Negri explains the "multitude"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Nov 13 11:13:36 MST 2002

For those who have been somewhat mystified by this term, relief is finally
here. Toni Negri lays the whole thing out at:

Here is a brief excerpt that should lift the scales from your eyes:

What interests us at this point is to underline the global power of this
process: in fact, it lays between globality and singularity according to a
first rhythm (synchronic) of more or less intense connections (rhyzomatic,
as they have been called) and another rhythm (diachronic), of systoles and
diastoles, of evolution and crisis, of concentration and dissipation of the
flux. In other words, the production of subjectivity, i.e. the production
that the subject makes of itself, is simultaneously production of the
density of the multitude because the multitude is a whole of singularities.
Of course, someone insinuates that the multitude is (substantially) an
improposable concept, even a metaphor, because one can give unity to the
multiple only through a more or less dialectical transcendental gesture
(just as philosophy has done from Plato to Hobbes and Hegel): even more so
if the multitude (i.e. the multiplicity that refuses to represent itself in
the dialectical Aufhebung) also claims to be singular and subjective. But
the objection is weak: here the dialectical Aufhebung is ineffective
because the unity of the multiple is for the multitude the same as that of
living, and living can hardly be subsumed by the dialectics. Moreover, the
dispositif of the production of subjectivity that finds in the multitude a
common figure, presents itself as collective praxis, as always renewed
activity and constitutive of being. The name "multitude" is, at once,
subject and product of collective praxis.

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