Negri's Marxism

David McInerney davidmci at coombs.anu.edu.au
Wed Feb 14 15:20:37 MST 1996


Louis,
just looking at the quote you provide from _Communists Like Us_ , I share
Jukka's sentiment (maybe for different reasons) that there is nothing in
the passage to indicate that this small book is "simply a rotten piece of
thinking and writing from beginning to end."

>"Since the 1960's, new collective subjectivities have been affirmed in
>the dramas of social transformation.

An observation, and I would argue a correct one.

>We have noted what they owe to
>modifications in the organization of work and to developments in
>socialization; we have tried to establish that the antagonisms which
>they contain are no longer recuperable within the traditional horizon
>of the political.

One cannot make sense of these movements -- and nor can these movements
make sense of themselves -- in terms of the ideological State/Civil Society
couplet.  The first part of the sentence seems like -- to me at least -- an
attempt to bring in Marxist concerns about the division of labour, the
ISAs, etc.

>But it remains to be demonstrated that the innovations
>of the '60s should above all be understood within the universe of
>consciousnesses, of desires, and of modes of behaviour."

Just as the State/Civil Society couplet must be abandoned, so must the
opposition between the material and the ideal -- consciousnesses, desire,
behaviour, etc must be thought in terms of material realities, and
therefore thought in relation to, instead of in opposition to, older
Marxist concerns about the production/appropriation/realisation of surplus
value etc.  All of this seems obvious to me when you consider the common
ground Guattari and Negri share -- Spinozism.  Spinozism is heretical,
sure, but no one on this list (besides the sectarians) should have a
problem with this!

David.



Wed, 14 Feb 1996, Louis Proyect wrote:

>On Wed, 14 Feb 1996, David McInerney wrote:
>
>> that is obviously silly.  The best source of Negri's views on class is
>> obviously reading Negri's writings on class, not the simple fact that he
>> was friends with Guattari or anyone else.  I am friends with postmodernists
>> too.  Does that make me a class traitor?
>>
>
>Louis:
>
>"Since the 1960's, new collective subjectivities have been affirmed in
>the dramas of social transformation. We have noted what they owe to
>modifications in the organization of work and to developments in
>socialization; we have tried to establish that the antagonisms which
>they contain are no longer recuperable within the traditional horizon
>of the political. But it remains to be demonstrated that the innovations
>of the '60s should above all be understood within the universe of
>consciousnesses, of desires, and of modes of behaviour."
>
>This is from Guattari and Negri's "Communists Like Us" written in 1985. I
>hesitate to read any more of Negri if this the type of thinking and
>writing he is capable of. "Communists Like Us" is simply a rotten piece
>of thinking and writing from beginning to end.
>
>
>
>     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

Wed, 14 Feb 1996, Bryan Alexander wrote:

>COMMUNISTS LIKE US is a hybrid polemic, a rush of feeling and an
>exortation to thought and action.  It is not theoretically-based; it
>tries instead to recover communism from its abysmal position in many areas.
>        For Negri's theory - which reads like a different author
>entirely - go to MARX BEYOND MARX, probably his best.


Wed, 14 Feb 1996, Jukka Laari wrote:


>Louis,
>
>why that is so rotten? From what context that particular passage is
>taken? Please enlighten us.  -Jukka L

Wed, 14 Feb 1996, Louis N Proyect wrote:

>Louis: OK, OK. I give up. If you and McInerney stick up for Negri, then
>I'll withdraw my guilty verdict for the time being. MARX BEYOND MARX? Is
>there lots of pages in small print? Are the paragraphs real long? Does it
>use words like "problematize"? I guess I'll have to find out for myself....


Mr. David McInerney,
Political Science Program, Research School of Social Sciences,
The Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T., AUSTRALIA  0200.
e-mail: davidmci at coombs.anu.edu.au; ph: (06) 249 2134; fax: (06) 249 3051




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