To Think the New in the Absence of its Conditions: Althusser and Negri on the Philosophy of Primitive Accumulation
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Chapter 16 from Encountering Althusser : Politics and materialism in contemporary radical thought, edited by Katja Diefenbach, Sara R. Farris, Gal Kirn, and Peter D. Thomas.
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Louis Althusser and Antonio Negri are two of the most influential Marxist philosophers of the (late) twentieth century. Despite their influence, influence that extends into the same spheres of theoretical and philosophical discussion, there has been little discussion and debate of their relation, at least in the Anglo-American world. This is perhaps because the lines of demarcation would seem to be drawn up in advance: Althusser is the philosopher of history as a process without subjects or goals, while Negri is the philosopher of living labour as subjectivity. They even draw from different texts: for Althusser, at least initially, Marx’s philosophy of structural causality must be read between the lines of Capital; while, Negri turns to the Grundrisse, a series of notebooks written in a time of crisis, to find the force of antagonism. The combined effect of their seemingly opposed positions with respect to subjectivity, and their emphasis on...
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Read, J. (2013). To think the new in the absence of its conditions: Althusser and Negri and the philosophy of primitive accumulation. In K. Diefenbach, S.R. Farris, G. Kirn & P.D., JVE Thomas (Eds.). Encountering Althusser: Politics and Materialism in Contemporary Radical Thought (pp. 261–272). New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved March 4, 2020, from http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781501301414.ch-016