Thursday, January 17, 2008

Multitude: Finale

.:The Democracy Of The Multitude:.

For the most part, I've been rather accepting of Hardt and Negri's ideas about the Multitude in the book, and it seemed to me that despite the seeming lack of cohesiveness to their ideas, or at the very least, a unifying thread where we can glean a cause for action. Truth be told, Hardt and Negri's ideas didn't seem new at all, and merely repeats of some intelligent commentary you'd see on “The Daily Show”, sans the witty sense of humor and personality of a Jon Stewart.

Now, in this last segment of their book, “Democracy of the Multitude”, I'm utterly flabbergasted. In here, they attempt to piece together the reform suggestions they bandied about in the previous segment, and all under the guise of this being how the multitude would form their democracy. While I took most of their ideas in with little resistance, I find their ideas about a sovereignless multitude (p.330) or their attempts at reformation as a matter of using unconventional “weapons” to throw off Empire (p.347) as bordering on ravings of utter ludicrousness.

Quite bluntly, there is a huge gap between this seeming wish-fulfillment book and the reality of the situation, because the reality of the situation is that we can't expect these proposals purported in the book as even remotely “feasible”, so the picture of the Democracy of the Multitude that is being painted by this book, is unfortunately a false, blatantly, hopelessly, untenable dream envisioned by Hardt and Negri. The true democracy of the Multitude *cannot* be found in this book. All we can see are hopes and dreams that will never be met by a Multitude that is coming into reality.

The real democracy of the Multitude comes in its ability to overturn the triangle of power. As the power of the sovereigns steadily seeps more and more into the citizenry, the Multitude becomes a stable source of assurance: we no longer feel the crunch of having to worry about consolidating power in a select few. This unfortunately comes at the price of accountability, and as we see the Multitude persist and attempt to struggle against Empire, what we see, barring a revolution of Utopian proportions, the same old song and dance we've had during the other revolutions of history.

Perhaps, the Empire will no longer be the ones to drive our dignity to the ground. But one thing will always be certain, even in the democracy of the Multitude: *something* will certainly take its place, whatever it may be.

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