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Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire
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Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  689 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
In their international bestseller Empire, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri presented a grand unified vision of a world in which the old forms of imperialism are no longer effective. But what of Empire in an age of “American empire”? Has fear become our permanent condition and democracy an impossible dream? Such pessimism is profoundly mistaken, the authors argue. Empire, by ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 26th 2005 by Penguin USA (first published October 18th 2004)
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May 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marxismos
What I took out of this book was Hardt and Negri's proposal that industrialism has passed and in turn, it's antagonistic classes have perished. They argue that the struggle is no longer between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The struggle is one between the multitude and Empire, that is, it's a struggle of all for the survival of the species and for the recovery of the common.
The authors suggest that industrial labor has lost it's societal hegemony and in turn has been replaced with affect
Alex Lee
Nov 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, critical-theory
The basic foundation in this book comes from Marx, that is to say, the form of labor -- forces of production -- shape subjectivity. Unlike Marx however, Hardt and Negri take the position that labor has already attained subjectivity. They dub this collective subjectivity as the multitude, not as a unity but as a collective resistance against the control of production that upper classes utilize. So while you can draw an analogy between communism as utopia, espoused by Marx and how Hardt and Negri ...more
Andreas Schmidt
Sep 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Neologismi e nuove accezioni, a quale pro?
E' un testo dichiaratamente filosofico (lo dicono gli autori). Non ho mai amato particolarmente la filosofia. Il testo di per sé cerca di essere particolarmente complesso, cerca di vedere le cose da una prospettiva ampia (fin troppo), con il risultato, secondo me, che più si cerca l'astrazione, più la vera definizione della realtà sfugge all'occhio di chi cerca di descriverla. A leggere Moltitudine, mi sembra di vedere l'ossessione dei fisici di cercare
A sequel to Negri & Hardt's "Empire", with a discussion of how "the Multitude"--- diffuse networks of local resistance ---can oppose the Empire of equally diffuse, stateless global capital. Negri & Hardt draw heavily on Foucault's idea of "biopower" as a description of the kind of control their vision of Empire exerts--- not so much political imperium as a kind of all-pervasive economic and cultural system. They look to autonomous local movements (e.g., the Zapatistas) throughout the wor ...more
Peter De Cauwer
Nov 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
There are some really interesting ideas in this book, but in order to get to those nuggets you need to wade up to your neck into a sea of neo-marxist drivel. It all looks like the n-th attempt at saving Marx' ideology to me. I really thought that this kind of book died somewhere in the 70s and that I was about to read something new. What a disappointment!
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: readforschool
I can't believe I'm saying this, but it seems these authors are even more idealistic than I am. This book describes recent phenonmena relating to globalization in an interesting way, but the arguments are not well-supported and the solutions read like fairy tales.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Goddamn I finally finished this. That took me like 2 months, and I'm not sure it was worth it. Basically it's like ultra-ultra-dense with references and covers a ridiculously wide range of ideas, which is cool, but then the interesting insights are intermixed with a ton of like postmodern-y talk about biopolitical common singularities and subjectivities constituting multitudes and stuff. Here's a non-made-up quote I underlined from the very end: "The common is both natural and artificial; it is ...more
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A good read in itself, but especially useful for discussions of soverignty in the transatlantic, post-Fordian world. Hardt and Negri suggest that there can be government by all, a democracy of the multitude. I'm especially interested in their revision of representation in this world. Also, I like to think about what immaterial labor looks like, especially affective labor, and what might compensation for it look like.

The main claim of “Democracy of the Multitude” is that, contrary to Hobbes, and,
Apr 05, 2007 added it
Shelves: the-crowd
In their sequel to Empire, Hardt and Negri trace the lineaments of a beast with multiple backs they call Multitude: different people coming together to oppose Capital/Empire who celebrate/enjoy/accept their differences, and yet still work together towards the creation of "the common". (In the tag to his review of Empire in The New Left Review, Gopal Balakrishnan notes that Empire is "a new Roman order, awaiting its early Christians"; Multitude, then, is those early Christians, awaiting their lio ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hardt and Negri are probably best known for Empire, but I think Multitude and Commonwealth are way more interesting and important books. For me, Empire diagnoses our contemporary political situation, but Multitude and Commonwealth imagine how to overcome the contemporary Imperial system of late capitalist bioproduction.

Multitude argues for the productive and creative strength of the multitude, which is a flexible network of singularities. Singularities are individuals formed within their context
Adam Ross
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Multitude is Hardt and Negri's follow-up to their first book *Empire*. That first book established the emergence of a global political imperial order. In this book they take on the development of the other half of globalization's effect: the production of the multitude - everyone who is not part of the money-and-power structure. This multitude is, they argue, unlike conceptions of "the people" or populist movements, because it is not a unity but a plurality of groups and movements operating in c ...more
Aug 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A follow-up to Empire, in this book the authors get less philosophical, more interested in seeing if their ideas can be applied to the real world. Given the stir its predecessor made, the authors also used the criticism of that earlier work to help guide this one.

I find it curious that some critiques of Marxist-influenced works like this choose to attack the Soviet Union (Stalin and all that) as a form of rebuttal. Unless the work contains pro-Stalin era nonsense (workers paradise, etc.) those r
Juuuust the sort of well-written, post-Marxist activism this world needs right now. Having adored Hardt & Negri's previous collaboration, Empire, I thought I'd look at their supposedly less academic sequel. While I appreciated the effort, I really preferred the more academic version, in which they trace a lot of contemporary bullshittery back to Hegel, compare Fordist and Taylorist production schemes, and so on. I also have some qualms about their Pollyanna attitude vis-a-vis the multitude o ...more
Oct 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I'm still making my way through this book - it's taking me forever because I'm intent on understanding and absorbing everything I possibly can. This is an extraordinarily important book, one that anyone who wants to see - or rather, effect - change in the world needs to read to understand that democracy, real and colorful and multiplicitous, is the foundation for any such meaningful change.

And one post-script: Don't be afraid of theory!
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed, saggi, politica
Meno lucido di Impero, questo libro ha l'ardire di voler andare oltre l'analisi critica del presente (iniziata con Impero) per delineare e orientare le linee di sviluppo future. L'impresa à di per sé ardua, perché le variabili spazio-temporali sono troppe e quindi prevedere trend e soluzioni à quasi puro gioco d'azzardo. Di certo resta un libro di piacevole lettura. ...more
Nov 26, 2007 rated it liked it
I wasn't awarded the opportunity to complete this book (exams) for my own leisure, but I thoroughly enjoyed the pages I read. This is a very timely book that more people should read. I can see how the academic style is off-putting, however. Multitude is not the most accessible book, since it's not intended for the laity but fellow political intellectuals and academes. Good read.
Dec 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, gift
It's hard, exactly, to describe this book's influence - but perhaps a metaphor.

It's like someone showed me a map and asked me where my house is. So I said "right there" and pointed. They then showed me all the other ways my house was "right there" - longitude and latitude, topographical map, distance from other major cities, etc. Remarkable.
Jun 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
umm, the future of the practical reality of democracy is diminishing, but might be saved, if we as the multitude can evolve, rise above the constraints of government and social systems to create real democracy..

It's a slow dense philosophical read.... I recommend it though. It's a very important book. It's the second book, though.

EMPIRE was the first.
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Would give this 5 stars if there were more concrete indicators that these ideas were Real and not just the best wishes of the authors. Follow-up to Empire, i like the way its written and the ideas and methodologies used, in many ways i am big fan. Combining james madison and lenin >
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
A brilliant analysis of how the war on terror in conjunction with neoliberal global economic policies are re-shaping the body, the workforce, the home, the family, and the very ability to survive for much of the globe in the 21st century.
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
A lot more readable than Empire but lacks the almost poetic beauty in philosophical composition that brought Empire together. Largely seems to want to explain, sometimes almost apologize for the first work.
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
The further this books gets from its authors' idea of Empire, the more facile the discussion becomes. Largely uncritical ideas of democracy constitute the latter half. Apparently, political theorists have sophomore slumps, too.
Feb 03, 2008 added it
To be honest....I need to read the book again. I remember enjoying it, but I read it for a political theory class that had us reading a book a week...I feel like rereading would give me some better insight.
Aug 09, 2009 added it
Bought this to read 3 years ago after reading Empire. I just started to read this and found it an interesting argument for the development of a new political paradigm to address Aristole's warning that we all had to learn to distinguish between unity and uniformity, between heaven and hell.
Eric Michael
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my way of thinking about popular movements. I found Empire to be overly complicated after there had already been so much written about globalization. This book was well laid out and fascinating to read.
Oct 03, 2013 added it
Eurocentric, overly deterministic, stupidly optimistic.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Long live the multitude!
Matthew Summers
Nov 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
Total crap. I was eager to read this after hearing Hardt lecture, now I'm upset I wasted my time. Neo-Marxist nonsense.
Cassie Martinez
Loved it very interesting and great topics inside
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
H&N continuing to be brilliant
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Michael Hardt is an American literary theorist and political philosopher perhaps best known for Empire, written with Antonio Negri and published in 2000. It has been praised as the "Communist Manifesto of the 21st Century."
Hardt and his co-author suggest that what they view as forces of contemporary class oppression, globalization and the commodification of services (or production of affects), hav
More about Michael Hardt...

Other Books in the Series

Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri (3 books)
  • Empire
  • Commonwealth