Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Antonio Negri

Antonio Negri (b. 1933) is an Italian philosopher, who has been one of the most proponent members and inspiration for current anti-globalization movement. In the politically charged years of 1960s and 70s Negri was an original member of the Italian movements called Potere Operaio and Autonomia which succeeded it. Antonio Negri was jailed when his writings were claimed to have been inciting the 1978 kidnapping and murder of the Italian Christian Democrat party president Aldo Moro by the terrorist organisation Red Brigades.

The political developments after the "mad year" 1968 had radicalised European youth, and had worked as the platform in forming RAF and Baader-Meinhof groups in Germany, Italian Red Brigades, and also outside Europe, the Japanese Red Army, whose goal was the violent overthrowing of bourgeoisie society by the means of armed terrorism. Instead of the hoped-for revolution, the terrorists' actions only strengthened this society, by giving it an excuse for the police state-like actions and more tightened surveillance of its citizens (in a parallel to what was happening in the United States and the rest of the world post-9/11). This can be compared to body's natural immune system strengthened by the bacterial attacks; thus, terrorists only shot (and will shoot) themselves in the leg.

Antonio Negri left Italy for France to live in exile, living there for 14 years, and returning voluntarily in 1997. After spending some more years in prison, he's now a free man again, even though his public performances and political activities in Italy have been restricted.

Empire (2000), which Negri wrote with Michael Hardt, has already been called the Communist Manifesto for the 21st century, which takes information society into account when taking a look into the development of postmodern/postindustrial capitalist society. As Eric de Place writes, "Hardt and Negri maintain that Empire -- traditionally understood as military or capitalist might -- has embarked upon a new stage of historical development and is now better understood as a complex web of sociopolitical forces. They argue, with a neo-Marxist bent, that 'the multitude' will transcend and defeat the new empire on its own terms".


Antonio Negri @ Generation Online

The Relevance of Antonio Negri to the Anti-Globalization Movement

"Postmodernisation, or The Informatisation of Production" from Empire

Download Empire for free

pHinnWeb's Conscience Links

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