M. Hardt, A. Negri. Empire
Empire and the global market
You have to be crazy to deny the existence of the moment of the global market. It is enough to walk through Internet sites to verify the presence of the global dimension of the market, which is the himself not only individual the experience generated by the economic consciousness, or the horizon opened after long wanderings of the imagination (as Fernand Braudel told us about the end of the Renaissance), as well really now existing organization. Moreover, the new procedure.
From a political point of view, the world market rallying around that at all times it seemed in the form of sign of sovereignty: the powers in the military sphere, in the sphere of credit and finance, information, cultural and even language policy. The powers in the military provided the possession of a single power of the entire arsenal of weapons, including nuclear; powers in the field of credit and financial policy ensured the existence of a dominant currency, which is subject to the world of finance in all its diversity; powers in information and culture the field expressed through the triumphal procession of a uniform cultural model, and even, eventually, a common universal language. This design is supranational, world, total. We call it the Empire.
There must be more to distinguish between described us an “imperial” form of government and the fact that for centuries was called “imperialism.” By this term we mean the expansion of a state – the nation beyond its borders, the establishment of colonial relations (often hidden behind a screen of modernization) to the detriment of the peoples, especially foreign the Euro-centrist the process of capitalist civilization. We also understand by the aggressiveness shown by the strong nations against nations of the poor in the state, military, economic, cultural and even racial areas.
At the current phase of the “imperial” development world imperialism in above the described sense is no more. If it still and persists then only as a phenomenon in which its values and powers are transferred to the level of “Empire”. Similarly, there is no more and the nation-state: from his escape three essential characteristic feature of sovereignty – powers in the field of defense, politics and culture – what is absorbed and replaced by the central government “Empire.” So eliminates or weakens the subordination of the former colonial countries imperialist states-nations. The same applies to the imperialist hierarchy between continents and nations: It was reorganized under a single line horizon of new “Empire”.
Why is the “Empire”
Why call Empire (insisting on novelty legal wording that suggests the term) that can be simply regarded as American imperialism in the era that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall? On this issue, our response is clear: contrary to the assertions of some supporters of nationalism Empire this is not the American. By the way, in its history the United States had a much lesser extent the imperialists rather than British, French, Russian or Dutch. No, Empire just the capitalist: it is the order of the “collective equity”, that is the force that won the civil war of the XX century.
To deal with “Empire” in the name of nation-states means to show a complete misunderstanding the realities of supranational governance, its imperial image and the class nature: this struggle relates to the hoax. In “Empire”, created a “collective equity”, involved as representatives of American capital and their European counterparts, as well as those who cobble together their fortune on corruption in Russia, along with the capitalists of the Arab world, Asia or Africa who can afford send their children to study at Harvard and put money on Wall Street.
Of course the leadership of the United States did not refuse to take responsibility for imperial rule. Nevertheless, we with Michael Hardy believe, that such a judgment needs to be clarified. From now on, the formation of the elite of American society itself has to a large extent dependent on multinational power structure. “Monarchical” power of the American presidential system is affected by “aristocratical” power of large financial and industrial multinationals. At the same time, it should take into account, the pressure exerted by the poor nations and workers organizations with their oratorical function, which is considered a “democratic” power to the representatives of the exploited populations and disenfranchised.
As a result, again it becomes actual definition of imperial power “by Polybus,” which will provide expansion of the US Constitution allowing it to develop a worldwide diversity management functions and engage in their own dynamic process of building a global public space. The famous “end of history” is precisely to achieve this balance between the royal, aristocratic and democratic authority established in the Constitution of the United States and Imperial common on the world market.
In fact, a good percentage of claims to domination by the “Empire” is completely illusory. However, this does not prevent its legal, political and sovereign order possibly be far more effective – and, of course, more totalitarian – compared with all preceding forms of government. As he gradually taking root in all regions of the world using the economic and financial unification of the world as a powerful tool of the imperial system. Moreover: it strengthens its control over all aspects of life.
Empire creates new forms of domination
And that is why we insist on a new, “biopolitical” as an imperial power, appeared with characterizing his the phenomenon, namely, the transition from the organization of work “on the Ford” to the post-Fordism organization, the transition from the industrial mode of production to more extensive forms of creating surplus cost (and operation): forms social and intangible, to forms embracing life in its intellectual and emotional manifestations, the time of reproduction, migration flows destitute, wandering the continents of the planet … The Empire is building biopolitical order, since the manufacturing process has become biopolitical.
In other words, while the nation-state enjoys a disciplinary tool for the organization of the implementation of its powers and to ensure the process of finding consensus building so that appropriate social and productive and civil models society, “Empire” is developing tools for monitoring, permeating all aspects of life and rebuild them according to industrial and civil circuits corresponding to the totalitarian ways of the impact of human activities on the environment, social relations, culture and so on …
And if the separation of production from a particular area encourages society to greater mobility and flexibility, it is at the same time, this phenomenon increases the power pyramid building and global monitoring of the company’s activities affected by this process. Such seems now irreversible, regardless of whether one is talking about the transition nations in “Empire”, the movement of wealth creation from enterprises to society and from work to acquire information, or the evolution of the methods of the Board of the disciplinary to the control.
What causes such a transition? From our point of view, they are the result of the struggle of the working class, the proletariat of the Third World and liberation movements, who have passed on the former world of real socialism. This is Marxism approach: the struggle generates development, the proletarian movement is making history.
Thus, the workers’ struggle against Taylorism accelerated scientific – technological revolution, which led eventually to the socialization and information of production. In the same way irresistible pressure of the labor force in the post-colonial countries of Asia and Africa it gave rise to at the same time a sharp leap of productivity and growth of popular movements, the faltering stiffness national framework of labor markets. And, finally, in the so-called socialist countries thirst for freedom by the new technical and other intelligentsia broke dilapidated socialist discipline and thus destroying the artificial Stalinist distortion of the world market.
Construction of “Empire” represents a reaction of capitalism to the crisis of old systems, a disciplined work force worldwide. It opens this new stage of the struggle of the exploited against the power of capital. The nation-state, chilling class struggle, agony, just as before it passed away the state’s colonial and state imperialist.
To attribute the worker-proletarian class movement is changing the paradigm of power capitalist, it’s like saying, if people approach their liberation from the capitalist mode of production. And the distance from those who pour crocodile tears over the demise of corporate agreements between socialism and the national trade union movement, as well as from those who mourn the good old, but already past, a nostalgic yearning for social reformism, imbued with bitterness exploited and jealousy, often smoldering a utopia.
No, we are all in the world market. And we are trying to become the spokesmen of reason, who dreams of to ever unite the exploited classes in the Communist International. As we see in this the birth of the new force.
Can this fight be sufficient mass and effective to destabilize or even change the structure of a complex organization “Empire”? This assumption makes assorted “realists” the irony: the system is so strong! But from the perspective of critical theory in a reasonable utopia is nothing unusual. In addition, there is no other kind of alternative, since we are all objects of the operation and management within exactly this “Empire” and nowhere else more. The latter represents the current organization of capitalism in the midst of its restructuring after a century of proletarian struggle, unparalleled in human history. Thus, this book presupposes a certain craving for communism.
Problems of the new Empire
The central theme, resulting in all of this analysis, reduced in fact to a single question: how could erupt in “Empire” civil war of the masses against capital? The first experience of the struggle waged by both explicitly and in secret in this new field of power, gives us three valuable guidance. In addition to the guaranteed wage during such a struggle to make demands to provide new forms of expression of democracy in control over the political terms of reproduction of life. In this struggle, developing movement of the population beyond the national boundaries, seeking the abolition of borders and the establishment of a universal citizenship. It mobilizes individuals and collective entities who are trying to return to his own wealth produced by the means of production have become exposed to the constant science – technology revolution owned entities more – these prostheses of the brain. Il mobilise les individus et les entites collectives qui tentent de retourner a sa propre richesse produite par les moyens de production sont devenus exposes a constante la science – la revolution technologique des entites appartenant a plusieurs – de ces protheses du cerveau.