The Politics of Love and Evil in the Multitude
Michael Hardt

September 15 at 5:00 p.m.
York’s Centre for Film & Theatre, Burton Auditorium
York University, Toronto ON Canada

Read article from: YFile

"We need to recover the material and political sense of love, a love as strong as death. This does not mean that you cannot love your spouse, your mother and your child. It only means that your love does not end there, that love serves as the basis for our political projects in common and the construction of a new society. Without this love, we are nothing"

~ Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri

For all the great evil that is said to exist in the world today, how do we approach the question of love? For Michael Hardt, it is a political question, but one which has been hijacked by modern thought in three crucial ways. First, love has been corralled within the limits of the family, making it a private affair. Second, the various components of love, such as eros, friendship, and community, have been segregated as if they had nothing to do with one another. Finally, love has come to be understood as the unity that overcomes individual differences, which Hardt sees as particularly destructive to many political projects.

What we need today is to construct a new political concept of love. Love is experimentation with differences that extends across the social field. This is a notion of love, we will find, that political activists are already working with. It is only our theoretical understandings, perhaps, that are lagging behind.

Michael Hardt is a literary theorist and professor at Duke University. He is the co-author, with Antonio Negri, of the best-selling Empire (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000) and its follow-up Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (New York: Penguin Press, 2004).

He is also co-author of Labor of Dionysus: A Critique of the State-form (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), author of Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993) and co-editor of The Jameson Reader, (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000) and Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996).