Hardt and Negri on postmodernisation
This chapter considers the way in which Hardt and Negri carry Deleuze and Guattari's self-emancipatory radicalism into the neoliberal age. It shows that Hardt and Negri build on Deleuze and Guattari's conception of binary opposition between the productive forces of desire and the reactive forces of control to suggest that the reactive capitalist order of Empire is totally dependent on the emancipatory flows of the proletarian multitude. Hardt and Negri describe postmodernisation in terms of the rise of immaterial production; that is, the rise of the production of services and affects, and ultimately biology and social life itself. The chapter focuses on the critical importance of intellectual labour in the production of revolutionary forms of social life; Hardt and Negri are drawn towards the relatively free technicians of social production, a kind of intellectual-technical middle class. The intellectual-technical middle class, through its expert knowledge of social production, can propagate the deterritorialising communication and information networks that favour "cooperative productivity".