Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hardt and Negri and love in Commonwealth

Jodi Dean has an interesting post up on Hardt and Negri's Commonwealth, which most of you know I read and reviewed for Radical Philosophy Review (thanks again, Peter). In her post, Dean makes some arguments/gut reactions about using love, joy, etc as political theoretical categories. I don't necessary share those, but it provides a decent place for me to begin some public thoughts on their categories of love.

One of the things you'll notice in Commonwealth is a bizarrely Heidegger-esque language about true forms of love from false forms of love. While the word authentic itself isn't thrown around, it certainly feels like what Adorno once called the jargon of authenticity. I don't want to get too much into all of this now (I know their response would probably be they aren't be Heideggerians, but Spinozians, maybe I'll try to spell this out in more detail later). But I think there is a large and useful literature base on the political question of love, particularly in the literature base of radical women of color. What is odd is that this base, some of which has been cited in previous discussions of love, is missing from Commonwealth's discussion of love.

However, the most interesting criticism of Hardt and Negri's notion of love comes from Ranciere's interview "People or Multitude". In it Ranciere argues that political subjectivity comes not from love, but from apparatuses of litigation against specific torts. Negation serves an important process of producing radical political subjectivities.

Anyway, I haven't really said much. Hopefully I will get to a more fully formed post later.