On the notion of the political in postmarxist theory.

Seminars

04.12.2014
Speculative materialism in queer-feminist perspective
Emerging life and syntheses of matter and time

14.06.2013
Aesthetic existence and the ontologisation of poverty
Whatever life

20.04.2013
The practise of doing nothing 

Unemployed positivity

04.11.2012
Miguel Abensour as reader of Spinoza
Spinoza, Marx, Moses Hess

05.10.2012
Agamben and Nancy as readers of Spinoza
Leaving Immanence?

06.06.2012
Feminist readings of Spinoza
Becoming woman?

03.05.2012
Deleuze on Spinoza's theory of affects 

From the ontological to the affective

04.04.2012
Spinoza with Deleuze
The underground current of the philosophy of immanence

07.03.2012
Macherey's Spinoza
Ontology of multiplicity or materialist dialectic?

08.02.2012
Althusser's concept of immanent causality 
- Seminar
Marx with Spinoza

08.12.2011
Exhausting politics 

Being out of class (Deleuze)

01.11.2011
What is an inoperativity that consists in contemplating one's own potentiality to act?
The messianic class

29.06.2011
Sharing the inappropriable
The retreating class

26.05.2011
The political capacity of the proletariat
The subtractive class II

07.04.2011
The political capacity of the proletariat
The subtractive class

03.03.2011
Disrupting the logic of division
The supplementary class

04.02.2011
The antinomies of proletarian politics
The paradoxical class

02.12.2010
Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe on political difference
Retreating the political

08.11.2010
Lars T. Lih as Reader of Lenin
What Is to be Done? and Bolshevism

03.10.2010
The concept of capitalism in "Anti-Oedipus"
Capitalism deterritorialized

30.06.2010
Deleuze, Guattari, Lacan
An impossible encounter I

28.05.2010
An impossible encounter: Deleuze, Guattari and Lacan
Preparatory Meeting

27.05.2010
Micropolitics in "A thousand plateaus"
Molecular Politics I

07.04.2010
On affectivity and potentiality
Spinoza with Deleuze

04.03.2010
Nietzsche with Deleuze
The negative in the positive

04.02.2010
The notion of becoming in Deleuze and Guattari
Becoming

04.11.2009
On Esposito's concept of bio/politics
Biopotentiality

08.10.2009
Reading Althusser

07.10.2009
Rancière's farewell to Althusserian Marxism
La leçon d'Althusser

06.10.2009
Debating Althusser's philosophy of the encounter
What is aleatory materialism?

03.09.2009
Negri on materialism
Kairos, Alma Venus, Multitudo

02.09.2009
Tronti and Cacciari's concept of the political
The autonomy of the political

17.06.2009
"From Capital-Labor to Capital-Life" by M. Lazzarato
Invention

20.05.2009
Reading Simondon
Individuation

09.04.2009
Nancy on the singularity of death
Excess

11.03.2009
Agamben and Deleuze on pure immanence
Immanence

11.03.2009
Encountering Althusser
Preparatory meeting

11.03.2009
Workshop: becoming-major, becoming-minor
Preparatory meeting

07.02.2009
Foucault with Deleuze
The force of the outside II

06.02.2009
Superimposing diagrams: discipline and governmentality
The force of the outside

06.02.2009
Encountering Althusser
Preparatory Meeting

05.12.2008
Reading Jacques Rancière's "Dis-agreement"
Marx's Metapolitics

04.11.2008
Reading Balibar's "The Vacillation of Ideology in Marxism"
The non-totalizable complexity of the historical process

05.10.2008
Reading Jacques Derrida's "Specters of Marx"
Deconstructing Value Theory

11.09.2008
Reading Moishe Postone's "Time, Labor and Social Domination"
Value and Capitalist Capacities

01.07.2008
Debating "The mirror of production" by Jean Baudrillard
Marx with Bataille

06.06.2008
The coming communities of commons

05.06.2008
Feminist comments on the relation between politics and labor
The arcane of reproduction

09.05.2008
Rancière on the inactuality of communism and the intelligence of the unqualified

07.05.2008
Virno on Marx's "Fragments on machines"
Notes on the general intellect

04.04.2008
Virno on the concept of bio-politics in Postoperaism
What is living and what is dead in Marx's philosophy? II

03.04.2008
Jason Read on abstract and living labor
What is living and what is dead in Marx's philosophy?

07.03.2008
Reading Negri's "Twenty Theses on Marx"
The autonomy of living labor

08.02.2008
Class composition in Italian autonomist Marxism
The emergence of the socialised worker II

07.02.2008
Class composition in Italian autonomist Marxism
The emergence of the socialised worker

07.12.2007
On Badiou's concept of truth procedure
Assigning a measure to the excessive power of the state

09.11.2007
Reading Jacques Ranciere's "Ten theses on politics"
The supplementary part that disconnects the people from itself

04.10.2007
Deleuze and Guattari on the concept of minoritarian struggle
Micropolitics

07.09.2007
On class composition and radical negativity
Domestic work and class struggle within the class II

06.09.2007
On class composition and radical negativity
Domestic work and class struggle within the class

02.07.2007
From class to minority
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism III

01.07.2007
On the concept of the concrete universal
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism II

30.06.2007
On Marx and Foucault
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism

30.05.2007
Dictatorship of the proletariat and council movement
The Soviet experience II

29.05.2007
Rosa Luxemburg on the Russian Revolution
The Soviet experience

06.04.2007
Negri on Lenin
Democracy beyond law II

05.04.2007
Lenin's concept of the dictatorship of protetariat
Democracy beyond law

09.03.2007
Benjamin's concept of mysthic and divine violence
To bring about the real state of exception II

08.03.2007
Agamben's reading of Benjamin
To bring about the real state of exception

09.02.2007
Agamben's sovereign theoretical turn in thinking potentiality
Potentiality of impotentiality II

08.02.2007
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)

http://www.after1968.org/index.php/texts/view/15#text15

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

http://www.commoner.org.uk/blog/?p=100