By Paolo Virno

ISBN-10: 1584350210

ISBN-13: 9781584350217

Globalization is forcing us to reconsider a few of the different types -- corresponding to "the people" -- that typically 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 a more robust device to investigate modern concerns than the Hobbesian proposal of "people," favorite via classical political philosophy. Hobbes, who detested the concept of multitude, outlined it as shunning political harmony, resisting authority, and not moving 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 unfavourable inspiration, it's a wealthy idea that permits us to research anew plural stories and sorts 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 structures within the West over the past 20 years is resulting in a paradoxical "Communism of the Capital."

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Additional info for A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents)

Example text

As we can see, the core of the issue is not a rancorous objection to consumer society (which is always slightly suspect, the risk being, as in the case of Pasolini, that of bemoaning the blessed cohabitation between low levels of consumerism and pellagra). Human communication, as spectacle, is a commodity among others, not outfitted with special qualities or prerogatives. On the other hand, it is a commodity which concerns, from a certain point on, all industrial sectors. This is where the problem lies.

Virtuosity for the post-Fordist multitude is one and the same as the virtuosity of the speaker: virtuosity without a script, or rather, based on the premise of a script that coincides with pure and simple dynamis, with pure and simple potential. It is useful to add that the relation between "score" and virtuosic performance is regulated by the norms of capitalistic enterprise. Putting to work (and to profit) the most generic communicative and cognitive faculties of the human animal has a historical index, a historically determined form.

Those "many" made use of the "right of resistance," of the jus resistentiae. That right, nonsensically, does not mean legitimate defense: it is something more subtle and complicated. The "right of resistance" consists of validating the prerogatives of an individual or of a local community, or of a corporation, in contrast to the central power structure, thus safeguarding forms of life which have already been affirmed as free-standing forms, thus protecting practices already rooted in society. ) Perhaps the jus resistentiae (or the right to protect something which is already in place and is worthy of continuing to exist) is what provides the strongest connection between the seventeenth century multitudo and the post-Ford multitude.

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A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents) by Paolo Virno


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