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Antonio Negri

Best known as the author, with Michael Hardt, of [Empire] (English, PDF), the Italian moral and political philosopher Antonio Negri (date tk)is currently serving out a felony conviction, on charges that he and his writings were "moral culpable" in acts of violence stemming from his advocacy or "armed insurrection" against the Italian state during the 1960s and 1970s. Negri returned voluntarily returning from a 14-year exile in France in 1997, after having been elected to the legislature while imprisoned and released on grounds of parliamentary immunity.

The prolific, iconoclastic, cosmopolitan, highly original and often dense and difficult philosophy writings of Negri attempt to come to critical terms with most of the major world intellectual movements of the past half-century, in the service of a new Marxist analysis of capitalism. The controversial thesis of [Empire], that the globalization and informatization of world markets since the late 1960s has produced an unprecedented historical development — what he calls "the real subsumption of social existence by capital" — touches rather directly and forcefully upon a number of issues related to the Information Society, the Network Economy, and globalization, which may account for the relatively high degree of mainstream interest it attracted when it was published in 2000.

(Antonio Gramsci as point of reference)

The passage toward an informational economy necessarily involves a change in the quality and nature of labour. This is the most immediate sociological and anthropological implication of the passage of economic paradigms. Today information and communication have come to play a foundational role in production processes. [cite]

Table of contents
1 Biography and Historical Milieu
2 Empire
3 Central Themes in Negri: Marxism, Antiglobalization, Anticapitalism, Postmodernism, Neoiberalism, Democracy, the Common, and the Multitudes
4 Recent Works, Affiliations, and Influence
5 Bibliography/Webography

Biography and Historical Milieu

Perhaps the most telling synopsis of Negri's project comes from a neoliberal critic, [John Reilly], who calls [Empire] "a postmodern plot to overthrow the City of God."

In fact, Negri's involvement in the early 1950s with the Catholic Worker movement and liberation theology seems to have left a permanent mark upon his thought: His most recent work, Time for Revolution (2003), relies heavily on themes drawn from Augustine_of_Hippo and Baruch_Spinoza, and might rather be described as an attempt to found the City_of_God without the aid of the "transcendental illusions" and the "theology of Power" that he finds in thinkers as disparate as Martin Heidegger and John Maynard Keynes, extending and attempting to correct the critique of ideology as false consciousness set forth by Karl Marx.


Capitalism has invested the whole of life; its production is biopolitical. In production, Power is the 'superstructure' of that which stretches out, and is reproduced through society. ... It no longer exploits only workers, but all citizens; it does not pay, but makes others pay it to command and order society. [cite]

[precis tk] [critical responses]

Central Themes in Negri: Marxism, Antiglobalization, Anticapitalism, Postmodernism, Neoiberalism, Democracy, the Common, and the Multitudes

Although he acknowledges the influence of Michel Foucault, Frederic Jameson's The Postmodern Condition (1991) and Deleuze & Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Schizophrenia and Capitalism, Negri is on the whole extremely dismissive of postmodernism, whose only value, in his estimation, is that it has served as a symptom of the historical transition whose dynamics he and Hardt set out to explain in Empire.

(Points of contact with contemporary non-Marxist thought, esp. on globalization)

Recent Works, Affiliations, and Influence


  1. [Multitudes] (multilingual [Empire] study group)
  2. [Empire] (English, PDF)
  3. Negri and Hardt, [Empire and other writings] (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)
  4. Toni Negri, [Multitudes contributions]
  5. Maurizio Lazzarato and Toni Negri, [Travail immatériel et subjectivité]
  6. [Marx's Mole is Dead] (Hardt)
  7. [Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons on the Grundrisse] (Spanish translation) ([2] | [3] | [4] | [5] | [6] | [7] | [8] | [9] )
  8. [The Savage Anomaly] (precis)
  9. [The Labor of Dionysus] (precis)
  10. [Insurgencies] (precis)
  11. [Negri Links] (U. Virginia)
  12. [Italy One Year After Genoa]
  13. [And Thus Began the Fall of Empire]
  14. Negri&Hardt, [The Informatization of Production] (2000)
  15. [Archives Futur Antérieur]
  16. [Negri Links] (U. Virginia)
  17. [Philosophy's Hostage] (Michael Hardt)

Critical Sources

  1. Cleaver, Harry [Reading Capital Politically]
  2. [Texas Archives of Autonomist Marxism]
  3. Witheford, Nick [Autonomist Marxism and the Information Society]
  4. [The Empire Does Not Exist]
  5. Wright, [The Limits of Negri's Class Analysis]
  6. [] (library of readings)
[more to come]

Biographical Sources

  1. [Eurozine brief biography]
  2. [The Negri prosecution]
  3. [Documents on Negri prosecution] 1979
  4. [Chronology of Negri arrest]
  5. [Italy: Behind the Ski Mask], NY Review of Books (Volume 26, Number 13 · August 16, 1979)\n