I finally finished Commonwealth. I expected it to be disappointing. It was. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been meaning for a long time go back and read the three part Aufheben article on decadence theory. (This piece played a role in Aufheben’s exchange with Theorie Communiste, which I’ve still not read except in a very cursory fashion.) One of these days (after ch25 of Capital! and after my latest round of Hamerquist’s writing!) I’m going to have to dig into this stuff.
For now, Hardt and Negri in Commonwealth:
a “symptom of capital’s illness: its failure to engage and develop productive forces. When Marx and Engels describe the centuries-long passage from feudal to capitalist relations of production in Europe, they focus on the expansion of productive forces: as feudal relations increasingly obstruct the development of productive forces, capitalist relations of property and exchange emerge to foster them and spur them forward. “At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange,” Marx and Engels write in the Manifesto, “the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organization of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.” Every mode of production, capital included, at first powerfully expands productive forces but eventually holds them back, thereby generating the foundation of the next mode of production. (…) Capitalist relations of property are becoming increasingly such fetters today.” (298.)
Capitalism, from once helping to now hindering progress. From progressive to decadent social formation.
I finally got a draft of that talk on the common done. I’m not happy with it except the done part. This is as good as it’s gonna be, given my time etc. Say la vee. As they c’est. Read the rest of this entry »
Getting closer to an actual draft of talk I agreed to give on “the common.” Regular readers of the blog may recognize pieces of prior posts here, sorry about that y’all, those posts have been part of me working my way up to/around to this.
I’m going to talk about some recent writings by Antonio Negri and others on what they call “the common.” Before I get into that, though, please consider the images below. I’ll lay out some things that I think are interesting about these images.
Each of these photographs takes an image out of its context and holds it up for our consideration in a new context. Read the rest of this entry »
Long time readers of this blog (all three of them) will know that I often write about my dissatisfaction with the work of recent German marxist and post-marxist writers such as Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno, Louis Althusser, and Gilles Deleuze, among others. Read the rest of this entry »
Continuing my recent spate of re-blogging, check out this post by Negatron. In it, Negatron discusses some marxists’ recent uses of categories like primitive accumulation and in the process says some things which are I think useful for making sense of other issues within marxism. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve agreed to do a talk about recent Italian theory that uses the term ‘the common,’ tied to the theme ‘the future of the common.’ I’m not sure what to say, still percolating. Here are some working titles, which get at a bit of the difficulty I’m having: Read the rest of this entry »
In a recent post I referenced a text by Wu Ming from 2001. I think the text is beautiful and as I mentioned I think the sense of standing in a long line of historical continuity is important. The line is on the one hand that of the long history of communism understood as “the real movement which abolishes the present state of things,” in Marx’s words. Marx emphasized that “[t]he conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence,” and I think historical memory is one such condition. Someone from Wu Ming linked to my post, with an excerpt from their introduction to a short book of material by Thomas Muntzer. (Muntzer figures largely in the novel Q, which I can’t recommend enough. I also recommend the novel 54 highly. Check it out.) Read the rest of this entry »
I’m cleaning my apartment a bit, throwing out old papers and keeping others, sorting books into stacks and so on, in preparation for another (goddamn) move to a new apartment. In the process I ran across this paper by Rodrigo Nunes. He doesn’t differentiate the stuff from the 60s and 70s from the stuff in the 90s and 00s as much as I’d like, but the paper is useful for identifying continuity across that divide. He writes Read the rest of this entry »