Labor of Dionysus by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri
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“Labor is the living, form-giving fire,” Marx wrote. “It is the transitoriness of things, their temporality, as their transformation by living time.” How is it, then, that labor, with all its life-affirming potential, has become the means of capitalist discipline, exploitation, and domination in modern society? The authors expose and pursue this paradox through a systematic analysis of the role of labor in the processes of capitalist production and in the establishment of capitalist legal and social institutions. Critiquing liberal and socialist notions of labor and institutional reform from a radical democratic perspective, Hardt and Negri challenge the state-form itself.
Hardt and Negri have written one of the most important new books of political theory to appear in some time. Few books hold the potential of genuinely reorienting our thinking about the relations between political movements, the state, and the ideals of communism. This is one of them. Antonio Negri is one of the most innovative political thinkers of the contemporary era. Largely because of the radicality of his ideas, he is also one of the most ignored. Labor of Dionysus makes available for the first time some of his major writings from Italy on political organization, state repression, and the possibility of communism. The collaborative sections with Michael Hardt constitute a significant recasting of the anglophone tradition of political theory. Hardt succeeds in bringing the theory of autonomy down to the present and-one would hope-past it into the future. A terrifically important, long overdue book.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational > Politics & Social Sciences