Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

‘This Is Not a Manifesto’

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An excerpt from Hardt and Negri’s 99-cent pamphlet on occupation and encampment movements, Declaration, is now available at Jacobin.

Movements of revolt and rebellion, we find, provide us the means not only to refuse the repressive regimes under which these subjective figures suffer but also to invert these subjectivities in figures of power. They discover, in other words, new forms of independence and security on economic as well as social and communicational terrains, which together create the potential to throw off systems of political representation and assert their own powers of democratic action. These are some of the accomplishments that the movements have already realized and can develop further.

To consolidate and heighten the powers of such subjectivities, though, another step is needed. The movements, in effect, already provide a series of constitutional principles that can be the basis for a constituent process. One of the most radical and far-reaching elements of this cycle of movements, for example, has been the rejection of representation and the construction instead of schemas of democratic participation. These movements also give new meanings to freedom, our relation to the common, and a series of central political arrangements, which far exceed the bounds of the current republican constitutions. These meanings are now already becoming part of a new common sense. They are foundational principles that we already take to be inalienable rights, like those that were heralded in the course of the eighteenth-century revolutions.

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