Constitutive communications and the shimmering project of the multitude

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In Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004), Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri analyze the major shifts in the inner workings of capitalism and class that have taken place across the last forty years. Building on these global transformations they offer a compelling vision for a new political project, which relies on the growing power of a new political subject, the multitude. They argue that this new political subject is irreducible to a singular identity or project, and therefore demands new horizontal networked, organizational forms, held together by communication technologies, in an effort to forge a radical democratic praxis. In this essay I argue that while their vision for a new logic of contemporary class-based social movements takes us in important new directions ultimately they are unable to deliver on the pledge of a meaningful political program because they rely to heavily on communications as a tool to bind the multitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-377
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Communication Inquiry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • EZLN
  • class
  • communications
  • democracy
  • social movements


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