Michael Hardt / Antonio Negri



Download 1.4 Mb.
Page32/39
Date conversion17.05.2016
Size1.4 Mb.
1   ...   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   ...   39
This demand can also be configured in a more general and more radical way with respect to the postmodern conditions of Empire. Ifin a first moment the multitude demands that each state recognize juridically the migrations that are necessary to capital, in a second moment it must demand control over the movements themselves. The multitude must be able to decide if, when, and where it moves. It must have the right also to stay still and enjoy one place rather than being forced constantly to be on the move. The general right to control its own movement is the multitude's ultimate demand for global citizenship. This demand is radical insofar as it challenges the fundamental apparatus of imperial control over the production and life of the multitude. Global citizenship is the multitude's power to reappropriate control over space and thus to design the new cartography.
Time and Body (The Right to a Social Wage)
Many elements arise on the endless paths of the mobile multitude in addition to the spatial dimensions we have considered thus far. In particular, the multitude takes hold of time and constructs new temporalities, which we can recognize by focusing on the transformations of labor. Understanding this construction of new temporalities will help us see how the multitude has the potential to make its action coherent as a real political tendency.
The new temporalities of biopolitical production cannot be understood in the frameworks of the traditional conceptions of time. In the Physics, Aristotle defines time by the measure of the movement between a before and an after. Aristotle's definition has the enormous merit of separating the definition of time from individual experience and spiritualism. Time is a collective experience that embodies and lives in the movements of the multitude. Aristotle, however, proceeds to reduce this collective time determined by the experience of the multitude to a transcendent standard of measure. Throughout Western metaphysics, from Aristotle to Kant and Heidegger, time has continuously been located in this transcendent dwelling place. In modernity, reality was not conceivable except as measure, and measure in turn was not conceivable except as a (real or formal) a priori that corralled being within a transcendent order. Only in postmodernity has there been a real break with this tradition-a break not with the first element of Aristotle's definition of time as a collective constitution but with the second transcendent configuration. In postmodernity, instead, time is no longer determined by any transcendent measure, any a priori: time pertains directly to existence. Here is where the Aristotelian tradition of measure is broken. In fact, from our perspective the transcendentalism of temporality is destroyed most decisively by the fact that it is now impossible to measure labor, either by convention or by calculation. Time comes back entirely under collective existence and thus resides within the cooperation of the multitude.
Through the cooperation, the collective existence, and the communicative networks that are formed and reformed within the multitude, time is reappropriated on the plane of immanence. It is not given a priori, but rather bears the stamp of collective action. The new phenomenology of the labor of the multitude reveals labor as the fundamental creative activity that through cooperation goes beyond any obstacle imposed on it and constantly re-creates the world. The activity of the multitude constitutes time beyond measure. Time might thus be defined as the immeasurability of the movement between a before and an after, an immanent process of constitution.[4] The processes of ontological constitution unfold through the collective movements of cooperation, across the new fabrics woven by the production of subjectivity. This site of ontological constitution is where the new proletariat appears as a constituent power.
This is a new proletariat and not a new industrial working class. The distinction is fundamental. As we explained earlier, "proletariat" is the general concept that defines all those whose labor is exploited by capital, the entire cooperating multitude (Section 1.3). The industrial working class represented only a partial moment in the history of the proletariat and its revolutions, in the period when capital was able to reduce value to measure. In that period it seemed as ifonly the labor of waged workers was productive, and therefore all the other segments of labor appeared as merely reproductive or even unproductive. In the biopolitical context of Empire, however, the production of capital converges ever more with the production and reproduction of social life itself; it thus becomes ever more difficult to maintain distinctions among productive, reproductive, and unproductive labor. Labor-material or immaterial, intellectual or corporeal-produces and reproduces social life, and in the process is exploited by capital. This wide landscape of biopolitical production allows us finally to recognize the full generality of the concept of proletariat. The progressive indistinction between production and reproduction in the biopolitical context also highlights once again the immeasurability of time and value. As labor moves outside the factory walls, it is increasingly difficult to maintain the fiction of any measure of the working day and thus separate the time of production from the time of reproduction, or work time from leisure time. There are no time clocks to punch on the terrain of biopolitical production; the proletariat produces in all its generality everywhere all day long.
This generality of biopolitical production makes clear a second programmatic political demand of the multitude: a social wage and a guaranteed income for all. The social wage stands opposed first of all to the family wage, that fundamental weapon of the sexual division of labor by which the wage paid for the productive labor of the male worker is conceived also to pay for the unwaged reproductive labor of the worker's wife and dependents at home. The family wage keeps family control firmly in the hands of the male wage earner and perpetuates a false conception of what labor is productive and what is not. As the distinction between production and reproductive labor fades, so too fades the legitimation of the family wage. The social wage extends well beyond the family to the entire multitude, even those who are unemployed, because the entire multitude produces, and its production is necessary from the standpoint of total social capital. In the passage to postmodernity and biopolitical production, labor power has become increasingly collective and social. It is not even possible to support the old slogan "equal pay for equal work" when labor cannot be individualized and measured. The demand for a social wage extends to the entire population the demand that all activity necessary for the production of capital be recognized with an equal compensation such that a social wage is really a guaranteed income. Once citizenship is extended to all, we could call this guaranteed income a citizenship income, due each as a member of society.
Telos (The Right to Reappropriation)
Since in the imperial realm of biopower production and life tend to coincide, class struggle has the potential to erupt across all the fields of life. The problem we have to confront now is how concrete instances of class struggle can actually arise, and moreover how they can form a coherent program of struggle, a constituent power adequate to the destruction of the enemy and the construction of a new society. The question is really how the body of the multitude can configure itself as a telos.
The first aspect of the telos of the multitude has to do with the senses of language and communication. If communication has increasingly become the fabric of production, and iflinguistic cooperation has increasingly become the structure of productive corporeality, then the control over linguistic sense and meaning and the networks of communication becomes an ever more central issue for political struggle. JĀrgen Habermas seems to have understood this fact, but he grants the liberated functions of language and communication only to individual and isolated segments of society.[5] The passage to postmodernity and Empire prohibits any such compartmentalization of the life world and immediately presents communication, production, and life as one complex whole, an open site of conflict. The theorists and practitioners of science have long engaged these sites of controversy, but today all of labor power (be it material or immaterial, intellectual or manual) is engaged in struggles over the senses of language and against capital's colonization of communicative sociality. All the elements of corruption and exploitation are imposed on us by the linguistic and communicative regimes of production: destroying them in words is as urgent as doing so in deeds. This is not really a matter of ideology critique ifby ideology we still understand a realm of ideas and language that is superstructural, external to production. Or rather, in the imperial regime ideology, critique becomes directly the critique of both political economy and lived experience. How can sense and meaning be oriented differently or organized in alternative, coherent communicative apparatuses? How can we discover and direct the performative lines of linguistic sets and communicative networks that create the fabric of life and production? Knowledge has to become linguistic action and philosophy has to become a real reappropriation of knowledge.[6] In other words, knowledge and communication have to constitute life through struggle. A first aspect of the telos is posed when the apparatuses that link communication to modes of life are developed through the struggle of the multitude.
To every language and communicative network corresponds a system of machines, and the question of machines and their use allows us to recognize a second aspect of the telos of the multitude, which integrates the first and carries it further. We know well that machines and technologies are not neutral and independent entities. They are biopolitical tools deployed in specific regimes of production, which facilitate certain practices and prohibit others. The processes of construction of the new proletariat that we have been following go beyond a fundamental threshold here when the multitude recognizes itself as machinic, when it conceives of the possibility of a new use of machines and technology in which the proletariat is not subsumed as "variable capital," as an internal part of the production of capital, but is rather an autonomous agent of production. In the passage from the struggle over the sense of language to the construction of a new system of machines, the telos gains a greater consistency. This second aspect of the telos serves to make what has been constructed in language become a lasting, corporeal progression of desire in freedom. The hybridization of human and machine is no longer a process that takes place only on the margins of society; rather, it is a fundamental episode at the center of the constitution of the multitude and its power.
Since great collective means must be mobilized for this mutation, the telos must be configured as a collective telos. It has to become real as a site of encounter among subjects and a mechanism of the constitution of the multitude.[7] This is the third aspect of the series of passages through which the material teleology of the new proletariat is formed. Here consciousness and will, language and machine are called on to sustain the collective making of history. The demonstration of this becoming cannot consist in anything but the experience and experimentation of the multitude. Therefore the power of the dialectic, which imagines the collective formed through mediation rather than through constitution, has been definitively dissolved. The making of history is in this sense the construction of the life of the multitude.
The fourth aspect deals with biopolitics. The subjectivity of living labor reveals, simply and directly in the struggle over the senses of language and technology, that when one speaks of a collective means of the constitution of a new world, one is speaking of the connection between the power of life and its political organization. The political, the social, the economic, and the vital here all dwell together. They are entirely interrelated and completely interchangeable. The practices of the multitude invest this complex and unitary horizon-a horizon that is at once ontological and historical. Here is where the biopolitical fabric opens to the constitutive, constituent power.
The fifth and final aspect thus deals directly with the constituent power of the multitude-or really with the product of the creative imagination of the multitude that configures its own constitution. This constituent power makes possible the continuous opening to a process of radical and progressive transformation. It makes conceivable equality and solidarity, those fragile demands that were fundamental but remained abstract throughout the history of modern constitutions. It should come as no surprise that the postmodern multitude takes away from the U.S. Constitution what allowed it to become, above and against all other constitutions, an imperial constitution: its notion of a boundless frontier of freedom and its definition of an open spatiality and temporality celebrated in a constituent power. This new range of possibilities in no way guarantees what is to come. And yet, despite such reservations, there is something real that foreshadows a coming future: the telos that we can feel pulsing, the multitude that we construct within desire. Now we can formulate a third political demand of the multitude: the right to reappropriation. The right to reappropriation is first of all the right to the reappropriation of the means of production. Socialists and communists have long demanded that the proletariat have free access to and control over the machines and materials it uses to produce. In the context of immaterial and biopolitical production, however, this traditional demand takes on a new guise. The multitude not only uses machines to produce, but also becomes increasingly machinic itself, as the means of production are increasingly integrated into the minds and bodies of the multitude. In this context reappropriation means having free access to and control over knowledge, information, communication, and affects-because these are some of the primary means of biopolitical production. Just because these productive machines have been integrated into the multitude does not mean that the multitude has control over them. Rather, it makes more vicious and injurious their alienation. The right to reappropriation is really the multitude's right to self-control and autonomous self-production.
Posse
The telos of the multitude must live and organize its political space against Empire and yet within the "maturity of the times" and the ontological conditions that Empire presents. We have seen how the multitude moves on endless paths and takes corporeal form by reappropriating time and hybridizing new machinic systems. We have also seen how the power of the multitude materializes within the vacuum that remains necessarily at the heart of Empire. Now it is a matter of posing within these dimensions the problem of the becoming-subject of the multitude. In other words, the virtual conditions must now become real in a concrete figure. Against the divine city, the earthly city must demonstrate its power as an apparatus of the mythology of reason that organizes the biopolitical reality of the multitude.
The name that we want to use to refer to the multitude in its political autonomy and its productive activity is the Latin term posse-power as a verb, as activity. In Renaissance humanism the triad esse-nosse-posse (being-knowing-having power) represented the metaphysical heart of that constitutive philosophical paradigm that was to go into crisis as modernity progressively took form. Modern European philosophy, in its origins and in its creative components that were not subjugated to transcendentalism, continually tended to pose posse at the center of the ontological dynamic: posse is the machine that weaves together knowledge and being in an expansive, constitutive process. When the Renaissance matured and reached the point of conflict with the forces of counterrevolution, the humanistic posse became a force and symbol of resistance, in Bacon's notion of inventio or experimentation, Campanella's conception of love, and Spinoza's usage of potentia. Posse is what a body and what a mind can do. Precisely because it continued to live in resistance, the metaphysical term became a political term. Posse refers to the power of the multitude and its telos, an embodied power of Knowledge and being, always open to the possible. Contemporary U.S. rap groups have rediscovered the term "posse" as a noun to mark the force that musically and literarily defines the group, the singular difference of the postmodern multitude. Of course, the proximate reference for the rappers is probably the posse comitatus of Wild West lore, the rough group of armed men who were constantly prepared to be authorized by the sheriff to hunt down outlaws. This American fantasy of vigilantes and outlaws, however, does not interest us very much. It is more interesting to trace back a deeper, hidden etymology of the term. It seems to us that perhaps a strange destiny has renewed the Renaissance notion and has, with a grain of madness, made the term once again deserving of its high political tradition.
From this perspective we want to speak of posse and not of "res-publica," because the public and the activity of singularities that compose it go beyond any object (res) and are constitutionally incapable of being corralled there. On the contrary, the singularities are producers. Like the Renaissance "posse," which was traversed by knowledge and resided at the metaphysical root of being, they too will be at the origin of the new reality of the political that the multitude is defining in the vacuum of imperial ontology. Posse is the standpoint that best allows us to grasp the multitude as singular subjectivity: posse constitutes its mode of production and its being. As in all innovative processes, the mode of production that arises is posed against the conditions from which it has to be liberated. The mode of production of the multitude is posed against exploitation in the name of labor, against property in the name of cooperation, and against corruption in the name of freedom. It self-valorizes bodies in labor, reappropriates productive intelligence through cooperation, and transforms existence in freedom. The history of class composition and the history of labor militancy demonstrate the matrix of these ever new and yet determinate reconfigurations of self-valorization, cooperation, and political selforganization as an effective social project.
The first phase of properly capitalist worker militancy, that is, the phase of industrial production that preceded the full deployment of Fordist and Taylorist regimes, was defined by the figure of the professional worker, the highly skilled worker organized hierarchically in industrial production. This militancy involved primarily transforming the specific power of the valorization of the worker's own labor and productive cooperation into a weapon to be used in a project of reappropriation, a project in which the singular figure of the worker's own productive power would be exalted. A republic of worker councils was its slogan; a soviet of producers was its telos; and autonomy in the articulation of modernization was its program. The birth of the modern trade union and the construction of the party as vanguard both date from this period of worker struggles and effectively overdetermine it.
The second phase of capitalist worker militancy, which corresponded to the deployment of Fordist and Taylorist regimes, was defined by the figure of the mass worker. The militancy of the mass worker combined its own self-valorization as a refusal of factory work and the extension of its power over all mechanisms of social reproduction. Its program was to create a real alternative to the system of capitalist power. The organization of mass trade unions, the construction of the welfare state, and social-democratic reformism were all results of the relations of force that the mass worker defined and the overdetermination it imposed on capitalist development. The communist alternative acted in this phase as a counterpower within the processes of capitalist development.
Today, in the phase of worker militancy that corresponds to the post-Fordist, informational regimes of production, there arises the figure of the social worker. In the figure of the social worker the various threads of immaterial labor-power are being woven together. A constituent power that connects mass intellectuality and self-valorization in all the arenas of the flexible and nomadic productive social cooperation is the order of the day. In other words, the program of the social worker is a project of constitution. In today's productive matrix, the constituent power of labor can be expressed as self-valorization of the human (the equal right of citizenship for all over the entire sphere of the world market); as cooperation (the right to communicate, construct languages, and control communications networks); and as political power, or really as the constitution of a society in which the basis of power is defined by the expression of the needs of all. This is the organization of the social worker and immaterial labor, an organization of productive and political power as a biopolitical unity managed by the multitude, organized by the multitude, directed by the multitude-absolute democracy in action.
The posse produces the chromosomes of its future organization. Bodies are on the front lines in this battle, bodies that consolidate in an irreversible way the results of past struggles and incorporate a power that has been gained ontologically. Exploitation must be not only negated from the perspective of practice but also annulled in its premises, at its basis, stripped from the genesis of reality. Exploitation must be excluded from the bodies of immaterial labor-power just as it must be from the social knowledges and affects of reproduction (generation, love, the continuity of Kinship and community relationships, and so forth) that bring value and affect together in the same power. The constitution of new bodies, outside of exploitation, is a fundamental basis of the new mode of production.
The mode of production of the multitude reappropriates wealth from capital and also constructs a new wealth, articulated with the powers of science and social knowledge through cooperation. Cooperation annuls the title of property. In modernity, private property was often legitimated by labor, but this equation, if it ever really made sense, today tends to be completely destroyed. Private property of the means of production today, in the era of the hegemony of cooperative and immaterial labor, is only a putrid and tyrannical obsolescence. The tools of production tend to be recomposed in collective subjectivity and in the collective intelligence and affect of the workers; entrepreneurship tends to be organized by the cooperation of subjects in general intellect. The organization of the multitude as political subject, as posse, thus begins to appear on the world scene. The multitude is biopolitical self-organization. Certainly, there must be a moment when reappropriation and self-organization reach a threshold and configure a real event. This is when the political is really affirmed-when the genesis is complete and self-valorization, the cooperative convergence of subjects, and the proletarian management of production become a constituent power. This is the point when the modern republic ceases to exist and the postmodern posse arises. This is the founding moment of an earthly city that is strong and distinct from any divine city. The capacity to construct places, temporalities, migrations, and new bodies already affirms its hegemony through the actions of the multitude against Empire. Imperial corruption is already undermined by the productivity of bodies, by cooperation, and by the multitude's designs of productivity. The only event that we are still awaiting is the construction, or rather the insurgence, of a powerful organization. The genetic chain is formed and established in ontology, the scaffolding is continuously constructed and renewed by the new cooperative productivity, and thus we await only the maturation of the political development of the posse. We do not have any models to offer for this event. Only the multitude through its practical experimentation will offer the models and determine when and how the possible becomes real.
1   ...   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   ...   39


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page