On the notion of the political in postmarxist theory.


Speculative materialism in queer-feminist perspective
Emerging life and syntheses of matter and time

Aesthetic existence and the ontologisation of poverty
Whatever life

The practise of doing nothing 

Unemployed positivity

Miguel Abensour as reader of Spinoza
Spinoza, Marx, Moses Hess

Agamben and Nancy as readers of Spinoza
Leaving Immanence?

Feminist readings of Spinoza
Becoming woman?

Deleuze on Spinoza's theory of affects 

From the ontological to the affective

Spinoza with Deleuze
The underground current of the philosophy of immanence

Macherey's Spinoza
Ontology of multiplicity or materialist dialectic?

Althusser's concept of immanent causality 
- Seminar
Marx with Spinoza

Exhausting politics 

Being out of class (Deleuze)

What is an inoperativity that consists in contemplating one's own potentiality to act?
The messianic class

Sharing the inappropriable
The retreating class

The political capacity of the proletariat
The subtractive class II

The political capacity of the proletariat
The subtractive class

Disrupting the logic of division
The supplementary class

The antinomies of proletarian politics
The paradoxical class

Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe on political difference
Retreating the political

Lars T. Lih as Reader of Lenin
What Is to be Done? and Bolshevism

The concept of capitalism in "Anti-Oedipus"
Capitalism deterritorialized

Deleuze, Guattari, Lacan
An impossible encounter I

An impossible encounter: Deleuze, Guattari and Lacan
Preparatory Meeting

Micropolitics in "A thousand plateaus"
Molecular Politics I

On affectivity and potentiality
Spinoza with Deleuze

Nietzsche with Deleuze
The negative in the positive

The notion of becoming in Deleuze and Guattari

On Esposito's concept of bio/politics

Reading Althusser

Rancière's farewell to Althusserian Marxism
La leçon d'Althusser

Debating Althusser's philosophy of the encounter
What is aleatory materialism?

Negri on materialism
Kairos, Alma Venus, Multitudo

Tronti and Cacciari's concept of the political
The autonomy of the political

"From Capital-Labor to Capital-Life" by M. Lazzarato

Reading Simondon

Nancy on the singularity of death

Agamben and Deleuze on pure immanence

Encountering Althusser
Preparatory meeting

Workshop: becoming-major, becoming-minor
Preparatory meeting

Foucault with Deleuze
The force of the outside II

Superimposing diagrams: discipline and governmentality
The force of the outside

Encountering Althusser
Preparatory Meeting

Reading Jacques Rancière's "Dis-agreement"
Marx's Metapolitics

Reading Balibar's "The Vacillation of Ideology in Marxism"
The non-totalizable complexity of the historical process

Reading Jacques Derrida's "Specters of Marx"
Deconstructing Value Theory

Reading Moishe Postone's "Time, Labor and Social Domination"
Value and Capitalist Capacities

Debating "The mirror of production" by Jean Baudrillard
Marx with Bataille

The coming communities of commons

Feminist comments on the relation between politics and labor
The arcane of reproduction

Rancière on the inactuality of communism and the intelligence of the unqualified

Virno on Marx's "Fragments on machines"
Notes on the general intellect

Virno on the concept of bio-politics in Postoperaism
What is living and what is dead in Marx's philosophy? II

Jason Read on abstract and living labor
What is living and what is dead in Marx's philosophy?

Reading Negri's "Twenty Theses on Marx"
The autonomy of living labor

Class composition in Italian autonomist Marxism
The emergence of the socialised worker II

Class composition in Italian autonomist Marxism
The emergence of the socialised worker

On Badiou's concept of truth procedure
Assigning a measure to the excessive power of the state

Reading Jacques Ranciere's "Ten theses on politics"
The supplementary part that disconnects the people from itself

Deleuze and Guattari on the concept of minoritarian struggle

On class composition and radical negativity
Domestic work and class struggle within the class II

On class composition and radical negativity
Domestic work and class struggle within the class

From class to minority
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism III

On the concept of the concrete universal
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism II

On Marx and Foucault
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism

Dictatorship of the proletariat and council movement
The Soviet experience II

Rosa Luxemburg on the Russian Revolution
The Soviet experience

Negri on Lenin
Democracy beyond law II

Lenin's concept of the dictatorship of protetariat
Democracy beyond law

Benjamin's concept of mysthic and divine violence
To bring about the real state of exception II

Agamben's reading of Benjamin
To bring about the real state of exception

Agamben's sovereign theoretical turn in thinking potentiality
Potentiality of impotentiality II

Agamben's theory of autonomous potentiality
Potentiality of impotentiality

Massimo De Angelis, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Anne Querrien
The coming communities of commons

In this meeting we will discuss De Angelis' idea of commons along eight questions that touch on the following topics:

(1) The relation of capitalism and bio-power

De Angelis analyzes enclosures – the capitalist appropriation of goods, objects, relations – as continuous characteristic of capital logic. Against Marxian orthodoxy, he rejects the historicization of this praxis, and the subsequent temporal split between a time of capital’s becoming through application of extra-economic force (primitive accumulation) and a time of capital’s being as abstract domination through valorisation. De Angelis insists on the continuous ex novo separation of subjects from their living conditions by means of exceptional force. How does this analysis relate to Foucault’s idea of biopolitics in which an analysis of capitalism is substituted by an analysis of the conjunction between individualizing discipline, governmentality, and valorization, as conjunction of the disjoint?

(2) The idea of the living versus the dead in Marxian theory

De Angelis describes capitalism as ongoing separation of the producers from the means, results and conditions of production which corresponds with Marx’s early concept of alienation and expropriation. Hence, capitalism is described as space of separation, expropriation, loss, objectification and death. The deed governs the doer, the object the subjects which accords with the concept of reification. In this Marxian perspective, the political is inscribed in the engendering force of the living struggling against the disjoining force of capital. Two months ago we discussed how Marx posited the radical poverty of the naked laborer as living potentiality in the "Grundrisse". In opposition, Foucault developed the idea that modernity can be characterised as capacitating the living while disciplining it which links autonomy to heteronomy and forbids to attribute freedom to the living.

(3) The state of the community of commoners

In „Separating the doing and the deed“, De Angelis writes, capital will not stop in its attempt to colonize until either some other social force will make it stop – like for example socialized humanity – or until it has colonised all life. He conceptualizes the political as constitution of communities who struggle for self-management, equal association and reappropriation of the means, conditions and results of livlihood. Thereby, De Angelis links the political to the act of production and reproduction and the community to the act of regaining what has been lost. In this way, under the banner of equality, an alliance is produced between the principle of political economy (labor as source of wealth) and the principle of fraternal community (equality in solidarity). Hence, the assumption is made that work which produces what is to be held in common is dedicated to solidarity and that in working for oneself one is working for the other. The analysis of separation as cause of inequality is projected to the idea of a solidary community of brothers and sisters. This community of commoners is endangered to skip difference, conflict, idleness and the uncommon by instituting itself as society. In "The community of equals", Rancière warns this community of identifying itself with society: "A community of equals is an insubstantial community of individuals engaged in the ongoing creation of equality. Anthying else paraded under this banner is either a trick, a school or a military unit." (84)

(4) A critique of the post-operaist analysis of common

De Angelis proceeds from the assumption that the struggle for commons is combinded with the constitution of a community. He emphasizes that this community has to be produced and cannot be attributed to a given power of immaterial or biopolitial labor as Negri and Hardt do. In the "After 68" seminar, we aim at examining how Negri and Hardt identify an ontologically given proto-communist labor power by projecting its force in the development of the machinery and the accumulation mode. Negri and Hardt explain this autonomisation of living labor by the incorporation of the means of production in the brain and the bodies of the subjects. In the editor's blog of "The commoner", De Angelis hs criticized this position. What is the difference between his position and the one of Negri and Hardt?

(5) The relation of conflict and cooperation

In the book "The beginning of History", commoning is characterized as process of covercoming divisions in the struggling body. Community has to be produced through the struggle for commons at the moment where mechanisms of separation, division and expropriation are operative. The community of commons is constituted by the free and aware cooperation of subjects who want to collectively manage their matters. What is the state of conflict in these communities? Is conflict reduced to mutual acknowledgement of different fractions within the political movement instead of being constituent for the act of producing a community itself?

(6) Class struggle

De Angelis defines working class struggle as rupture in the acceptance of enclosures, a non-conformity to the laws of supply and demand, the positing of an outside. The struggles would take binary form: commons against enclosures

(7) Multiplicity and unity

De Angelis negotiates the tension between a politics of multiplicity and of unity along the terms communism and anarchism on one side and the Marxian idea of an association of producers and the diversity of single-issue campaigns on the other side. In how far does this model rely on a projection of unity to multiplicity?

(8) The distance of the political to itself

In De Angelis, the organisational form of cooperation follows Marx's idea of an association of free individuals. Three elements characterize this community of doers: freedom, self-awareness of being a part of a whole which produces and reproduces the conditions of life, and the commonality of the means with which livlihood is produced and reproduced. This organisational mode succeeds the tradition of council communism and self-management. In the 1970s, the micropolitical experiences prove the danger of mobilizing life at every level: Daily meetings, relentless activism, the politicization of every form of expression drove many militants away from the political as it produced collective pressure to be active, especially when it took on disciplinary and moral characteristics, though the starting point of micropolitics had been differentiality and refusal. In how far a distanciation of the political to itself is possible in the community of commoners?

(9) Dissolution of the social bond, betrayal

Genet, and in his traces, Bersani have considered the political necessity of betrayal. Betrayal is thought as act of dissoluting community. This act is not reduced to a merely transgressive relation to loyalty, brotherhood and against socially defined good. It is conceived as turning away from the entire theater of the good and the right as political basis of community allowing for the possibility of non-sociality and desubjectivisation. Is that the unthought of the community of commoners?

Massimo De Angelis: The Beginning of History. Value Struggles and Global Capital, London Pluto Pr. 2007 (Chapter 17), pp. 238-255

Massimo De Angelis: Separating the doing and the deed: capital and the continuous character of enclosures in Historical Materialism, No.12, April 2004, (passage from 1.0 to 3.1 Processes of identification of the space of enclosure, pp. 1- 14)


Massimo De Angelis: Thoughts on Workerism after Mario Tronti’s talk