michael hardt

michael hardt 15

intro’d to Michael in Astra‘s examined life:

revolution isn’t just about a transformation for democracy, it’s about a transformation of human nature, so that people are capable of democracy

you can only learn democracy by doing it..

revolution is instigating utopia every day..

we don’t just mean a better world for those who are least well off.. we mean a better world for all of us


revolution instigating utopia

as the day. ness.

hardt revolution law: revolution – instigating utopia everyday – michael hardt



occupy love

one ness



On Continuity and Leadership

6 min – only a rupture is not enough

13 min – making democracy a problem again – making it a question – reconsidering what it can be

15 min – commons is not against the private for the public, but something new

commons – shared w/equal access – with a structure for decision making – w/shared space

1. local rootedness 2. multitude form 3. democracy is a problem 4. attempt to produce the common

16 min continuity – we’ve had – – political agenda – longlasting & socially widespread – people struggling on the same axes

21 min – institution as repeated social practice – something you can come back to – ie: library

23 min – all for transforming the institution – but can get lost in the long trek

24 min – we need an institution of joy… of that joy & beauty that we experienced – how to make that month last..


25 min – what needs to be done?… what are people already doing.. what structures articulate the local encampments (of occupy) [go through the 4 above .. and what aspects can be continued]

31 min – do leaders always have to be individual – leadership in the plural… (leaders always seem so sad – austere)

33 min – to flee from the institution doesn’t mean that we don’t need structure..

self-organizing ness and structure

35 min – new combinations of collective energies

there’s a being together.. ness.. that could be a basis of joy and love.. a space to begin to think of an alternative form of leadership/democracy

36 min – spinoza joy – increase of power to think and act, that happens when we’re together,  love – joy w/recognition of its internal cause

39 min – leadership – orchestrating joy and love

right – we don’t need king to tell us how to do that – actually – written on each of our hearts… if we take the time and space to listen… this is huge. it means we can now.



On The Right To The Common

5 min – intro – not optimistic but confident – confidence of being near important questions – happens in real time – Michael preps – but thinks in real time while talking… he thinks with thought

mary catherine bateson ish. vulnerability of context. swimming in it ness. so much rather watch someone think.. than watch them read- present even

mostly paraphrasing…

13 min – 2 problems: 1) discontinuity 2) constitution

right – as in a struggle

common (negative definition) – not property (neither public nor private, neither state nor market) – refusal of property – property as enclosure (monopoly of decision making and of access)

15 min – public – what is controlled/regulated by state. 

a lot of people define public as what i’m defining common

common (positive definition) – shared/open access & democratic collective self-management

common (w/o an s) – not spontaneously organized..

commons w/s – assumes spontaneity of organization or existing non-capitalist organization..

the commons always requires an organizational project

elleanor ostrom – fishing village in turkey – w/o state regulation or private property rights… self-organization leads to a better ecosystem

common as material goods – earth/ecosystem

common as immaterial goods/relationships – ideas/images/code/languages

21 min – conflict between the two, common as material has to be thought of in terms of limitation and managed in the context of scarcity. with the immaterial commons, they function by a logic of reproduciblity.. [everything for everyone, there is no planet b, coming together]

26 min – what’s central – is the decision making mechanism, so less about property and more about organization (what we mean by concept of multitude)

27 min – commonalities of occupies/encampments – experimentations with structures, ie: general assembly

35 min – right – as in the beginning of the declaration 1. right to equality 2. right to life/liberty/pursuit of happiness. doesn’t satisfy me – because rights are granted – people are passive. i want those who are claiming the rights to be those that are creating them (rather than sovereign or state)

38 – when the rulers betray the relationship with the ruled – then no longer beholden, right to dissolve (govt) and create another

39 min – destituent – made up word – opposite of constituent.. decomposition of the traditional

40 min – what i want is a conception of right that is both active and autonomous – through struggle

41 min – spinoza – we have as much right as we have power – through the expression of our own power we claim our rights. rights and truths created in the struggle.

44 min – lincoln – declaration apple of gold (declaration) in a frame of silver (constitution) – the declaration is our constitution, the constitution that our Constitution (so evolving) is meant to serve

54 min – what appears as a discontinuity is a hidden continuity (non-linear ness) – flash, then goes underground, when it resurfaces it’s better…

56 min – something bothers me about Marx’s mole – i think i prefer a car speeding at night with lights out.. there’s more of a recklessness..

it’s not very satisfactory to say – there’s a hidden continuity – so i say – from these principals, there has to be open/fluid/now

how do you/we move from the square (of the occupy movements) time and space

commons ness




The current economic and financial crisis is also a social crisis, which is manifest in part by the subjectivities it produces or intensifies. This lecture will first explore four primary subjectivities produced by the crisis — the indebted, the mediatized, the securitized, and the represented. Then I will proceed to analyze the cycle of struggles that began in 2011 (the encampments and occupations) to understand how they manage to refuse and invert these subjectivities, creating instead powerful subjective figures.

Michael Hardt is an american literary theorist and political philosopher perhaps best known for Empire, written with Antonio Negri and published in 2000. It has been praised as the ‘Communist Manifesto of the 21st Century’. Hardt and his co-author suggest that what they view as forces of contemporary class oppression, globalization and the commodification of services (or production of affects), have the potential to spark social change of unprecedented dimensions. A sequel, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, published in August 2004, details the notion, first propounded in Empire, of the multitude as possible locus of a democratic movement of global proportions. Most of Hardt’s works have been co-written with Antonio Negri, who was in prison for most of his career. Some of his books are: Gilles Deleuze: an Apprenticeship in Philosophy (1993), Labor of Dionysus: a Critique of the State-form, with Antonio Negri (1994), Empire, with Antonio Negri (2000), Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, with Antonio Negri (2004), Commonwealth, with Antonio Negri (2009). 


paraphrasing ish…

on mediatized..

23 min – between active and passive, more than the lament of the lament of superficiality is liberation – not about access to information or ability for expression…

24 min – deleuze – the problem is no longer getting people to express themeselves. ..repressive forces force people to express themselves. sometimes we need the right to say nothing.. to be silent.. in order to have a meaningful idea.

michael not keen on the part about silence.. rather – (still thinking deleuze) – sometimes people struggle for their servitude as if it were there liberation. differentiate the qualities of communication… focus on the kind of communication that comes from being together in a space

on all 4.. (subjectivities on the crisis):

38 min .. our indebtedness mystifies our productivity, mediatization mystifies our intelligence/communication, the security regime mystifies our power, representation mystifies our capacity for political action  – all impoverishing and individualizing..

40 min – responses to each:

debt – the moment of refusal.. (ie: uni students, we won’t pay your debt) refusal to pay and refusal of subjectivity of indebtedness. revolt against debt creates different social bonds.

media – refusal to not rely on info.. struggles not so much on info.. if everyone reads all wikileaks and all of chomsky.. it’s rather a different construction.. which requires and encampment (as uni’s do, as zapista’s do).. communities producing truth, collective intelligence of being together

security – matter of flight/desertion/invisibility – refusing to be seen. fights agains real prison.. racial etc components. notion and possibility of putting an end to fear. (oppress\ion) the state of not having fear.. an obscure passage – that must result from that being together.

representative – where demands for democracy come in. the refusal of representation. the encampments provide practice of real democracy in miniature. so how to move from a square to a society. being together w/o fear.

53 min – declaration of independence is a document of struggle. struggle (encourages) to create new truths.

1:07 – practice of the human mic – when amplification was banned

what are the political technologies in making/facilitating large scale decision making

how to put a constitution in practice – difference in a constituent process and a constitution. institutionalizing (as repeated practices, social relationships you can return to) – institutions of the common – outside of public/property relations. don’t have to be fixed in a constitution.. but can be processes of lasting relationships

1:18 – movements as an exit from individuality..as a thrill.. from the boundedness of individuality

1:20 – fb – mass self communication (from audience) – fb closed down because they weren’t playing in fb rules of the profit.. (not using own names) – ??

interested in view of tech. ability of virtual to be deep, 1st, etc.. (does it have anything to do with that he’s not in these spaces… so he hasn’t felt that joy – like he’s felt the joy in the encampments… ? i don’t know.)

notes here (declaration) from watching it 2nd time

and notes from other interviews – heavy on declaration



“The Next American Revolution:..” by Grace Lee Boggs with Scott Kurashige


fred – 1st job of american intellectual – to be anti-america

grace – 1st job is to love america so much to change it

american revolution

in my 20’s to el salvador – best thing you can do is go back home and make a revolution there – it was so hard to imagine revolution in the us – instead went to paris – and learned from french & italians learned about us history, grace didn’t have to go through that.. she witnessed/lived a continuous revolutionary activity – that you have to put on the right glasses to see


grace seems more interested in the change of subjectivity – changing who we are – which only happens through local collective community organizing.. we change who we are together through collective community practices. who people are today – they know how to obey orders.. you need a new human nature.. composed of new habits.. transformation of human nature (not just think different) we have to actually transform human nature.. habits/practices

revolution is creating a world in which we really don’t fit – and so we have to be different in order to survive.. really losing who you are and transforming who you are

grace is more interested in the practical/local – the ways we are already..

grace – 1st duty is to make the next american revolution…



michael h on guardian



love in the multitude:


1. the plurality of people – eclecticness – esp in regard to diff kinds of labor/work. multitude has to take at its point of departure – the poor

2. used to reference to all those w/o property – differentiate multitude from the people.. because the people always function as a unity.. where the multitude is a multiplicity.. [crowd/mass/mob all seem passive.. have to be led; the multitude is a social multiplicity that can act on its own, it must even; the multitude’s differences remain different]

3. political – lenin’s formula – communism= soviets+electrification (and economic program). i say mult= autonomy (singularity) + cooperation.

1999 protest in seattle – there w/o central leadership w/0 unified agenda.. yet able to function in common – not a crowd – not a people


1. one way of allowing for this formation – force of social cooperation

2. why not just talk about solidarity. love extends beyond rationality. we need to think of love of a different kind of reason.

3. love might be natural but it’s not spontaneous – requires a certain kind of training?

so i want to develop a notion of love as a political concept – love was destroyed as a traditional concept – assumes it was one before.. but i’m not really talking about a return to how it was used.. but rather a new one

ways love has been destroyed as a political concept

1a – love has been hoisted into the couple and the family – like those are the only forms of love – love the same –

1b – expansive social concept

2a – segregation of eros and agape

2b – love would have to be at once both eros and agape – about a boy ness

3a – unity – so destruction of differences (so not langer discrimination ness) – love the same or make the same

3b – love experiments w/differences.. reproduction of singularities

4a – reduction of love to charity –

4b – primacy of love – subject & object

5a – love as passion/sensation so denying productivity – passive/sensation

5b – ways where love is an action – rather than passion – power of creation


rather than love and hatred.. love and evil.. love gone bad

1:13 – the story/movement/love – that is already in our hearts.. no? – doesn’t mean we’ve figured it out.. but the answer is in our hearts.. ness

what must be done – what’s already being done



44 min – not about separating theory and practice.. but perhaps between different theories… not about writing up the proposal/plan/program.. that happens in the movements.. where there is practice.. but mixed w/theory..

so – to create a structure/mechanism that facilitates (or at least jumpstarts toward self-organizing) ongoing ness.. of alive/active/conversing people..

50 min – pro or anti american – doesn’t seem like a rational distinction – it’s not a matter of singing praises (of us or whatever) – it’s a matter of a different form..



Antonio Negri


multitude notes/highlights



(notes linked above from 2nd reading)


book links to amazon


declaration on kindle

The task is not to codify new social relations in a fixed order, but instead to create a constituent process that organizes those relations and makes them lasting while also fostering future innovations and remaining open to the desires of the multitude.

a mechanism based on and perpetuating ongoing ness… alive ness – networked individualism ness

The hegemony of finance and the banks has produced the indebted. Control over information and communication networks has created the mediatized. The security regime and the generalized state of exception have constructed a figure prey to fear and yearning for protection—the securitized. And the corruption of democracy has forged a strange, depoliticized figure, the represented.

Exploitation today is based primarily not on (equal or unequal) exchange but on debt, that is, on the fact that the 99 percent of the population is subject—owes work, owes money, owes obedience—to the 1 percent

in order to survive the indebted must sell his or her entire time of life.

“The problem is no longer getting people to express themselves,” Gilles Deleuze explains, “but providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say Repressive forces don’t stop people from expressing themselves, but rather, force them to express themselves. What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, the thing that might be worth saying.   

never nothing going on and john cage silence/still ness

Instead of information and communication, Deleuze says, what we often need is the silence necessary for there to be thought

deleuze on silence

quiet enough to hear it ness – self-talk as data

Mediatization is a major factor in the increasingly blurred divisions between work and life

so the need/search/craving for eudaimonia ness

How can we separate the repressive powers of media from the potential for liberation?

people’s platform ness – platform in head ness – ni re\wire ness

Just as human productivity is masked in the figure of the indebted, in the figure of the mediatized resides mystified and depotentialized human intelligence. Or, better, the mediatized is full of dead information, suffocating our powers to create living information.

suffocating from the day ness

He argues that since the peasants are dispersed across the countryside and cannot effectively communicate with one another, they are not capable of collective political action and, as he famously says, cannot represent themselves

prior to now ness

The most important communication the proletarians have, and that the peasants lack, is enacted in the physical, corporeal being together in the factory.

who’s together in a space/room

The class and the bases of political action are formed not primarily through the circulation of information or even ideas but rather through the construction of political affects, which requires a physical proximity. The encampments and occupations of 2011 have rediscovered this truth of communication.

local ness – schooling the world ness

You accept being in a prison society because outside seems more dangerous.

playing it safe ness

It is a scandal—or, rather, it should be a scandal and one wonders why it isn’t—that the US prison population, after reaching a postwar low in the early 1970s, has since grown more than 500 percent.

prisons – cure violence

You have to be good worker, loyal to your employer, and not go out on strike, or you’ll find yourself out of work and unable to pay your debts. Fear is the primary motivation for the securitized to accept not only its double role, watcher and watched, in the surveillance regime but also the fact that so many others are even further deprived of their freedom.

earn a living

The represented recognizes the collapse of the structures of representation but sees no alternative and is thrust back into fear

It was also due to a blinding of the hope of transformation or, really, a suicide of entrepreneurial capacities, liquefied by the hegemony of financial capital and the exclusive value of rent as a mechanism for social cohesion.

jane costello – mechanism in place – or at least jumpstart mechanism that opens us up to perpetuation of self-organizing

Jean-Jacques Rousseau theorized the social contract (and thus the foundation of modern democracy) in these terms: a political system must be invented that can guarantee democracy in a situation in which private property generates inequality and thus puts freedom in danger, a system that can construct a state, defend private property, and define public property as something that, belonging to everyone, belongs to no one. Representation would thus be at the service of all but, being of all, would be of no one

Hannah Arendt, for one, well grasped and anticipated, in the era of triumphant capitalism, this generalized reduction of the potential of human action.

green about people ness – authentic energy

You are alone, depotentialized. But as soon as you look around, you see that the crisis has also resulted in a being together.

pluralistic ignorance – a waking up from

Deleuze says in his reading of Nietzsche: “Une force séparée de ce qu’elle peut.” We must discover a force that reconnects action to being together.

But we are here together. There is a kairos of resistance as well as a kairos of community

he refusal of debt aims to destroy the power of money and the bonds it creates and simultaneously to construct new bonds and new forms of debt. We become increasingly indebted to one another, linked not by financial bonds but by social bonds

They do not seek to restore an order and they do not ask for justice or reparations for the offended, but they want instead to construct another possible world.

bill strickland ness – quit playing defense and build/create/be it

If only the people of the United States knew what their government is doing and the crimes it has committed, one might think, they would rise up and change it. But, in fact, even if they were to read all the books by Noam Chomsky and all the material released by WikiLeaks, they could still vote the same politicians back in power and, ultimately, reproduce the same society. Information alone is not enough.

,,neither is it enough to open a space for communicative action in the public sphere.

too big to know.. vote.. not enough and too much. so how to simplify – so that narrative is accessible to 100% of humanity. 2 needs. written already on each heart.

Before you can actively communicate in networks, you must become a singularity. The old cultural projects against alienation wanted you to return to yourself. They battled the ways in which capitalist society and ideology have separated us from ourselves, broken us in two, and thus sought a form of wholeness and authenticity, most often in individual terms. When you become a singularity, instead, you will never be a whole self. Singularities are defined by being multiple internally and finding themselves externally only in relation to others. The communication and expression of singularities in networks, then, is not individual but choral, and it is always operative, linked to a doing, making ourselves while being together

ni – the dance..

as singularities we gain a free mobility in networks

none of us if one of usto dance

Demonstrations and political actions are born today not from a central committee that gives the word but rather from the coming together of and the discussion among numerous small groups. After the demonstration, similarly, messages spread virally through the neighborhoods and a variety of metropolitan circuits.

ginormous small ness – 24/7 self/neighborhood/city/world dancing – mayor redefined ness

The clearest contemporary example of the communicative capacity of an encampment is perhaps the decades-long experiment of the Zapatista self-rule in Chiapas, Mexico

walk out walk on ness

Most often, flight involves not coming out into the open but rather becoming invisible

jason fried – benefit of being in the shadows

the nature of power explained by Foucault and, before him, Niccolò Machiavelli: power is not a thing but a relation. No matter how mighty and arrogant seems that power standing above you, know that it depends on you, feeds on your fear, and survives only because of your willingness to participate in the relationship. Look for an escape door. One is always there. Desertion and disobedience are reliable weapons against voluntary servitude

standing man ness – look for a door – realize you are not alone

Like prisons, militaries degrade subjectivities and poison social relations. Not only are returning soldiers damaged by war and hierarchy, but they spread their diseased subjectivities among the families they return to and everyone with whom they interact

dirty wars et al – none of us if one of us

The prison and the military are poisons, but perversely, the sick body must keep ingesting them to survive, making itself constantly worse. Prison creates a society that needs prisons, and the military creates a society that needs militarism

bad starfish ness

their response echoed the affirmations from Egypt, “No tenemos miedo.” We can’t fully explain how these militants achieved such a state of fearlessness, which must have been due in large part to their being together in the square, but we can easily recognize its political power and importance. Power cannot survive when its subjects free themselves from fear.

power free hardt

you can no longer oppress one who is no longer afraid

no fear in love..

The indignados think of this as a destituent rather than a constituent process, a kind of exodus from the existing political structures, but it is necessary to prepare the basis for a new constituent power

No John Maynard Keynes or Franklin D. Roosevelt has emerged on the scene, and their old recipes, which had some validity for the industrial production of their time, cannot be adapted to our postindustrial era. The ruling neoliberal, market-based policy frameworks have nothing to propose. What we need instead is a qualitative leap, a paradigm shift

yes.. a leap.. like toby describes.. that forgoes/ignores/doesn’t try to mimick/fit the old.. appears ridiculous even.. something not yet tried..

Today’s struggles thus present, first of all, destituent rather than constituent characteristics. They must destroy the despotic effects left in us and our societies through the exhaustion of the old constitutions.

detox ness

The common sense that dwells in the hearts and heads of the subjects who conduct the struggles and imagine a new society has a prescriptive value and the power to generate, animate, and regulate new forms of life

indeed – the answers are everywhere and most of all – already in us – we just need to be about setting people free

What is interesting and new in these struggles is not so much their slowness or swiftness, but rather the political autonomy by which they manage their time


This notion of an autonomous temporality helps us clarify what we mean when we claim that these movements present an alternative. An alternative is not an action, a proposition, or a discourse that is simply opposed to the program of power, but rather it is a new dispositif that is based in a radically asymmetrical standpoint. This standpoint is elsewhere even when it shares the same space

horse of a different color – not just different spinach ness – and – it would bode us well if it also perpetuated this ongoing alive ness

curiosity, vitality, and desire for knowledge demand that the opacity and secrecy of power be destroyed

cure is curiosity ness  – (cure)(city)

The majority, then, becomes not a homogeneous unit or even a body of agreement but a concatenation of differences.


This decision must be both singular and common

multitudes will inevitably reconvene

in speaking of – where have the occupiers gone… mockingjay ness.. quiet revolution ness – in fact.. via ni – multitudes are always convening.. at each other’s beckon call – eternal back up ness

one should not exaggerate the complexity of the knowledges required to engage in political decisions regarding our society. People have been trained in apathy and ignorance, encouraged to suppress their appetite for democratic participation and to regard social systems as so complex that only experts can understand them

rhizomatic expertise. quiet enough to hear the answers in each one of us

Common decisions are made through democratic participation not by elected representatives and experts

how to learn, how to be, — practice democracy.. what is democracy? asking every day – what is democracy.. that’ll do it.

Becoming common is a continuous activity

In this sense education is at its most basic always self-education. No one can study for you, and the power to think is always already within you.

The kind of self-education we are discussing is similarly affective as well as social and scientific, but the primary difference is that it is not individual. We can only study in relation to and in interaction with others, whether they are physically present or not. Education in this sense is always an exercise in and demonstration of the equality of singularities in the common

ni – self-directed self-organizing

if education were to become an institution of the common, the interests of society as a whole, not those of business, would have to be the guide

schooling the world ness  (many will need detox, or they will think spinach is their best choice)

What kind of bargain are we making when we struggle for the common but settle for the rule of public property and state control?

a way to begin to interpret the lessons of “the squares” and their experiments with assemblies in order to apply them on a social level.

the square

The surest and most powerful way to generate democratic political affects is by practicing democracy.

The neoliberal and neoconservative revolutions of the last decades of the twentieth century propagated the myth of a weak state, claiming to reduce state powers and pull the state out of the social field—getting government off our backs. State expenditures for social welfare were indeed reduced, but, in fact, total state budgets only grew due to increased funding to military, legal, and business interests. The neoliberal state, despite claims to the contrary, wields strong planning powers, which it enacts through close collaboration with corporate and financial interests. No one should be fooled anymore by the democratic aura that neoliberals still hope to evoke when they claim that the market decides

Throughout the twentieth century, development was conceived primarily as growth according to an industrial model, with the assumption that human well-being is dependent on continually producing more goods and consuming more resources

missing it ness – eisenstein

This does not mean that no administration is necessary but rather that it has to be immanent, woven into the social fabric itself


Here again, as we said earlier, a widespread educational project is necessary to develop the intelligence, create the political affects, and furnish the necessary tools of expertise to enable the entire multitude to participate in such interpretation and decision making.

so.. practice democracy.. no…? not a matter of some educational project – but rather – setting people free – a people experiment ness

A deeper debt is created as a social bond in which there is no creditor. New truths are produced through the interaction of singularities being together. A real security is forged by those no longer bound by fear. And those who refuse to be represented discover the power of democratic political participation. Those four subjective attributes, each characterized by a new power that revolts and rebellions have achieved, together define the commoner

free\dom ness – choosing to serve – everyday

the common has nothing to do with sameness. Instead, in struggle, different social groups interact as singularities and are enlightened, inspired, and transformed by their exchange with each other. They speak to each other on the lower frequencies, which people outside of the struggle often cannot hear or understand.

prejudice decreases as discrimination increases..ness – langer

common wealth pdf
– – –
links to pdf

– – –

wikipedia small

The influence of the book has paralleled the rise of the “common” as a concept at the center of the political and cultural debate.

In Part 1 of the book the authors introduce the concept of “the republic of property”. As such they state that “What is central for our purposes here is that the concept of property and the defense of property remain the foundation of every modern political constitution. This is the sense in which the republic, from the great bourgeois revolutions to today, is a republic of property”.

core of problem at core of institution..

In Part 2 the authors deal with the relationship between modernity and anti-modernity and end up proposing what they call “alter-modernity”. Altermodernity “involves not only insertion in the long history of antimodern struggles but also rupture with any fixed dialectic between modern sovereignty and antimodern resistance. In the passage from antimodernity to altermodernity, just as tradition and identity are transformed, so too resistance takes on a new meaning, dedicated now to the constitution of alternatives. The freedom that forms the base of resistance, as we explained earlier, comes to the fore and constitutes an event to announce a new political project.”

model another way ness



A more sophisticated version of the race to innocence that helps perpetuate settler colonialism began to develop in social movement theory in the 1990s, popularized in the work of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Commonwealth, the third volume in a trilogy, is one of a number of books in an academic fad of the early twenty-first century seeking to revive the Medieval European concept of the commons as an aspiration for contemporary social movements. Most writings about the commons barely mention the fate of Indigenous peoples in relation to the call for all land to be shared.


Cree scholar Lorraine Le Camp calls this kind of erasure of Indigenous peoples in North America “terranullism,” harking back to the characterization, under the Doctrine of Discovery, of purportedly vacant lands as terra nullis. This is a kind of no-fault history. From the theory of a liberated future of no borders and nations, of a vague commons for all, the theorists obliterate the present and presence of Indigenous nations struggling for their liberation from states of colonialism. Thereby, Indigenous rhetoric and programs for decolonization, nationhood, and sovereignty are, according to this project, rendered invalid and futile. From the Indigenous perspective, as Jodi Byrd writes, “any notion of the commons that speaks for and as indigenous as it advocates transforming indigenous governance or incorporating indigenous peoples into a multitude that might then reside on those lands forcibly taken from indigenous peoples does nothing to disrupt the genocidal and colonialist intent of the initial and now repeated historical process.

would love to know more of this..


Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt. Capitalist Control and Forms of Life. 2014

7 min – power is never one thing.. power’s a relation.. and if you see it from below you see it from the perspective of resistance..

15 min – computerization means the possibility of making the entire society work..

23 min – technical changed – what people do at work changed.. then – how value is produced/extracted


let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake

a nother way


find Michael:


at Duke:


wikipedia small

Michael Hardt (born 1960) is an American literary theorist and political philosopher. Hardt is best known for his book Empire, which was co-written with Antonio Negri. It has been praised by some as the “Communist Manifesto of the 21st Century”.

Hardt and Negri suggest that several forces which they see as dominating contemporary life, such as class oppression, globalization and the commodification of services (or production of affects), have the potential to spark social change of unprecedented dimensions. A sequel, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empirewas published in August 2004. It outlines an idea first propounded in Empire, which is that of the multitude as possible locus of a democratic movement of global proportions. The third and final part of the trilogy,Commonwealth, was published in 2009.


Hardt is concerned with the joy of political life, and has stated, “One has to expand the concept of love beyond the limits of the couple.


Identity and Difference. 2005

seattle – we realize a new kind of activism… such diversity… working together w/o any centralized leadership

something like an experiment in the multitude.. in singularity…

that contradictory couple of identity and difference has been replaced by a complementary couple of singularity and commonality

we don’t want a world w/o race.. we want a world where race doesn’t matter… we want differences.. our differences are our strength

4 min – i  would like to find a way to develop love as a political concept

in movement context.. everyone thinks it’s fine.. also theological seminaries.. but in uni’s everyone gets.. it’s gross

the political concept of love has been destroyed…

6 min – why we get uncomfortable.. love is only imaginable now in the confines of the couple.. 

concept of love has to be freed from confines of family/couple.. and be able to extend across social space

we don’t have to stop that.. but expand it..

1\ re attach diff notions of love that are traditionally separated by christian theology.. agape and eros… it’s much more useful to think an interaction among these faces of love

2\ save love from the merging/unity – the two melding into one…

think it (love) as communication among singularities…


2015 – 4 min clip on curriculum and study w egs (european grad students)


on the hierarchy of ed.. and egs as the pinnacle of the hierarchy

on the other hand.. egs demands an incredible independence of the people that come here.. all are responsible for their own learning

if egs went on longer.. i think it could end up being a collective project.. it ends up being very individual

and the students who come to egs are ones who are already mature intellectually.. maybe just in life.. that allows for this kind of independence..

i view egs as this tension between something higher than the academic star system plus a kind of mature/independent student activity

2 min – i’m attracted by the idea of study.. via Fred Moten and Stefano Harney .. as some self org’d activity


Working from and within the social poesis of life in the undercommons Moten and Harney develop and expand an array of concepts: study, debt, surround, planning, and the shipped. On the fugitive path of an historical and global blackness, the essays in this volume unsettle and invite the reader to the self-organised ensembles of social life that are launched every day and every night amid the general antagonism of the undercommons.

book on hold at library – thank you library – undercommons

Fred Moten

poesis – In philosophy, poiesis (from Ancient Greek: ποίησις) is “the activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before.” Poiesis is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek term ποιεῖν, which means “to make”

there’s a way in which curriculum is already/always hierarchical.. proposed by admin/profs.. and i really think to overcome that is something that the profs/admin can’t do.. i think it has to be.. transformed in a way that’s org’d by the students .. so this is what they (Fred Moten and Steve Harney) mean by study.. i mean it’s a strange term.. so banal/normal term.. but what they mean by it is students take control of the learning environ

Fred and Stefano

3 min – so if one were then to try to transform curriculum.. as a plan of study..  that’s self org’d from below.. that’s the way i would be interested in curriculum.. t

cc dave cormier


june 2018 interview

fb share by michel

In this interesting and in-depth interview, Michael Hardt, co-author with Negri of the Empire-Multitude-Commonwealth trilogy, discuss the two latest books, Declaration and Assembly:

Your most recent works—Declaration and Assembly— spotlight social movements and the potential for transformative action. What would you say is your central insight about social movements today?
Along with many others, we were inspired by the movements that emerged beginning in 2011 in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, Greece, the US, and later Brazil, Turkey, and elsewhere—so-called leaderless movements. We admired especially their profound democratic spirit and how they experimented with and demanded new notions of democracy. Why, though, we asked—and many activists asked this, too—have these movements that express the dreams and desires of so many not been able to bring about a lasting transformation and a more just society? Many sympathetic observers and some activists themselves came to the conclusion that in order for the movements to become effective, they would have to develop leadership structures and return to traditional centralized models of organization. Toni and I have thought instead that “leaderlessness versus leadership” was not the right way to understand the issue—that this was a false binary.” (http://greattransition.org/publication/empire-and-multitude)

After studying engineering in college, I worked in the solar energy field before going back to school, pursuing a graduate degree in comparative literature. As an undergraduate, I had political desires, but I couldn’t find a way to get involved in politics.

solar energy

At the time, I only managed to see campus politics as an exercise in moralism, with various expressions of purity. It was certainly my fault that I couldn’t recognize more in campus politics, probably due to my own lack of understanding and imagination. In any case, only after I graduated did I begin to get involved directly, particularly in the sanctuary movement, which protected refugees coming to the US from El Salvador and Guatemala who were fleeing death squads and political violence supported by the US government in the 1980s. This work—and, in particular, the contact with the Central Americans—awakened me to the joy of political struggle.

refugee ness

For me, activism paved the way for scholarship.

paved the way for scholarship..?

I translated his book on Spinoza in order to meet him.


Multitude, in contrast, is a concept meant to understand political subjectivity as internally differentiated. How can a diverse coalition act coherently and effectively in common?

Why, though, we asked—and many activists asked this, too—have these movements that express the dreams and desires of so many not been able to bring about a lasting transformation and a more just society? Many sympathetic observers and some activists themselves came to the conclusion that in order for the movements to become effective, they would have to develop leadership structures and return to traditional centralized models of organization. Toni and I have thought instead that “leaderlessness versus leadership” was not the right way to understand the issue—that this was a false binary.

How can people become capable of democracy, a veritable democracy in which all participate equally in collective self-rule? ..t.. That is one element required, in fact, for the multitude to be capable of strategy.

2 convos  as infra

That is just one indication that we need and are lacking today an adequate political concept of love, which can address the challenges of our contemporary world.. t.. Toni and I, as well as a series of other authors, have made some suggestions in this direction, but it seems to me that this remains an open project.

love is the movement



(2017) hardt & negri

[wished i would have put other books on separate pages.. maybe someday]

i guess i did get these: multitude.. declaration..


2020 interview – michael on movements in times of crisis



www ness

structureless ness


money ness