When Empire appeared in 2000, it defined the political and economic challenges of the era of globalization and, thrillingly, found in them possibilities for new and more democratic forms of social organization. Now, with Commonwealth, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri conclude the trilogy begun with Empire and continued in Multitude, proposing an ethics of freedom for living in our common world and articulating a possible constitution for our common wealth.
Drawing on scenarios from around the globe and elucidating the themes that unite them, Hardt and Negri focus on the logic of institutions and the models of governance adequate to our understanding of a global commonwealth. They argue for the idea of the “common” to replace the opposition of private and public and the politics predicated on that opposition. Ultimately, they articulate the theoretical bases for what they call “governing the revolution.”
Though this book functions as an extension and a completion of a sustained line of Hardt and Negri’s thought, it also stands alone and is entirely accessible to readers who are not familiar with the previous works. It is certain to appeal to, challenge, and enrich the thinking of anyone interested in questions of politics and globalization.
“Commonwealth, last and richest of the Empire trilogy, is a powerful and ambitious reappropriation of the whole tradition of political theory for the Left. Clarifying Foucault’s ambiguous notion of biopower, deepening the authors’ own proposal for the notion of multitude, it offers an exhilarating summa of the forms and possibilities of resistance today. It is a politically as well as an intellectually invigorating achievement.”
—Fredric Jameson, Duke University
“Commonwealth [is] the latest book by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, whose Empire and Multitude have, arguably, been the dominant works of political philosophy of the new century...[It’s] the much-anticipated final volume of the Empire trilogy.”
“Everyone seems to agree that our economic system is broken, yet the debate about alternatives remains oppressively narrow. Hardt and Negri explode this claustrophobic debate, taking readers to the deepest roots of our current crises and proposing radical, and deeply human, solutions. There has never been a better time for this book.”
—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine
Preface: The Becoming-Prince of the Multitude
Part 1. Republic (and the Multitude of the Poor)
1.1 Republic of Property
1.2 Productive Bodies
1.3 The Multitude of the Poor
De Corpore 1: Biopolitics as Event
Part 2. Modernity (and the Landscapes of Altermodernity)
2.1 Antimodernity as Resistance
2.2 Ambivalences of Modernity
De Homine 1: Biopolitical Reason
Part 3. Capital (and the Struggles over Common Wealth)
3.1 Metamorphoses of the Composition of Capital
3.2 Class Struggle from Crisis to Exodus
3.3 Kairos of the Multitude
De Singularitate 1: Of Love Possessed
Intermezzo: A Force to Combat Evil
Part 4. Empire Returns
4.1 Brief History of a Failed Coup d’État
4.2 After U.S. Hegemony
4.3 Genealogy of Rebellion
De Corpore 2: Metropolis
Part 5. Beyond Capital?
5.1 Terms of the Economic Transition
5.2 What Remains of Capitalism
5.3 Pre-shocks along the Fault Lines
De Homine 2: Cross the Threshold!
Part 6. Revolution
6.1 Revolutionary Parallelism
6.2 Insurrectional Intersections
6.3 Governing the Revolution
De Singularitate 2: Instituting Happiness
About the Authors:
Michael Hardt is Professor of Literature and Italian at Duke University.
Antonio Negri is an independent researcher and writer. He has been a Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Paris and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Padua.