The Multitude and Politics

Mouffe makes the damaging claim that there is no political within the work of Hardt & Negri. She argues that the unitary nature of a political concept such as the multitude indicates a consensus which precludes politics. However, drawing from Deleuze & Guattari it is possible to refute this claim by pointing towards a new conception of the political around ‘rhizomatic’ praxis. This is a decentred and highly mobile form of political communicative action that is multiple and non-unitary.

Guattari argues that ‘molecular revolution’ is always on the fringes of a ‘molar’ structure. A proliferation of fringe groups, minorities and autonomist movements. These for Guattari constitute ‘fighting fronts’ that offer resistance to the ‘plane of organisaton’ of a state. Deleuze and Guattari talk about the radical political organisation of the creation of ‘nomadic’ war machines (i.e. aggressive, mobile, decentred organisations). Additionally the information technology revolution is pressed into the service of political communication.

But one question that does arise, and Mouffe highlights, is whether this form of politics is antagonistic (i.e. friend/enemy) or agonistic (i.e. we/they).

And therefore what effect does this have on the possibility of the political.

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