from Commonwealth

Hardt & Negri, p. 235-236

Revolt Breathes Life into History
In the course of this chapter we have outlined the major features of the emerging Empire, its composition o f state and non-state powers, its assemblages of governance, its internal contradictions, its geographical hierarchies, and its divisions o f power and labor. We should begin to suspect, though, when we keep hearing about the instability and uncertainly of the present global order, that maybe these are not just objective conditions but rather the result of conflicts and antagonisms that are not readily visible, at least not from the stand point of the powerful.

In fact, if we are to make any further headway in understanding the global order we will have to approach it from the other side, from the standpoint of resistance and revolt. This brings us back to the methodological principle we explored i n Part2, the axiom of freedom, which can be summarized i n the following way. Power can be exercised only over free subjects, and thus the resistance of those subjects is not really posterior to power but an expression of their freedom, which is prior. Revolt as an exercise of freedom not only precedes but also prefigures the forms that power w i l l take in reaction. If we are to understand better the nature o f the emerging Empire, then, we need to investigate the antagonisms, revolts,and rebellions that press against it. These struggles for freedom determine the entire development of the structures of power.



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