the previous economic system 2. . Work does not provide any inherent joy or reward (mere drudgery) 3. It is the conscious result and realization of the limits of capitalism.. and of alienated labor as a whole are found on pp. In particular. this means that in our shared social existence under communism. we get the early Marx’s most explicit statements on what non-alienated life.htm 21. and inter-human antagonism (the class struggle ends) 1. The German Ideology (KMSW. alienated. the problems of alienated labor. we have seen the following key themes from Marx i. it’s up on Blackboard for you as a pdf under course documents iv. under genuine communism. So. Marx sees his communism as developing out of and advancing beyond the contradictions encountered in life under capitalism i. This discussion will also allow us to delve into Althusser’s concepts of ISAs and interpellation very briefly ii. Kojève and others refer to this realization of communism as the “end of history. Post-colonial and indigenous critics of Marx (and Hegel) have several critical remarks to make on this issue of historical development. Thus far. competing with other workers. so we’ll have to focus on a couple of key themes b. Work does not befit our species-being as social. 175-208) i. http://www. If you’d like to read the (very influential) essay by Althusser. .
. Rousseau. This provides. but we nevertheless remain capable of transcendence (we are not fully or simply determined by history but retain a certain freedom and creativity that is enabled by our cultural and historical situation) iii. We know only “having”—we remain unaware of the multi-faceted.) that we find problematic? 24. Communism as existentialism 1. Sartre. those who fall through the cracks of the system (the proletariat) are always in this tension and state of anxiety with respect to nature iii. etc. 3. Balibar. and we would link up with the world and each other in unheard-of ways 2. Rancière. collective work under communism. Eurocentrism. we are able to effectively and lastingly subdue nature to our collective human ends 1. 3. Clearly. we do not choose all aspects of our facticity (e. The potentiality of our bodies and brains (senses and qualities to use Marx’s terminology) would swing wide open. for radical environmentalists. other potentialities further enriching our collective lives Responses to Marx’s “communism with a human face”: Marx as human nature theorist. Under capitalism. Early Marx as a mistake to be corrected in the next set of texts 1. Marx as existentialist. anthropocentrism. . i. Norman Geras) want to place him in the tradition of the “great thinkers” of human nature (Plato. and others 2. this understanding of the “antagonism” between human beings and the natural world will not suffice—more on this soon as well Finally. 5. i. ii. Marcuse. etc.. he is providing us with a theory and practice of existentialist freedom as emerging out of historical conditions a. b. an end to the struggle with nature 2. k. one-dimensional (to use Marcuse’s term) 1. He argues that private property and capitalism have made us stupid. etc.) This position is heavily influenced by Heidegger’s critique of humanism Humanism remains “metaphysical” (uncritically repeating the dominant concepts and thought of Being in the West) for Heidegger inasmuch as it relies upon a human subject/agent Strong theories of human nature and even Sartrean existentialism are guilty of remaining trapped within the subject-agency-freedom metaphysics of the West Heidegger himself was convinced that Marx remains fully trapped within metaphysics But Althusser tries to rescue Marx from this critique by showing that the post-1845 Marx is in fact a radical antihumanist who displaces and decenters human subjectivity j. Those unheard-of modes would in turn generate other relations. argue that Marx is not giving us traditional account of recovering our human nature under communism Rather. myopic. Kojève. In brief. Strong human nature: 1. 2.) They see this text as confirmation that Marx wants to recover and take back the human nature that has been alienated under capitalism This sees human nature as something that is relatively historically fixed and stable. The question Marx would have us ask is: Which one of these ideas about the human makes for the best weapon on the battlefield of class struggle? And the other set of questions we want to keep in mind are: i. Under the influence of the 18th Brumaire (see p. etc. 2. early Marx as a juvenile mistake h. with communism our bodies and brains would lose or break free from a whole series of potentiality-limiters that capitalism forces on us 1. productionism and developmentalism. other connections. Do we want to follow Marx at all here? Might it be that his theories of the human.. We carve out our place in nature effectively and in a way that puts that fundamental struggle and anxiety to rest for the human condition 3. This is the position defended by Althusser and his followers (most of the French post-structuralist scene. and certain political and economic institutions are more or less befitting this nature ii. 6. the historical and institutional conditions under which we become subjects) . rich potential of all our human faculties ii. Marx’s vision of communism includes a picture of quasi-aesthetic human potentiality being actualized on an unprecedented level i. Locke. Some readers of Marx (e. Assignment for next class .g. Badiou. On this account.g. In addition. in effect and in essence. in our joint. communism. We’ll try to keep an eye on all of these perspectives as we continue our analysis of Marx But the key issue here is not to get caught up in Marx scholarship i.g. 329) as well as the early texts. beyond the developmental thesis and the sociality thesis. Aristotle. remain too tied to other aspects of Western metaphysics (androcentrism. 4..
laws. etc. furlough day i. and worldviews) become ideological when they are used to conceal economic. the critique of religion. 2. Lukacs. . revolutionary class. atomizing and anti-social) ii. Things like consciousness. etc. 245-55) 25. Human emancipation. all owned by capitalist class). worldviews. decisions about how to appropriate him. have secondary status ii. drudgery. These are decisions about how to read Marx that you have to make. serve to conceal the actual.. The economic structure/base comprises: i. serve to justify and maintain that inequality c. it would seem that our “ideas” (knowledge. Endorsing an existentialist theory of the human and freedom (Kojéve. radically unequal reality of social and economic relations and .) b. And they do so in such a way as to guard the interests of the ruling classes iv. shelter.. The Communist Manifesto (KMSW. The concept of ideology starts us on the path toward thinking about human beings as not being fully in control of themselves or the b. . land. material reality and justify economic inequality On point #1 (i): The central insight of Marx’s account of ideology lies in the notion that economic. slavery. beliefs. Recap a.. Sartre) 3. etc. The forces of production: human labor power (controlled by capitalist class). We can now squeeze all of the early Marx into a handful of key words. it is clear that Marx’s primary focus changes in 1844-45 i. struggle. and . ideas and institutions become ideological when they: 1. clothing. ideas. for Marx. The relations of production: specific economic arrangement of society at any given time (capitalism. where he speaks of an economic base or structure upon which is founded an entire superstructure of laws. One of the ways of explaining this differentiation between the economic realities and the emergent ideological institutions and ideas is to refer to these domains in terms of (economic) “base” and (ideological) “superstructure” i. laws. etc. The superstructure comprises: i. material reality is basic and fundamental in an explanatory sense when trying to explain how history and culture develop over time 1. 28. So. proletariat as universal. Endorsing a strong human nature theory and corresponding politics (Geras) 2. and ii. . d. the most important fact about understanding human life and history is to be found in how we economically arrange societies in order to satisfy our basic material needs (food. we learned the basics of Marx’s vision of communism (developmental advance. The primary emphasis shifts more toward the ways in which economic forces deeply and thoroughly shape human life. . This version of “communism with a human face” has been read in three chief ways: 1. So. and (b) trying to gain a better understanding of the proletariat and bourgeoisie (origins. . feudalism. institutions.a. morality. The question that needs to be kept in mind here is: What do we mean by shape? Determine? Constrain? Influence? Alienate? iii. From last time. ideas. creative-autonomy-limiting. and ideas b. knowledge. material reality is foundational for understanding both the past and present i. . culture. concepts (which you can unpack on your own): i. and even about whether you think he is useful at all for understanding and contesting the status quo . institutions in which they find themselves and that they sustain There are two key things we need to gain from the concept of ideology: i. Whether you read Marx in terms of rupture or continuity. technology and resources (factories. recovery of human social nature. Legal and political institutions (the State) on the one hand. and subjectivity ii. 27. consciousness. Ideology a. these basic economic arrangements that drive history are. this tension and antagonism ii. characterized almost always in terms of class struggle and antagonism i. religion. in other places/times) in which we labor and make our way in the world c. belief systems.) and wants (beyond necessity) On point #2 (ii): Now. . Our focus will be (a) extending our discussion of the materialist conception of history that we’ll start today. unleashing human potential) iii. as we will see in more detail in CM. alienated labor (mere survival. etc. Base and superstructure a. But. the dominant ideas and institutions within capitalist culture don’t accurately reflect or explain material realities—they obscure those realities iii. themes. A juvenile error to be replaced by thoroughgoing anti-humanism (Althusser via “French” Heidegger) 26. No class Tuesday. How to read the shifts a. Economic. In other words. for Marx.) and social institutions would accurately reflect this reality. for us. Marx uses this language in his Preface to Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy. political institutions. etc. The latter things (institutions.
. he thinks we should be wary of the concept and not extol it (as do the existentialists/Frankfurters and human nature theorists) 2. These various. one of the questions that arises is this: Is Marx against the State per se. morality makes me believe that my atomistic rights to my egoism are paramount. . etc. and ideology) is not just an emergent set of ideal structures f. ideas. etc. repressive state apparatuses (RSAs) (courts.. unknowingly. reproducing ideas that are in the interests of the ruling classes? After all. conceal and reinforce dominant economic structures ii. are themselves actual.. Now.g. The individual human is a metaphor—it doesn’t actually exist. many of these contrasting Virtues . etc. determined by the material base but . Now. we are encouraged to believe that hard work is a virtue rather than a curse. For now. police. language. beliefs. education. . institutions discourses. religion per se. religion tells us that life will be better in the next world and to meekly accept our economic fate here on earth. school and university is where we learn to become good. etc. and through bodies 31. note the central question of the essay: how do we keep reproducing the conditions of production. family—and in our d. mass media. we might ask: Is Marx himself. . morality per se? Have these things always functioned to protect ruling classes? Can they function differently in different economic circumstances? Or would they simply melt away in communist society? 34. and that ideological forces help to ensure that our beliefs. productive. and so on reinforce the interests of the working classes (GI) 1.) If Marx has provided a useful interpretive tool for us here with his concept of ideology. and morality 32.” c. politics. he is writing (albeit critically) within the economic context of capitalist society . that the State essentially functions to protect the logic and flows of capital (OJQ) ii. Ideological structures. 4. religion. We need to make sure we replenish the resources we use to make things as well as having the requisite supply of human labor power 1. 143 i. to a whole range of ideological state apparatuses (ISAs)—see Althusser’s list on p. etc. according to Althusser. well-behaved workers Education belongs. Note first that Althusser’s (Heideggerian/Lacanian) anti-humanism entails an outright rejection of humanist subjectivity (individuality.ii. we are encouraged to believe that nonproductive members of society are not fully human.) to ensure that the market functions smoothly and that its conditions for continuing to function are in place iii. that we need/want? i. . And it also requires that batch after batch of workers acquires the requisite skills to be good workers. what we would expect to find is: i. . religion. we also need to show how the superstructure (law.) iv. Moreover. e. wellmanner. Althusser suggests that in modern societies that corporations outsource this skills training 5. . . time. celebrity culture. See Althusser’s remarks on pp. freedom. 30. Resources are replenished in a fairly straightforward manner. agency. self-sameness) i. It requires that we get paid enough at least to survive 3. i. but the reproduction and making-available of human labor power is tricky 2. We now have a better sense of why Marx rails against things like the State. in.e. curbing rebellious desires. This will become clearer in a moment b. for Althusser. Hence. We’ll cover interpellation when you return so we can put the final touches on how ideology is made material and carried on.. etc. . 156-7: “Of course. This is where where Marx’s own account leaves some gaps and Althusser can help us out 29. government. seemingly neutral educational system that the capitalist system really assures its continual reproduction (by numbing minds. Education helps make us good little workers and middle managers. and institutions on the other hand (e. how do we continue to make sure we are able to continually produce goods. services. All of these ideas and institutions are in place to maintain the status quo. Althusser a. But it is in the seemingly non-violent. material (here in the sense of having real material reality) structures that help to reproduce and maintain the economic base i. practices. it is a metaphorical personification of socio-economic forces and relations ii. etc. prisons. discourses. Some examples from today of how Marxists would frame these issues: 2. Secondly. managers. Where? To educational institutions. a status quo that functions almost entirely in the interests of the ruling classes 33. morality. practices. They work side by side with violent. and sometimes conflicting. the humanist/existentialist notion of the individual subject is itself ideological (a fiction that belongs to the superstructure and protects the interests of the ruling class) 1. media tells us that our worth comes from accumulating lots of plastic stuff and eventually becoming a celebrity with enough money eventually to own my own plastic junk corporation.
his androcentrism. For Althusser. communists. Lingering questions: If the superstructure (RSAs and ISAs) does indeed have a substantial material force. proletariat. androcentrism. scientism. We’ll keep an eye on these questions as we continue to read Marx 41. that is. The transition to communism (and defenses of it against critics) 2. by answering correctly. . It accomplishes its role here primarily through the vast educational ISA. his optimism concerning rationality. which he finds in traditional and existentialist readings of Marx. When Marx conceives of revolution. religion. Also. Base = forces of production and relations of production 2.)? 39. How so? As individuals. manners. and through our response (i. Works. This means that new subjects will emerge through the structural seizing and transformation of the economy. 37. and so on) we become subjects of capital v. who produces. the question that remains is: a. We are constantly being hailed. should we not? Ideas and critique can only run so far ahead of material. Althusser helps to show us that the secondary or derivative status of ideology does not mean that it is unimportant 1. . that is basic to explaining the human condition and human history b. is itself ideological ii. who consumes. the ideological discourses and institutions ii. and ISAs 40. 255-71) i. We’ll finish up CM and discuss the tricky issues of 1. Ideology is essential to the reproduction of the human labor force (at the level of the economic base). generation after generation 2. beliefs.35. e. his dominating attitude toward nature. who is responsible. anti-humanist Middle and Late Marx i. b. Early Marx: emancipation. Marx’s attitude toward other socialists. Some critics argue that his Eurocentrism. Implies that economic forces are more basic than. The latter conception. etc. Or perhaps there are other ways to conceive of agency and resistance (we’ll see another in Empire) . Being hailed. does he see this as taking place through impersonal developmental shifts in the economy? b. c.e. using the logic of Marx’s own analysis. Assignment for next class a. In other words: How does the transformation away from capitalism take place? Is it necessary and inevitable? Or does it require active intervention from free subjects? d. The Communist Manifesto (KMSW.) iv. interpellated by capitalist society. by becoming competent in institutions. Recommended readings: Critique of Gotha Program and the brief response to Bakunin 38. and science. Recap a. (Hey you!) is a demand to answer and present oneself as one-self. and give rise to. in which we learn to become good workers.. Base and Superstructure as explanation of relation between economics and ideology 1. RSAs. we are recognized and confirmed as existing human beings by the established social and economic order as individual subjects iii. dominionism. This much is clear: in writing the “Theses on Feuerbach. personal freedom coupled with class consciousness and awareness? c. existentialist. meeting our material needs. economic realities . to conceal and justify economic inequality 2. all indicate that much of Marx’s work remain uncritically bourgeois and ideological And. his attitude toward productivity and toward the non-productive Lumpenproletariat. Superstructure=law and politics and ideological structures. and institutions iii. what to do with it in terms of revolution and transformation? Let it wither? Seize it? Abolish it? v. that is. productivism. So freedom and revolutionary potential do not belong to such subjects—such subjects are the consequence and effect of ISAs. communism Interpretive frameworks: strong human nature. and anarchists ii. good subjects of capital (skills. we should expect this. is Marx himself ideological? Do his blindspots betray a kind of bourgeois. alienated labor. RSAs. rationalism.” The German Ideology. as a self-same subject who works. . . . discursively and institutionally. So. Finishing Althusser a. and the economic base vi. Or does revolution require individual. This means that the economic base is the key motor of history. technology. and so on . who is reliable iv. It is the economic and social process of making our way in and through nature. 36. discourses. Ideology: 1. etc. we are called into being. and “The Communist Manifesto” that Marx is becoming more and more enamored of a materialist conception of history and revolution a. the main point he wants to drive home is that we should be wary of understanding revolution as hinging on the freedom and agency of individual subjects i. and thus the key place to look for revolution and transformation . or interpellated. . capitalist myopia (Eurocentrism.
c. Marx suggests that it was during this time of colonization and increased trade that market demands back home began to grow. Our main topic will be commodity fetishism and its subsequent reception/acceptance/rejection among various strands of theory and activism 51. Productive forces determinism a. technologies. slavery. materialist conception of history. b. What role does technology play in bourgeoisie rule? b. For today.. It serves as a position statement for The Communist League i. Rapid improvements in the instruments of production force all to comply with the demands of bourgeoisie culture d. Note also that capitalist technologies turn human beings themselves into mere artifacts. Origin of the Family) that he and Marx were not in a position to know much about pre-contact history in the Americas 47. industrial workers who lack their own means of production and must sell their own labor in order to live 46. Recap a. We’ve already seen elements of the developmental thesis on economic relations of production (primitive communism. Early Marx: key concepts you already have Interpretive frameworks: three main frameworks you already have Working through Middle and Late Marx: i. feudalism. Without delving into the teleological and Eurocentric problems here. and labor used to make stuff we need and want) and relations of production (the concrete economic structures of society through which we produce our stuff) The Manifesto 42. The Proletariat a. and with the bourgeoisie who came to the New World in the mid-19th century to govern in the name of their respective European countries b. resources) 45. The opening statement on class struggle a. and as their forms of manufacture and economic relations spread through the world. This also means that history takes place through changes in the forces of production (technologies. Their aims of efficiency and making a profit left little room for any other relation between those who owned the means of production and those who produced 48. they employ wage laborers and own the chief forces of production (factories. His optimism is not as crazy as it seems. Capital. Make self-interest the ground of relations between human beings b. base and superstructure. One of the main points that Marx wants to make here is that capitalism is not a “natural state of affairs” but one that was brought about under concrete historical and economic circumstances a. appendages of machines 50.c. The chief characteristics of bourgeoisie rule a. feudalism) were pushed aside in favor of speedier and more efficient production a. ideology. historical emergence of bourgeoisie-proletariat antagonism 52. Assignment for next class a. Turn all workers into wage-laborers (wage laborers get paid for 12 hours of work. worker makes enough to survive and that’s all) 49. As the bourgeoisie gained more control. 452-72) i. but the value of the work is worth much more than what worker gets paid. It is meant to announce the advent of the communist revolution and the end of capitalism ii. Very invasive and powerful technologies help them to expand and maintain power e. Engels makes it clear in a later text (40 years later. as there are revolutionary uprisings going on all around him (their failure will be the source of another “shift” in Marx’s writings) 43. Marx and Engels are writing this piece in 1847-8 a. Specifically. it corresponds with the colonization of the “New World” in the 15-17th centuries. capitalism. employer gets a profit. and that older means of producing (viz. volume I (KMSW. communism) b. What we have left to do: a. the bourgeoisie created a sharp class schism b. from CM and related texts we need to look at: . people whose dominant concern is the development of commercial and industrial interests b. let’s look at the main players under capitalism 44. materials. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production (competition for profit drives innovation in production and development of consumer products) c. the working class b. The Bourgeoisie a.
Revolutionary physical force used by the proletariat State 54. . Does it require a revolutionary vanguard? iii. Some have argued that revolutions can only happen under very specific circumstances (e. then Marx will have a different attitude toward “the State”—we’ll discuss this later . “Schoolboy’s asaninity!” c. that we’d actually have to speed up the development of other countries to get them into this revolutionary context. Later Marxists have tried to make Marx’s work look much more streamlined and consistent on the issue of revolution than it actually is i. Revolution a. and prisons will have no place in an actualized communist society 3. economic crises within capitalist countries would have to be extraordinarily severe before full-scale revolution would occur ii. individual property” b. Does it require class consciousness? 3. Here he seems to have in mind everything that we were talking about with RSAs in Althusser 2.i.. What role the State plays once the transition to communism begins and is eventually completed iii. Analysis of commodity fetishism as . Also. if centralized organization and states are in fact required to make sure that communal life run well.” one beyond profit and property iii. The State a. He seems to think military. etc. Here is where he disagrees most emphatically with anarchists like Bakunin. Now. But Marx’s own thought was in constant flux concerning how revolution would occur 1. In other words. Does it require explicit theoretical awareness linked with practice (revolutionary praxis)? 4. Marx became more inclined to suggest that economic conditions had to be fully ripe before there could be genuine revolution i. it is clear that Marx and Engels believe the antagonism between the B and P will lead to an all-out revolution i. Was it the mechanical result of economic laws being played out? Or was it contingent? 2. He believes it is but a front group for the ensuring and maintaining the interests of capitalists. It is State force and power that Marx thinks needs to be seized in order to achieve revolution iii. In CM. 53. so it has little or no place in a classless and propertyless society 2. More on that next week c. 2. but also in the economic base (economic arrangements and who owns forces of production and property more generally) ii. “Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. during crises that occur only in the most advanced capitalist countries. It is primarily a repressive (and ideological) set of institutions designed to maintain the smooth functioning of the market. We’ll move into Capital ii. Given that the State in Marx’s time was quite far removed from anything like a “welfare state. “a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie” b. See Bakunin essay. How the antagonism between B and P leads to revolution ii. How Marx envisions future communist society b. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat” (CGP) ii. the functions of the State are turned over to the entire working class and are structured according to their interests (rather than bourgeoisie) 1. This would mean a drastic change not just in politics/law. Entry point into the economic logic of capital Your first exam will be a straightforward quiz on these main concepts and issues i. who argue for the possibility of revolution wherever workers are oppressed iii. police. and insurances of. When the various revolts and uprisings going on during the writing of CM failed to pan out in the end. their mission is to destroy all previous securities for. We have two things to do there: 1. The proletariat “have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify.” he envisions the State eventually being transcended and abolished 1. It would open up an entirely new “world.) ii. forced) vs. . Marx’s attitude toward the capitalist State in CM is the same attitude we saw in OJQ i. The chief idea here is that with communist revolution.g. For the following two classes: i. Marx uses the phrase dictatorship of the proletariat a couple of times in his writings to indicate the transitional phase that takes place in moving from capitalism to communism i. I’ll provide you a review sheet and will hold extra office hours before the exam if you wish to have additional help ii. But what happens to the State in the transition to communism? Is there a workers/communist State? c. Marx was concerned with trying to justify and figure out the proper limits of physical violence in the context of revolution 1. Terror (violent.
From the standard philosophical viewpoint. Reducing his work to an analytic philosophical project (are his concepts clear and consistent? are his arguments and positions true and empirically correct?) will allow the reader to . He is a hunter. It is always on display when he describes the society he is striving for ii. He has a very existentialist idea concerning not being locked into one’s identity as a worker under communist society 1. without ever becoming hunter. . Much like Nietzsche. Finish Capital selections ii. to hunt in the morning. . Marx refused to write “recipes for the cook shops of the future” i. And the point is made with particular force against anarchists. rear cattle in the evening. Assignment for next class i. c. This fixation of social activity.” 56. no class for CSU-wide Day of Action d. Regardless of the “uncritical.iv. his work should at least be initially read and assessed from here ii. And CM. while in communist society. you are equipped with some of the more important critical and conceptual weapons needed to understand.” “humanist. cont. to seize State power 2. ii. Recap a. new relations. you are now equipped with a basic conceptual toolkit for understanding Marx b. and transform capitalist society i. State. 55. who distrust State power per se 3. From Marx’s perspective. just as I have a mind. take a very dangerous thinker and reduce him to a philosophical and historical curiosity . Future Communist Society a. See quotation at end of notes iii. . See CGP. . where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes. But something like a State is definitely needed on Marx’s account in order to set up and carry out the transition to communism 1. The basic idea is that individuals will be freed up to engage in various kinds of activities and passions 2. future communist society) Full exam review will be provided next class March 4th. We saw in EPM that genuine communism is presented as: i. herdsman or critic. 58. This can be seen quite clearly in the discussion of the list of demands that the Communist League is setting forth in CM 2. historical advance over capitalism ii. after the list of demands. a fisherman. . to be charitable to him. Marx never abandons this kind of language i. society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow. “in place of the old bourgeois society” From The German Ideology: “For as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being. exclusive sphere of activity. . but it is absolutely essential for understanding Marx iii. society will be structured to maximize the richness and communal nature of social life and unlock individual potentiality 1. thwarting our expectations. is nothing to be feared but is in fact a necessary and irreducible component of revolution Keep this discussion of the state and dictatorship of the proletariat in mind as we turn to Empire and the Zapatistas 1. . Marx believes that State force and power. The latter are often criticized by Marxists for their failure.” 2. aesthetic flavor to these moments in his writings c. Likewise. is one of the chief factors in historical development up till now. We’ll try to determine where Negri and Hardt come down on this issue (see their Labor of Dionysus too on this issue) v. (revolution. From Marx’s revolutionary viewpoint. fish in the afternoon. fisherman. a means for unleashing our natural human potential b. or a critical critic. a means for opening up new worlds. resist. The lecture on Tuesday should be helpful for understanding the material 57. and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood. criticize after dinner. which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. Early Marx. growing out of our control. This material is going to be somewhat technical and difficult. What you have accomplished: a. There is an ethical. the ultimate stakes of his work lie here—and. middle Marx (ideology and associated concepts) Middle Marx. b. he hinted at recipes . skate right past the central stakes of his work 2. “In a higher phase . But . bringing to naught our calculations. 1. and iii. a dialectical. and lack of desire. a herdsman. . this consolidation of what we ourselves produce into an objective power above us. interpretive frameworks. like Bakunin. economic.” and ideological tendencies of these passages (how Althusser would have us read them). each man has a particular. a means for allowing us to recover our social natures. temporarily seized by workers with the revolutionary aim of overthrowing the bourgeoisie.
in the absence of exchanges going on. In other words. . The project: “to lay bare the economic laws of modern [European. Marx says this is a fetishistic relationship to commodities. Something that is produced for exchange on the market rather than something produced for immediate use or consumption by the producer 1. not with revolution. and has repeatedly tried to illuminate the inner workings of the capitalist economic base i. . a massive work. . The Fetishism of Commodities a. This means that the commodity contains something over and beyond the values associated with use 61. Why do we need this information? i. Marx believes he needs to go back into the economics and explain it and understand it more fully—both for his own sake and for the sake of the revolutionaries ii. the things we use and consume have an extra something added on to them i.: the power of a given product to satisfy some human want. iv. He wants to explain fully its origins.e. He resolutely believes that the internal tensions and contradictions that are inherent to contemporary capitalism will lead to its demise and transcendence 60. what the product is used for iii. to the development of history. but with the commodity i. its power to command other commodities for itself in a particular ratio (10lbs of coffee is worth. Consequently. Marx is here implying that. In this sense. 2. built into it inherently. b. Prior to. What is more.iii. What is missing from Marx’s perspective. The more charitable way to read him would be to ask: Are the weapons Marx offers his readers sharp and powerful enough? Are they helpful for understanding and resisting capitalism? iv.. we develop an unusual devotion toward commodities. there are no commodities for Marx iii. then the charitable approach is: Let’s construct sharper and more powerful weapons! v. and to the possibilities for carrying out a revolution and creating a better society c. or can be exchanged for 60lbs of bananas) 62. But economists and we the people simply assume it’s there—we can’t explain how that value got in there iii. we believe the commodity has extraordinary value—it carries an additional. what is a commodity i. or in the absence of capitalism. So. as we’ll see. Use value=df. Remember. we relate to the products we use in terms of simple utility—call this “use value” ii. inasmuch as they take on an additional value in terms of how they are exchanged on the market—call this “exchange value” v. Why here? Because. What you have left: a. at this point. 3.. The meal I make for myself and eat right away is not a commodity 2. . to the constitution of human subjectivity. as part of its inner being or essence i. not with consequences. . But after the failings of the revolutionary uprisings of the late 1840s. How to enter into a full understanding of capitalism? Not with history. or understand the world more fully. the ultimate point for Marx is not simply to make better arguments. Classical economists (such as Smith and Ricardo) and the general capitalist public (we dupes) actually believe that the commodity has exchange value built into it—i. inner essence of capitalism is to be found starting from here . the hidden. but to change it 59. capitalist] society” iv. Marx has all along (from some of his earliest writings) stressed this primacy of the economy (materialist concept of history). Remember that we have been stressing how important the economic base (i. The entry point: the commodity a. If not. and eventual decline v. But when capitalism is the primary mode of arranging our production. we start to relate to commodities themselves. Use Value and Exchange Value a. when capitalism arises on the scene. under capitalism we develop strange ideas about commodities ii. and define ourselves in terms of them 2. and the first volume (the material you’re reading) was written and rewritten over the course of the course of nearly two decades iii. the forces and relations that make up production) is: 1. Exhange value=df. .e. It’s magic! 63. In the absence of markets. and you find it on display in massive amounts under capitalism i. the products we make becomes commodities . development. And right there you have the entire “problem”—how did exchange value “get into” the commodity a. is a more complete picture of the actual economic functioning of capitalism b.: that which a given commodity can be exchanged for. We begin increasingly to value commodities more than people . and we come to believe they have inherent value beyond simple utility 1. Capital is the result of that effort. . All that we would have without markets/exchange are things that we produce that are useful for those who consume them iv. The meal I (help to) make at work at the Stouffer’s frozen food plant that is then packaged and sold in the store is a commodity ii. magical value beyond being simply useful ii.
But rather than looking for conceptual or cognitive structures as conditions of commodities. This vast social network is comprises two main elements i.. he wants to show us the material conditions under which commodities take on their supposedly inherent values and magical powers In brief: “From the taste of wheat it is not possible to tell who produced it” i. The silliness of the sweatshop debate can be found right here—we catch a glimpse of the hidden reality and look for justifications for sweatshops or band-aid fixes . it constrains our potentiality and changes our fundamental modes of sociality (as we saw last time) What is hidden under capitalism. This is a narrow. Economists start with commodities but they are unable to explain how this added. Recap a. We all miss the vast social network that goes into producing commodities d. Althusserian point) iii. His primary concern is the exploitation of human labor 3. myopic way of organizing society that alienates us from each other and from human potentiality (the existentialist critical point) ii. The logic of capitalism a. No Class Thursday ii. The key point here for Marx. Assignment for next class i.” reductively. In short. they are noticeable for their “immense accumulation of commodities” ii. They miss the vast social network that gives the commodity its value through the labor that produced it (and through constructed cultural agreements on the conditions of exchange) iv. it is not possible to see who produced it (the underpaid slaughterhouse worker who had to kill and cut up the cow. From the look of that burger patty. The exploitation of labor power that gives capitalists the ability to make profits off of commodities 1. maybe we can chi-hill! 4. This occurs because they. 65. more general “logic of capital” (the way that capitalists function within the capitalist economy)—our topic for today b. Recall that we used the commodity as an entry point into the larger. have an unusual devotion to commodities iii. At first glance. is the underpaid portion 1. it is not possible to tell who produced it (likely a grossly underpaid sweatshop worker) 1. how it “works. though 2. the underpaid worker who cooked it. . The workers are contributing a greater share of the value than they are being paid a.b. Marx would mention the cow and the land itself and admit they add value in a certain way. The capitalist language game. the form of life or social setting that sets up and agrees upon rules of exchange. is the nature of commodities i. the underpaid driver who transported the cow to the slaughterhouse. We have to tell this story in a rather quick form just to get it under our belts—we’ll complicate it as the class moves along . and as such they miss what is hidden behind the commodity form and its supposed inherent value: 1. I’ll be on campus during office hours if you’d like to stop by for review iii. It is this latter theme that we have to analyze today 66. no one seems to understand why commodites come to have the power they do c. We begin to see the world more and more “stupidly. They and their value are the result of a specific set of human relationships ii.e. seemingly magical value is added to the commodity ii. and so on 1. 64. . But. and then repeat that process for everything that goes on and into the burger 1. From the look of that T-shirt in the store. from a vast social network 3. Two aspects: i. c. he is not particularly worried about the exploitation of the land or animals. a. I relate to a brand (I AM Nike!) not my community And we begin increasingly to value people only inasmuch as they have the ability to purchase commodities a. what they can be traded/exchanged for) i. through commodities-only eyes iii. See Carol Adams on “the absent referent” in SPM iii. There are other. according to Marx. and how it ultimately undermines itself b. Can you pay my bills.” that I how capitalists make a profit ii. like the general public. i. fetishistic-ally. Why start here with the commodity? Because there are two things extremely remarkable about capitalist society related to commodities i. can you pay my automobile? If so. It is this exploitation that makes capitalism unworkable in the long run (the critical economic. Review today in class in just a bit iv. We learned that commodities combine use value (their utility) and exchange value (what they cost. Their value does not derive from a relationship between things (the so-called inherent exchange value of bananas and coffee) but from human relationships. but this is a complex issue. then. related points too—for this entire process not only exploits workers. ii. Classical economists and the general public are entirely wrapped up in this fetishism. Marx is pulling the classical Kantian and phenomenological gesture: he is inquiring into the conditions of possibility for a given phenomena v.
animals. fancy book-keeping. The capitalist pays the worker just enough to survive.—but this isn’t playing according to the pure “logic” of capitalism iv. do too. and the system fails to do what it’s supposed to do (produce what we need) k. downsizing the workforce where possible. the capitalist profits off of exploitation i. I’ll use that capital to buy stuff (machines. let’s set it aside for a moment) g. how does this capitalist system of exploitation and profit undermine itself? i. Communist revolution (Marxist socialism/communism) ii. and corporations can’t sell their stuff xi. The assumption is: there can never be enough profit iii. following the capitalist logic laid out by Smith and Ricardo. of course.Part I c. Debt boom and bust cycles (corporate socialism/communism) iii. That is M-C-M’—Money used to make commodities that I can sell at a profit to make more money iii. The “non-capitalist” solution for most capitalists. slavery. or I work to get money to eat) ii. more productive workers.) to produce it f. And there are other capitalists and corporations with the same mindset also pursuing their self-interests in the marketplace —we compete fiercely iv. The consequence: we have a small number of seriously wealthy people on the one hand and larger and larger numbers of disenfranchised consumers/workers on the other x. Keep this basic logic of capitalism in mind and the possible need to tweak in mind as we turn to Empire . theft. But where in the hell does the more. and workers) to make stuff (say. And if not.: The value of any given commodity is based on the socially necessary labor time (under average conditions. So. taxpayer bailouts. etc. cars) so that I can sell that stuff and get more money ii. materials. or my labor) sold to get Money to get more Commodities iii. the profit come from? Where was the value created? Out of thin air? iv. etc. The middle classes get squeezed increasingly toward becoming the proletariat. This is where someone makes something in order to sell it and buy what one needs to get by on (I make a table and sell it to get enough money to eat. This kind of antagonism isn’t sustainable—workers get irritated and fight back. That is exploitation. But the worker produces twice (possibly more or a bit less) the value that the worker is paid (I produce $30 worth of stuff. More efficient technologies. Commodity (table I made. Let’s look at things from the capitalist’s perspective ii. but are the big players really classical capitalists? 2. Take a simple worker in a simple economy first i. This is called the theory of surplus value (there is a surplus in the value that labor produces in relation to the value the laborer is paid) ii. The more poverty. externalizing costs. The capitalist looks at the world a bit differently—I’ve got the basics and some extra cash (capital). do they necessarily generate the same kinds of antagonisms? And do they generate or offer the same avenues for resistance? l. subsist h. bigger and faster production processes. I have to find ways to reduce costs and sell more in every possible way 1. In order to win this ballgame. with average skills. it is by underpaying workers that extra value is added to the ballgame. intensity. and the proletariat get squeezed toward the Lumpenproletariat xii. land. Now. That’s what Marx thinks he is the first to explain (rather than simply assume) e. Are financial capitalism and global corporate capitalism really the same as the kind of capitalism Marx is analyzing? 3. Capital and profit are thus naturally heading in the direction of fewer and fewer hands. That is C-M-C. fewer and fewer corporations vii. subscribes to the labor theory of value i. is colonialism. etc. Marx. v. now how can I make more money with the extra money I’ve got? i. And it ultimately means that fewer jobs are available (more efficient corporations use technology to their advantage and learn to squeeze more out of their fewer workers) ix. in the non-moral sense of the term. This is paycheck-to-paycheck living d. table making) means others can’t compete and are squeezed out of the marketplace vi. Marx is analyzing the pure “logic” of classical capitalism. but get paid $15) i. the more consumption starts to drop. My winning this ballgame in my industry (say. And those are the basics of how capitalists make profits—they exploit workers (whether this theory needs to be complicated or even tossed is something we’ll set aside for now) Part 2 j. in a certain way—but that is a complicated topic. The two ways out of this mess? i. This means that the general trend is toward downsizing the workforce and reducing its pay to rock bottom wherever possible viii. That is one of the lingering questions here: 1. The labor theory of value=df. etc. labor creates value (machines.
i. with EL KILOMBO INTERGALÁCTICO—now online http://www. This movement is a confluence of all kinds of trends and practices (Marxism.) Yet many of Marx’s contemporary followers regard his analysis as essentially still correct. maybe TINA) i.zmag. you’ll have a fairly good snapshot of the broad range of cutting-edge anti-capitalist theories and practices He is the driving intellectual force behind this work He has been active in anti-capitalist struggles since the 1950s (his early 20s) as both a theorist and militant/organizer He was arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges in the late 1970s and jailed for four years. anarchism. e. . and they also see capitalism and revolutionary strategy as essentially still the same today as it was 150+ years ago when Marx was writing i. This is how their book Empire is presented to you iv. tools.pdf 4. Assignment for next class a. If you read Spanish. by working through this book and the recommended readings. Ramírez. maybe capitalism has already mutated yet again. but he never argues that capitalism has to and can only take the precise form he analyzes (the logic of capital as it functions under industrialism and in the theoretical works of Smith and Ricardo et al. read the book with those stakes (above) in mind and see what you think ii. poststructuralism. Writings: Our Word is Our Weapon 2. went to France to live and teach for a decade and a half. is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain ii.67.org/documents/beyondresistance. c. Of course he doesn’t anticipate such mutations (he seems to believe in the imminent demise of capitalism) . etc. See p. Recap a.org/znet/viewArticle/5922 c. maybe their work remains too Marxist. and also look at one current form of resistance to Empire (Zapatistas) that resonates with and also differs from H&N’s project iii. . strategies.) ii. Zapatista secondary materials: The Fire and the Word. etc. he was released briefly. eventually returned to Italy to serve out his sentence. and we’ll go a bit more into the idea of a control society/biopower (Deleuze and Foucault. The Marcos piece describes “The Other Campaign” launched in 2006 by the Zapatistas iv. This attitude. 68. and become one of the founders of Italian “autonomism” i. Hayden 5. i. Consequently. . and was finally released for good in 2003 He wrote dozens of influential essays and books during these years. (assuming they are right) they believe we need to update our theoretical analysis of the functioning of capitalism (both its economic base and its superstructure) and our strategies/tools for resistance iii. . 42-66 b. e. though. we read Marx as a revolutionary theorist providing tools and analysis for revolution Marx himself doesn’t seem to think that his analysis is timeless or that capitalism can never go through fundamental mutations that would render his project passé i.. build concepts. by Henck 3. Several of you have expressed an interest in this material 1. Nearly all of Marx’s most serious followers and defenders feel the need to tweak his work to respond to thoroughgoing changes in the nature of capitalism and the world scene Hardt and Negri definitely belong to this latter club i. “Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle” http://www. Don’t want to read?: A Place Called Chiapas (google vid) 6. We started out by suggesting that the stakes of Marx’s work lie in trying to understand how capitalism functions so that workers could . Negri a. But. Recommended: Subcomandante Marcos/EZLN. They believe that a new form of capitalism has emerged out of the shell of the one Marx analyzed ii. too Eurocentric. then wrote some shorter material with Negri and then eventually wrote Empire with Negri b.elkilombo. d. At the very least. The Zapatista Reader. ii. Long interview: Beyond Resistance: Everything. and tactics for resisting and moving beyond it to build new ways of living and producing ii. xvi They could be wrong (maybe Marx already nailed it. Our topic will be alternatives within Empire. e. In short. translated Negri’s work Savage Anomaly into English. b. we’ll start that today) ii. . c. Please read Empire. Situationism. 69. Marcos bio: Subcommander Marcos: The Man and the Mask. d. there is tons more stuff Exams will be handed back no later than two weeks from when you took them You might want to start thinking about your paper topic! We’ll discuss the paper in more detail soon d. Reading Empire will be the easiest way to understand this fairly complex approach to anti-capitalist theory and practice Hardt was first an engineer (alternative energies in Central America) and then a Deleuze scholar.
Capitalism in the form of Empire seems to have no outside b. there comes a new kind of sovereignty/power and a new logic of rule i. Mignolo. old economic hierarchies. power. stay in or exit] are the only two options. The main thing to note here is that Empire institutes a permanent state of emergency—the old nation-State rule of law is everywhere suspended. it also creates avenues and channels that make global resistance and global democracy possible in unprecedented ways ii. i. Along with this paradigm shift. . H and N argue up front that there has been a paradigm shift in the economy and culture—the popular name for this shift is globalization i. NGOs. no doubt. Remember that what comes “before” classical capitalism and globalization for H&N is feudalism. and economy c. It seems. there is no center to sovereignty/power—both the economy and the power structures that maintain it have become decentralized. So.2) b. Even though it threatens to bring us all to ruin. culture. there is a globalization of sovereignty ii. Preface a. Call “Empire” this new logic of power. We’ll return to this issue soon 74.f. . They have since written two other mammoth books (Multitude and Commonwealth. but the rapid increase in the global flows of capital is so massive that it can be seen as an emergent phenomenon b. The successive sections of the book then unpack these snapshot ideas/themes in more detail 71. (culture) 1. Empire. H&N seem to admire Empire in certain ways i. For today: a. . Quijano) 2. . and you can’t easily shake it off of your body/mind 73. Empire and globalization is not all bad i. from within its functioning. (potentially) creates its own gravediggers b. political. But “before” capitalism and “beyond” capitalism mean different things inside and outside Europe . It is marked by the deep and rapid increase of global flows of trade and production (economy) as well as ideas. and. they are glad that certain regressive ideas (petty nationalisms. there is no nostalgia for previous forms of economic hierarchy and “domination” iv. military. like most Marxists. then a snapshot of the material base of globalization (1. for H&N a. way of living and producing) has spread to nearly every corner of the earth i.3) next time c. . slavery and so on—so. Their later work mainly expands on the present material—no huge shifts. b. NATO. the new legal. d. at least in principle. . like Marx. Coinciding with the globalization of the economy and culture. They want to accelerate revolutionary and democratic possibilities within contemporary global capitalism rather than exit it for a previous way of living (not that those [forward and backward. then a snapshot of the legal and political superstructure of globalization (1. localist prejudices. and eventually constitutes from within every aspect of human life (not just institutions and ideas but bodies and practices) 72. United Nations. the discussion of the “constitution” of the new world order and its “juridical” form (legal and political structure) i. you get an overview of the entire project (Preface). . . H&N’s decolonial critics will drive this point home with particular force (Castro-Gomez. police.1). Let’s get that stuff down and then we’ll be ready for another quick snapshot of resistance to/alternatives within globalization (1. so Empire still remains a good place to go to figure out their project and the forms of activism/resistance they are linked with 70. trends. It links humans and their productive powers in ways that previous economies (even classical capitalism) could not iii. . the latter just came out) g. rhythm. It appears to have no limits ii.e. You can’t leave society to avoid it.) and practices have been (essentially) wiped out by Empire c. etc. This is a frightening and problematic development in the history of capitalism. Like Marx. a. through and beyond Empire i. you can’t go to a new territory to avoid it. the way out of Empire is not backward but actually forward . but that’s how it’s often presented by H&N and other Marxists) iii. sovereignty. Hence.1) a. . that it is entirely natural and fixed in place (necessary and natural rather than contingent) iii. no one geographical location) iii. It infects. We’ll talk about the new ISAs later (when we talk about Debord). Just as there is no center to the economy or culture. H and N are. but for now. de-territorialized (no one center. in the name of transnational/Empire sovereignty .. . and “biopolitical” (more on this in a second) structures that maintain and protect Empire/global capitalism’s smooth functioning c. then. trade organizations. etc. Empire’s Superstructure (1. H&N are analyzing the new RSAs . Empire (this new logic. There have long been world markets. contaminates. etc. resolutely modern and forward-looking ii. And yet . From the reading. 1.
Deleuze (from his 1990 essay “Postscript”: an essay aimed at seeking to assess where we are at and where we’re going) himself uses this concept of “control society” to argue that i. We also suggested that there was a corresponding shift in the economic base (the technologies and relations/modes of production) within Empire i.” and “democracy” can happen at any time and with little or no justification (e. .. No additional reading—just get up through 1.. . school. 3. we took a quick glimpse at: a. This is a Foucaultian-Deleuzian point about the flows of power. educational systems.3 today and the stuff from 1. Two key things we’ll talk more about next time i. They’re just describing the overarching tendency of the dominant flows of sovereignty and capital within Empire 1. A decentered.” “humanitarianism. . The way beyond Empire is through it b. The notion of Empire.e. for Deleuze. . mirrors a paradigm shift in the modes of sovereignty and the circulation of power (from disciplinary society to control society) i. the global “war on terror”) i. and less and less in institutions (prisons. So. . deterritorialized system of economic and legal/political power ii. This means that power should be understood as being carried more and more in and through human bodies and practices (biopower) . the ways in which what we call “humans” are formed and unformed through certain connections and assemblages) d. etc. b. he suggests we are moving increasingly away from the old institutions of subject formation (institutions of discipline and confinement: prison. If you’re caught up. production. The big players have moved more and more out of the factories (material labor) and into the knowledge economy (immaterial labor) 2. formed. H&N are writing under the assumption that international police forces of various sorts are going to become increasingly important—this is ambiguous at present 75.) 3. subjectivity. . you could always use this time to start thinking in more depth about your paper Last time.3 for now b. We’re not going to make it through much of 1. exchange. The first: The economic and material aspects of society are today better understood in terms of a “control” society rather than a “disciplinary” society 1. factory) i. . Assignment for Next Class a. And the big players are not capitalists from nation-States but increasingly M/TNCs with no national allegiance b. or.g. we’re at the beginning of something new in terms of the way society is structured ii. But that ironically digs its own grave by creating new avenues of connection and possibilites for revolt among the “multitude” iv.2) a. A system with apparently no limits and a “smooth world” at its disposal iii. From international military and police forces to international legal and trade agreements c. The latter shift is explained in part using the concepts of “control society” and “biopower”—our topics for today For H&N. These are not clean breaks. One possible problem: There may well be a relative “center” to Empire’s RSA superstructure (viz. Interventions of the old “sovereign” nations based on principles of new trans-/inter-national “justice. We looked in some detail at key aspects of the “juridical” (legal and political superstructure) mechanism of Empire i. Empire’s Material (Economic and Physically Embodied) Base (1. ii. The charitable reading: H&N are not describing an end to disciplinary society or an end to factory work i. . the appapratuses of interpellation and performativity. The second: The big players and big industries through which capital/Empire flows have shifted 1. . . and the way human subjects are “produced” (constituted. . but rather deepenings and intensifications of previous economic tendencies and modes of sovereignty c. which denotes: i. 2. don’t think of paradigm shifts here as indicating simple breaks—think of them as emergent phenomena heavily conditioned by what precedes them 2. the paradigm shift they locate in the economy (from classical capitalism to globalization) .2 is important for understanding the overall argument c. For H&N. Following and also going beyond Foucault. Of course this does not mean these disappear—it means they take on a slightly different role within the larger social whole and are supplemented by other mechanisms of power ii. etc. US military/police/security) ii. their model of the functioning of contemporary capitalism is built on Deleuze’s notion of a “control society” a.
. Constant surveillance and monitoring of both “criminals” and society as a whole (street cams. There are obvious ways in which power is exercised over human lives. and Foucault’s shared starting point iii. there are still insides and outsides to them i. and constitute from within human bíos/life c. The old model would be attacking power from a position outside power: But who holds power here? Where is power’s outside? l. . though i. Note: For populations that are targeted solely for total annihilation by power. Global capitalism has infused itself into labor and social relations at almost every conceivable level . overlapping. They infuse social life at every possible level (everything from work to school to recreation to community to family to personal relationships) h. i. These things go on constantly and affect large numbers of people. to encourage us to fit within and produce within the confines of global capitalism f. and we need to be ready to critically assess our every move and gesture (because it has been at least partially captured by the control society) 4. Deleuze’s notion of a “control society” suggests that there is no longer seems to be much of an outside i. This concept.e. What matters is how those technologies and architectures grow out of and fit within a larger social pattern aimed at microcontrol. . invisible. He just warns us that we need to be both very critical and very creative with resistance. borrowed also from Foucault and updated by H&N. . through torture.) not the sole issue j. Examples: i. weekend training. micro-monitoring of the population k. consciousness. As invasive as these institutions are. invest. information sources for marketers. etc. fluid. the mechanisms of power/discipline/control are becoming increasingly subtle. bipower refers to the ways in which power/control comes to work upon. You need lots of human subjects who: i. control societies produce and sustain certain kinds of subjects—societies have to keep at least some of us alive! i. habits. through confinement i. Axciom Global Interactive Marketing Services and their massive data banks and “70 types” of people) i. in a nutshell biopower for H&N refers to those aspects of the control society that work directly upon human lives (bodies and consciousness and habits and practices) . ubiquitous. computers. Continual monitoring of buying habits. producers. education technologies. and practices (prisoner’s routine. you can see their point (whether you agree with it is another question!) a. a. They are examining how power circulates within and through subjects the system wants to keep around—they do not examine as much how global capitalism and its “control society” continue to simply lock up or wipe out “undesirable” populations . and bodies: through war. e. airports. and constant ii. to work smoothly and well. H&N are trying to start from within this picture of the control society. and one can presumably move out of them (not to a powerless outside. iii. but H&N want to also underscore biopower’s productive side d. . cell phones. . By controlling and constituting human life from within. which they believe accurately captures the dominant trends within modern capitalist societies . etc. education’s ideology and architecture and hierarchical power models. is closely linked to control societies—it tries to show more explicitly how control circulates b. One has to move into them and become competent in them. Deleuze’s. it needs a control society 6. networkng with power players outside of “normal” work hours) iii. In brief. This is what H&N are speaking about when they invoke the move from “formal to real subsumption” of labor and social relations by global capitalism i. . . or the continuous and never-ending assessment of K-12 students) ii. This does not mean he is opposed to resistance. don’t rebel and ii. . . What they are tying to figure out is how the economy and its associated superstructure function to keep resistance in check and to smooth the way for the flows of global capitalism b. this analysis will likely have little relevance ii. Biopower a. Education and assessment that never ends (think of workers wanting to move up in their jobs through endless continuing education. . individual institutions) g. A workplace that is always present no matter where one is (remote computers. Deleuze thinks that these kinds of societies have made old forms of resistance next to useless i. consumers. Here. In brief. surfing habits in order both to produce subjects and anticipate their produced desires (why are FB and the Google suite free? the attention economy. but still there is an outside to particular. So. these new technologies and architectures are themselves (phones. As you pull back from this analysis and see what D and H&N are up to. the argument is that for globalization. These “older” disciplinary institutions formed us as subjects through structuring our bodies. who are smoothly inserted into the global economy as workers. factory’s routine and hierarchical power structures) f. and develop a theory of resistance that is up to the task of contesting the harmful aspects of control 5. . email. And this indicates something of H&N’s. and so on) iv.
Recommended: Donna Haraway.html d.3 closely and look at H&N’s critique of localism and the failure of communication that characterizes many of today’s more inspiring rebellions against global capitalism b. but un-thought underside—we are more basic than control or biopower i. etc. We’ll also examine what they see as the more promising route: resistance within and against Empire c. This is the more fundamental. general intellect) Today we will get a quick snapshot of current modes of resistance to Empire.) We have also seen a quick snapshot of its central economic characteristics (globalization. The plane of immanence and Haraway’s work has to do with how we conceive of identity as such and human identity in particular ii. It is more basic than looking at things from their “constituted” perspective b. b. but also vulnerable and selfundermining) We have seen a quick snapshot of its central modes of sovereignty/power/rule (international military. communications technologies. . 69-92 b. We’ll examine the Zapatistas and Chiapas revolt as a test case 9. laws. Control society and biopower . communicative labor ii. both the more and less promising varieties—the Chiapas struggle and Zapatistas will help us understand the stakes of H&N’s projects and what they envision as alternatives to Empire . H&N argue for the primacy of production ii.edu/dept/HPS/Haraway/CyborgManifesto. deterritorialized. 76. this all looks very bleak! But remember.stanford. We are the forces that sustain Empire (its wealth. And when that vitality is captured by Empire. “Cyborg Manifesto” c. In a couple of weeks. bipower. i. . Marx argued as much when talking about factory workers c. d. We started with a quick snapshot of the logic of Empire (decentered.” Empire has no force without the productive powers and energies of the multitude iii. What kinds of subversive connections and modes of resistance are opened up by the flows of immaterial labor? Resistance a. trade agreements. And more specifically.ii.” but our subjectivity is neither simple nor is it simply determined by Empire i. “ontological” perspective ii. . “Empire is a mere apparatus of capture that lives only off the vitality of the multitude” (62) ii. From an “ontological perspective. Assignment for next class a. We will discuss the “plane of immanence” as described by H&N and interrogate it using Haraway’s work (cited by H&N toward the end of the section) i. or that new becomings and connections aren’t possible iv. police. . while built upon and still reliant upon factory work of various sorts. H&N are referring to ways in which laborers get “technologized. its force. that does not mean human vitality is identical to Empire.) 7. c. We are now subjects of Empire’s “control society” and “biopower.” or “global-capitalized” (get transformed into the productive forces of global capitalism—machinized. Over and against the notion that the “center” of modern capitalism lies in humans as consumers and subjects-of-marketing (human beings passively wrapped in a marketing bubble) . We have a “pre-discursive” vitality that powers and exceeds the machine’s capture iii. We are not passive consumers—or at least not just passive consumers iv. We human beings are the positive. This will require us to examine more closely this shift in globalization toward immaterial. Recap a. But Empire. is increasingly investing in intellectual and immaterial labor i. MNCs instead of nation-States) and the subjects it produces (control society. Next time. And it will also mean that we need to uncover the new avenues of resistance that are opened up by these new modes of production 1. more later 8. etc.) b. . This is Deleuzean subjectivity . Please read Empire. we will also interrogate these ideas about identity and immanence (and H&N’s larger project) from a decolonial perspective 77. General Intellect a. . smooth. http://www. let’s go through 1. etc. these are the reactive aspects of Empire a.
there is no longer any way of getting outside of. . They want us to see these local identities as not at all “pure” or outside Empire but as largely constituted by Empire (both present and previous incarnations of capitalism have produced or helped to produce these “local. besides necessity and strategy: What is to be gained by going through Empire and modernity? a. H&N recommend pushing through Empire and out the other side 81. So. we can build on and improve upon the successes and failures of the older. But. To do so. we can see a number of important positive potentials that we’d otherwise miss: i. etc. . The revolutionary class is no longer the factory worker but the multitude that sustain Empire iii. Empire according to H&N i. And we also need to recognize the fundamentally new nature of today’s radical struggles (some examples are listed on p. We don’t want to ignore the resistance and energy that forms the underside of this “monster” of Empire b. most remarkable forms of resistance are now anti-Empire ii. nation-state models of “internationalist” resistance (China.78. according to H&N. See p. we now have the material (here meaning both economic and physical) conditions in place for global democracy and universal emancipation 79.” seemingly original identities) i. As we saw on the first day.” ii. The struggles have changed their form. we have no choice in terms of strategy but to go through and beyond Empire 1. or unplugging from. In brief. It is from within this context that we can assess the advances and limitations of these new anti-Empire struggles a. Empire has helped to deepen and materialize the global links between the multitude of workers. . Second. be given up (in particular. what comes before Empire (classical industrial capitalism and its nation-States) 2. a. 54) c. the new tools for resistance it has unwittingly produced (and also any useful older tools it has incorporated from previous socio-economic arrangements) iii. We (especially “First-world” subjects but increasingly every corner of the globe) are immersed in the networks and power flows of the control society and its bio-power ii. producers. their strategy 83.” 80. The development of Empire and modernity is the story of the multitude’s potentiality and its capture ii.” a new “proletariat” 1. Resistance a. 45-6: “This Leftist strategy . and we’ll talk more about this with Donna Haraway b. But as H&N make clear.) i. we can gain a glimpse of the ontological underside of modernity’s constituted legal and economic order (multitude’s power and potentiality) i. It is difficult to help communicate these struggles to each other—they remain isolated and don’t fully appreciate their possible. very much like the early Marx rejects the idea of exiting capitalism and returning to primitive forms of communism (but don’t forget the ethnographic notebooks!). In brief. The damaging portion is nicely summed up on pp. and outcasts and their vitality and potentiality in unimagined ways 2. or what comes before classical capitalism (all of the economic modes of life that Marx analyzes and rejects because of their internal contradictions) iv. the concept of immanence and the abandoning of religious other-worldliness) 82. First. Cuba. So. Empire is a good thing inasmuch as it has torn asunder old nation-State boundaries and accelerated the demise of the nation-State 1. This means it is strategically wise to use: a. if we stay within the purview of Empire and modernity. The key limits that H&N see: i. they also have no nostalgia for: 1. So. But there are a couple of other things to be gained by pushing through Empire and modernity . we have a new “working class. . productive overlappings in terms of shared theoretical alliances and solidarities 1. Traditional Marxists argue that revolutionaries need to seize State power . Why link these struggles and try to hegemonize the political field and/or the nation-State? (se’ll see with Laclau and Mouffe later) ii. What we are going to see next time is that they believe there are essential resources within modernity that must not. It is difficult to adequately theorize and name the common enemy that binds these struggles (Empire as a book is a contribution to this project) ii. . They reject this strategy as “false” and “damaging” c. Soviet models. The newer. A common anti-capitalist strategy for resistance against global Empire is what H&N term “localism” a. The other limit—and H&N are working though this and are not fully sure what to do here—has to do with how struggles are linked and “hegemonized” at the political level (if at all) i. . we have to come to grips with the fact that with increased globalization. The way they pitch this: various groups who argue for a return to the nation-State or a return to local communities and trying to unplug from Empire b. Contemporary example: ecofeminism. 53: “The fact that under the category .
. The Other Campaign was started some 6 years after Empire was written (but the uprising predates it by 5 years) i. and repression of those who refuse it. they seem to have stopped asking any critical questions of the Zapatistas and simply align themselves with them iii.iii. an anarchist in Spain. It is clear that such a structure can function only as the ethico-poetic shadowy double of the existing positive state power structure. the Zapatista movement in Chiapas. but first: iv. Traditional Marxists would criticize these new. when they marched from Chiapas to Mexico City. than Ali or Zizek But they do see real problems in terms of how these movements can advance their struggle So . d. a Palestinian in Israel. imagery. 82-3) c. reflecting each of their own struggles. and you have to begin to implement change—in small doses if necessary—but you have to do it. so people were nervous. culture jamming. They will only do that if they feel threatened. which goes like this: ‘We can change the world without taking power. Communication and linking: H&N see serious problems among the new anti-Empire movements in terms of their ability to communicate their struggles to potential allies i. anti-Empire movements for being too anarchist and for not being aimed at grasping State power and hegemonizing the political sphere 1.) . Not only do they make creative use of the new communications infrastructure of Empire (internet. an Asian in Europe.M. NG “is based on exploitation. in his new persona. . black in South Africa. And they don’t feel threatened at the moment.. antiEmpire movements: Do you see the US Empire absorbing this anti-capitalist energy by trying to propose a softer version of neoliberalism? I don’t think they are. worldwide” (BRE. But I think. functions: He wasn't a commander barking orders. they speak of Neoliberal Globalization.' Most famously. This is sometimes referred to as “glocalism” ii. so completely and unmistakably his own. H&N are more cautious here as we’ll see . the victory of the military. . and the Zapatistas in particular. anarchist. it’s an interesting situation and I think at Porto Alegre next year all these things will be debated and discussed—I hope. as the presumption of one particular individual that his subjectivity serves as a direct medium of expression for the universal will. dispersed counter-power of the multitude is. If the Zapatistas were to effectively take power. Marcos says to those who seek him out that he is not a leader. His first words. This marks a slight shift in their work toward a renewed appreciation for indigenous struggles of various sorts (they look at Native American struggles. Or. a peasant without land. Meanwhile. Let’s look at how the Chiapas communities and Zapatistas frame the issue of combating Empire and linking struggles a. e. The Zapatistas represent a passing through modernity and Empire to its other side (alter-modernity): see p. creating intercontinental meetings and encounter (see BRE. Here is Naomi Klein's description of how its leading figure. But they also use traditional models of sharing their struggle and communicating allies: they make the effort to go meet people in other struggles and listen to them c. iii. how Zapatistas and Chiapas rebels address these limits: common enemy. Common enemy: rather than Empire. plunder..’ This slogan doesn’t threaten anyone. sending material aid when possible. the water wars in Bolivia. a single woman on the Metro at 10 P. that a Zapatista is anyone anywhere fighting injustice.the supposed non-self. from that point of view.’ So.. Tariq Ali thinks the Chavez-Venezuela model is much more promising than the more non-Statist. no wonder his idea is to throw off his mask and disappear back into anonymity if and when the movement reaches its goals. of course.. It says: ‘in order to change the world you have to take power. The same as before. the conduit. the defeat of the armed struggle movements. . a term with a long history in Latin American revolutionary politics i. Witness the standard Marxist critiques of the Zapatistas 1. let’s look at our old friend Zizek (from the end of his Deleuze book): The favored example of the supporters (and practitioners) of the new.their apparent modesty would reveal itself as extreme arrogance. but that his black mask is a mirror. Marcos himself . at the moment. No wonder Marcos cannot show his face. people were very burnt by recent experiences: the defeat of the Sandinistas. With worldwide struggles. and Chiapas/Zapatistas. contempt. And they do this on two distinct fronts: globally and locally at the same time i. communication. . prepared to do that. Much (but not all) of what this campaign does is precisely the kinds of thing that H&N were hoping to see happen ii. a Chicano in San Ysidro. a gang member in the slums. he once told a reporter that 'Marcos is gay in San Francisco. The Zapatistas—whom I admire—you know. etc. among others) 84. that 'We are you. H&N are slightly more optimistic about these movements. But here is where the Chiapas rebels and Marcos himself have been far more successful than any comparable movement ii.' Further subjugating himself. 111 of Commonwealth iv. So I think that phase was understandable in Latin American politics. And one reason—I have to be very blunt here—they don’t feel threatened is because there is an idealistic slogan within the social movements. it’s a moral slogan. the Venezuelan example is the most interesting one. etc. v." would immediately acquire a much more ominous dimension . Subcommandante Marcos.writes in a tone so personal and poetic. Without it nothing will change. 73) b. In their most recent work. what did they think was going to happen? Nothing happened. reverse marketing. but a subcommandante. they speak of forging new relationships and alliances. linking? f. it was not even a moral victory because nothing happened. a conduit for the will of the councils. It was a moral symbol. were 'Through me speaks the will of the Zapatista National Liberation Army. the mirror . statements like "Through me speaks the will of. but now globalized.
general intellect) Our topic from last time: resistance to Empire i. d.blogspot. The Revolutionary Plane of Immanence a. by way of force) a. Zizek. “The Ballot or the Bullet” http://www. b. Empire defined (smooth. they do critically engage the State. they speak of their continued defense of the indigenous and dispossessed peoples. They seek to develop modes of resistance along local and global lines ii. constituent forces of human potentiality/vitality/productive powers on the one hand . H&N have themselves rethought their stance on these points a bit and try to bring the Zapatistas and Bolivian rebels under their “altermodernity” narrative in Commonwealth ii. . and work against Empire’s destructive tendencies ii. . contrary to the Zizekian-style critique of the Chiapas rebels/Zapatistas as simply offering a toothless withdrawal from the State. and biodiversity more generally c. they employ local and global (“glocal”) strategies of resistance 2. http://bio-fuel-watch. They do seem to see the enemy as Empire (albeit with a more US-Europe-centered twist). we dip back into H&N’s story about Empire’s sovereignty/power at a deeper level a. Pleas for international support for the Zapatistas are being urged right now—force of some sort against the State does seem necessary. The game continues: the land is being seized for biofuel production (plam fruits are pressed for their oils and used for “green” alternative fuels)—this is a increasingly common strategy that ruins indigenous cultures. and ontologies/epistemologies in developing alternative ways of living a. Most powerful strategies remain within Empire. and they use Empire’s tools against it 1. ecosystems. they don’t seize state power. contra H&N. 83-4) 1. Classical Marxists view such anti-Empire struggles as well-intentioned but non-revolutionary (Ali. But contra Zizek and Ali. biopower. Our topic will be revolutionary. H&N’s story starts with the discovery of this plane of immanence in the 13th-15th centuries i. (their inventive use of traditional and developing technologies—underground organization and guerilla strategies) d. For them the story of modernity is the story of the dialectical interplay between the ontologically basic. . They seek to engage the State. Recap a. they want to argue that modernity is a more complicated affair than anti-modernists (people who want to escape it altogether) and post-modernists (people who think it has come to an end) acknowledge 89. They also invoke indigenous modes of governance. and help in the struggle for a new Constitution (see BRE. “subaltern” nationalisms and whether they represent genuine advances beyond/against Empire or whether they are merely nationalist “localisms” that need to be moved beyond 87. The problem that this particular anti-Empire form of resistance runs into is precisely the overwhelming police and military force that the State (as representative of Empire) still wields So. 88. exploit universalist and global dimensions.html 86. . But.hartford-hwp. forms of life. c. Assignment for next class a. Here. affirmative. f. and transform the State where possible—without becoming a new State 85. even for the most sophisticated struggles . animls species. of listening to the simple and humble Mexican people. they have no effect) Zapatistas/Chiapas rebels as test case i. The Alis and Zizeks might have the last word here—as we speak. . theoretical and political linkages need to be constructed iii. Problems with newer. They do in fact avoid taking State power 1. the question of resistance remains a live one.com/archives/45a/065. 93-136 b. The lingering problem a. e. Empire. In Part II of the book. Recommended: Malcolm X. but what form should it take? d. the Mexican government has re-started its killing and forcible removal of indigenous peoples in Chiapas b. resist the State. anti-Empire struggles: communication with each other. ubiquitous. they have a very complicated set of strategies i.html c. They seek to build alternative ways of doing politics and ways of living that are indebted to and sensitive to indigenous traditions (and without romanticizing those traditions) iii.com/2010/02/bmexico-violent-evictions-in-chiapas.iii. even occasionally making demands of it (positively) and fighting it head on (critically. Mexico-centered struggles. trying to develop new ways of doing politics. With local. So. yet vulnerable) Empire’s modes of power (sovereignty decentered and increasingly global) Empire’s economic flows (globalization) and its constituted human subjects (control.
In other words. then why is it important to tell the story in the Eurocentric way they do? 3. 73: “What is revolutionary . Modern Sovereignty and the Sovereignty Machine a. capturing. Weber. There is a ton of material here. And the constituted. really on the same plane for H&N? 2. and the Frankfurt School in order to underscore how police power functions to produce a multitude that is well ordered and non-rebellious Now. Is this really immanence in the radical sense of the term. that the immanent goal of the multitude is transformed into the necessary and transcendent power of the state” (82) 92. God. two potential problems here: i. notions of immanence already found and more fully developed outside of Europe and modernity? 1. And: with Hegel: “that the liberation of modern humanity could only be a function of its domination. and Hegel in order to show the conjunction of sovereign political power with the State (a story you already know plenty about through Marx) b. . the entire non-human world goes missing 4.2 and 2. anywhere but in our hands) ii. Then they discuss Foucault. 9 (below) ii. Why does it matter if European modernity has (avowedly minor and limited) resources for critique and resistance if equal or superior resources are available across the globe? 4. and others are far more careful here—H&N’s blindspot derives from their Marxist inheritance 5. Heidegger. What this entire sketch is trying to do is to tie anti-humanist critiques of the subject from the 1960s (Althusser. languages. ii. Spinoza. and overflowing with potential and vitality. Also. is located on the revolutionary plane of immanence that places humans back in the natural world with their potentiality and vitality b. Anti-humanism. flows. isolate the human mind and knowledge from this material world. then. To put it succinctly: “With Descartes we are at the beginning of the history of the Enlightenment. b. the bigger picture: 93. or even in the Deleuzean sense of the term? 1. If that is the case. And the economic-political expansion of Europe into the Americas (conquest and colonialism) i. It is a re-appropriation of creative powers and potentialities that we once thought to be divine 1. The Transcendental Apparatus a. The big players of the Enlightenment and modern philosophy (Descartes. Deleuze. H&N track this discovery across several thinkers and fields (from philosophy to politics) in order to illustrate that. Note: of course all of these individuals could be read differently b. As always with Negri. so let’s synthesize it quickly and just read through it so you can see the bigger picture: 90. . We’ll return to this question when we examine Castro-Gomez’s essay c. desires. Placing humans and their powers in this world contests religious transcendence. Descartes.” iii. Kant. political. . they get rebellious and start building radical democracy in various arenas (intellectual. . reactive. See p. economic) v. the only reality conceded to us” (81) d. The discovery of the plane of immanence is precisely a rediscovery of our collective potentiality ii. or rather bourgeois ideology” (80) c. etc. and I brought you but two of them from tribes who lived right under your feet (Tongva and Cahuilla examples) 2. See p. Spinoza plays the role of the (counter-counter) revolutionary (bottom of p. but also productive powers of sovereignty/authority on the other What sovereignty wants us not to see is our collective human potentiality.” d. 76: “Modernity itself is defined by crisis . Are all life and non-life forms. 77) 91. . The counter-revolution occurred by way of the re-emergence of theological-political mode of sovereignty . When human beings see themselves as productive. The anti-humanists were not trying to kill agency or subjectivity but to show us that as individuals we emerge from out of the collective social structures (institutions. cultures) that we have collectively produced iii. They cite Haraway to this effect . H&N discuss Hobbes. Adam Smith. First. the revolutionary struggle has come full circle back to the discovery of human potentiality and vitality with the anti-humanists ii.3 c. Foucault. but it leaves anthropocentric transcendence (the notion that our human vitality and potentiality is somehow primary) untouched 3. And: with Kant. “The world becomes an architecture of ideal forms.) with the discovery of the revolutionary plane of immanence in the 13th-15th centuries i. Modernity as Crisis a. In their story of Empire’s functioning and possible demise. . . and perhaps more fruitful and more radical. Hobbes) in H&N’s story play the role of the enemy i. This portion of the story will be examined in more detail in 2. See Nicole Shukin’s Animal Capital: Rendering Life in Biopolitical Times. creative. and send our creative powers back to a transcendent sphere (the state. theoretical and political immanence is regained and revolutionary forces and ideas are unleashed iv. Humanism After the Death of Man a. secondary.b. p. They are those who try to disavow human potentiality. . And so the counter-revolutionary crack-down begins . aren’t similar. Nietzsche. with the advent of modernity. that we are the ones who create “worlds” and produce our own form of social and political life i. There are literally hundreds of examples of radical immanence in indigenous cultures. etc. Hegel.
H&N see the “abstract machine” of the modern nation-State and national forms of sovereignty in general primarily as machines of capture of the multitude’s vitality a. Indeed. Likewise.c. Empire. .3 1. from top to bottom. d. both intra-human and extra-human For H&N. We are examining this story. and also the emergent struggles against this logic that must take place on the terrain of Empire if it is to be displaced i. ontological) powers 2. It emerges out previous economic structures but also emerges out of the multitude’s creative powers b. http://books. 1. there is little in the logic or practice of the capitalist nation-State worth maintaining . learn the emergent (in other words. Remember. Empire (defined. 137-59 b. if you’re bored or have time Thus far: a. in other words. This is a key section of Empire and worth reading carefully Paper Assignment: send me a reminder to put it up on BB! a. constituent (primary. you know where to go . according to H&N’s way of seeing things. This is just a brief excerpt from the book. human desires and productive power above all else) that figures heavily in our ethics and politics goes largely unchallenged by H&N iii. e. use many of its tools. i. in order to a. the immanent power of the multitude to constitute the substance of its life world—takes on an unexpectedly metaphysical quality in its association with forms of “immaterial [social] labour” that no longer appear contingent on animal bodies. we are examining how various constituted powers throughout history (monarchical sovereignty.e. there are few signs that the social flesh eats. and eventually Empire) have “captured” and channeled the vital powers of the multitude a. but are not identical to its modes of sovereignty 3.2 and 2. 171 for a nice summary of the limits of the Marxist approach and the dualisms that plague Western thought But here is the key difference between the work of someone like Haraway and H&N i. 151 of SCW iv. Delving into Sections 2. and politics. The two dualisms that she is best at undercutting are the human-machine distinction (fluid cyborg ontology) and the humananimal distinction (fluid simian ontology) iii. this discovery of the plane of immanence is the re-discovery of a primarily human potentiality and productive power i. its human subjects. See also p. . And this discovery calls into question. if you want the entire book. The discovery of the plane of immanence for Haraway is the discovery of the co-constitution of subjectivity among human and non-human others of many sorts ii. somewhat Eurocentric. its power.google. but jumping off and away from what precedes it) logic of Empire i. H&N are describing a battle of constituted (secondary) vs. As such. She calls for a radical change in our ontologies. The nation-State captures and then channels/subordinates our collective productive powers to the well-being of the capitalist ruling class (instead of to the collective well-being of the multitude) b. developmental. You could get started on that over the break. despite attempting not to be) 2. the “social flesh” of the multitude is conceived in Deleuzian fashion as “pure potential” or virtuality. despite attempting not to be. Despite Hardt and Negri’s attempt to move beyond the “horizon of language and communication” that contours the concept of immaterial labor in the work of contemporary Italian Marxists (something they do by theorizing affect as the missing biopolitical link to the animal body). “Orientalism” c. few signs that the social bios is materially contingent upon and continuous with the lives of nonhuman others. The struggles take place on the terrain of Empire. nationState. In these sections of the book. Last time: Modernity read as the story of the battle between the immanent and constituent forces of the multitude and its capture by various forms of sovereignty i. epistemologies. what Hardt and Negri term “the ontology of production”—namely. historical. its economy. Assignment for Next Class a. This limited perspective is one of the key problems that plague H&N as they seek to discover resistance and alternatives to Empire Shukin citation: However.com/books? id=zcpiQwtw4hMC&pg=PA24&dq=edward+said+postcolonial+reader+orientalism&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false d. Recommended: Edward Said. ethics.. How that power emerges from out of our engagement with the entire non-human world is left to the side ii. Haraway insists on contesting all human-other dualisms and places us squarely in this world ii. and possible modes of resistance to its destructive aspects) b. We briefly touched on a couple of limits of H&N’s concept of immanence and the constituent power of the human multitude (somewhat anthropocentric. See p. Please read H&N. the basic structures of Western culture iii. the anthropocentric transcendence (i. 3.
ii. 134: “The entire logical chain . imperialism of “progressive” socialist European nations. and this is why they are not particularly enamored of constitutional republics or parliamentary democracies ii. This is similar to their admiration for the Zapatista model we discussed last time c. especially as it concerns the recuperation and revaluation of denigrated and marginalized groups a. purity) b.2 discussing the inherently totalitarian (which is to say. He has his own ideas and development.S. But what about the ways in which the nation-State and nationalism can work for “the good” (in other words. sexual. defend themselves. There is no doubt that the specific version of Black nationalism (and other separatist nationalisms and identity politics) they are describing has sometimes fallen prey to this kind of marginalizing logic iii. note also the famous Life photo b. what about the nation-State when it is used to contest Empire’s or capital’s destructive powers)? a. See p. let’s delve into the subaltern nationalism question a bit more carefully. they think these versions of national liberation are “poisoned gifts” (132) a.g. 10. H&N applaud Malcolm X and his version of Black nationalism for providing a powerful defensive gesture against racist and state violence (creating the space to speak as an autonomous and separate people. . 8. The various “barbarisms” that are to be found wherever progressive nationalisms are tried are examined at the end of 2.” For the moment. they are close to anarchists and also post-Statist thinkers like Agamben c. The Malcom X approach a. They have profound respect for the autonomous and creative practices of Black nationalism (everything from building new forms of community to building new meaning structures to providing for basic material needs) i. Is the nation-State model inherently problematic and inherently anti-multitude. 5. . regain autonomy. In this argument.2 i. . but when they are actually carried out successfully at the national level. 7. and he fought against this kind of exclusionary logic on several occasions (both before and after the Mecca pilgrimage) b. in-group identity politics (a politics of racial. is YES to both aspects of that question a. . Bolshevism and Russian nationalism with Stalin. Russia or China). . A clip post-Mecca . revolt against and resist the powers of the ruling class H&N applaud the progressive aspects of subaltern nationalism. specifically: a. in brief.. we need new friends. he was caught up in some of the problems that attend this kind of logic 11. In brief. 108: “In the case of black nationalism . The two forms of subaltern nationalism H&N analyze most closely are (1) Black nationalism in the US via Malcolm X and (2) the de-colonial struggles associated with Fanon and Sartre (more on this next time) 6. They spend the end of 2.. or native/tribal sovereignty) Despite their admiration for such movements. or the welfare State (e.g. marginalized within society ii. with their own means of self-defense and organization) i. its ability to protect dispossessed people from external domination b. They argue that not only do they tend toward reactionary. the fundamentally anti-multitude nature) nature/potential of the nation-State b. etc. under FDR) b. or militant lesbian separatism.” ii. but nevertheless remain resistant to those dominant powers b. or just contingently so depending upon who has power? H&N’s answer. or the communist State (e. 9. its effort to re-value and recuperate identities and autonomous forms of life and practices that have been denigrated by the dominant society (think of Black nationalism. d. . See Malcolm: “When we begin to get in this area. they end up back in the world capitalist market and the economic revolution never comes i. But here is where it is necessary to note that Malcolm X the person and Black Nationalism the movement are not always identical a. Subaltern nationalism thus refers to those forms of nationalism that are used by “minority” groups or dispossessed peoples to: i. Nazism. and iii. etc. Think for example of the socialist State (Europe). is constructed to oppose every tendency on the part of the proletariat to reappropriate social spaces and social wealth” (111) But what about “subaltern nationalism”? a. H&N’s worry arises when Black nationalism functions oppressively to crush heterogeneity within marginalized communities i. “the concept of the nation-state . we need new allies” d. They also applaud Malcolm’s attempt to place Black nationalism in the context of a broader struggle outside the purview of the US nation-State (civil rights) and in the arena of international human rights i. Subaltern is a term borrowed from Gramsci and is used to refer to those groups of people who are: i. the U.4. subjected to the hegemony of the ruling classes iii. Malcolm’s remarks on “the great controversy over rifles and shotguns” in “The Ballot or the Bullet” speak to this issue of violent self-defense. The latter problem stems from the failure of representational politics as such. And in Malcolm’s years with the NOI. See p. These failures alone would be enough to make them question the nation-State model and nationalism as such i.
Asian.com/books? id=Zj79HmexugcC&pg=PA150&dq="indigenous+nationhood+is+predicated+on+this+understanding+of+relationship. the appeal to “nation” by SRN here often has little or nothing to do with identity. “Indigenous nationhood is predicated on this understanding of relationship” ii.S. Although they admire certain aspects of subaltern revolutionary nationalisms (SRN).youtube.” esp. local and global ecosystems (in flux). relational ontology and politics iii. Empire."&ei =vea4S87fFZTEMfjDubwK&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22indigenous%20nationhood%20is%20predicated%20on%20this %20understanding%20of%20relationship. but we’ll come back to it) b. many indigenous concepts of “peoples” have a hard time even discussing or theorizing about static individual human beings (do such beings even exist?). Recommended: Guy Debord. How to deal with Empire’s differential effects in terms of racism and other forms of marginalization? c.org/commentaires. economy.%22&f=false d. sovereignty issue for now. Please read H&N. Rather. 7. Indeed. Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee and U of Toronto prof) on SRN: i.c. but that the nation-State is increasingly becoming displaced by Empire 1.html d. essence. seeing instead groups or peoples caught up in a vast and complicated series of dynamic. Contra H&N. for example. See. Why so? Remember the “race for theory” 5. And it will also provide us an opportunity to return to the issue of race and racism (which was treated rather quickly in the previous section) Thus far: a. In brief. or the nation-State i. http://www.com/watch?v=3xXB48l-OlE&feature=related 12. while interesting and correct as far as it goes. relational cosmic powers iv. relational conception of human beings within a community that goes well beyond the human ii. 183-204 (NB: This is different from the syllabus! We’re passing over the U. H&N have no nostalgia for the nation-State as an alternative way of life or mode of resistance 2.1-3 run us through a surface analysis of all three key dimensions they want to discuss: power. and so on 2. A broad. inasmuch as such movements are built on identities. “Comments on the Society of the Spectacle. Additionally. whether it’s queer. H&N are trying to distance themselves from postmodernism and postcolonialism b. Assignment for Next Class a. Part 2 takes us through the power issue in more detail i. http://books. There is nothing timeless. does not provide us with any kind of detailed analysis of how to deal with racism within Empire a. this is a notion of local communities in flux that are tied in not only with all other human communities (in flux) but with local and global geographies (in flux). This is a dynamic. they argue such nationalisms harbor essentialist and reactionary dangers 3. Much as they did with SRN. We saw that modernity is to be understood as a battle between the multitude’s discovery of immanence and sovereignty’s attempt to capture the multitude’s productive power and subject it to transcendent forms of sovereignty ii. 6. or aboriginal SRN we’re talking about. I-X c.google. resistance) b. These pages will allow us to examine some more of the ways in which it is no longer possible to speak of an outside to Empire. these identities can function to exclude and marginalize Now. There are many forms of SRN that avoid the pitfalls they mention b. What we find among this kind of decolonial SRN is much of what goes missing in H&N’s concept of the multitude (and in most other Marxist approaches to the “universal” proletariat) i.notbored. The entire version of this book is available on that site as well as the original CSS (which is a bit denser and more difficult to read) e. We saw that the nation-State (a transcendent machine) has been used to capture the multitude’s immanent powers. How to negotiate these antagonisms? b. according to H&N f. it is important to note that the critique of Black nationalism that H&N offer. or essentialist here 1. They know they have more work to do here. static. Nietzschean and Deleuzean ontology as exit from Western metaphysics and entry onto plane of immnence Postmodernism and Postcolonialism a. Black. See you then! 4. . These Eurocentric concepts are often projected back onto these communities (this stems from H&N not really engaging with these groups in any sustained manner) c. and we’ll rejoin this issue after Spring Break d. Empire (sections 1. the picture is more complicated than H&N suggest a. http://www.
But much as with H&N’s Empire. let’s see what the problem with postmodernism is i. in order to justify conquest and to establish systems of administration and instruction” (LC. But the modern economy loves “difference”—it markets it and markets to it ii. institutions. having stereotypical gender traits (submissive females. cultural. Portraying the non-Western world as timeless (think of the “ahistorical” peoples). The deconstruction of binaries (man/woman.” “incomprehensible” world). Such a people are clearly in need of “our” help! f. and so on) e. But even a simple reading of their texts suggests that this “critique” is a caricature at best (See Derrida’s The Other Heading. etc. exotic (these people belong to a “dark. human/animal. 8. the precontact Americas. Said is trying to delimit the “discourse” of Orientalism and show how it functions i. Now. Postcolonialist theory. and Baudrillard with this general trend within postmodernism v. etc. and postcolonialism. He agrees with Said’s general description of colonialism and Orientalism: i.) c. It is a series of discourses. the sweatshop worker. sarcastically) i. suffers from a similar kind of problem according to H&N b. self/Other. Let’s look quickly at Said (and Bhabha. And the critique of the Enlightenment/modernity b. 70) . this critique is a caricature and it suffers from equivocation regarding the concept of difference iv. etc. On the former point (deconstruction of binaries). but also feminized males). promiscuous) v. West/East. they try to show that these other movements have fundamentally misunderstood the enemy. though. the Islamic countries and cultures. Despite H&N’s close alignment with SRN. the smooth functioning of the system v. and to be charitable to both groups at the same time: i. etc. Creating sharp binary differences between the West and its Others ii. So. What postmodernists are doing is teasing out the ontological opening in Western metaphysics—the beginning of that Western ‘world’—that paved the way for “Empire” (the dominant form of life that is sweeping the globe and annihilating all others) ii. . Lyotard’s Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime. In Continental circles. . H&N believe that European modernity is not simply about sovereignty and transcendent power ii.g. indeed many other forms of life (much like the Zapatistsas) iii. anxious. The chief characteristics of postmodernism for H&N are: i. more producers. Orientalism proceeds by way of: i. economic. The deconstruction of binaries is not about sheer difference as such—it is about difference that makes a difference to. resistance to the enemy. Again. They are doing this in the name of trying to open the space for another form of life.c. fabricated claims about the customs and practices of non-Western cultures iii. and degenerate (lazy. and depressed consumer behind the wheel of his shiny new Hummer) d. To help H&N out. How does one resist the imposition of Orientalism and its institutions and practices on a culture? 10. the tendency is to displace and overcome the previous dominant theoretical and critical framework rather than have a multiple framework ii. inspired heavily by Fanon’s work (BSWM and WE) and Said’s Orientalism. Making non-empirical. what does Said mean by “Orientalism”? d. a difference that interrupts. More consumers. They align Derrida. its power its modes of production. Legitimating the domination and oppression of these non-Western cultures iv. The real limit in this discourse (poststructuralism/postmodernism) is that it has a difficult time articulating a theory of resistance—it hasn’t caught up in practice to the radicality of its theoretical critique 9. it is about the ways in which the Other resists easy subsumption within the system (intellectual. postmodernism. the “First world” version is the insecure. and epistemological/ontological frameworks (Foucault) that help Western Europeans to make sense of and justify the colonization of various Others (the so-called Asian East. First. Baudrillard’s early work. belonging to other “races” or “breeds” (think of Kant’s racial categories). iii. since H&N focus on him) to get a sense of what H&N see as the chief limit to this critical framework c. As we have seen. To discard European modernity too quickly is to miss the multitude’s discovery of immanence and all of those associated resources (Spinoza. postmodernists are unleashing “differences”—as if this were by itself revolutionary (H&N want to add.) iv. This is where Bhabha’s work comes in a. H&N’s Problem with Postcolonialism a. On the latter point.) vi.. lustful. postmodernists are too quick in the rejection of modernity for H&N’s taste i. It is also about the multitude discovering their immanent potential and productive power iii. stupid. The Problem with Postmodernism a. more markets . it end up looking like a behemoth with no outside ii. etc.) ii. In other words. this is what Dussel calls the “living flesh” of the human Other that lies behind the commodity (e. Lyotard. “The objective of colonial discourse is to construe the colonized as a population of degenerate types on the basis of racial origin. Empire is predicated upon either covering over or annihilating such radical Otherness.
H&N believe the liberatory path lies in accelerating Empire’s globalizing linkages. This notion of control is inspired by and builds off of the Situationist concept of the spectacle society—our main topic for today 15. b. who live alternative forms of life that are quite remarkable. Marxists like H&N. Postmodernism: misunderstand the logic of Empire (not binary or hierarchy) and overlooks the radical underside of Modernity (discovery of immanence) in the name of the search for a radical outside to modernity iii. We’re currently in the midst of working through H&N’s analysis of Empire’s power structures b. Empire. etc.) that you enter and exit. In other words. it never quite finds iii. etc. believe that Western metaphysics and colonialism emerge out of capitalism and the economy d. . Orientalism has always already failed due to massive resistance . prisons. They do so because they believe that is where the real enemy lies b. . more subtle. but caught up in a search for an outside to Europe and the West b. hybridity. Bhabha and Said are definitely critics of global capitalism and Empire.But Bhabha believes that resistance is not difficult to understand here i. the more powerful nationStates. by contrast. You are supposed to pick. but he obviously doesn’t mean a new version of the nation-State variety of colonialism) 12. If you pick incorrectly. you are constantly caught up in networks of control e. much like the postmodernists are showing us the ontological framework that opens the West. you mistake effects (hybridity. So. Of course. and more insidious mode of power: control c. and H&N want you to pick the economy c. . We have a chicken and egg problem a. factories. To put it in the briefest terms possible: H&N are trying to demonstrate that other approaches to understanding contemporary power are outmoded i. subjects are constituted in relation to networks of control that infuse every aspect of social and personal life. more basic. hospitals. taking the global assemblages it forms and reorienting them around the well being of the multitude c. Assignment for Next Class a. postmodernism. f. . What it actually finds is concrete Others who resist its hegemony and imperialism.) actually is within the system and doesn’t disrupt it e. Trying to resist from a space outside of the West and outside of Empire is not the solution (this usually devolves into a kind of localism over and against Empire’s globalizing tendencies) ii. 13. hence its constant performativity of its hierarchical and binary identity categories and its constant violence 11. In control societies (Deleuze). H&N argue that Empire is not neo-colonialism but something new (of course. Which comes first: “World” (in the Heideggerian sense. Again. Let’s skip the recommended reading. regulatory agencies—in short MNCs. police. . they think that Bhabha’s notion of the enemy and his ideas about alternatives to Empire don’t quite get to the heart of the matter (see p. Before getting there. What the West hopes to find in the East and in its various others. Postcolonialism: admirable for its critique of the repressive effects of colonialism. and their repressive apparatuses) are supplemented by a less visible. Given these kinds of misunderstandings of the “enemy” (Empire). Bhabha does think what we have going on today is neo-colonialism. We saw that the visible mechanisms of power (military. Thus far: a. . we need to understand what H&N have been trying to demonstrate over the past several sections a. 240-79 (we’re moving ahead to get back on schedule) b. Rather than disciplinary institutions (schools. military. postcolonialism) or the economy? b. Hence. And what you think constitutes resistance to the system or lies outside of it (local cultures. it follows for H&N that their (the groups above) approaches to resistance are equally outmoded i. And it might also be the case that what constitutes “world” here has not been fully fleshed out . as these are some very dense and important pages to get through 14. SRN: admirable as a stand against violence but tend to reproduce some of the problems of nation-State nationalism ii. I would suggest you don’t choose! It might be the case that world and the economy are co-constitutive . Orientalism is an impossible project—it is as impossible as the project of achieving one’s gender once and for all ii. leaving seemingly no outside to power d. Bhabha and Said are showing us the ontological and institutional framework that grounds European colonialism a. remember that a distinction can be made here between strategies for resistance and the development of alternative forms of life . 145) e. this might again be equivocation. but they would see Empire as emerging out of colonialism and Western metaphysics c. difference) for causes d. who can learn (with astonishing rapidity!) Western languages and practices and yet still reject the Western way of life iv.
student loans. This is how the spectacle society pacifies us as consumers—consumption. and as such we can gain a better sense of what it would take to resist power i. According to Debord. weas human subjects are the spectacle i. Start simply: it includes the media and marketing/advertising. car loans. Pre-spectacle societies bombarded consumers with commodities. logic. to the spectacle society (to the attention society perhaps?) b. we can: a.and boat-loads and we still have a fetishistic relationship to them. and attention (family. H&N will show how production and consumption flow through the spectacle and control (Part III) and then will analyze the possibilities for resistance today (Part IV) 17. desires. relation. One question is whether the forms of life that might emerge beyond Empire will necessarily develop along those same circuits iii.) and fake it ‘til you make it v. But now spectacle-commodity-consumer. Now think more broadly: it is all of the mechanisms whereby consumption is directed and controlled along certain channels iii. green consumerism 6. The Society of the Spectacle a. The commodities and lifestyles pushed at us aren’t available to the vast majority of people ii. everyone in the poorest. You can go shopping at the mall (but not buy or buy cheaply). and lower-middle classes knows that the spectacle and consumer society don’t deliver on their promises i. etc. where we find our most fundamental mode of being. celebrity status. most obviously ii. by and large. you can construct a phony manic personality for yourself with your FB and Twitter updates (who ever tweets about popping Cymbalta?) iv. What is the spectacle? i. the spectacle) that will allow us to see and relate critically to the spectacle b. but what we really relate to now. and relations filtered through marketing logic a. lower. belonging. email. It further develops the analysis of commodity fetishism we saw in Capital and Lukacs’s analysis of that topic in HCC ii. politics) 2. This is our “situation” in spectacle societies: caught in a marketing bubble with all of our actions. mortgages. Society has become totally administered (H&A) and one-dimensional (Marcuse) c. The Situationists. gain a better sense of how power circulates in advanced capitalist societies (a model. The aim for Situationists is to find ways to create and invent new situations and practices on the terrain of the old situations (viz. So. . tickers along the bottom of TVs. social networking sites. are quite helpful in understanding how power circulates but less helpful in terms of developing strategies of resistance c. Education (think of how marketing logic and consumption have infiltrated the university at every level) 2. news.. Yes. to commodity fetishism. Just things to keep in mind as we proceed 16. Films. and rhythm that is increasingly sweeping the globe). Activism sold through celebrities and cool lifestyles. By working through the Situationists. The list is endless iv. affiliation.Very few thinkers and activists in the above groups would deny the importance of globally linked resistance where it can be accomplished ii. religion. Now. TV. Search engines. b. is the spectacle iv. This means that the spectacle is found primarily in the media and in the marketing bubble that surrounds us daily—but it is also found in all of the ideological apparatuses that produce us as consuming subjects 1. billboards 5. music—they are all built on spectacle/marketing logic and are themselves used to market products 4. etc. We never notice the spectacle because we’re so deeply immersed in the spectacle and because. But that matters little—the genius of the spectacle society is that it allows you to be part of the spectacle anyway iii. we’ve moved from inter-human relationships.” but instead in advanced capitalist countries we have an immense accumulation of spectacles iii. Another might be that the problems on the ground in particular areas might be irreducibly local and require a double approach (on the local level and on the level of Empire) iv. we have and buy commodities by the truck. too. go deeply into debt (CCs. as reward for the fortunate few or dreams and the promise of such things as future reward (if we just work hard enough) 18. Building off of the notions of the spectacle society and control society. Debord’s work is representative of an influential strain of Marxism from (primarily) France called Situationism i. Politics (brand Obama) 3. and identity 1. but there were other competing forces for one’s loyalty. you can go to Panera and sit and use the free Wifi (but not eat or just pilfer the free samples). The simplest way to think of the spectacle society is one in which you are caught in a marketing bubble that bedazzles you and wherein the commodity form is nearly the only source of meaning. If all of that fails. HELOCs. you can blog and dream of becoming widely read (while remaining unknown in your bedroom). from an H&N-style perspective.-marketing logic has infiltrated and taken over every sphere of society 3. no longer are our societies primarily marked by an “immense accumulation of commodities.
their work and leisure activities. not even people like Debord who acknowledge the ubiquity of power and who try to develop modes of resistance on that same terrain have been successful i. Postmod. Situationists we’re at their most brilliant not just in analyzing the logic of the spectacle but in exposing it and making it light up i. What is needed is to move from consumption and the spectacle back down to production ii. dictatorial form with the diffuse. As we know. The remarks on p. etc. fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones. May 1968 didn’t pan out exactly as planned e. From the perspective of H&N’s work. like most Marxists. skating. In other words. who is often considered a neo-Situationist) in mind as well g. We have variations on this practice today with urban acrobatics of various sorts (bikes. Postcol. c. social life that goes missing with both the Situationists and all of those who seek a pure Outside (SRN. climbing. . running. psychological form) f. and all their other usual motives for movement and action. with constant currents.” 1. The text you read for today bears the marks of the pessimism and despair of the failed revolution i. Direct action of all sorts.) 2. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours.) iv. 204 about Bartleby and Michael K are no doubt written with Debord (and Agamben. But Debord believed that full-blown revolution was required to challenge the spectacle and develop and alternative world ii. . as such But not fully . And. and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. . This is just a short list of the kinds of experiments that open the space required to see the spectacle as such i. everything from food not bombs-style food sharing to occupations to squatting (depending on how they are done) d. tweaking and deconstructing images and advertisements to show what the products are actually built on The urban derive in Debord’s words: “In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations.” ii. Part III of Empire moves back down to “common productive experience of the multitude” iii. The point is to render uncanny that which is domesticated in urban environments and thus to transform that environment iii. Debord realized that the spectacle he was describing did not wane but only grew in strength (integrating the concentrated. he pinned his hopes on disenfranchised workers to carry out this revolt iii. It is on that level that we re-find immanence and that we are able to construct the universal. etc. Constructed situations: collective effort to create alternative situations and forms of life—a kind of combination of art (stylized invention) and politics (ways of being together) 1. See pp. it appears that the Situationists were quite helpful for analysis of power and even withdrawal from it but not for constructing new forms of social life on its terrain i. . 217-218: “With this passage the deconstructive phase of critical thought .i. . Détournement.
It is on that level that we re-locate immanence and that we are able to construct the universal. They create relations (linkages and assemblages) among bodies on an unprecedented scale c. Nature is what H&N call the “noncapitalist environment. and they are of the mindset that we have to think of resistance on the same plane as control/spectacle i. The Deleuzian/Foucaultian notion of the society of control builds off of the notion of the spectacle and shares its logic d. “The Missing Chapter of Empire” (See Blackboard) c. The basic ontological starting point is always for H&N the creative productive powers of the multitude ii. . The story we will be analyzing in part 3 is the story of how we have arrived at the postmodern information economy a. we examined the (more accurate. What is needed is to move from consumption and the spectacle back down to production in postmodern times iii. . Moving from Part 2 to 3 (from power qua control to the economy qua information economy) a. ii. but just do your best 20. Postcolonialism) . 280-324 b. See pp. . Traditional political economy (from Smith and Ricardo up through Marx) has paid little attention to nature as such ii. capitalist economies are deeply deterritorializing a. In Deleuzean language. no matter the mechanism of capture and channeling (say. Postmod. Realize that the entire story will be told in the same manner as the story about Imperial sovereignty was told i. . a reactive machine that is trying to catch up to the multitude’s discovery of its immanent.” f. .19. . The two main limits/forces that Empire is reacting against are: (1) nature and (2) the new social movements 23. we have to figure out what Empire in its modern form was reacting against when it came into being a. . What’s remarkable about capitalist economies from this perspective is that: 2. And look instead at the two main things that contemporary Empire is reacting against b. Assignment for Next Class a. Why? Because on this terrain there are “greater possibilities for creation and liberation” (218)—let’s read the whole passage iii. shared powers 22. The chief project. beyond. there are always “territorializing” and “deterritorializing” channels in any organizational structure 1. They think the Situationists and related approaches/thinkers (Agamben. so keep it in mind as you’re reading 21. The multitude and their powers are the “ground. social life that goes missing with both the Situationists and all of those who seek a pure outside (SRN. . and before these forms . Now. The economist’s traditional assumption is that: . . . . Part III of Empire moves back down to the “common productive experience of the multitude” iv. primarily) are unable to conceive of resistance on this same plane ii. despite the fundamental reactivity and sadness of the underlying logic of the capitalist profit motive (Milton Friedman is not an Ubermensch) . Postcol. It is not enough to withdraw from Empire’s spectacle and control i. Everything in their argument hinges on this wager. H&N share this logic as well.” the basic stuff of reality that gets captured and channeled in various ways b. But here is the chief difference between H&N and the Situationists i. socialism vs. Empire. H&N think that we need to change terrain ontologically and look at the production processes (rather than just consumption processes) that underlie control societies today ii. for H&N. etc.” and it refers to both the “non-human” natural world and human bodies i. network i. 3. is to withdraw from the logic and rhythm of Empire but to remain on its terrain and within its circuits and connections ii. there are always admixtures of joyful (affirmative) and sad (reactive) captures. This is so much material that I doubt we’ll get through even half of it. Postmodernism. . 217-218: “With this passage the deconstructive phase of critical thought . according to H&N) Situationist’s account of the spectacle society and how it captures larger and larger portions of human subjectivity within its web. After delimiting some of the outmoded theories of power and resistance (SRN. . The Ecology of Capital (269ff. b. Empire and its postmodern information economy are mechanisms of capture. We need to bracket the specific economic story (the displacement of Taylorism and Fordism [as analyzed by Gramsci] by the postmodern information economy) for the moment i.) a. Recommended: Santiago Gomez. So. With that perspective in mind. From them we get withdrawal from and refusal of control/spectacle/consumerism but no alternative form of life or community e. These ideas provide the deep background for pretty much all post ’68 French Marxism and neo-Marxism c. These are the concrete forms that capital takes—we need to look behind. capitalism—no purity) i.) v. .
For H&N. and so on—this was seen as a kind of living death iii. minority groups. and production that are going beyond the nation-State model of identity iii. immanent productive powers ii. and massively increased technological impact in the past 150 years. women. but in my estimation it is one of the questions that. see Bellamy Foster’s Marx’s Ecology 24. It shows how capitalism and its environmental effects disproportionately and negatively affect poor and marginalized communities. And here is where hyper-global capitalism. people are discovering their shared. with exponential population growth. . quasi-indigenist approach to environmentalism? iii. the local ecology has been changed so much that they and their bioregions have already been run off the cliff 1. with a multi-pronged approach to social. re-working it. this analysis is extraordinarily quick. See p. requires an absolute exit from every (neo-) Marxist framework ii. But if the circuits of production and cooperation that Empire has built are effectively running us off an ecological cliff. For a contrary opinion that takes ecological questions seriously. Trans-national linkages are being formed. 40 hour work week.g. with its mind-numbing conformity. Or are they more like Morales. We’ll talk more about the economics next time. capital has in fact brought nearly everything natural onto the market already—there is no longer (much of) an outside to capitalist markets i. They are experimenting with new forms of cooperation. And yet. has suggested that we come to grips with the fact that Empire/global capitalism will simply run itself blindly off the ecological cliff unless stopped (in other words. . even when it runs up against natural limits c. Capitalism seems to have found a way to continue on. There is an entire field of “environmental justice studies” devoted to such analysis 2. Now. .. there are no real worries that human production will lead to outright environmental catastrophe However. and old disciplinary modes of production are being questions c. Empire as we are studying it. with the new social movements.” b. like most Marxists these days. homophobia. though. Take another Marxist approach: Zizek. H&N are proposing that the contemporary. it’s important to note that once again. despite the predictions. if taken seriously. Where do H&N stand on these matters? i. It has averted immediate catastrophe by learning to work intensively with that which it has captured ii. This is one of the serious limits of their work—and it never gets addressed in any detail in their later work h. Rather than using nature (both the natural environment and human bodies) up and throwing it away. The new social movements didn’t want to accede to the status quo. So. Global capitalism accomplishes this kind of human and non-human devastation at astonishing rates today 1. first emerges . and ecological change? iv. The answer is: We don’t know! v. Here. cognitive. walking away. it is learning to work on it intensively—working it over. Marxists (such as Luxemburg) were fairly quick to realize that capitalism’s advanced form had ecological limits i. 2. It has already massively overshot ecological and human community barriers in various places throughout the US and abroad e. the info economy is not an acknowledgement of the limits of capital) i. Do they stand for a kind of Zizekian attitude toward nature.000 times faster than the so-called “background rate” not in serious trouble? iii. there was plenty of refusal. as in Situationism. e. . squeezing ever more out of it d. communication. people are contesting the old ways of living and trying to develop ways of living otherwise i. indigenous peoples on US reservations ii. and so on) as being assaults on the “disciplinary” regimes of the modern economic era (from the New Deal to the 1960s when they erupted) i. H&N see the “new social movements” (against racism. 273: “The social struggles not only raised the costs of reproduction and the social wage . nuclear family structure. Is an economy that kills tens of billions of animals per year and that exterminates species at a rate that is 1. dropping out. where we continue the process of domestication and domination with an eye toward human welfare? ii. sexism. is not a return to a relation with “Mother Earth” à la Morales or radical environmentalists —it is instead further modernization of nature done with human welfare in mind ii. Or perhaps they are more like the Guattari of Three Ecologies. And this doesn’t even take into account capitalism’s effects on the so-called nonhuman world 1. post-industrial. neo-Marxist politics concerns the place of nature in their frameworks i. with his quasi-socialist.1. the poor in the US. post-factory economy becomes an information economy because it has to find new ways to expand without massively overshooting ecological limits iii. And it also misses the fact that for many local communities. The solution for him. radical exits ii. there has been no (worldwide) ecological collapse ii. one of the big questions looming around Marxist. and seems to overlook the fact that many of Empire’s wealthier “agents” would be happy to run the economy right off the ecological cliff (IBGYBG) i. such catastrophe becomes possible b. post-Fordist. So it is “miraculously healthy” (to use H&N’s terms) only in local pockets 2. f. So. speciesism. Here. communist. increased affluence. production takes place against the backdrop of scarcity of resources but . how can we be sure that pushing though on that same terrain with human welfare in mind will be our salvation? g. New social movements a. but for now. bourgeois lifestyle. We’ll drop that issue for now.
It has thus run up against ecological limits. service economy. Leave to the side for the moment that the antagonisms (see Laclau and Mouffe) that are created here within and between these NSMs are massive and don’t fit this narrative very well iv. “Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium” c. this machine is productive as well. H&N would have you see it as a capturing and productive machine 27. we made the initial assemblages.generation-online. global capital has indeed become genuinely global. What is more. The need to work intensively. but we are walking away from the machine of capture (industrial. But the infrastructure for many of these connections were built by inter-nationalist forms of resistance and extra-economic community-building characteristic of NSMs c. for H&N. we are forming circuits of cooperation and production outside the flows. Capital’s problem was rather to dominate a new composition that had already been produced autonomously and defined within a new relationship to nature and labor. logic. as you study the postmodern economy. Empire emerges from this context as a scavenger and dominator of the immanent autonomy of the multitude: “Capital did not need to invent a new paradigm (even if it were capable of doing so) because the truly creative moment had already taken place. and so on . Recommended: Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. internally on the natural world that has been effectively captured in its totality and that has been pushed to its limits ii. Assignment for Next Class a. The infrastructure on which Empire is built is the creation of the multitude and its joint discovery of immanence and the creation of new assemblages/linkages/relations i. e. inasmuch as it connects economies and people all over the globe 1. So. Empire.Capitalism is in a bind—it needs our productive forces. So. the postmodern economy gets developed within and against those ecological constraints and against the NSM form of resistance i. and rhythm of capital iii. First. according to the narrative provided by H&N i. factory. global capital has indeed become genuinely global in another way. As we have noted. http://www. The economy is here functioning primarily as a reactive. this economy is characterized by the dominant flows of capital going increasingly in the direction of the informational sector and toward what H&N call immaterial labor i. and channels of disciplinary regimes And you can see why they want to radicalize this terrain rather than abandon it i. So.htm 26. For H&N. Informatization of the economy a. The need to re-capture the immanent productive forces of the multitude as people rediscover each other outside the flows. we linked bodies more and more across boundaries and borders in stepping away from nation-State capitalism and trying to build new worlds vi. the emergence of the postmodern information economy takes place against the backdrop of: i. though. Recall first. Part 3 of Empire offers a closer look at the emergent. 325-50 b. We dug the initial trenches. capturing nearly the entire natural world (human and nonhuman) within its grasp 1. a relationship of autonomous production. capturing machine (at least from the ontological perspective) ii. it is the countercultural multitude and the various international revolutionary movements of the 1960s and ‘70s that create Empire’s “infrastructure” v. “the emerging counterculture highlighted the social value of cooperation and communication” 1. inasmuch as it partially produces us as subjects and also shapes and reproduces the entire biological world iii. and has had to turn inward and work intensively ii. H&N are describing what is sometimes called the knowledge economy.org/p/fpdeleuze7. 25. logic. post-industrial economy. That will be our topic today b. disciplinary) in large numbers ii. Now. postmodern economy a. So. Second. from last time that the two dominant constraints that have given rise to this economy.” (276) d.
In terms of its (largely) productive aspects. Haraway being one of their main theorists on this issue. To an economy dominated by post-modernization. . This happens through the theft of land (old-fashioned colonialism) ii. So. This kind of labor takes the form of symbolic-analytical work (see Reich quotation on bottom of 291. spectacles. both in the dominant and non-dominant economic countries 2. H&N call the postmodern subject a cyborg. 290 2. An economy dominated by modernization (which is to say. H&N understand this logic as a logic of theft—it is the stealing and transfer of what properly belongs to all (again. fire fighting. . But the main point is that the dominant flows of global capital are sliding away from these domains iii. See p. . .. computerized distribution model might be an even better example today ii. . and heavy emphasis on manufacturing (the “golden era” of US capitalism) 2. consulting-style work) b. H&N focus on the way that market data are used i. postmodernization” 1. This change in dealing with market data/information is supplemented by an increasing turn to immaterial labor 1. factory production (Fordism). there is a whole post-humanist discourse on this topic. . retirement. See: “The service sectors of the economy present a richer model of productive communication . And affective labor (bottom of 292). . The inverse is also true 1. health care. Marx was. by which they mean services that take place on and in the body (e. liberal economics). It increasingly gets outsourced to non-dominant countries 3. social security. Today. . . with the new modes of subjectivity formation and production. 294. in essence. with increasing postmodernization we become different kinds of human subjects: we become beings constituted in and through the flows of control. . Education. this creation of a set of material flows and productions that link the multitude .” a. . Through the creation of new lands (via natural transformation of various areas) and then transfer to agribusiness c. . The key characteristics here are an increase in services as opposed to goods and the production of knowledge/information as opposed to material commodities ii. These points are underscored in the following sections on networks and the internet—let’s save that material for next time when we discuss D&G on capitalism 29. we need to ask what’s at stake here? i. . . The postmodernization of the economy is taking place primarily in the dominant countries but has a significant presence in non-dominant countries as well 2.g. so the information society produces its own kind of subject vi. media. The point of the analysis is to underscore that the economy has produced the material conditions for the kind of “universal proletarian” revolution that Marx had called for ii. . This economy is characterized by scientific management (Taylorism). middle: “Today productivity. a rupture that delimits the transition from: 1. To examine the postmodern economy in a bit more detail. The other major point is that this creation of a commons. even military . internet development and access. industrial production) a. this theft of the commons increasingly takes place through the expropriation of commonly created and shared “welfare” programs i. a subject plugged into informational networks and exchanges a. Katherine Hayles and Cary Wolfe as well In brief. 289: “Just as modernization did in a previous era.These are different names that seek to name a rupture in production and consumption. And just as the factory/modern/disciplinary/industrial society partially produces a certain kind of subject (the disciplined subject of Foucault’s middle works) . we’ve called it a control society (à la Deleuze and Foucault) and a spectacle society (à la Debord and the Situationists) 2. Wal-Mart’s highly technical. a. and the creation of social . countries need to make themselves attractive to the information economy iv. Sociology of immaterial labor a. and networked informational linkages—let’s look at bit more at this process 28. . In our own era of “neoliberalism” (updated classical. . To attract the big flows of capital. or informatization a. wealth. health services) b. The informatization or postmodernization of the economy does not mean modernization/manufacturing has disappeared or could completely disappear 1. See p. i.” v. all who?) and placing those commons into the hands of the wealthy few i. can be and often is re-appropriated by capital via the logic of privatization b. the material conditions are as ripe as ever iv. It continues. highly paid problem-solving. police. as you look at this analysis of the info economy. From supply-and-demand slow feedback loops in Fordist factory production to Toyotism with its (near instantaneous) creation-on-demand 1. In terms of its (largely) repressive aspects. v. issuing an ethico-political call before the material conditions for universal revolt were actually in place iii. with N. H&N offer their definition on the bottom of p.
There is of course no single person or group of people behind the spectacle—it is decentered and decentering i. well. a new FDR. And yet! Unlike Debord. religious. See p. the production of a new kind of subjectivity and common terrain b. new New Deal style program) is the desirable goal i. The logic of neoliberalism is to take these resources out of common control (whether government or other shared public organizations) and transfer them to private hands and the vicissitudes of the market iii. . on-dimensional.scribd. Political discourse is an articulated sales pitch. If you have read Homo Sacer. Remember that one of the key characteristicsof spectacle societies is that there is almost no outside to the spectacle in the sense that: i. . these two chapters are early versions of some of that material . Privatization is simply what we do—people who think we are increasingly moving toward “socialism” completely misunderstand the logic of neo-liberalism (not to mention what “socialism” actually is) v. things look pretty dim i. In brief. B. but we know it all to well!) 32. Rather. There is instead a logic that runs through it ii. we have a tension or struggle going on between: a. But H&N are thinking primarily of resistance within societies based on information. A logic of commodification and consumerism coupled with: iii. and political participation is reduced to selecting among consumable images” (322) g. H&N remain optimistic about the possibilities for resistance . Why is there less explicit awareness of this tension and less fighting against Empire than we might expect? a. for H&N resistance to the postmodern economy is currently blocked by: a. Means without End. http://www. postmodern economies c. Assignment for Next Class a. We’ll use Agamben’s ζωή/βίος distinction and naked life as a contrast to H&N’s notions of general intellect and biopower iii. libertarian. The passive-making nature of the spectacle society. The spectacle (obviously apparent in marketing and media) has absorbed all major competitors for allegiance ii. 321-2 for H&N’s description: “In effect. N. Remember that these are more and more structured as spectacle societies à la Debord d. See p. Republican program. In other words. it depends on where you look—outside of the US and other advanced capitalist countries.). 33. etc. where resistance is dulled through a moronic. and its capture (in labor) and theft (via privatization) by the Imperial machine 31. global commons on the terrain of the information economy/E. Recommended: Giorgio Agamben. And if politics is the domain where we fight back against neoliberalism and empire. they seek to develop even more radical linkages and an even more profound. but it has become standard bipartisan politics at this point iv. In the US. Nearly every major battle going on these days in politics concerns expanding neoliberalism and fighting back against its expansion (often with the former winning out) H&N do not think going back to the welfare state (say. If we once found ourselves constituted in and through various “environments” (economic. 308: “A new notion of ‘‘commons’’ will have to emerge on this terrain” ii. 30. the glue that holds together the diverse functions and bodies of the hybrid constitution” e. 353-69 c. fearful consumerism c. For next Thursday. “Similarly. the notions that politicians function as celebrities and that political campaigns operate on the logic of advertising —hypotheses that seemed radical and scandalous thirty years ago—are today taken for granted. political. all kinds of rebellions and revolts are taking place b.d. Well. No class Tuesday—this is one of my designated furlough days b. Chapters 1 (Form of Life) and 4 (What Is a Camp?) i.com/doc/22307626/Agamben-Means-Without-End ii.pire ii. please read Empire. familial. A logic of fear (which they don’t explain very well. those environments have now become nearly homogenous f. this is often considered a conservative. The capture of the commons and its transfer to private hands b.
post-industrial. you become Pentheus among the Bacchants (or Treadwell among the grizzlies. i. and identity (deterritorialize) iv. the attempt to capture the revolutionary energies of the NSMs ii. Rather. b. machines. let’s look a little closer at D&G’s ontology and their take on capitalism and see how H&N appropriate it 37. They argue that the dominant form of the economy is postmodern. Or if you prefer Nietzsche. Thus far. code. as much as is possible i. it is closer to what Nietzsche calls the Dionysian. you pick) ii. an individual subject is the partial capturing. as joyful (not sad) and connective (not resentful and reactive) as possible? f. what Levinas calls the il y a.e.e. For D&G. assemblages can we form that are as close to life. or perhaps accelerate. we’ve seen the general outlines of the dominant forms of sovereignty and the dominant forms of the economy that have emerged within H&N’s account of Empire a. Deleuze and Guattari loom large in the background of Empire a. certain ecological limits and 2. But if you jump too much/fast/quickly. On the other hand. To survive.wordpress. collectives. différance iii. To use D&G’s language. And just as is the case with Nietzsche. to jump into life. capture.34. In other words. the question becomes (assuming “you” want to survive!): What kinds of coding and coded subjects. what Bataille calls NOTHING—just to name a few other sources close to D&G’s context iii. a single machine: Empire d. an institution) and the multiplicitous. So.com/2008/07/rhizome. there is a relationship between individual subjects of various sorts (a person. In effect. a single world. the neoliberal.files. i. into the monster of energy. this Imperial logic and open up the space for additional logics. what Heidegger calls “the Nothing” that lies between Being (world) and beings (concrete entities). the near-complete capture of the political domain by spectacle logic c. domesticate iv. Now “life” here is not life as we typically understand it i. they acknowledge that these connections are continually captured and channeled by a single logic. the play of forces.. life. You can find parallel concepts in various registers and discourses (most of them non-“Western”) d. . thought (philosophy) belongs to and is put into motion by “life. H&N have also suggested that the key obstacles to resistance against Empire are: 1. a State. It is closer to what Derrida calls différance. there is an interplay between subjects that code and life that decodes.jpg ii. “rhizomatic” flows of life that animate those individual subjects i. D&G’s ontology of life and practice a. So.) iii. So. and channeling of the monster of energy. They argue that the dominant form of sovereignty is control. H&N have drawn a very mixed picture of our current situation i. thought is not about individuals or subjects or institutions—it is about the “life” that lies behind and “animates” individuals c. subjects that try to put things in place and hold them there (territorialize) and life that pulls things away from their security. it is necessary to take a step back from the text and look at the underlying ontology and conceptual-political framework of their analysis more closely 36. the task for D&G is to find a way to say “Yes” to life. How to break out of. H&N constantly make use of their work—but to their own ends (they are not loyal “Deleuzeans”) So. That is their question 35. the control societies that emerge out of the disciplinary societies that precede them b. individual subjects and institutions b. . machines.. e. they are enthusiastic about the massive increase in material connections that our productive powers have brought about ii. you have to channel. ordering. there is a constant interplay between Apollonian and Dionysian energies .” understood as the plane of immanence that underlies all concrete. In order to answer that question and follow their argument in Section 4. place. http://candidcandidacy. On the one hand. The argument we have been examining suggests that the postmodern economy emerges in response to: 1. there can definitely be no political program in D&G—and not because they are afraid to have that discussion and not because politics belongs outside of philosophy . the monster of energy (“And do you know what ‘the world’ is to me?”) ii. or the service-informational-knowledgeimmaterial economy i. privatizing capture of the commons 2. “life” will kill you if you’re not careful (you will get massively deterritorialized—but if you have a “thirst for annihilation” . . . and worlds? i. So. So. As we have already seen.
Even if there is no program for this kind of practice. not “capitalist” enough i. . This means engaging the monster in different ways. But here’s the rub—the problem with capitalism is that it’s not monstrous enough. notice that politics here becomes experimentation rather than program i. capitalism is life. a. the breaking point with H&N . becoming-animal. In short. D&G think that life can never be fully coded and captured. They are working toward practices (new codes. vital decoding machine . And. becoming-ecosystem. capitalism as a form of life gives rise to a whole host of cooperative and connected subjects and institutions. they marvel at the creative.” logic. philosophy’s task is to violently attack the status quo (which is always a reactive coding of life) and open up the space for new experiments with life 1. D&G on capitalism a. it is. . even in a one-dimensional socio-economic machine like capitalism. Joyful bodies jump on those lines of flight and explore them iv. infinite kinds of connections i. there are lines of flight everywhere ii. connecting up with it through different eyes. In general. there are strategies for flourishing i. Capitalism is a massive. capitalism is rejected in the name of trying to establish the conditions for the flourishing of life iii. . it is one slice of the flow of life that lies behind subjects and institutions ii. of course. And concepts are created in order to resist and transform the present. bodies. So. . Becoming-minor (minoritarian logics) i. one of the most impressive deterritorializing forces we’ve ever seen iii. not “life”-like enough. reactive identities and nationalisms. Instead. from D&G’s perspective. that ends up recoding everything along a single “axiom. It tears everything and everyone away from their stable territories iv.108 v. Now. 38. D&G marvel at capital’s machinations and its ability to get rid of petty. much like Marx and H&N. Communism is the name they give to the practices and worlds that are organized around those shared “commons” and powers iii.On the contrary. v. As D&G put it. In a related way. but then immediately codes them along the mono-dimensional lines of the capitalist logic of profit c. In other words. H&N’s notion of the revolutionary plane of immanence. even in control/spectacle societies—that article was just one brief piece by Deleuze toward the end of his life) iii. So. philosophy for them is nothing but politics/practice inasmuch as philosophy is aimed at the “creation of concepts” iv. thinking like a mountain) . and it abstracts out of the larger flows in which human beings are situated and in which they become subjects ii. p. the current status quo 1. stable assemblages—it spontaneously helps to form assemblages and then just as quickly tears them to shreds ii. Keep this point about H&N’s limited notion of immanence in mind for later . p. new subjects) that lets the monster proliferate and expand 40. D&G’s politics/practice is political art not political science i. H&N’s dominant strategy is to interpret all struggles in terms of a common enemy (Empire) and to unite people around their shared. What is Philosophy. It makes massive connections but knows only one kind of connection—the semi-connective but also deeply toxic nexus of profit iii. within which human beings joyfully and freely share their vital energies. there are other worlds and openings to other worlds that constantly interrupt us (yes. but not in the name of a return to safe territories (nationStates) or less connections (provincialism and protectionism) ii. That leads them to reject the one-dimensional logic of capital. now. g. connective aspects of capitalism and the way it links bodies in ever larger networks b. and territory: the axiom of profit ii. and it does not occur through dialogue or discussion iii. and organisms (becoming-woman. etc. 39. D&G. immanent productive powers ii. First off. D&G take a different tack—they argue for “becomings” of various sorts. “Life” does not come with a guide-map to ensure healthy. would be seen by D&G as a very partial picture of “life” i. 144 ii. . are on the side of “life” understood as a monster with infinite worlds. a rhizomatic linking of minoritarian movements (that’ll make sense in a moment!) b. . they believe it is philosophy’s task to do politics (they follow Marx and his 11th thesis on this) Philosophy for them is not epistemology or metaphysics. Indeed. The human multitude is but one “slice” of the flow of life. I’ve suggested to you all along that H&N are pulling from this ontology and conception of practice rather selectively a. philosophy does not take place at conferences or dinner parties—it interrupts them 2. not de-territorializing enough. What is Philosophy. So. how does capitalism fit into D&G’s ontology and notion of practice? i. Rather.
The human and production are perhaps the two major dogmas of Marxism and neo-Marxism e. and they do so in the name of engaging with and expanding “life” as much as is possible ii. That is their “norm. it is ultimately a State socialism that retain markets c. In other words. exploitation. a.41. this is getting very close to anarchism or post-anarchism (or even left Nietzscheanism. they are good Marxists h. But they refuse to be called anarchists and insist on the label of communism d. their vision of “the Good” (if you desire one) 42. Newman. struggles. b. pro-deterritorialization. Remember that for them. pp. Beyond states. N.: For those of you who are concerned about the future of the Humanities and philosophy here at CSUF. even Guattari mocks leaving production behind. that is what marks us off from the entire non-human world in Marx) f.B. which is the very worst!) . I don’t think it fully captures what D&G are up to 43. . What if production were understood as something aimed at inhibiting life rather than allowing us to immerse ourselves in life? c. 370-92 b. http://re-humanization.html For today . . That kind of Marxist reductionism is dead for D&G b. Day. But what about H&N? Are they anarchists? a. Several authors (good ones. beyond markets. The whole point of their project is to take back our shared. . Why so? Because their “norm” or guiding principle is not quite the same as most anarchists or D&G e. too—including May. H&N are refusing “work. immanent productive powers and commonly govern our own production g. But they do want to link minor struggles. there is a group of students who have been setting up forums and engaging in various actions/discussions: e. and worlds but not in terms of the proletariat or class struggle i. Philosophy at Middlesex U d. after all. it seems unimaginable 1. acts instead of demands. . They try to link various minor struggles (the NSMs we talked about previously) so as to “hegemonize the public sphere” ii. Now.weebly.com/index.” full immersion in the miracle .” understood as wage labor.) c. minor (meaning non-dominant) spaces. Assignment for Next Class a. It’s not a stretch—but at the same time. From D&G’s perspective. That would mean entering the plane of immanence in a very full sense. in an autonomous “meaningful” fashion 44. It is important to note that H&N write on behalf of human beings understood as cooperative producers (remember. do animals produce? Do plants produce? Do ecosystems produce? Do viruses produce? Whence this insistence on the specificity of human production and taking it back? d. . What if the guiding “norm” or the Good were to be understood as the enjoyment of not producing? The full immersion in “drinking the glass of wine. too. too!) c. No additional readings (I was unable to dl the Gramsci text I wanted to use—plus we have too much material on tap today anyway . Quick side note: Laclau and Mouffe speak in similar terms as D&G. “big government is over” b. experimentation in politics. The Bataillean-Baudrillardian question floating around the edges of H&N’s project: a. and so on c. and expropriation of the commons—but in the name of producing otherwise. In the interview. Please read Empire.” their ethics or principle. Call) argue that this is precisely what D&G are up to b. They seem to stand for the autonomous development of the multitude and the absolute abolition of the state (perhaps even markets. finding ways to link and ally these other. . But notice that this notion of hegemony is aimed at the State and at markets—in other words. and are explicitly “post-Marxist” i. which is to say. what seems to be the only hope in pushing back against capitalism (D&G will even speak of destroying it) is: a. D&G have no interest in the State or markets or linking minor spaces so as to hegemonize those institutions—they want to destroy those institutions (they are essentially capitalist) i.
and perspective (viz. a.and post-Marxist peers and their respective visions of the Good Let’s look briefly at Deleuze & Guattari. beyond such anxiety and fear (which is often driven death-denial) ii. it is enjoyment of life that has no productive end. what they are fighting for (in other words. Their remarks do map onto reality and can be grounded empirically to some extent (they make use of cutting edge science where relevant) ii. In other words. etc. is not with its deterritorializing or decoding traits but rather with its tendency to channel all such decodings along a single line. For Bataille. non-essentialist. That is where the ultimate stakes of their project lie. c. etc. transforming. People’s productive powers get channeled into boring wage labor.. explore various becomings while keeping enough subjectivity in place to show up the next morning and explore more i.. Their vision is close to Marx’s in The German Ideology b. Plateau 6 here H&N 4. but their ontology doesn’t stand or fall based on its referential correctness. anxious. “Value will be determined only by humanity’s own continuous innovation and creation” (Empire. flattening. See Thousand Plateaus. These first two. the Good is characterized as “unproductive expenditure. They start from the principle of scarcity of resources and introduce incessant production and endless accumulation to safeguard against scarcity e. and Giorgio Agamben on this issue The various names of the Good: More becomings. “By the virtual we understand the set of powers to act (being. moving toward. Bataille is gesturing toward a general economy that lies: i. extravagance. Their Good is the expansion and affirmation of life. Their problem with capitalism. ethico-political spirit i. Georges Bataille. world. profit maximization) i.. capitalism ultimately functions reactively. c. life beyond utility. or ομοίωσις (homoiōsis) (in plain English. play. etc. and the multiplication of assemblages and additional “worlds” such subject-groups (every subject is many) give rise to c. and coding the richness of life in a deeply sad and reductive manner ii. depending on the context and practice of enjoyment c. For H&N. productive life activity from Empire’s one-dimensional logic and allow it to flourish beyond global capitalism. and we start to think about what might constitute “resistance” to Empire .) is offered by D&G in a practical. . Limited economies (with capitalism being the most recent and most extreme example) are fearful. Hardt & Negri. The affirmative project for D&G is to explore alternative lines of flight. Recall from last time that D&G provide much of the ontological and theoretical framework for H&N’s project a. Bataille . 357) iii. 356) ii. anti-capitalist premises and pushes them to their absolute limit a. the Good is found in our shared. The political point for Bataille is to refuse the “limited economy” of capitalism in favor of a “general economy” d. where their “Good” lies ii. we’ll keep an eye on them as we proceed 5. or put simply: full immersion in the joys and miracles of the moment i. more life (D&G) Autonomous production beyond wage labor (H&N) Non-productive expenditure and enjoyment (Bataille) Non-statal potentiality. The point for H&N is to delink our common. what they are joyously passionate about) and how they are situated with respect to their neo. See quotation #1 in handout It is this autonomous productive life activity that has been captured by Empire and channeled according to a single logic and rhythm (global capitalist production) d. correspondence. autonomous. Recall also that this ontological and theoretical framework (one that stresses seeing subjects as assemblages emerging out of the flow of the rhizome of life. In other words.” or enjoyment of non-production b. loving. and the irreparable (Agamben) D&G 3. beyond work (understood both as wage labor and even production more generally as discussed by H&N above). It’s important to bear in mind what the Good is for H&N. madness. limiting. With his focus on unproductive expenditure. this is not M&E) b. perversity. creating) that reside in the multitude” (Empire. as we saw. productive life activity beyond wage labor a. we are made stupid and one-dimensional by market logic d. beyond commodity fetishism and consumerism (the empty joys of buying things we don’t need). Our capitalist work ethic would have us see this kind of enjoyment variously as: indolence. the entire natural world gets reduced to various kinds of commodities to be placed on the market. allow that vital power to create new worlds i. . the charitable question for assessing their ontology should be (and the same would go for Nietzsche’s ontology as well): is it good for life. and overly prudent i. Bataille takes certain Marxist. non-productive powers have little place in neo-Marxism and even in H&N’s program.2. Rather. for flourishing? i. As we move into Part IV of Empire. what they are affirmatively b. iii.
Rather. Thus. they are labeled by the sovereign as “sacred. outside of sovereign “protection” f. And yet. etc. The political point for Agamben is not to bring everyone under the sway of the sovereign as bios (citizenship for all!) iii. 7. play. the bios-ification process iv. happy. But that minimal security is achieved only in order to live joyfully beyond the securing of necessities ii..) ii. by contrast. and the irreparable . Law) holds sway. The Good for Agamben is: a.e. the ground of what Agamben calls a form-of-life) b. naked life.iv. productive powers of the multitude c. beyond the State and the Law)—why so? ii. human potentiality (creativity and invention. Limited economies. miraculous moments of life (sun. love. to stop the State. i. See quotation #3 Agamben 6. they are right that Agamben’s Good and his hero are not to be found in the realm of production (he is closer to Bataille. the Law) that produces naked life—so naked life is not simply the hero of Agamben’s story (contra H&N) i. i. He argues that the West can best be characterized as a sovereign political machine that generates “properly” political human beings over and against the non-human. because sovereignty is at bottom pernicious and at odds with genuine human potentiality and relation d. the anthropolgical machine. fear. love. being-with each other in multiple modes) c. A general economy certainly involves securing the basic necessities for life (and necessities would be understood as being extremely minimal here—see Sahlins on “The Original Affluent Society” and Baudrillard’s The Mirror of Production) i. See quotation #2 iii. these outsiders are still ultimately within the purview of sovereign power i. who learn to move outside the logic of the sovereign-anthropological machine and suspend its logic and practice ii. For it is beyond the sway of sovereignty.. This process happens by way of life coming under the sway of the sovereign—a mixed blessing (one is saved from death at the hands of the sovereign only through massive control of one’s life. This vision also has a precedent in Marx’s brotherhood-as-reality passage iv. the Law.) g.or non-citizens or nonhumans of various sorts) always find themselves in the space of “plain” or “naked” life. it’s to stop sovereignty altogether. wine. They then contrast Agamben’s notion of naked life with their conception of the human as constituted by the vital. that potentiality and “the coming community” form and re-form i. .” or sacrifice-able g. Whether you end up in “the camp” is a contingent matter iii. “mere” zōē (as viewed by sovereignty) i. . And this process is never complete or assured—certain individuals (ex. Walter Benjamin. . neither side is particularly desirable in the long run) is a contingent matter ii. Agamben suggests that such relation takes place only beyond and outside of sovereignty (i. non-productive vision of the human b. etc. So. zōē) to the realm of properly political subjects and citizens (βίος. So. There are three key concepts at work for Agamben here: potentiality. beyond the State that “the Good” comes into Being. overflowing. all human beings are potentially reducible to sacred life. apolitical realm i. not only denigrate these moments (we need more than a lover’s touch.e.. But the line and the camp themselves are necessary conditions and consequences of sovereignty and its logic of exception h. Now. passive. Whether you are on the “right” side of the line (remember. unfulfilling consumption and its accompanying depression. H&N try to differentiate their project from Agamben’s project around the question of naked life a. But H&N’s limit here is that they are only able to conceive of non-productive bodies as docile and passive ii. ecstasy. it is sovereignty (the State. and beyond endless accumulation (to guard against scarcity) f. General economies thus aim to secure the basics of life solely with a view toward allowing us to maximally experience the simple. let’s look closer at Agamben . but they work to block us from having them (either through endless work. as long as the logic of sovereignty (State. They argue (on p. Simply put. i. . The heroes of Agamben’s story are those who re-appropriate their potentiality. That is where they overreach and miss the point of Agamben’s and the neo-Situationist’s critique and alternative to capital iii. anxiety. that takes place in a world seen as irreparable (more on that in a moment) . or riding a wave. 366) that Agamben’s notion of naked life (which they think is the “hero” of his work) is a docile. and safe in life!) . biopolitics and control society) i. and human relation (community. or watching a sunset—we need more than those things to be truly satisfied. This machines channels us (at least those of us who are citizens of dominant nation-States) from the realm of merely living beings (ζωη. . It is sovereign power that has placed them “outside”—as such. bios) e. or the sun on my shoulders. orgasm. and the Situationists on this issue) i. In our reading for today.
This vision inflects what community will look like beyond global capitalism i. beyond ends (means without end) 1. we encounter it only “after the Messiah returns”— but he is referring to this world here 1. Play suspends the logic of sovereignty (sacred. If enjoyment of non-production is the Good (à la Bataille and Agamben and some neo-Situationists).”) 8. society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow. then we have entered the ecological domain (see Guattari’s Three Ecologies for a related environmentalist text) i. . fisherman. elbow room ii. criticize after dinner. Which kinds of human lives and communities enrich biodiversity? Which forms of human community allow us to dance best with the nonhuman monster of energy? Supplementary Quotations for Lecture 4/29/2010 1. production. See quotations #4 and #5 iv. sacrifice) through rendering things profane 1. the “morning after” the death of God in #343 of The Gay Science 4. He is a hunter. a fisherman. This cannot take place without making use of and radicalizing Empire’s infrastructure d. then that would also impact how one sets up alternative forms of life iii. beyond the commodity 2. This is summed up nicely in ME. the worker's wage enables him to drink a glass of wine: he may do so. creation. (Marx. to what is positively at stake in these various projects b. . If I consider the real world. beyond meaning (whether human or divine). Rather the task for art/philosophy/resistance is the creation of a space for play beyond ends/production . Now if one extends one’s view of “life” and the “multitude” to go beyond the human. if the worker treats himself to the drink. domesticating to suit our needs) 1. just a little different 3. through. exposure. . and outside the machine. 2. .j. Agamben is describing a “coming” human community that inhabits the world in its irreparable form. but he really drinks in the hope of escaping the necessity that is the principle of labor. and nothing more from Agamben’s perspective iii. we’ve seen various approaches to the Good. moving in. and autonomous production via global circuits of cooperation and communication (H&N) are the Good. or if we took into account the enrichment of all life on its own terms (a D&G-style environmentalism). that finds ways to play in it beyond sovereignty (State) and beyond production (work. p. which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. pp. while in communist society. . Play is a way of putting potentiality into practice. (Something that . whether autonomous or not) i. the object of desire is. a herdsman. 52 In brief. humanly. herdsman or critic. just as I have a mind. it is sovereign life. As soon as the distribution of labor comes into being. which on a spring morning transfigures a desolate street. fish in the afternoon. If we looked at the joys and flourishing of the entire nonhuman world (Bataillean and Agambenian ecology). as he says. rear cattle in the evening. or a critical critic. Now we can return full circle and see the larger stakes of the final sections on resistance a. Beyond need. Potentiality you know from existentialism—it is the search for and affirmation of relation. . exclusive sphere of activity. It is the same world we inhabit now. which is precisely the essence of sovereignty. Nietzsche glimpsed this slightly different world. Recall Fielding’s paper on artwork in airport—but not for the establishment of a public sphere! Much as with D&G. The problem is that is difficult to accomplish the ontological and practical shift in perspective required to see this world 2. . If more life and more becomings (D&G). This miraculous element which delights us may be simply the brilliance of the sun. to hunt in the morning. . then living conditions would likely be more nomadic and technologically advanced c. this is essentially because into the wine he swallows there enters a miraculous element of savor. German Ideology) 2. where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes. 8-9 (bottom. invention. and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood. . beyond production. without ever becoming hunter. i. to give him strength. As I see it. Agamben uses religious language to describe this irreparable world. we already have too much “communication” for Agamben . “A political life . the miracle. but it is clear that they want to accelerate the global circuits of cooperation and communication i. Agamben helps us catch a glimpse of it with the assistance of a rabbi and a revolutionary. ii. then one would be setting up living conditions to enable this Good (most likely fairly simple day-to-day living) ii. see “Halos” from The Coming Community. Play is supplemented by a new ontology and experience of the world as irreparable. in a spirit of cheerfulness and overwhelming gratitude. beyond the necessary that suffering defines. H&N won’t outline precisely how this will take place (that would take away the autonomy’s multitude). each man has a particular. Beyond strategies of resistance to Empire. See “The Irreparable” from The Coming Community v. The world is encountered as being outside of and beyond any human world. beyond repair (work.
com/2009/01/introcivilwar1. (Agamben. Company. without simply abolishing it. in contrast. deactivated and thus opened up to a new. If you’d like. the brotherhood of man is no empty phrase but a reality. 85-6) 6. . It’s a booklet. war. More generally. but. Last time we distinguished between three distinct aspects of H&N’s project: i. and the nobility of man shines forth upon us from their toil-worn bodies. .wordpress. a firearm. and drinking are no longer simply means of bringing people together. The cat who plays with a ball of yarn as if it were a mouse—just as the child plays with ancient religious symbols or objects that once belonged to the economic sphere—knowingly uses the characteristic behaviors of predatory activity (or. moreover. 76) 5. a car. wonder-struck moment. Profanations. as a means without an end.C. The most striking results of this practical development are to be seen when French socialist workers meet together. education and propaganda are their first aims. architecture. sometimes feels. law. These behaviors are not effaced. .] the powers [potenza] of economics. the re-appropriation of space. this miracle to which the whole of humanity aspires is manifested among us in the form of beauty. means the destruction of boundaries and patterns of forced migration. [Play] however. eating. The Accursed Share. or a legal contract becomes a toy. It is destroyed when throughout the ontological terrain of globalization the most wretched of the earth becomes the most powerful being. (Hardt and Negri. 363) 1. Assignment for Next Class a. . is destroyed when the old rules of the political discipline of the modern state (and its attendant mechanisms of geographical and ethnic regulation of populations) are smashed. thanks to the substitution of the yarn for the mouse (or the toy for the sacred object). Empireresistance to Empirethe Good 1. and politics. I also suggested it might be helpful to run directly to the ultimate “point” of resistance. entertainment which also has society as its aim. which children and philosophers give to humanity. are sufficient for them. What is the meaning of art. [Recall the material from “On the Jewish Question” on the difference between State recognition and genuine human liberation. . so you have to hop from side to side and follow the numbers (only fragments—not complete) ii. law. Profanations. The activity that results from [play] thus becomes a pure means . volume III. and the power of the multitude to determine the global circulation and mixture of individuals and populations. .files. Please finish Empire b. The creation of a new use is possible only by deactivating an old use. liberation. does not mean neglect (no kind of attention can compare to that of a child at play) but a new dimension of use.pdf iv. in the case of the child.com/2009/04/thecominsur_booklet. who play with whatever old thing falls into their hands. Even in nature there are profanations. (Marx and Engels. possible use. . Recommended: The Invisible Committee. and other activities that we are used to thinking of as serious. from the first glass to the intoxication that drowns. make toys out of things that also belong to the spheres of economics. We did this in order to make some sense of what resistance to Empire might be and which forms of resistance might or might not be desirable . . in the form of glory. 199-200) 3.files. . can become the gateways to a new happiness. When communist artisans form associations. [In play. because its new nomad singularity is the most creative force and the omnilateral movement of its desire is itself the coming liberation. . All of a sudden. MC] Emancipation is the entry of new nations and peoples into the imperial society of control. The Third World. Smoking. of funereal and sacred sadness. while firmly maintaining its nature as a means. I’d suggest focusing on the sections “Get Going!” and following to see an alternative to H&N’s response to Empire Recap a. it has joyously forgotten its goal and can now show itself as such. .]. M. Here more than ever we can recognize clearly the difference Marx defined between emancipation and liberation. with its new hierarchies and segmentations. music. (Agamben. Children. is emancipated from its relationship to an end. CW4 : 313) 4. hardened by necessity. which was constructed by the colonialism and imperialism of nation-states and trapped in the cold war. http://tarnac9. association. Empire. rendering it inoperative. . painting or poetry if not the anticipation of a suspended. the ultimate stakes of the book: H&N’s vision of the Good 2.) It may be wine. . But the very act of associating creates a new need —the need for society—and what appeared to be a means has become an end.pdf i. This means that play frees and distracts humanity from the sphere of the sacred [what we have been calling sovereignty. http://tarnac9.wordpress. of violence. deactivated . . a praxis that. we can also briefly discuss The Coming Insurrection iii. 2. of the religious cult [of capitalism] or the world of work) in vain. of wealth—in the form. “Introduction to Civil War” c. a miraculous moment? (Bataille.the poorest individual.
And there are competing visions of what is at stake in stopping Empire (anthropocentric vs. the logic of global capital. H&N never wonder whether the establishment and further deepening of the global circuits of production within Empire are good for the flourishing of the nonhuman world 1. And the imperial production of human subjectivity is described in equally frightening and repressive terms (control. This would allow the multitude to produce otherwise. Before doing that. let’s return to H&N i.) i. Does the nonhuman world count in and of itself at all? Or is it simply the backdrop against which the multitude plays out its inter-human drama? f. no space uncontaminated by its machinations to which we can escape and rebuild ourselves and our worlds b.) 2. but not fully successfully i. etc. meaningful projects and creations 3. H&N would certainly buy portions of that analysis iii. even increased autonomous production by the multitude. But it would also allow the multitude simply to be/become otherwise (for example through simple love. connection. 4. as we go into the sections on resistance.) iii. nihilism. etc. See bottom of p. indigenous. H&N think that power is not univocal—Empire’s power homogenize us . We have also been told ad nauseam that there is no clean “Outside” to Empire. grows/The saving power also” (Hölderlin) ii. Parts 1-3 of the book have suggested that Empire is an inescapable behemoth that captures the multitude’s vitality and channels it according to a single imperative (profit maximization. Much like Foucault. d. . no one can believe that 7 billion human beings can autonomously eat. by wresting them away from Empire’s logic and rhythm (wage labor. to engage in freely chosen. while simultaneously wresting control of them away from the logic and reductionism of global capitalism e. Agamben: the recapturing of human potentiality through play in an irreparable world We noted that H&N have their own vision of the Good i. For example. the prospects for resistance look very bad indeed i. keep those two critical perspective in mind as they will help you to assess H&N’s project a. H&N obviously put a heavy emphasis on #2. Badiou. would be ultimately ruinous of the nonhuman world 1. withdrawal from global Empire to localisms and primitivisms would not be a good long-term tactic or longterm goal 2. . If it’s autonomous human production and cooperative human autonomy that you want to fight for and allow to flourish. The imperial powers of sovereignty are described in extraordinarily frightening and repressive terms (a global menace that cannot be outgunned and that has penetrated our bodies and minds) ii. Bataille: the deep and radical enjoyment of non-productive expenditure iii. and produce/create/innovate without massive environmental impact 2. Would that matter to them? Is it even on their horizon? 3. loss of biodiversity. shit. Assume for a moment that increased production. Such questions would be center-stage if eco-feminist. There are competing visions of the Good that will inform one’s tactics b. moreover. You would not want to demolish every aspect of Empire because Empire is composed of massive circuits of connection and cooperation 1. So. you would want to deepen those global circuits and avenues. Quick side note: Even though H&N haven’t tried to look at things from a non-anthropocentric perspective. D&G: the expansion of life and assemblages (subjects of various sorts) ii. reproduce. This is why they talk about Empire constantly being in crisis because it is subject to constant antagonisms of various sorts iv. etc. would they endorse that? 4. spectacle. “But where the danger is. and other byproducts of human productivity—because surely. Foucault tends to find resistance “everywhere” because he thinks power is both repressive and productive. habitat destruction. Agamben. . (Whether that process is “good” even for human beings is an open question—especially for the groups of human beings whose lives might be crushed by its continuation) ii. non-anthropocentric perspectives) Resistance for H&N a. The aim is to bring these powers back within the autonomous control of human beings. we are constituted through multiple vectors of power than can be played off and against each other ii.b. and radical environmentalist questions were taken more seriously by H&N i. Zizek. exploitation. But this limit is truly one of the lingering blind-spots in nearly all neo-Marxisms. and being with others) 4. “Where there is power there is resistance” (Foucault) c. productive powers of the multitude 1. neo-Situationism) So. just imagine for a moment what it would look like if the flourishing of both the human and nonhuman world were at stake in their analysis i. that will inflect how you conceive of strategies of resistance ii. And if we had techno-fixes that allowed us to destroy huge portions of the nonhuman world but still continue “our” autonomous production. 385: “Antagonisms to exploitation” 3. c. Bataille on #3. and Agamben tries to think and practice both at the same time Now. we looked at several competing visions of the Good from H&N’s contemporaries i. Instead. They talk primarily about the re-appropriation of the vital. even the most sophisticated ones (H&N. So.
middle: “When our analysis is firmly situated . then. mystical withdrawal. And . competing visions of what is at stake in stopping Empire among fields/thinkers they don’t discuss (ecofeminist. 387: “We can answer the question of how . We suggested that H&N’s overall project could be better understood if we thought about: 1. If enjoyment of non-production is the Good (à la Bataille and Agamben and some neo-Situationists). and quietistic refusal of the status quo a. If more life and more becomings (D&G). multitude is first The multitude is always producing. we pushed against their project a bit in order to tease out how they specifically conceive of resistance 7. 388. resistance is nothing more than doing these same things otherwise ii. There is hardly a more important passage in the book for understanding H&N’s perspective than p. b. and so on—Empire would shut down without the multitude’s production i. competing visions of the Good among their peers (Bataille. If we cared for the joys and flourishing of the entire nonhuman world (neo-Bataillean and neo-Agambenian environmentalism). This is explained (in H&N-speak) on p.” vi. vital. then that would also impact how one sets up alternative forms of life iii. But what if one extends one’s view of “life” and the “multitude” to go beyond the human? What would community look like then? i. The antidote: starting from the ontological perspective of the creativity and productive juices of the multitude! (this is Negri’s central point in his response to Agamben) 1. the creation and production of the e. . Papers are due on the last day of finals Recap a. and autonomous production via global circuits of cooperation and communication (H&N) are the Good. TINA attitudes 2. . is: What.) With those critical perspectives in mind. This vision inflects what community will look like beyond global capitalism i. D&G) 2. biodiversity? Which forms of human community allow us to dance best with the human/nonhuman monster of energy? 6. innovating. then living conditions would likely be more nomadic and technologically advanced iii. Both seem to admit powerlessness in the face of Empire v. This cannot take place without making use of and radicalizing Empire’s infrastructure c. We’d have to ask: Which kinds of human lives and communities enrich nonhuman life. but it is clear that they want to accelerate the global circuits of cooperation and communication 1. our autonomy and our creative. productive powers? iv. ii. precisely.” 5. The question. Benjamin/Agamben/neo-Situationists and their messianism. . I’ll put all of the notes up this weekend d. But the problem is that Empire is becoming more and more the only “force” or power we encounter i. Agamben. 5/11 is a furlough day. 5/13 we’ll review for the final exam c. we’ve seen various approaches to the Good. recall what we did last time i. The question. Assignment for Next Class a. . indigenous. then one would be setting up living conditions to enable this Good (most likely fairly simple day-to-day living) ii. You have to descend to the ontological level of production to see that Empire is second. . or if we took into account the enrichment of all life on its own terms (a D&G-style environmentalism). . Now we can return full circle and see the larger stakes of the final sections on resistance a. H&N won’t outline precisely how this will take place (that would take away the autonomy’s multitude). so no class b. sharing. If someone sends me a reminder. etc. rather. cooperating.d. is not: What about our capacity (agency) to resist? Hell. As we turn to the final section. Beyond strategies of resistance to Empire. they argue that resistance is ontologically basic ii. Two things stand in the way: 1. we’re overflowing with that capacity! It just gets captured and channeled iii. . creating. is standing in the way of us producing otherwise? That is. So they take a different route for theorizing resistance: following D&G. to what is positively at stake in these various projects b. what is standing in the way of us re-appropriating our agency.
this demand takes a double form: a demand aimed at the State (nation-State by nation-State.com/watch?v=ZKyi2qNskJc b. 10. . So. http://www. . this all looks very reformist i. In brief. infrastructure. In short. H&N get properly communist and start sketching out a political program in the final section 8. Overcoming mystical alternatives to capital (Benjamin/Agamben offer us only Bartleby and Michael K withdrawals and refusals) c. Global citizenship 1. and have freeshares of various sorts (we’ll be respectful and leave them to their anonymity) c. As well as the multitude eventually taking over this freedom for itself (beyond the State. This means not only the actual machinery and tools but also the knowledges. and the multitude is simply calling for “fairness” from the State ii. The right to re-appropriation 1. presumably) ii. but what we know about them is that they are mostly French philosophy grad students who have left the academy. One presumes that H&N will eventually want the State to wither away. what shall we do with them? iii. . This. And for the truly non-productive in society (there are more than a handful!). H&N aren’t presumptuous enough to direct the multitude in advance b. b. They have been accused of some minor sabotage and have been targeted by the police and defended by major intellectuals (Agamben being the most prominent) 9. In place of this kind of powerless acceptance/powerless refusal of capitalism. and then leave the rest to the multitude d. for who else could organize this and pay it out a. They tell us that they can’t nail down specific practices in advance. they have outlined the limits of Empire. Now. Three points a. we are given an image of the communist-militant-as-St. Overcoming TINA attitudes (capitalism is contingent) b. Now. 411: “We do not have any models for this event . formed a commune. they argue 1. suggested some strategies for pushing against its limits and breaking into a non-Statal space. is a demand from the State. linkages.i. The world does not belong to Empire. or. All of the machines and technologies we have developed and that capital has made use of are now returned to us collectively a.-Francis ii. Introduction to Civil War a.” 2. See p. but . you could say this doesn’t link up with the rest of the book and seems contradictory. Francis (Negri’s got a thing for Christianity) i. you could read the book backwards against itself and try to show what it would mean to configure resistance to Empire and alternatives to Empire within a radically non-anthropocentric perspective 3. 2. One who lives joyously in relation to and alongside all of “being and nature”—that is what is at stake in communism. all of us. This is very similar to Lyotard’s position in PC c. it belongs to human producers—we are masters of the world. H&N’s own approach stresses the ontologically basic character of human productive powers 1.youtube. . The Invisible Committee a. All of us need to be equally and fairly compensated 3. too. not Empire ii. Like H&N. The group is anonymous. The penultimate section on “posse” (or potentiality. Social wage and guaranteed income for all 1. This would be to read Empire against the grain . They figure this as a kind of rupture with transcendence but will not outline the form it takes: 1. etc. After 400 plus pages of a seemingly anthropocentric conception of politics and human vitality and productivity. But the IC have a slightly different set of ideas on the ontological basis for resisting Empire and the Good that lies on the other side of Empire . the capacity for resistance is not a worry. 4. capacity) is meant to underscore that eventually we will have to enter into an entirely immanent politics beyond the State iii. from actual paid workers to the unpaid workforce who support the “world” of capital 2. The main idea here is once again that capital needs us. . it takes all forms of actual relations and differences between and among people and subjects them to Empire’s immanent logic and rhythm b. That means removing obstacles for autonomous production is the main issue 2. This requires: a. the IC argue that Empire annihilates difference through a process of “omnivorous immanentization” i. resistance is simply producing otherwise 1. etc. or do we ask the MNCs for help?) to grant citizen status and freedom of movement to those who make capital flow 3. between people are often blocked by the State (unless they are favorable to the flows of capital) 2. So. The key point here is that innumerable connections. but they can give us some of the basic parameters that will allow the multitude to take back their productive powers i. Capital is still in place. . They close with an odd discussion of St.
So. they see the State and sovereignty in all of its forms as diametrically opposed to forms of life. . Unlike H&N. and recommend experimenting with all of the extra-economic. But these are only interim strategies—the IC are fairly apocalyptic about what’s coming. the IC think antagonisms are basic to the human condition—and it is learning how to deal with them without annihilating each other that is the political task vi. where groups go their separate ways v. love and antagonism between forms of life i. remember. ensembles are the basic modes of existence for human beings (very different vision than the global multitude) ii. and creative ways of resisting Empire and sharing the commons and let the rest fall where it may 13. The ethical task is learning to link communes. creative powers. collectives. preferably anonymously (so that the police and the tanks never know where to go) 3. it’s time to “Get going!. friendship and enmity. collectives and seek to avoid above-ground organizations and major activist groups d. to escape the regime of wage labor and the machinations of sovereignty. DIY collectives (freeshares and so on) iii. we have to create extra-economic ways of living together and being together 1. They do not seek to end all antagonisms between human beings b. unified global multitude that recovers its shared. So. And they do not think there is any way to make the State go away quietly and non-violently c. . Sometimes this flourishing will occur through antagonism. they cast their lot in with extending friendships. and so on a. these kinds of resources will not be around forever (capitalist society is on its last legs) 2. direct action. . if Empire can’t see you or find you as you’re sabotaging it. They expect nothing from the State in terms of helping them build alternative forms of life or linkages (that is just asking for more. Forms of life. . where we learn to live again collectively a. you’ve seen what are perhaps the two most interesting attempts to think Marx’s project through to the end in contemporary times . to borrow Wittgenstein’s turn of phrase that Agamben and the IC employ iii. So. there is a pressing need for entirely new forms of life to be built. This is their ontological starting point (their version of H&N’s vital. Instead. they are not shy about recommending all kinds of plundering. But they make no secret that they think weapons need to be used on occasion and that having an armed presence is important in order to stave off certain kinds of violence (e. We come to be within a particular form-of-life. What the IC argue needs to occur is a flourishing of differences between and among worlds iii. First of all. “bad”-style biopolitics and anthropological machinery) i. the Good here is the forming of community and linking of forms of life through friendship i. link forms of life. communes. the IC go directly—with no interim—past a politics of recognition and demands aimed at the State . So. Like Agamben. And rather than seeking a linked.. There is no happy ending or grand synthesis with the IC a. . They argue that we have to get organized . . With those two perspectives (H&N and the IC-Agamben approach). potentiality. In other words. In terms of the question of actual resistance against Empire and what to do when the tanks show up . It also occurs through sabotage of surveillance mechanisms and destruction of police tracking records and mechanisms 4. The latter occurs through illegal economic sabotage of various sorts. the Zapatistas in Chiapas) 12. The IC do not have a death wish—they want to avoid direct confrontation with deadly State violence 1. They put their trust in friendships. They are rightly obsessed with re-learning how to grow food. Given that they have no allegiance to capitalist society and think that it is built on exploitation. This is not to say they’re arguing for being unorganized! i. the Good for the IC is the expansion of human potentiality and community 11. allowing worlds to jointly flourish d. groupings.g. form alliances. outside the economy and State. the IC call for a re-establishment of ethics and politics. Fighting back i. and even outright theft in order to meet basic needs a. “Get insurrectionary!” b.i. They begin with the idea that small communes. toward a politics of the act/experiment that occurs in the cracks and on the outside edges of the State c. etc. What capitalism does is link all forms of life on the same immanent plane of production-consumption (thereby eliminating both friendship and enmity) ii. i.” by which they mean. Sometimes this flourishing will happen by way of communes and forms of life being linked in friendship iv. communes. extra-economic ones. scavenging. then it can’t bring you back into its fold (either through imprisonment or commodification) ii. the idea is to act and live in such a way that the tanks won’t show up and so that the economy and flow of commodities is brought to a standstill 2. are already the whole package of things we talked about in Agamben (a human being who lives through potentiality.. so as not to work ii. These are the kinds of alternative worlds and communities they are imagining and also bringing into being through their own communes and experimentation e. like Laclau and Mouffe (and Agamben). productive multitude) c. play. 1. In other words. playing in an irreparable world) ii. In other words.