David Harvey in an exchange with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri on their new book Commonwealth featured in the November 2009 issue of artforum.
There have been two foundational themes in Antonio Negri’s work over the years. The first is an abiding faith in the capacities of the working class or the multitude (redefined as “the party of the poor” and therefore, according to Spinoza, the only “true subject of democracy”) to use their immanent powers of laboring to construct an alternative to the world given by capital.
Review and discussion of 'The Idea of Communism', a collection of essays discussing the place of communism in contemporary politics from Žižek, Toscano, Badiou and others
"From Plato onwards, Communism is the only political idea worthy of a philosopher" - Alain Badiou
"Do not be afraid, join us, come back! You've had your anti-communist fun, and you are pardoned for it - time to get serious again!" - Slavoj Žižek
This text is effectively a summary of the arguments in Empire, in particular Negri & Hardt’s contention that Marx’s conception of class struggle is obsolete and that globalisation can be understood as capitalism's response to class struggle (7,000 words).
Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt argue that globalisation is transforming individual nation states into a system of diffuse national and global institutions of power - in other words a new type of Empire - which raises the possibility for a "multitude" of people to fight it.
Download Empire in PDF format here (1.34mb)