By Paolo Virno
Globalization is forcing us to reconsider many of the different types -- reminiscent of "the people" -- that generally were linked to the now eroding country. Italian political philosopher Paolo Virno argues that the class of "multitude," elaborated via Spinoza and for the main half left fallow because the 17th century, is an improved device to research modern matters than the Hobbesian inspiration of "people," preferred by means of classical political philosophy. Hobbes, who detested the proposal of multitude, outlined it as shunning political solidarity, resisting authority, and not getting into lasting agreements. "When they insurgent opposed to the state," Hobbes wrote, "the voters are the multitude opposed to the people." however the multitude isn't only a detrimental concept, it's a wealthy idea that permits us to learn anew plural reviews and varieties of nonrepresentative democracy. Drawing from philosophy of language, political economics, and ethics, Virno indicates that being international, "not-feeling-at-home-anywhere," is a situation that forces the multitude to position its belief within the mind. In end, Virno means that the metamorphosis of the social platforms within the West over the past 20 years is resulting in a paradoxical "Communism of the Capital."
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Extra resources for A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents)
How much easier it would be to say that there is a multitude now, that there is no more labor class ... But if we really want simplicity at all costs, all we have to do is drink up a bottle of red wine. " Just one example: let us think about the pages of the last chapter of the first book of the Capital, where Marx analyzes the condition of the labor class in the United States (Volume 1, Chap. 33, "The modern theory of colonization"). " The European laborers, driven away from their own countries by epidemics, famines and economic crises, go off to work on the East Coast of the United States.
In the spectacle we find exhibited, in a separate and fetishized form, the most relevant productive forces of society, those productive forces on which every contemporary work process must draw: linguistic competence, knowledge, imagination, etc. Thus, the spectacle has a double nature: a specific product of a particular industry, but also, at the same time, the quintessence of the mode of production in its entirety. , Thesis 15) What presents the spectacle, so to speak, are the productive forces themselves of society as they overlap, in ever-greater measure, with linguisticcommunicative competencies and with the general intellect.
And it is, I repeat, an exciting task. It is quite clear that "people" and "multitude" are two categories which are more in line with political thought than with sociology; in fact, they signbetween themselves, alternate forms of political existence. But it is my opinion that the notion of the multitude is extraordinarily rich in terms of allowing us to understand, to assess the modes of being of post-Ford subordinate labor, to understand some of the forms of behavior of that labor which at first sight seemed so enigmatic.
A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents) by Paolo Virno