Radical media, politics and culture.


hydrarchist writes: "

This translation is the work of Ed Emery.

The following is a contribution by Toni Negri to a meeting in 2001 at
Literature Faculty of the La Sapienza university, organised by the
Laboratorio Sapienza Pirata. The Italian text was circulated on the
Multitudes-Infos discussion list. I have translated it in order to
bring it
to a wider audience.

Globalisation.... Multitude etc.

"I feel uncomfortable when people talk about the birth of the
world simply as a kind of effect, a given, an expansion of the empire
was left [after the disappearance of the USSR].

"Globalisation, which really begins to lift off in 1989, doesn't happen
simply by the outward spreading of one empire when another empire
disappears. It is born of far deeper roots. Globalisation is the point
confluence of working class and proletarian struggles which could no
be regulated within the confines of the nation State. The dynamic which
consisted of struggles - creation of inflation - balancing of state
budgets - pressure on welfare - breaking of the material elements of
bourgeois constitution, led gradually to two things: first, a theory of
limits of democracy (and strangely here we find that same Huntington
wrote about the "clash" of civilisations in a document of the
Commission back in the 1970s), and then a powerful push towards going
the nation State.

The 2002 San Francisco Bay Area Anarchist Conference is now asking for
workshop proposals. The conference is scheduled for Sunday, March 31,
the day following the S.F. Annual Anarchist Book Fair. The Bay Area
Anarchist Conference emphasizes anarchist theory.

Persons of diverse demographics are encouraged to present and discuss
anarchist ideas. The workshop proposal form is available at

hydrarchist writes: "
Through the aut-op-sy list, we have just been informed that the full text of Harry Cleaver's 'Reading Capital Politically' (2nd ed. AK Press, 1999)has now been made available online as a PDF at the following address:
http://lists.village.virginia.edu/~spoons/aut_html /cleaver_rcp.pdf

The file is very large (1.5mb) and thus we here provide you with a HTML version of the Preface which will give readers some feel for the style, content and subject matter of the text. Enjoy.


New prefaces to old works are problematical. What to say about something you wrote
a quarter of a century ago? Instead of writing a preface, it’s tempting to simply rewrite
the book in ways that would bring it up to date with your current ideas and formulations.
However, books, as some have pointed out, take on a life of their own after they’ve been
published and the generous leave them unmolested, not tinkered with, but allowed
to follow their own course. About all you can do is introduce them, tell a bit of their
story and then leave them to the mercy of their readers. This makes sense to me. So
here I tell something of the genesis of this book, about how it came to be, and then
something of the subsequent implications of its ideas for my own work since.(1)

Some books are intentionally crafted. Conceived and written as part of a political
project with a particular purpose, an objective, they are designed from the start as a
contribution. The first volume of Karl Marx’s Capital is such a book. He conceived and
wrote Capital as one step in a larger project of laying out his analysis of the nature of
capitalism. That laying out was, in turn, part of an even larger project of contributing to
the overthrow and transcendence of capitalism. His writing was part of his contribution
to the ongoing struggles of workers against their exploitation and alienation and for
the crafting of better, alternative forms of social life.

hydrarchist writes: " Although this essay was originally circulated in 1999, it remains useful as an introductory overview of the innovative practices of the radical movement in Italy. Given the interest in our Genoa coverage and the work of Hardt/Negri, it appeared opportune to recirculate it.

The Future At Our Backs: Autonomia and Autonomous Social Movements in 1970s Italy

by Patrick Cuninghame (School of Social Science, Middlesex University)


The Italian new social movement of the mid to late 1970s, Autonomia (Autonomy), also known as Autonomia Operaia (Workers’ Autonomy), represents a key collective actor in the history of late 20th century European protest and social conflict. Firstly, there is its role in the highly conflictual and relatively rapid transformation of Italy from a recently industrialised nation to a ‘post-fordist’, post-industrial society from the mid 1970s onwards; a process which is still very much ongoing with the gradual emergence of a Second Republic, within the broader context of European integration, from the political instability, regional imbalances and corruption scandals of the First Republic. Secondly, there is the light the experience of Autonomia has thrown on the question of the changing nature of collective identity, political organisation and social contestation in urbanised, advanced capitalist societies.

The One Measure of True Love Is: You Can Insult the Other

An Interview with Slavoj Zizek

by Sabine Reul and Thomas Deichmann

The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek has gained something of a cult
following for his many writings -- including The Ticklish Subject, a
playful critique of the intellectual assault upon human subjectivity.

At the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2001, he talked to
Sabine Reul and Thomas Deichmann about subjectivity, multiculturalism, sex
and unfreedom after 11 September.


Has 11 September thrown new light on your diagnosis of what is happening
to the world?

Slavoj Zizek: One of the endlessly repeated phrases we heard in recent
weeks is that nothing will be the same after 11 September. I wonder if
there really is such a substantial change. Certainly, there is change at
the level of perception or publicity, but I don't think we can yet speak
of some fundamental break. Existing attitudes and fears were confirmed,
and what the media were telling us about terrorism has now really

A Workshop on Class Composition

by Ruhrgebiet, Kolinko


Class composition is a central notion in our search for the
possibility of revolution. We are looking for a force that is able to
change society from the bottom up. It is correct, however
general, to say that only the exploited are able to overthrow
exploitation, but how does this process of liberation actually
take place? The perception of the Marxist-Leninists is different
from our experiences: the "working class" is neither a united
object nor do we see the possibility that it just needs a political
party to overcome the class divisions and give a revolutionary
direction to workers' struggles. The analysis of class
composition can help us understand what is determining
workers' struggles, how they can turn into a class movement
and how we can play an active part in this process.

M. Arthur Zinault writes:

"A Society By the Rich, For the Rich

The Double Standards of Discussing Class in America"

by Brian Oliver Sheppard


In the USA of 2001, the notion of "class" is still suppressed in popular discourse. Speaking about any class aside from the almighty American "middle class" is generally frowned upon. To discuss the lower class, the upper class, or -- God forbid -- the working and ruling classes, is to invite accusation, scorn and derision. To even admit that such distinct classes exist might be seen as mind-blowingly radical. You are speaking from a disproven Marxist standpoint, you will be told (no matter whether you are really Marxist or not; anarchists are well-acquainted with being lumped in with "Marxists" by ignorant reporters and others). There are no real class divisions in America because here you are pretty much what you make of yourself. Or so we are told.

Readers have found Newell's essay both entertaining and amusing. For that reason we've posted it to the front page.

"Postmodern Jihad:

What Osama bin Laden Learned from the Left"

By Waller R. Newell

MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN about Osama bin Laden's Islamic fundamentalism; less
about the contribution of European Marxist postmodernism to bin Laden's
thinking. In fact, the ideology by which al Qaeda justifies its acts of
terror owes as much to baleful trends in Western thought as it does to a
perversion of Muslim beliefs. Osama's doctrine of terror is partly a Western

To see this, it is necessary to revisit the intellectual brew that produced
the ideology of Third World socialism in the 1960s. A key figure here is the
German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), who not only helped shape
several generations of European leftists and founded postmodernism, but also
was a leading supporter of the Nazis. Heidegger argued for the primacy of
"peoples" in contrast with the alienating individualism of "modernity." In
order to escape the yoke of Western capitalism and the "idle chatter" of
constitutional democracy, the "people" would have to return to its
primordial destiny through an act of violent revolutionary "resolve."

Faith and Knowledge -- An Opening

Juergen Habermas

Speech by Juergen Habermas accepting the Peace Price

of the
German Publishers and Booksellers Association

Paulskirche, Frankfurt, 14 October 2001

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 15 October 2001

[translated from German by Kermit Snelson]

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/aktuell/sz/artikel86740 .php

When current events become so overwhelming that they rip the choice of topic
out of our own hands, so to speak, the John Waynes among us intellectuals
are of course greatly tempted to compete instead as to who can be the
quickest to shoot from the hip.

Only a short time ago the spirits moved us to discuss the question of
whether and how far we should subject ourselves to genetic technology for
self-instrumentation or even for pursuing the goal of self-optimization.
Our first steps along this path were beset by controversy between the
advocates of those two great rival faiths: organized science and organized
religion. One side feared obscurantism and the revival of atavistic
suspicion against science. The other accused the scientistic belief in
progress of a crude naturalism that undermines morality.

But after 11 September, the tension between secular society and religion
exploded in an entirely different way. As we know from Atta's testament,
these suicidal murderers, who turned civilian means of transport into living
missiles against the capitalist citadels of Western civilization, were
motivated by religious convictions. For them, those symbols of globalizing
modernism were the embodiment of the Great Satan.

John Armitage writes: This is a translation sent originally to the Cyber-Society-Live mailing list. the translation is by Rachel.Bloul@anu.edu.au

"It is rather exact (ie, I have left in the stylistic repetitions and emphases, even though they
sound a bit funny in English). I do not have the time for further polishing
now. But if people are interested...

Translated by Dr. Rachel Bloul, School of Social Sciences, Australian National
University. [In footnotes: personal comments to remind me to think about these points
when later analyzing the piece. In italics, details about not-quite-direct translations.]

The Spirit of Terrorism

Jean Baudrillard

Le Monde 2/11/01

We have had many global events from Diana's death to the World Cup, or even
violent and real events from wars to genocides. But not one global symbolic
event, that is an event not only with global repercussions, but one that
questions the very process of globalization. All through the stagnant 90s,
there has been "la greve des evenements" (literally "an events strike",
translated from a phrase of the Argentino writer Macedonio Fernandez). Well,
the strike is off. We are even facing, with the World Trade Center & New
York hits, the absolute event, the "mother" of events, the pure event which
is the essence of all the events that never happened.


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