Negri and Marx on Language and Activism

Brett Levinson

in Market and Thought

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223848
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235421 | DOI:
Negri and Marx on Language and Activism

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Mainly through a reading of Antonio Negri's Marx beyond Marx and Marx's Grundrisse, the chapter responds to a question that has not yet been explicitly posed: why should language as cast by the Heideggerian and deconstructionist tradition—language as irreducible to communication and representation, hence subjectivity, utility, and all “cultural constructionisms” — matter to Marxism? It notes that because the state form remains a power, leftist activism must continue to attend to labor needs. Yet such activism cannot actually be practiced without care for language. The relation of labor and language is essential to Marxism since there is no labor without language. Furthermore, this chapter argues that no deployment of Marxism can today logically remain faithful to its task—the disruption of capital or, for Negri, the organizational activity that discloses capital as a contradiction—and refuse to address deconstruction's concern for language, and vice versa.

Keywords: Negri; Marx; Grundrisse; deconstruction; Marxism; language; labor

Chapter.  8577 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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