Download A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary by Paolo Virno PDF

By Paolo Virno

Globalization is forcing us to reconsider the various different types -- reminiscent of "the people" -- that ordinarily were linked to the now eroding nation. 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 a higher instrument to research modern matters than the Hobbesian proposal of "people," favourite through classical political philosophy. Hobbes, who detested the concept of multitude, outlined it as shunning political team spirit, resisting authority, and not getting into lasting agreements. "When they insurgent opposed to the state," Hobbes wrote, "the electorate are the multitude opposed to the people." however the multitude isn't only a adverse proposal, it's a wealthy idea that permits us to research anew plural reviews and different types of nonrepresentative democracy. Drawing from philosophy of language, political economics, and ethics, Virno exhibits that being overseas, "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 last 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)

Sample text

The protagonist of La vita agra, having arrived in Milan from Grosseto with the intention of avenging recent job related deaths that took place in his region, ends up becoming involved in the budding culture industry. After a brief time, however, he is fired. ] And they fired me, only on account of the fact that I drag my feet, I move slowly, I look around even when it is not absolutely necessary. In our business, however, we need to lift our feet high off the ground, and bang them down again on the floor noisily, we need to move, hit the pavement, jump up, create dust, possibly a cloud of dust and then hide inside it.

The One of the multitude no longer has anything to do with the One constituted by the State, with the One towards which the people converge. The people are the result of a centripetal movement: from atomized individuals, to the unity of the "body politic," to sovereignty. The extreme outcome of this centripetal movement is the One. The multitude, on the other hand, is the outcome of a centrifugal movement: from the One to the Many. But which One is it that serves as the starting point from which the many differentiate themselves and remain so?

But, and this is crucial, he links this dimension to the fact that in the culture industry there is no production of labor independent from activity itself. Where an extrinsic "end product" is lacking, there lies the ground for political action. I should clarify: in the culture industry (as is the case, after all, today in the post-Ford era for industry in general) the finished products which can be sold at the end of the productive process are surely not scarce. The crucial point is, though, that while the material production of objects is delegated to an automated system of machines, the services rendered by living labor, instead, resemble linguistic-virtuosic services more and more.

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