Monday, June 18, 2012
A FEW HUNDRED DAM PROTESTERS IN BRAZIL OR THE THE EARTH'S MULTITUDE
The post below is a story of resistance to Empire. What does that mean?
Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt in their critical Empire trilogy describe a global desire for equality, freedom and democracy and the belief that another world is possible. That desire and that belief is what drives the working people all over the world, the multitude. The multitude is that force, that potential which represents the power to create and alternative society. As they put it, the multitude is "the only social subject capable of realizing democracy."
The struggle today is not so much about seizing the means of production, which is what us Marxists have always defined as a goal of communist revolution. It is more about, in the words of Marcella Bencivenni, "...regaining control of the common and reclaiming our life and our world.."
This isn't a bunch of philosophical mumbo jumble. The multitude, the people in the world who create, who work, who produce, whose labor is exploited by capital are according to Negri and Hardt, “all those who labor and produce under the rule of capital." This multitude is facing off against an enemy that can't be seen as just some local capitalist, or some local government, or even some nation state, national bourgeois, or transnational corporation. They have to face off against something that is everywhere at once.
In resisting what is and creating something new a struggle of peasants here is a struggle of factory workers there, is an uprising in a suburb of Paris, is a battle for London, is is is. The struggle is no longer confined by factory gates obviously and it is no longer confined to industrial battles. Capital is everywhere and so must be we.
The multitude described by Negri and Hardt is "...is made of “innumerable internal differences that can never be reduced to a unity or a single identity – different cultures, races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations; different forms of labor; different ways of living; different views of the world; and different desires.”
More, according to Bencivenni, the multitude of Negri and Hardt, does not aim to make these differences blend into one, but, "On the contrary...is an open, inclusive concept: singularities remain internally different, and, yet they are linked together by the common conditions of life they share: for example, information, knowledge, political oppression, economic exploitation, a desire for democracy, peace, and justice. This discovered commonality (which is ironically the by-product of the new global order) is what gives strength to the multitude – what enables singularities to act and fight together for a better world. Differences, in fact, do not prevent the singularities from acting in common, because, state Hardt and Negri, “there is no conceptual or actual contradiction between singularity and commonality”'
Globalization, a buzzword of sorts, has created a world disciplined by war/police actions, homeland security states, economic discipline, the end of democracy and more. However, globalization has according to Bencivenni (a la Negri and Hardt), "...also created a network of unprecedented encounters, cooperation, and collaboration among people across the world, which represent the potential for organized resistance and revolution."
One of those "unprecedented encounters, cooperation, and collaboration among people" is happening right now in Brazil.
The following is from Amazon Watch via DGR News.