Lorenzo Taiuti on Wed, 14 Apr 2004 20:27:28 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> counseling the aristocrats

In answer to:
"From: Louis Proyect <lnp3@panix.com>
Subject: [Marxism] Counseling the aristocrats
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition =
<marxism@lists.econ.utah.edu>, PEN-L list <PEN-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 13:28:20 -0400
Reply-To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition =

Over the past five years, no Marxist theorist except for Zizk has been
lionized as much as Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, the co-authors of
"Empire". In 2001, at the height of their fame, the two were chatted up in
a NY Times article titled "What Is The Next Big Idea? The Buzz Is
Growing." ecc..."

I do understand the doubts ( and more) expressed by this mail. In Italy we
are the first to be surprised by the fashion-impact of the book by Hardt-
Negri. Sense the latter is been writing his ideas for about forty years it
is at least peculiar that he should come out now with something of this
visibility. I belong to the (italian ) crowd that never gave credits to
the Negri-thought in the past.

So i wonder: why?

1- Are the younger so much needing an apparently "strong thought" in a
period of raising wars and local conflicts?

2- Is it so necessary to have ideas thick as iron bars to fight for the
new borderlines of progressive ideas?

3- Is the book success the result of 11september + no-global issues +
beeing in english and therefore gaining international audience and media

- Maybe we should produce a book of fragments of good ideas from Marx,
Gramsci, Sartre ecc...just giving the readers the freedom to choose what
is still good in a line of thought.

But would people be happy to be free to choose by himself? Apparently no,
judging from the success of this book. We keep on asking tough, round,
heavy ideas that can be used as weapons. Which is probably very good for a
Rap song ("...Don't believe the hype!!!"- Public Enemy) but surely not for
a book that wants to be used to make contemporary politics.  ("We don't
need another hero!!... Tina Turner)


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