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.
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.
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.
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.
Commonwealth is a timely contribution to our understanding of contemporary capitalist relations and the potential revolutionary conditions they create...Together Hardt and Negri's work is considered to be responsible for a resurgence of interest in non-orthodox Marxism and its political manifestations. Commonwealth is the final part of a trilogy that began with Empire in 2000, a book that was published during the emergence of the alter-globalization movement. Multitude followed in 2004, developing the ideas that had been introduced in Empire, in particular the concept of the multitude as a new revolutionary subject. Commonwealth is a worthy addition to the trilogy, expamnding and clarifying on the understandings in the previous books, but perhaps more significantly grounding their analysis within an extended discussion of "the common."...Commonwealth is a book that challenges presuppositions about the utility of Marx, and introduces the possibility of combining his insights with the ideas of other significant authors such as Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, who are not traditionally associated with the radical communist project.
- Belknap Press
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