book links to amazon.. by Michael and Antonio (2004)




the primary obstacle of democracy is the global state of war…. traditionally, democracy has been suspended during wartime and power entrusted temporarily to a strong central authority to confront the crisis.


sequel to empire – focus on new global form of sovereignty


this book will focus on the multitude, the living alternative that grows w/in empire.

while remaining different, we discover the commonality that enables us to communicate and act together..


people: the people is one/identity.. the multitude in contrast, is many.. multitude: the multitude is a multiplicity of all these singular differences… masses: the masses are also contrasted w/people.. cannot be reduced to a unity/identity. the essence of the masses id indifference, all differences are submerged and drowned in the masses.. all the colors of the population fade to grey.. they move in unison.. uniformity conglomerate. in the multitude.. social differences remain different. multitude like joseph’s magical coat… so .. to manage to communicate/act in common while remaining internally different.. as opposed to working class – multitude is all inclusive


the common currency is the desire for democracy


the multitude is working through empire to create an alternative global society.

1\ war

1.1 simplicissimus

p 12

war, that is to say, is becoming the primary organizing principle of society, and politics merely one of its means or guises. what appears as civil peace, then, really only puts an end to one form of war and opens the way for another.

mao zedong – politics is simply war w.o bloodshed

p 13

war has become a regime of biopower, that is, a form of rule aimed not only at controlling the population but producing and reproducing all aspects of social life. this does not mean that war has been domesticated or its violence attenuated, but rather that daily life and the normal functioning of power has been permeated with the threat and violence of warfare.

war on poverty

p 14

war on drugs.. war on terrorism

a war to create and maintain social order can have no end. it must involve the continuos, uninterrupted exercise of power and violence. in other words, one cannot win such a war, or, rather, it has to be won again every day. war has thus become virtually indistinguishable from police activity.

p 15

to criminalize the various forms of social contestation and resistance. in this respect, the conceptual merging of war and policing poses an obstacle to all forces of social transformation.

Kevin shared this (after i shared that last line):

If there’s a single takeaway from all this, it’s the nature of the system of power the imperial Hegemon enforces. However much the Hegemon differs from ordinary states, like them it monopolizes power on behalf of an economic ruling class. …. the reality is slavery.

p 16

on just wars… and on .. the one who rules also determines religious faith..

p 17

a society whose diminishing civil liberties and increasing rates of incarceration are in certain respects a manifestation of a constant social war.

p 19

when genocide and atomic weapons put life itself on center stage, then war becomes properly ontological.

orwell – obedience is not enough. make him suffer…. torture is one central point of contact between police action and war; the torture techniques used in the name of police prevention take on all the characteristics of military action. … according to the logic of the state of exception, torture is an essential, unavoidable, and justifiable technique of power.

p 20

sovereign power lives only by preserving the life of its subjects, at the very least their capacities of production and consumption…. global power must not only bring death but also produce and regulate life.

one index of the new.. character of war is policy shift from defense to security…. since sept 2001.. security requires rather actively and constantly shaping the environment through military and/or police activity.  only an actively shaped world is a secure world.

p 21

whereas defense involves a protective barrier against external threats, security justifies a constant martial activity equally in the homeland and abroad.

the constant and coordinated application of violence, in other words, becomes the necessary condition for the functioning of discipline and control.

to define war by biopower and security changes war’s entire legal framework.

p 25 – legit violence

the violence of the police officer, jailer, and executioner within the national territory or the general and soldier outside are legitimate not because of the characteristics of the particular individuals but on the basis of the offices they occupy.

p 28

morality can only provide a solid basis to legitimate violence, authority, and domination when it refuses to admit different perspectives and judgments. once one accepts the validity of different values, then such a structure immediately collapses.

p 29

one has to recognize how selective this application of justice is, how often the crimes of he least powerful are prosecuted and how seldom those of the most powerful are. arguing that the most powerful must also abide by imperial law and sanctions seems to us a noble but increasingly utopian strategy

the divide.. just mercy..

on the u.s. doing that.. ie: guantánamo bay vs exempting its own

p 30

a military and/or police power will be granted legitimacy as long and only as long as it is effective in rectifying global disorders … by the logic a power such as the u.s. military can exercise violence that may or many not be legal or moral and as long as that violence results in the reproduction of imperial order it will be legitimated…. the constant presence of an enemy and the threat of disorder are necessary in order to legitimate imperial violence…. enemy becomes legitimacy.. demonstrates need for security

p 31

two notions of security – one based on cooperation and the other grounded in violence

1.2 – counterinsurgencies

p 41

1989 – after cold war – a revolution in military affairs – rma… major shift of strategy.. u.s. now overwhelming dominance.. technologie.. taylorism factories… en mass ness

p 44

increasingly, u.s. leaders seem to believe that the vast superiority of its firepower, the sophistication of its tech, and the precision of its weapons allow the u.s. military to attack its enemies from a safe distance in a precise and definitive way, surgically removing them like so many cancerous tumors from the global social body, w/minimal side effects. war thus becomes virtual from the tech pov and bodyless from the military pov; the bodies of u.s. soldiers are kept free of risk, the enemy combatants are killed efficiently and invisibly.

yet.. continuing high level of ‘ collateral damage;.. et al

p 54

dominance, no matter how multidimensional, can never be complete and is always contradicted by resistance… a sovereign power is always two-sided: a dominating power always relies on the consent or submission of the dominated.

p 55

on .. after 911 the ‘enemy’ being a network – these changes have important consequences for military strategy.. no center.. unpredictable.. no boundaries..

p 57

can’t attack center.. so deprive environment

p 59

it takes a network to fight a network.. u.s. military must become a network

why fight..? why not just make military irrelevant..? (whew.. see 63)

p 61

work imperialistically rather than nationally.. like banks..

? whoa.

this entire power structure must constantly confront the productive global multitude, which is the real basis of the network.

what does that mean.. what does – productive – mean..?

p 62

on need to deal w/war from distributive network.. the traditional military power structure is no longer capable of defeating or containing its enemies..

i so hope you’re going here.. a nother way.. w/o enemies..

1.3 resistance

p 63

one might get the impression from such a narrative that counterinsurgency strategies dictate teh evolving forms of insurgency. actually… as terms themselves indicate, it is just the opposite. …..this logic/trajectory will help us recognize what are today and will be in future the most powerful and most desirable organization forms of rebellion and revolution.

perhaps rev of everyday life.. so rebellion irrelevant.. ie: miro in teen yrs.. your own song ness.. et al

ultimately this will help us see how to address the most important task for resistance today, that is, resisting war.


googling defn’s:

insurgency  – organized movement aimed at the overthrow or destruction of a constituted government through the use of subversion, espionage, terrorism and armed conflict… terrorism is not an end in itself

counterinsurgency – military or political action taken against the activities of guerrillas or revolutionaries.

p 64

we began w/ counterinsurgency for much same reason marx gives, in .. capital, for discussing wealth/capital/commodities before discussing labor, its source….. in reality labor is primary. the same is true of resistance. … resistance is a response or reaction – resistance is primary with respect to power. 

this .. affords us a different perspective… allowing us to see history from below.. illuminates the alternatives that are possible today.

p 65

again on Marx in capital… starting w commodities… then research labor to find new reality.

for war..  start with war .. then research resistance movements to find new realities.. via understanding subjectivities capable of creating a new world.

googled defn:

Subjectivity is a central philosophical concept, related to consciousness, agency, personhood, reality, and truth, which has been variously defined by sources.

the contemporary scene of labor and production, we will explain, is being transformed under the hegemony of immaterial labor, that is, labor that produces immaterial products, such as information, knowledges, ideas, images, relationships, and affects. … doesn’t mean industrial/agricultural labor ends.. in fact, workers involved primarily in immaterial production are a small minority of the global whole. what it means, rather, is that the qualities and characteristics of immaterial production are tending to transform the other forms of labor and indeed society as a whole.

p 66

on immaterial labor – (flexible, precarious, no contracts, mobile, ..)

first – moving out of limited realm of strictly economic domain and engage in the general production and reproduction for society as a whole….social, cultural, and political force..ultimately, in philosophical terms, the production involved here is the production of subjectivity, the creation and reproduction of new subjectivities in society ..who we are, how we view the world, how we interact w/each other.. all created through this social, biopolitical production..

second – tends to take the social form of networks based on communication/collaboration/affective relationships. immaterial labor can only be conducted in common

its ability to engage and transform all aspects of society and its collaborative network form are two enormously powerful characteristics that immaterial labor is spreading to other forms of labor. these characteristics can serve as a prelim sketch of the social composition of the multitude that today animates the movements of resistance against the permanent, global state of war

p 67

on primary forces … driven not only by *struggles against misery and poverty but also by a profound **desire for democracy – a real democracy of the ***rule of all by all based on relationships of ****equality and freedom.

*struggles – thinking here of refocus from needs to desires.. as more sustainable.. ie: a&a as innate desires rather than needs – or along w/being needs

**desire – as above

***rule – thinking rule ness is getting in the way. perhaps replace with – choice – along with the idea of having the bravery/freedom to change your mind everyday.. everyone’s choice. we haven’t seemed able to think in those terms before.. because.. perhaps we didn’t yet have a tool to ground/facilitate that chaos.. of everyone making choices everyday.. rather than ruling order into us..

choice is huge. choice. everyday. 24/7. otherwise we die.. we’re bots. following whimsy .. listening to heart.. keeps us alive/awake. and if we change things up, ie: do over… keeps us in love/kindness/commons..  et al. be\cause: one. one multitude. multitudinously one.

****equality – thinking more – equity – everyone getting a go everyday..

this democracy is a dream created in teh great revolutions of modernity but never yet realized.

perhaps because we’re holding onto rule et al – thinking of nancy’s take on demo schools.. about meetings to – decide/argue together – rather than just doing/being.. like perpetuating the meetings .. so today – we can have billions^x of those encounters/meetings/decisions/choices.. facilitating 24/7..

throughout modernity.. having to confront war/violence w and w/o violent means. perhaps we should say rather that the great wars of liberation are (or should be) oriented ultimately toward a *’war against war’ that is, an active effort to destroy the regime of violence that perpetuates our state of war and supports the system s of inequality and oppression. this is a condition necessary for realizing the democracy of the multitude.

*war against war – perhaps rather than war it away.. we just live – a nother way – making it irrelevant. two loops.. yes. but exponentiated.. leapfrogged… time warped.. do-over.. rather than fighting what we don’t like.. doing/being what we do like.

recognizing characteristics of the multitude will allow us to invert our perspective on the world.

p 68

in following sections… follow genealogy of liberation struggles… we’ll see 3 guiding principles: 1\ form of resistance that is most effective in combating a specific form of power 2\ pose correspondence between changing forms of resistance and transform of econ/social production 3\ democracy/freedom – ie: addressing the undemocratic

the current global recomposition of social classes, the hegemony of immaterial labor, and the forms of decision-making based o network structures all radically change the conditions of any revolutionary process.

p 69

as we will argue in the course of this book, resistance, exodus, the emptying out of the enemy’s power, and the multitude’s construction of a new society are one and the same process.

and better still to do it all at once.. to let the dance dance…

p 72

it is no coincidence that counterinsurgency strategies often focus on these internal contradictions, trying to keep the different subjects separate and exacerbate their ideological differences in order to prevent a political recomposition

p 75

on referencing cuban guerrilla foco strategy (esp in 60s globally)

thinking about cancer.. and learning from it.. how to counter it. kind of.

p 77

on the cultural revolution in china via mao – being radical and antiauthoritarian.. and black panthers selling copies of mao’s little red book on streets of berkeley

p 79

the people often serves as a middle term between the consent given by the population and the command exerted by the sovereign power but generally the phrase serves merely as a pretense to validate a ruling authority


*is it possible today to imagine a new process of legitimation that does not rely on the sovereignty of the people but is base instead in the biopolitical productivity of the multitude?….. **is there an immanent mechanism that does not appeal to any transcendent authority that is capable of legitimating the use of force in the multitude’s struggle to create new society based on democracy, equality, and freedom? ***does it even make sense to talk about a war of the multitude?


**yes – to a mechanism.. but not need for force.. in the way we know it.. more like directed attention… toward curiosities/desires/others/self…

***no.. not as a war.. a dance of the multitude.. perhaps

p 80

they never forgot that the laws that legitimate state violence are transcendental norms that maintain the privileges of the dominant class (in particular the rights of property owners) and subordination of the rest of the population. they knew that whereas the violence of capital and the state rests on transcendent authority, the legitimation of their class struggle was based solely on their own interests and desires. class struggle was thus a modern model of the immanent basis of legitimation in the sense that it appealed to no sovereign authority for its justification.

spaces of permission w nothing to prove

p 81

68 ish – guerilla warfare changes.. ie: from countryside to city, from open spaces to closed ones….spread throughout entire fabric of society.. biopolitical.. goal the production of subjectivity.. both econ/cultural material/immaterial… was not just a matter of ‘winning hearts and minds’ in other words, but rather of creating new hearts and minds through the construction of new circuits of communication, new forms of social collab, and new modes of interaction… toward more demo network forms of org

sounds like re:wire ness via turner…

city is a jungle. … urban guerrillas know its terrain … the focus, however, was increasingly not on attacking the ruling powers but rather on transforming the city itself.

p 82

network organization, by contrast is based on the continuing plurality of its elements and its networks of communication in such a way that reduction to a centralized and unified command structure is impossible. the polycentric form of the guerrilla model thus evolves into a network form in which there is not center only an irreducible plurality of nodes in communication with each other.

p 83

on production of subjectivity.. modern army produced solder to follow orders.. fordist factory… workers.. modern guerrilla similar. network struggle, again, like post fordist production, does not rely on discipline in same way: creativity, communication and self0organized cooperation are its primary values. this new kind of force of course resists and attacks the enemy as military forces always have, but increasingly its focus is internal – producing new subjectivities and new expansive forms of life w/in the organization itself. no longer is the people assumed as basis and no longer is taking power of the sovereign state structure the goal.

p 85

zapatista goal has never been to defeat the state and claim sovereign authority but rather to change the world w/o talking power.

p 86

final decades of twentieth century .. emerged movements… – identity politics… feminsit, gay/lesbian, race…  most characteristic – their insistence on atonoy and their refusal of any centralize hierarchy , leaer,s or spokespeople..


anarchists, affinity groups, … finally the globalization movements.. from seattle to genoa….. esp seattle 1999 – coming together of different/contradictory interests.. yet managed to act in common.. the groups are not unified under any single authority but rather relate to each other in a network structure.

p 87

also called movement of movements… as long as remaining merely protest movements… incapable of becoming a foundational struggle and of articulating an alternative social org…. this may be temporary.. what is most important is the form of movements ( … they are most developed example to date of the network model of org…

p 88

on legalities becoming more and more irrelevant.. as well as too much… ie: undecidable..

p 91

swarm intelligence

from an external perspective, the network attack is described as a swarm because it appears formless. since the network has no center that dictates order, those who can only think in terms of traditional models may assume it has no organization whatsoever – they see mere spontaneity and anarchy. …appears something like… mindless assailants, unknown, uncertain, unseen, and unexpected. if one looks inside a network however, one can see that it is indeed organized, rational and creative….. intelligence fundamentally social.


the intelligence of the swarm is based fundamentally on communication.

p 92

..understanding swarm behavior helps in writing algorithms to optimize problem-solving computations. computers … process.. faster.. using swarm architecture rather than conventional centralized processing model.


swarms… emerging in the new network political org’s… are composed of a multitude of diff creative agents. this ads several more layers of complexity to the model.

but not to the individual.. waking up making choices everyday.. their job is to just be themselves..

the members of the multitude do not have to become the sam or renounce their creativity in order to communicate and cooperate with each other. they remain different ….what we need to understand.. is the collective intelligence that can emerge from the communication and cooperation of such a varied multiplicity.

.. Arthur Rimbaud – hymns to the paris commune in 1871 continually imagined the revolutionary communards as insects. it is not uncommon.. to imagine enemy troops as insects…Rimbaud, however, takes this wartime cliche and inverts it, singing praises of the swarm….. music of the swarm. the reawakening and reinvention of the senses in the youthful body – the centerpiece of Rimbaud’s poetic world – takes place in the buzzing and swarming of the flesh. .. a new kind of intelligence, a collective/swarm intelligence, that Rimbaud and the communards anticipated.

p 94

on biopower (current war regime not only threatens us w death but also rules over life, producing and reproducing all aspects of society) to biopolitical (producing not just material goods but actual social relationships and forms of life) production

biopower stands above society… imposes its order.

biopolitical productions..creates social relationships..collabs of labor… will make clear the social basis on which it is possible today to begin a project of the multitude.

2\ multitude

p 99

the population .. is composed of numerous diff individuals and classes, but the people synthesizes/reduces these social differences into one identity. the multitude… i s not unified but remains plural and multiple. this is why, *according to the dominant tradition of political philosophy, the people can rule as a sovereign power and the multitude cannot

is this.. *according to meaning that it’s myth to think multitude can’t rule..?

i hope not. i like it better w/o that clause..

singularities: social subject whose difference cannot be reduced to sameness, a difference remains different.  the component parts of the people are indifferent in their unity; they become an identity by negating or setting aside their diff’s. the plural singularities of the mult thus stand in contrast..

p 100

comparing mult to crowd masses mob…ie: later three.. must be led

… one recurring truth of political philosophy – only the one can rule, be it the monarch/party/people/individual.. socia subjects that are not unified .. cannot rule.. instead must be ruled. every sovereign power.. necessarily forms a political body of which thre is a head that commands, limbs that obey, and organs that fuction together to support the ruler.

so – not how i see one ness..

concept of multitude challenges this accepted truth of sovereignty. the mult although remains multiple and internally diff, is able to act in common and thus rule itself.

so back to how i see one ness… just wouldn’t use the word rule. but i’m guessing this is very much as ie: self-directed ness… self-organizing ness

rather than a political body with one that commands and others that obey, the mult is living flesh that *rules itself.

*rules – perhaps.. perpetuates/regenerates… itself..

the multitude is the only social subject capable of realizing democracy, that is, the *rule of everyone by everyone. the stakes, in other words, are extremely high.

again – thinking the word seems toxic… also remembering people telling me words that i should’t use..

p 101

when we say we do not ant a world w/o racial or gender diff but instead a world in which race/gender do not matter, .. a world in which they do not determine hierarchies of power, a world in which differences express themselves freely, this is a desire for the mult. and.. for singularities that compose mult, in order to take away the limiting/negative/destructive character of differences and make differences our strength.. we must radically transform the world..

discrimination as equity ness

p 103

2.1 dangerous classes

p 104

neither ethnicity nor skin color determine race; race is determined politically by collective struggle… through collective resistance to racial oppression.. an investigation of econ class or race, should not begin w/mere catalog of empirical differences but rather with the lines of collective resistance to power.  ie: class=struggles in common

p 106

the working class is thought to be the primary productive class and directly under the rule of capital, and thus the only subject that can act effectively against capital.

p 111

our notion of immaterial labor should not be confused w/the utopian dreams in eh 1990s of a ‘new economy’ that, largely through tech innovations, globalization, and rising stock markets, was thought by some to have made all work interesting and satisfying, democratized wealth, and banished recessions to the past. the hegemony of immaterial labor does though, tend to change the conditions of work.

? whoa. then talks on time during day working.. then later on stats of rising work/jobs..

p 123

this tragic history has taught us, once again the injustice and dire consequences of one subject speaking for a subordinated other, even when that other is unable to speak for itself.

p 131

in many respects the poor are actually extraordinarily wealthy and productive

p 132

today production increasingly depends on linguistic competencies and community


we find that despite these hierarchies the subordinated are often the most creative agents of linguistic community, developing new linguistic forms and mixtures and communicating them to the community as a whole.

p 133

migrants may often travel empty-handed in conditions of extreme poverty, but even then they are full of knowledges, languages, skills, and creative capacities: each migrant brings with him or her an entire world.


part of the wealth of migrants is their desire for something more, their refusal to accept the way things are.

this combined act of refusal and expression of desire is enormously powerful…

p 134

the experience of flight is something like a training of the desire for freedom..

p 136

on need for trade unions to transform, ie: old ones are 1\ not able to represent unemployment  2\ divided by product

? – couldn’t we make unions irrelevant.. and. un\employment irrelevant..

p 142

it is no coincidence, he (foucault) argues, that the prison resembles the factory, which resembles the school, which resembles the barracks, which resembles the hospital, and so forth. they all share a common form that foucault links to the disciplinary paradigm

p 144

his (descartes) discovery corresponds in form to the emerging tendency of his social reality.. (and earlier.. writing of the social reality of our period being networks.. as form of org.. saying .. not that they weren’t around before.. just now.. network has become common)

p 146

our innovative and creative capacities are always greater than our productive labor – productive, that is , of capital. at this point we can recognize that this biopolitical production is on the one hand immeasurable, because it cannot be quantified in fixed units of time, and, on the other hand, always excessive with respect to the value that capital can extract from it because capital can never capture all of life. this is why we have to revise marx’s notion of the relation between labor and value in capitalist production..

? so many questions here.. (prior was on our thinking – in order to be marx thinking – needs to go beyond marx thinking… and then on the discoveries matching the period you are in).. biggest question is on measuring things.. it sounds like they are saying we have to change marx’s notion.. so that we can again measure things..

p 147

affective labor always directly constructs a relationship. the production of ideas, images, and knowledges is not only conducted in common – no one really thinks alone, all thought is produced in collab w the past/present thought of others – but also each new idea ad image invites and opens new collabs. the production of languages, finally, both natural/artificial, such as computer languages and various kinds of code, is always collab..a and always creates new means of collab. in immaterial production the creation of coop has become internal to labor and thus external to capital..


a theory of the relation between labor and vlaue today must be based on teh comon.

p 149

today we need a new tableau economique that goes beyond the traditional measures and is able to describe more accurately where value is create and where it goes in the national and the global econ. this would require a revolution of the methods of accounting, something akin to the way einstein’s theory of relativity transformed our understanding of the regular, metrical spaces of euclidean geometry.

maybe the new way is not measuring… but rather grokking ie: grokking moments (redefining success ness).. ..not proving.. but rather being.

maybe that’s the beyond marx/einstein our period can do..

on marx – already grokking – in fact, he writes in his notebooks, ..

..when the limited bourgeois form is stripped away, what is wealth other than the universality of individual needs, capacities, pleasures, productive forces, etc., created through universal exchange?.. the absolute working-out of his creative potentialities, with no presupposition other than the previous historic development, which makes this totality of development, ie: the development of all human powers as such the end in itself, not as measured on a predetermined yard stick? … strives not to remain something he has become, but is in the absolute movement of his becoming? (grundrisse, 488)


..real wealth.. resides in the common; it is the sum of the pleasures, desires, capacities, and needs we all share. the common wealth is the real proper object of production.

p 150

marx defn of exploitation – working beyond work day/pay… and that we must change that.. ie: just as we must understand the production of value in terms of the common, so too must we try to conceive exploitation as the expropriation of the common


p 151

money, of course, is not only a general equivalent that facilitates exchange but also the ultimate representation of the common.

what..?  holy cow.

financial instruments, such as derivatives, as we will see further in part 3, cast this representation of the common into the future.


p 152

labor as absolute poverty, poverty not as shortage, but as total exclusion of objective wealth. – marx – (gurnrisse 295-6)… labor not as an object, but as activity, not as itself value, but as the living source of value. – marx…. marx recognizes poverty as the ground zero of human activity, as the figure of general possibility and thus the source of all wealth.

now sounds like highest poverty..

p 154 (in death of the dismal science)

the reproduction of society is analyzed with the goal of keeping it exactly as is and formulating it in terms of quantitative measures that can make the relations of exploitation inevitable and natural, an ontological necessity. .

..economics is more disciplinary than any other discipline,

..and it has been ever since its origins... in short, all that catastrophic phenomena that can be grouped under the title of crisis – demonstrate that the theory of equilibrium cannot serve as the general schema of economics, but rather it is a matter of ruling over disequilibria.

revolutionaries have proclaimed this fact. in the academic context, throstein veblen suspected it. the doubt, which became a certainty, was that..

..measure and equilibrium does not exist in nature at all.

in the twentieth century, along with tragic wars and other cataclysms, came the era of reconstruction, the glory years of political economy. with the recognition of the collapse of natural measures, reconstruction involved political tactics of adjustment aimed at restoring the traditional equilibria of economics. the tactics sometimes led to a new strategy, as when after the stock market crash of 1929 for ie, john maynard keynes tried to reconstruct scientifically the knowledge of (and rule over) the social figures of the production, reproduction, and destruction of wealth.

if natural measures of value no longer hold ( or at least no longer function under the pressures of class struggle), then one has to construct a function of measuring that brings equilibrium to development, even in the crises, in relation to the political ideologies, the relations of producers, and productive sectors.

? i like so much of this.. not sure how measuring came back in.. and not following reasoning to figure out a new way to measure..

..political economy had to become a new deal


with expansion of cold war… milton friedman and chicago school arrived to undermine… proposing to establish certain measure of equilibrium by confiding every power of regulation to money, that is, to the market. we were thus taken back, one might say, to the science of economics – but ..

..what a strange science. it is now based on a kind of monetary essentialism..

in which the standards of measure no longer have any relationship with the real world of production and exchange, except according to the norms that the central bank or the federal reserve dictate.

p 158

2.2 de corpore

p 160

de corpore as the political/actual body.. where head rules parts of body


this is a political production of subjectivity in which the entire population is formed into an identity

no wonder identity ness makes my skin crawl.. even w/ just me.. suffocating vs whimsy/breathing

p 162

the multitude is something like singular flesh that refuses the organic unity (earlier said this w/hierarchies) of the body.

i don’t know. what about right brain doing left brain stuff when left brain dies… and such..

p 167

davos as a nerve center of the global body politic… the most important lesson to lean from davos is simply that such a meeting is necessary: the economic, political, and bureaucratic elites of the world need to work together in constant relation. in more general terms, it demonstrates the old lesson that no economic market can exist w/o political order and regulation.


p 168

later in this chapter we will investigate how political and legal intervention is necessary today to protect and expand the realm of private property.


p 174

and yet, despite the criticism and the economic failures, the imf continues to dictate neoliberal monetarist policies that are largely unchanged

p 175

the must all, for ie, strive to create a maintain the market condition necessary to guarantee contracts between corporations.

?sounds like they are assuming money/measured transaction/corps/orgs like imf…? is this what Kevin was referring to.. about going vertical?

p 177

.. the u.s. and oher military powers must discover a way to make the interest of secruity and economic profits compatible and complementary

supporting military as well..? kevin?

p 179

all private property .. has always required police protection…. immaterial property requiring expanded protection..

p 183

on patents.. and seed wars.. and genetic properties..

p 184

the primary issue, is not that humans are changing nature but that nature is ceasing to be common, that it is becoming private property and exclusively controlled by its new owners.

p 187

the legal justification of private ownership is undermined by the common, social nature of production. when the traditional capitalist right or title to property declines, then there tends to be nothing left to protect private property except violence.


private property has made us so stupid and one-sided.. that we denigrate all forms of being for the simple sense of having – marx

p 189

2.3 traces of the multitude

p 202

beyond private and public – whole thing..

law has always been a privileged domain for recognizing and establishing control over the common.


on legal developments increase powers of social control by eroding privacy rights….. the attacks on the private, furthermore, have grown exponentially with the war on terrorism..  ie: right of govt to conduct surveillance et al..

p 203

in the logic of antiterrorism and counterinsurgency, in fact, since security must in the final instance come before all else, there really is no ‘private.’

security is an absolute logic of the common or, really, a perversion that conceives the entire common as the object of control.

the public that is privatized by neoliberalism are generally property and business enterprises previously controlled by the state, fro railroads and prisons to parklands. we have also discussed… the great expansion of private property into realms of life that were previously held i common , through patents, copyright, and other legal instruments. at the extreme – economists go so far as to claim that every good should be privately owned in order to max its productive use. in the social.. tendency is to make everything public and thus open to govt surveillance/control; and in the economic – to make everything private and subject to property rights.

on clarifying confusions created by terminology – private: rights and freedoms of social subjects together w/rights of private property, blurring distinction between the two….. the concept of the private can thus lump together all our ‘possessions’ both subjective and material

what if there are no possessions.. imagine that

the public too blurs an important distinction between state control and what is held and managed in common.

we need to being to imagine an alternative legal strategy and framework:


a conception of privacy that expresses the singularity of social subjectivities (not private property) and a conception of the public based on the common (not state control) – one might say a postliberal and postsocialist *legal theory. the traditional legal conceptions of private and public are clearly insufficient for this task.

perhaps legal theory… legal ness.. aren’t sufficient..  for a nother way..

p 204

the best example of contemporary legal theory based on singularity and commonality that we know of is the ‘postsystems theory’ school, which articulates the legal system, in highly technical terminology, as a transparent and democratic self-organizing network of plural subsystems, each of which organizes the norms of numerous private (or, really, singular) regimes.

sounds like recent ted talk on architecture.. using same verbiage to describe a building..

this is a molecular conception of the law ad the production of norms that is based in our terms, on a constant, free, and open interaction among singularities, which through their communication produces common norms.

always changing norms.. so .. norms..? perhaps normal is antifragile..

this notion of singularity *rights might be understood better as an expression of the ethical notion of performativity we discussed earlier: they are produced by the common, in social communication, and in turn they produce the common.

*rights – ugh

the fact that this notion of rights is based on the common.. does not mean that it is a ‘communitarian’ conception of rights or in any way dictated by the community. the term community is often used to refer to a moral unity that stands above the population and its interactions like a sovereign power. the common does not refer to traditional notions of either the community or the public; it is based on the communication among singularities and emerges through the collaborative social processes of production.

p 205

we need to recognize how the common can be constructed politically in our contemporary world. how can the singularities that cooperate express their control over the common, and how can this expression be represent in legal terms..

question the two questions leading into 205
ie: why control..? why law…? why struggle..
these are killing/unaliving us
here we need to confront the legal frameworks that the neoliberal regimes have established and against which the movements of the multitude struggle.
here w need to confront… to struggle…
why not just live. a nother way..?
up cycle energy.. rather than compromise energy in trying to make this fit today ness
leap frog… for blank’s sake
these legal frameworks support the project of privatization of public goods (such as water, air, land, and all the systems for the management of life, including health care and pensions that were previously made state functions during the period of welfare) ….

including healthcare and pensions..

thinking of Greg’s share on ssn…
the longer you follow the rules.. the greater you fear in jumping ship..
ie: 5 yrs away from this raise, from that degree, from re/tirement.. that actually came from you said pay..and now fears the bank holding that has been burned down… the imaginary money’s scarcity.. said to be squandered away.. because had to use it to take care of you ie: fight wars, build/run prisons

what is necessary here, and this is the second task of a legal theory of the common, is to displace the concept of ‘general interest’ or ‘public interest’ with a framework that allows for a common participation in the management of these goods/services..

indeed.. but rather… listening/trusting/facilitating… et al … than managing..
p 206
when the concept of the common arises  not as a preconstituted entity and not as an organic substance that is a byproduct of the national community, or gemeinschaft, but rather as the productive activity of singularities in the multitude – it breaks the continuity of modern state sovereignty and attacks biopower at its heart, demystifying its sacred core. all that is general or public must be reappropriated and managed by the multitude and thus become common.

? not sure what they’re saying here.. not as an organic substance.. – but rather as the productive activity… the word productive… i think.. leads to the next sentence… saying… must be .. managed…

p 208

law as process

p 212

the multitude needs a political project to bring it into existence.

p 221

if the multitude were not already latent and implicit in our social being, we could not even imagine it as apolitical project and similarly we can only hope to realize it today because it already exists as a real potential. the multitude, then, when we put these two together, has a strange, double temporality: always-already and not-yet.

p 222

… this production of the common is neither directed by some central point of command and intelligence nor is it the result of a spontaneous harmony among individuals, but rather it emerges in the space between, in the social space of communication. the multitude is created in collaborative social interactions.

p 231

3 – democracy

p 238

rather, like the revolutionaries of the early modern period, we will once again have to reinvent the concept of democracy and create new institutional forms and practices appropriate to our global age. that project of conceptual/practical invention is the primary object of rest of this book

p 240

civilizations will make global conflict coherent and divide nationstates into stable groups of friend and enemy… the war on terrorism too seeks along somewhat diff lines, to organize global violence.

p 241

just prior .. once again repeating – rule – rule of everyone — as first great innovation of modern democracy

the second great innovation of the moder nconcept of democracy is its notion of representation.

oy – which leads us right back to the crazy elections et al

p 244

one element that is refreshingly lucid about these eighteenth century deliberations is that they recognize so clearly that democracy and representation stand at odds with one another. when our power is transferred to a group of rulers, then we all no longer rule, we are separated from power and govt

agree with not matching up.. but not w/need for power and govt and ruling.. so maybe i quit using word democracy..?

p 245

by the 1830s tocqueville could call democracy in america the same representative schema that the founders, fifty years before, had conceived as a bulwark against the dangers of democracy. today the dominant notion of democracy is even more distant.


3 types of representation: appropriated (weakest link between rep and rep’d – appointed), free (direct connection but control is limited), and instructed (constantly controlled by rep’d – how could that be..?) ..

p 250

1871 paris commune – elected had to pay like others and could be voted out anytime – was primary example of a new democratic experiment of govt..

p 255

there is no longer any possibility of going back to modern models of representation to create a democratic order. we need to invent different forms of representation or perhaps…

new forms of democracy that go beyond representation..

p 258

public opinion has in many respects become the primary form of representation in contemporary societies… we will find that public opinion is in fact neither representative nor democratic

p 260

hegel – and mediation – and civil society – leading plurality of individual expression in public opinion to a rational unity compatible with sovereignty

p 261

this is where habermas’s (renewing hegel) conception of ethical communication in a democratic public sphere appears completely utopian and unrealizable, however, because it is impossible to isolate ourselves, our relationships, and our communication outside the instrumentality of capital and the mass media. we are all already inside, contaminated. if there is going to be any ethical redemption it will have to be constructed inside the system.

whoa. whoa. whoa.

p 262

then gave habermas’s counter… then.. none of these theories of mediation, however, grasp the new role of the media and polling, which are the essential factors in the construction and expression of contemporary public opinion.

what if public opinion/polling matters little.. ie: if everyone is doing something else. – that would shrink us back down to ginormously small.. so that convos would suffice.. polling/public opinion .. irrelevant..

p 263

on public opinion and another way –  we can only understand these forms of social expression as networks of the multitude that resists the dominant power and manage rom within it to produce alternative expressions.

p 265

white overalls – born in the social centers (1990s in europe – rome) – social centers .. taking over abandoned buildings.. called selves invisibles.. white ness of overalls to represent that.. and this invisibility that characterized their work would also prove to be the strength of their movement…. masters at organizing raves in the big cities… thousands of young people seemed to appear from nowhere to dance all night…. demanded guaranteed income… began to organize demonstrations w/ illegal immigrants.. political refugees…

p 266

when police action started.. white overalls mimicked with knee pads and football helmets… joined with zaptatistas in mexico.. then from mexico city white overalls return to europe with a coherent project.. orienting their actions against neoliberal globalization. that is when seattle exploded at the 1999 wto protests.. so they went to seattle and learned from the u.s. activist techniques of civil disobedience and nonviolent protest … final stop 2001 genoa g-8 – brought together 300 000 activists

p 268

3.2 global demands for democracy

on what the protests have amounted to – comparing to 18th cent france – list of grievances.. today’s list of grievances .. a chaotic, bizarre, unending collection of volumes on everything in the world. if there is a coherence today, in fact, it will only come afterward from the subjective standpoint of the protesters themselves. …

eventually … be able to recognize three common points that return repeatedly as conditions for any project of a new, democratic world: the critique of existing forms of representation, the protest against poverty, and the opposition of war

perhaps grievances are a distraction.. ie: live as if free

p 285

(between last and these.. listed several grievances…)

convergence in seattle – write up of it

p 287

the real importance of seattle was to provide a ‘convergence center’ for al the grievances agains the global system. via normally opposing groups .. supporting each other..

p 288

the magic of seattle was to show that these many grievances were not just a random, haphazard collection, a cacophony of different voices, but a chorus that spoke in common against the global system.

this model is already suggested by the organizing techniques of the protesters: the various affinity groups come together or converge not to unit into on large centralized group; they’re main different and independent but link together in a network structure.  the network defines both their singularity and their commonality.

so imagine instead of going after grievances.. we facilitate ie: affinity groups to play/create/be together.

p 289

whenever a massive protest movement explodes onto the social scene or whenever there is an organized critique of the global system, the first question asked by the media and sympathetic observers is always, what do you want… are you just malcontents, or do you have concrete proposals to improve the system? there is, of course, no shortage of specific concrete reform proposals to… constructing such lists of demands, however, can sometimes be a trap. sometimes focus on a few limited changes obscures the fact that what is necessary is a much more general transformation of society and the structures of power.

a nother way .. just to give it a try

we have to construct a method or a set of general criteria for generating institutional reforms, and, more important, we have to construct on the basis of them constituent proposals for a new organization of global society.

perhaps… let’s do this firstfree art-istsfor (blank)’s sakeand for ongoing renewal of us..

there is no conflict here between reform and revolution. we say this not because we think that reform and revolution are same thing, but that in today’s conditions they cannot be separated.

indeed.. but let’s do them in reverse.. otherwise..  reform become a distraction and/or way more difficult than they need to be..

today the historical processes of transformation are so radical that even reformist proposals can lead to revolutionary change.

perhaps.. or just feeling like it’s revolutionary.. ie: getting to vote. when what we really need is something that makes voting irrelevant.. again – rev in reverse.. reforms are fine.. we need to iterate on them everyday.. but let’s take the leap first. get back into sync first. be free first.


it is useless to rack our brains over whether a proposal is reformist or revolutionary; what matters i that it enters into the constituent process.

? – it does matter if we have the potential to focus.. on the revolution (in rev) first. which we do. we can.

p 290

begin list of reform proposals: transparency of big banks, readjusting powers, better representation

p 295

the major stumbling block for all of the various proposals we have considered to create a new global representative body, such as an assembly or parliament – whether based on the principle of one person, one vote or on existing communities – is the concept of representation itself.


we should point out.. large proportion of reform proposals… replicate the structure of the u.s. constitution…ironically, the u.s. presents the greatest obstacle to such reforms…. how long can such contradictions continue..

then gives ie of european 0 multilevel federal system…. this european constitutional model does indeed provide mechanism that could contribute to a stable global system but it does not really address the issue of representation. the multilevel federal model, in fact, seems only to undermine traditional forms of representation w/o creating new ones.


p 297

if .. rights to e enacted at a global level, they will have to be grounded in powerful and autonomous institutions. one logical proposal, then, would be to extend the project of the international criminal court we described earlier, giving it global jurisdiction and enforcement powers, perhaps tied to the un.


a closely related proposal – creation of a permanent international or global truth commission. such an institution could build on the various national truth and reconciliation commission to consider not only national allegations but also large-scale international claims of injustice and determine penalties and compensation.

again.. oy.

p 298

another enormous question has to do with economic corruption…

unless we make ie: moneys, measuring human transactions, …irrelevant

p 303

it is certainly  difficult to imagine a reform proposal that could address the most central biopolitcal grievance: our current state of global war. instead of a reform proposal we might point to an experiment that simply expresses the need for an alternative to the war system… ie: antiwar activists.. sending delegates to intervene in war zones.. diplomacy from below

unless we make ie: wars …irrelevant

p 305

as these examples indicate, in the realm of biopolitics it may be more productive not to generate reform proposals but to develop experiment for addressing our global situation.

indeed. let’s do that. perhaps one big fat leap frogging experiment.

p 306

simply by considering a proposal one gains a new, critical perspective on teh existing structure, something like a cognitive map of the global system. each proposal, in this sense, is a pedagogical tool.

oh my

most of these are unrealizable.. and some won’t get to democracy…. (so i think the next part they are saying go for the crazy)..  after they learn from our free markets and our legal system to gain a respect for private property and a sense of liberty, then maybe they will be capable of democracy….. they did it back then (28th cent).. we can too.


p. 308

what is necessary is an audacious act of political imagination to break with the past, like the one accomplished in the eighteenth century.

yes. audacious. imaginative. break with past. leap to what we are already capable of now.

we have to find a way to free ourselves of the tenacious ghosts of the past… that haunt the present and cripple our imagination..

please mean this..

rather than an archaeology that unearths the models of the past, then, we need something like foucault’s notion of genealogy, in which the subject creates new institutional and social models based on its own productive capacities.

yes. a nother way.. to live. .that by design.. will ongoingly perpetuate us..

p 309


thinking citizen science ness. as the day.

as the federalists said in the eighteenth century, the new times require a ‘new science’ of society and politics in order to stop repeating the old myths of good govt and block the attempts to resurrect the old forms of order.


this will have to be a science of plurality and hybridity, a science of multiplicities, that can define how all the various singularities express themselves full in the multitude.

a nother way – focusing on self-talk as data. as the day.

p 310

the task is to discover a way in common, involving men, women, workers, migrants, the poor, (ie: all of us), and all the elements of the multitude, to administer the legacy of humanity and direct the future production of food, material goods, knowledge, information, and all other forms of wealth.

a nother way

p 311

the only democracy that makes sense today is one that posses peace as its highest value

so let’s deep dive.. to a & a.. peace.

p 312

what we propose today, then is not repeating old rituals and tired slogans but on the contrary going back to the drawing board, taking up research again, launching a new investigation in order to formulate a new science of society and politics… calling on ourselves to grasp the present biopolitical needs and imagine the possible conditions for a new life..

that.. would be the new model. iterating on that. everyday. as the day.

so.. let’s do this first: free people. about a parameter/problem/desire deep enough for 7 billion people to resonate with, via a mechanism simple enough for all to use/practice/be today, within a system open enough to set/keep us all free.

p 328

democracy of the multitude

p 334

culture is thud directly both an element of political order and economic production. together, in a sort of concert or convergence of the various forms of power, war, politics, economics, and culture in empire become finally a mode of producing social life in its entirety and hence a form of biopower

whoa. most of those could be irrelevant.. no?

p 337

their research shows instead that mind and body are attributes of the same substance and that they interact equally and constantly in the production of reason, imagination, desire, emotions, feelings and affects. the brain itself, moreover, does not function according to a centralized model of intelligence with a unitary agent. … rather .. as a chemical event or the coordination of billions of neurons in a coherent pattern. there is no one that makes a decision in the brain, but rather a swarm, a multitude that acts in concert.

ah.. there’s the oneness

perhaps we were wrong in 2.3… to say that the multitude betrays the tradition analogy between the human body and the social body.. but if so, we were wrong for the right reason. if the analogy holds,.. is is because the human body is itself a multitude organized on the plane of immanence.


p 340

hobbes – obligation to obey is basis for all civil laws and must proceed the laws. there is never in the multitude.. any obligation in principle to power. on the contrary, in the multitude the right to disobedience and the right to difference are fundamental. the constitution of the mult is based on the constant legitimate possibility of disobedience.

and to disobedience.. i’d say who decides that… disobeying who’s rules..?

love the no obligation ness

everyone getting a go everyday. free to change mind everyday. that’s how we sustain/thrive. because that’s how we act/be alive.

obligation arises for the multitude oly in the process of decision making, as the result of its active political will, and th obligation lasts as long s the political will continues

p 341

the emerging forces of democracy today find themselves in a context of violence that they cannot simply ignore or wish away.

are we sure of that..?

p 342

the exodus and emergence of democracy is thus a war against war.

in the past .. maybe.. no need today.

p 344-347

new weapons  are clearly needed to defend the multitude….. we need to invent new weapons of democracy today

yes. this one: something else for everyone to do. as the day.

p 351

love .. is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude

the power of love overcomes the love of power

p 352

without this love we are nothing

p 366

the multiplicity of the multitude is not just a matter of being different but also of becoming different. become different than you are.