chapter  4
19 Pages

The multitude and localized protest: the example of the Quebec student strike

ByPhilippe Fournier Reply by Keir Milburn

Hardt and Negri’s trilogy has garnered much critical attention. Throughout Empire (2000), Multitude (2004), Commonwealth (2009), and more recently The Declaration (2012), the authors lay out expansive and provocative theses about democracy, resistance, and immaterial labour on a global scale. Their main proposition is that a new diagram of power, which captures and monetizes human endeavor and imagination, is being reproduced through the daily operations of late capitalism. Their other closely related proposition is that this new diagram of power is premised on the creative energies and on the organizational and communicational innovations of a global yet differentiated subject, the multitude. The latter’s revolutionary potential resides in the free and democratic use of common intellectual resources such as images, affects, and ideas, which are currently being appropriated and processed in property laws and into an affect-laden consumer culture.