Sunday, August 30, 2009

Michael Hardt, Day 2 Evening Lecture UPDATE 1.10.2009

UPDATED to include video of Hardt's lecture:

Integral to the EGS curriculum are the evening lectures, which are mandatory for the students to attend.

Michael Hardt presented the first lecture of the August session, "The Common in Communism."

Hardt and Negri wrote Empire, then Multitude, and The Common will be their newest book.

The economic crisis of 2008 has similarities to talking about ecologic change: a time for revisiting Capitalism is under way or is inevitable.

Clarifying: neither public not private properties but the Common in communism. This talk is a critique of property.

To abandon the terms of freedom, democracy, etc. would upset people and ignore the work of those that have dedicated themselves to these projects over the last centuries.

How, and what, people produce and how production is organized has changed.

Marx's Relation to Private Property
  • there is a distinction made between mobile property and immobile property
  • this distinction marks the bourgeoisie of the mid-19th century
  • there is at this time a movement from rent (collector) to profit (capitalist investor)
  • Marx foresaw that all aspects of society will have to adapt to the qualities of industrial production
Industry today has to intellectualize and so there is now this movement to "immaterial" production and today's struggle is between exclusive and shared property

The notion of scarcity is no longer germane to talking about immaterial property (copyright, say)

Today we might argue that scientific production (like internet production) really requires open access to production of the past
  • The more the Common is corralled, the more production is inhibited
The battle between private property against the Common is the mark of globalization:
  • On the one hand there is the rise of privatizing extractive industries, a neoliberal mode of relating to Nature
  • On the other hand we have the artificial Common. To privatize this is problematic but it nonetheless continues.
Piracy of biological knowledge is not correct because real pirates take something more noble: real property
  • Today there is a shift back to rent rather than profit: this is what copyright does
  • Finance is relative rent not absolute rent
Christian Marazzi: the so-called Real Economy is just as fictional as the finance economy is.

What would it mean to say an object is ours not only when it is in our hands?
  • the positive content of communism is the positive expression of new thinking, new hearing, etc.
Production not only creates objects for the subjects but also produces subjects for the objects:
  • Anthropogenetic production (Marazzi) - producing man; Hardt would call this biopolitical produciton
  • Capital vol. 1: All of capitalist production are for the production of forms of social life
Foucault "Remarks on Marx"
  • cautions against humanism in "man produces man" he sees it as the destruction of who we are and the creation of something other
Capital, in other words, is producing its own grave diggers
  • The task at hand is to organize these conditions
Openness as a problematic when trying to organize
(Note to self: couldn't we think of 無爲 (wu wei)? As it says in the Dao, "the sage does nothing and in doing nothing, nothing is left undone.")

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