On the Multitude & the Common

Internationally acclaimed political philosopher Michael Hardt (Professor of Literature at Duke and author, with Antonio Negri, of Empire, Multitude, Commonwealth and other books) joins Nonstop for a live teleconference discussion drawing upon key insights from his work concerning the contemporary social, cultural and political fields of possibility.

Analyzing new, emerging global modes of being and living together, Hardt and Negri are first and foremost renowned for developing the philosophical concepts of the common and the multitude. Examining the post-industrial and post-modern horizon of Western socioeconomic circumstances, they argue that emerging new dominant modes of economic production are becoming increasingly directly linked to the production also of individual consciousness and the possibilities of political practice. Hardt and Negri further assert that the non-material labor paradigm of information- and communication-intensive production gives rise to social and economic activity both reliant on and constitutive of the common, a set of socially situated faculties, resources and domains irreducible to privatization. These developments provide space and occasion for dynamic networks of new subjectivities situated in non-reductive cooperation that may come to constitute power in a manner which refuses old-style modernist presumptions of a sovereign, singular and authoritative center as a prerequisite to effective action. Their speculations on the possibilities entailed in the global multitude acting on the common to challenge economic and social orthodoxies and hierarchies has implications for activists both globally and locally. For the first time ever, the authors optimistically suggest, we might come to face the prospect of creating true democracy. Professor Hardt will share key insights from his work and engage our local community in dialogue on the possibilities of transformative practice.

This presentation/discussion facilitated by Nonstop Working Members Iveta Jusova and Dan Reyes.  Video capture and compilation by Brian Springer.