NEGRI ON DESCARTES

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Sun Apr 16 10:03:15 MDT 1995


I thank Steve Wright for his clarifications on Negri and
autonomism and the Johnson-Forest (James, Dunayevskaya, Boggs,
Glaberman) influence.  Of course Johnson-Forest was an even
greater failure in the USA.  It seems to me the view contained in
FACING REALITY was an original attempt to ground a radical
politics as an alternative to the failure of vanguard and top-down
organizing in a social situation where official society blocked
the way towards accomplishing anything and there was a need to
find the cracks in the system and build something from the ground
up, what James et al called the new society within the old.  But
that was just too simplistic a view of social organization,
patently unreal even if inspired IMO.  In the USA, much more
unreal than elsewhere.  Or, to paraphrase another proverb: "The
working class can kiss my ass I've got a house in the 'burbs at
last."

Based on other people's posts, it looks like Negri doesn't have
much staying power and we are going to have to go back to Bhaskar
as a model of clarity, precision, and transparency.  That's the
slogan!  "Back to Bhaskar".  Do you think we could get Dick Howard
to title his next book "From Marx to Bhaskar"?  Or maybe "From
Negri to Bhaskar"?  "Dunayevskaya to Negri to Bhaskar"?

But seriously folks, before I leave Negri to the gnawing of the
mice, I have another inquiry about Negri.  Perhaps Mr. Hardt could
answer it.  There is a reference to a book (?), still not
translated, by Negri about Descartes.  I could not find it in the
Library of Congress even in the original.  Do you know about it,
and better yet, could you summarize it for us?


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