Implicated in belonging to illegal social movements during the s and s, Virno was arrested and jailed in , accused of belonging to the Red Brigades. He spent several years in prison before finally being acquitted, after which he organized the publication Luogo Comune Italian for " commonplace " in order to vocalize the political ideas he developed during his imprisonment. Virno currently teaches philosophy at the University of Rome. Virno was born in Naples , but spent his childhood and adolescence in Genoa. He had his first political experiences when joining the social movements of —the association between personal fulfillment and anti-capitalism , typical of the critique artiste of the s, which then constituted one of the key reasons for his political philosophy. He moved to Rome with his family at the beginning of the s, where he studied philosophy in university.
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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Isabella Bertoletti Translator. Andrea Casson Translator. James Cascaito Translator. Italian political thinker Paolo Virno argues that the category of multitude is a far better tool to analyze contemporary issues than the Hobbesian concept of people. Globalization is forcing us to rethink some of the categories--such as the people--that traditionally have been associated with the now eroding state.
Italian political thinker Paolo Virno argues that the categ Italian political thinker Paolo Virno argues that the category of multitude is a far better tool to analyze contemporary issues than the Hobbesian concept of people. Italian political thinker Paolo Virno argues that the category of multitude, elaborated by Spinoza and for the most part left fallow since the seventeenth century, is a far better tool to analyze contemporary issues than the Hobbesian concept of people, favored by classical political philosophy.
Hobbes, who detested the notion of multitude, defined it as shunning political unity, resisting authority, and never entering into lasting agreements.
When they rebel against the state, Hobbes wrote, the citizens are the multitude against the people. But the multitude isn't just a negative notion, it is a rich concept that allows us to examine anew plural experiences and forms of nonrepresentative democracy.
Drawing from philosophy of language, political economics, and ethics, Virno shows that being foreign, not-feeling-at-home-anywhere, is a condition that forces the multitude to place its trust in the intellect. In conclusion, Virno suggests that the metamorphosis of the social systems in the West during the last twenty years is leading to a paradoxical Communism of the Capital.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 9th by Semiotext e first published More Details Original Title. Grammatica della moltitudine: Per una analisi delle forme di vita contemporanee. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Grammar of the Multitude , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about A Grammar of the Multitude. Lists with This Book.
Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Oct 13, Alex Lee rated it really liked it Shelves: , critical-theory , philosophy. Virno develops a pre-class distinction of the masses in this book about the multitude. He does a good job of defining this class in his attempt to solidify new axises in post-Ford capitalism. While his range of focus was impressive for such a small work, I found most intriguing his collapse of the autonomous spheres for Marx of political action, economy and intellect in describing the conditions that characterize the multitude.
Why do we work so much? And how are we to understand the Commons in Virno develops a pre-class distinction of the masses in this book about the multitude. And how are we to understand the Commons in our day and age when so much of our corporate existences are subsumed under the rubric of work.
Especially now with our many technologies, our private lives have "publicness without a public sphere". In this way, the majority of the work surrounds a refining of what the multitudes are, and how we are all ready in this condition. While he does address how the axises of Marx are no longer conditions of the multitudes -- how class itself is no longer adequate to describe our current condition -- he does not give us velocity.
We do not have an enemy to struggle against, or an aesthetic to attain. Instead, he seems to leave us lingering among ourselves as a "communism of capital" as he puts it Are we to understand ourselves as being completely sublimated by capitalism? That our condition of infinite labor perhaps as expected of a fragmented post-modern workforce relates now to an internal colonization of the Common shared pre-linguistic One inherent in our subjectivity? That while capitalism can only expand by seeking new markets, all "margins are in the center" that our logic of exploiter and exploited is perhaps becoming outdated when we understand our non-localized, non-representative political multitude?
I think Virno's text is very interesting. He serves better as an exploratory text than a manifesto.. Aug 13, Alexander rated it really liked it. Yet whence this destabilisation of categories? What exactly is it that has caused the collapse of our usual approaches to politics, society, and humanity?
No longer workers in the factory hammering things out, but lives captured right at the level of our communicative, linguistic, and cognitive capacities: such is the condition in which we find ourselves today. And in the wake of this, can our old approaches to politics still hold? This insofar as the multitude is thought primarily on the basis of its plurality the many as many , and not - as with the people - on the basis of its unity.
Inescapably and publicly linked together by what was once most intimate and private to us our linguistic and cognitive capacities , we exist in the mode of the multitude, and no longer the people. Importantly however, without a corresponding public sphere - one in which the multitude can express itself as such, a radically democratic re-public - the being of the multitude opens the door to ever more drastic forms of servility and unfreedom, ones bearing upon our very capacities of being-human our thought, our speech.
A new grammar then, but also a call for a new politics equal to the challenge of it: such are the stakes set out in the glorious little book. Jul 03, micha cardenas rated it liked it. This is a short, but very dense and very intelligent book. Overall, its tough to trudge through so much analysis of obscure passages of Marx. I think virno is at his worst when he's trying to claim that biopolitics is based in "labor-power", but at his best in the ten-theses at the end of the book.
His analysis is broad and really amazing at describing some aspects of contemporary culture. I think the whole consideration of post-fordism is essential to understanding contemporary politics, but I This is a short, but very dense and very intelligent book. I think the whole consideration of post-fordism is essential to understanding contemporary politics, but I think that he doesn't actually do a very good job of describing the multitude.
I'm going to go back to Negri for that. Overall a great book, but too economically determinist, I think. Also, I wonder how much of the analysis of contemporary labor as always fluid and temporary really applies to most of the economy. He tries to say that there is a balance between people's instability in life and their instability at work, but i think this is totally oversimplified.
Dec 23, David rated it really liked it. This book expands on essays in Radical Thought in Italy , which Virno co-edited. Highly recommended. Aug 15, Rui Coelho rated it liked it. Another fine italian thinker that repeats a lesser version of Negri's work.
May 11, Chris rated it liked it. Good in terms of tempering the idealization of the multitude that Hardt and Negri frequently advocate. It reveals the dialectics of multitude much more than the aforementioned works.
Jul 05, Jacob rated it really liked it. The multitude against the Hobbesian concept of people, is presented as a general intellect that rises up against the polis. It is in their process of individuation that the multitude gains its strength—as a heterogeneous One, rather than a homogenous One. The multitude is defined by virtuosity of the multitude: no longer a division of labor poeisis , political praxis and intellect, now labor has become political, but a privatized political.
The goal must be to raise the general intellect into The multitude against the Hobbesian concept of people, is presented as a general intellect that rises up against the polis. The goal must be to raise the general intellect into the public. Two tools available: 1. Idle Talk and Curiosity constant desire for novel knowledge. The multitude, says Virno, foreshadowed Post-Fordism, but might still be used against it.
May 17, Vasiliy Speshilov added it. Generally just another one interpretation of neomarxist problematics in postfordism era however author is really trying his best at neutral critics without left-affiliated behaviour.
It's not answers any questions and looks more like word-gymnastics more of the time but it has really good paragraphs and even pages. Essential for understanding post-fordist transition.
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