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If Foucault Is Correct About The Multiple Sites Of Resistance, What Does This Tell Us About Hardt And Negri's Political Diagnosis In Empire?

3525 words - 14 pages

IntroductionFirstly, two foundations for this study must be established: the nature and constitution of Foucault's multiple sites of resistance that we might, as clearly as possible, understand the lens through which we must view the political diagnosis proposed by Hardt and Negri in Empire; and also what the political diagnosis of Hardt and Negri actually is. This then allows us to attempt to draw out what we see through this particular Foucauldian lens, evaluating what we see of Hardt and Negri's political diagnosis, that is, Empire, and how they propose that it be resisted and countered against the backdrop of our starting point: the assumption that Foucault is correct about the multiple points of resistance. Using this framework, we are able to gain relevant insights into the state of Empire that Hardt and Negri see as existing, giving us also a basis for critique. In summary, the outcome of our study will show that the multitude, the proletariat, because power relations are dependent upon multiple points of resistance (Foucault 1998:95) and any resistance must take this form, cannot resist on a unified global scale as Hardt and Negri envisage due to the incommunicability of separate struggles.Foucault's definition of power and resistanceFoucault (1998:92-96) states that the power is everywhere and because there is no centre or sovereign source from which it emanates power comes from everywhere. Resistance is also present wherever power is present, therefore as power is everywhere and coming from everywhere, so is resistance, this means that resistance is always internal to power, never being outside it. Power relations depend on multiple points of resistance for their very existence as mentioned above and they "play the role of adversary, target, support, or handle in power relations." As the points of resistance are present in all areas of the power network, there is no centre of resistance or sole source of all struggles. Instead there are what Foucault describes as a "plurality of resistances", each of which is unique in nature and purpose within the network of power relations. Resistance exists such that there are relations of resistance always deriving from but not necessarily inferior to relations of power meaning that as with relations of power, their distribution is idiosyncratic and without pattern "at times mobilizing groups or individuals" (1998:92) to a particular course of action. To make revolution possible the points of resistance would have to be brought together under a single unified strategy that was pursued by these amalgamated points as one single relationship of force.The political diagnosisHardt and Negri propose that the nature of the sovereignty that presides on a global scale has changed over the course of the latter half of the twentieth century to a state of sovereignty and global governance called Empire. As the globalisation of markets and production has taken place Empire has emerged as the "global order ......

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