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Authors: Professor Michael Hardt,Antonio Negri

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Empire

BOOK: Empire
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EMPIRE

E M P I R E

Michael Hardt

Antonio Negri

H A R V A R D U N I V E R S I T Y P R E S S

Cambridge, Massachusetts

London, England

2000

http://avaxho.me/blogs/ChrisRedfield

Copyright ᭧ 2000 by the President and Fellows ofHarvard College

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States ofAmerica

First Harvard University Press paperback edition, 2001

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Hardt, Michael.

Empire / Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.

p.

cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-674-25121-0 (cloth)

ISBN 0-674-00671-2 (pbk.)

1. Imperialism.

I. Negri, Antonio, 1933–

.

II. Title.

JC359.H279

2000

325Ј.32Ј09045—dc21

99-39619

Fourth printing, 2001

Every tool is a weapon ifyou hold it right.

Ani DiFranco

Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for

comes about in spite oftheir defeat, and then it turns out not to be

what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant

under another name.

William Morris

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S

We would like to thank the friends and colleagues

who read parts ofthis manuscript and from whose comments we

benefited: Robert Adelman, E

´ tienne Balibar, Denis Berger, Yann

Moulier Boutang, Tom Conley, ArifDirlik, Luciano Ferrari-

Bravo, David Harvey, Fred Jameson, Rebecca Karl, Wahneema

Lubiano, Saree Makdisi, Christian Marazzi, Valentin Mudimbe,

Judith Revel, Ken Surin, Christine Thorsteinsson, Jean-Marie

Vincent, Paolo Virno, Lindsay Waters, and Kathi Weeks.

The quote by Ani DiFranco on page v is from ‘‘My IQ,’’

copyright ᭧ 1993 Righteous Babe Music, all rights reserved, and

is used by permission.

C O N T E N T S

Preface

xi

PART 1

The Political Constitution ofthe Present

1

1.1 World Order

3

1.2 Biopolitical Production

22

1.3 Alternatives within Empire

42

PART 2

Passages ofSovereignty

67

2.1 Two Europes, Two Modernities

69

2.2 Sovereignty ofthe Nation-State

93

2.3 The Dialectics ofColonial Sovereignty

114

2.4 Symptoms ofPassage

137

2.5 Network Power: U.S. Sovereignty and the New Empire

160

2.6 Imperial Sovereignty

183

INTERMEZZO: COUNTER-EMPIRE

205

PART 3

Passages ofProduction

219

3.1 The Limits ofImperialism

221

3.2 Disciplinary Governability

240

3.3 Resistance, Crisis, Transformation

260

3.4 Postmodernization, or The Informatization of Production

280

3.5 Mixed Constitution

304

3.6 Capitalist Sovereignty, or Administering the Global

Society ofControl

325

x

C O N T E N T S

PART 4

The Decline and Fall ofEmpire

351

4.1 Virtualities

353

4.2 Generation and Corruption

370

4.3 The Multitude against Empire

393

Notes

415

Index

473

P R E F A C E

Empire is materializing before our very eyes. Over the

past several decades, as colonial regimes were overthrown and then

precipitously after the Soviet barriers to the capitalist world market

finally collapsed, we have witnessed an irresistible and irreversible

globalization ofeconomic and cultural exchanges. Along with the

global market and global circuits ofproduction has emerged a global

order, a new logic and structure ofrule—in short, a new form of

sovereignty. Empire is the political subject that effectively regulates

these global exchanges, the sovereign power that governs the world.

Many argue that the globalization ofcapitalist production and

exchange means that economic relations have become more autono-

mous from political controls, and consequently that political sover-

eignty has declined. Some celebrate this new era as the liberation

ofthe capitalist economy from the restrictions and distortions that

political forces have imposed on it; others lament it as the closing

ofthe institutional channels through which workers and citizens

can influence or contest the cold logic ofcapitalist profit. It is

certainly true that, in step with the processes ofglobalization, the

sovereignty of nation-states, while still effective, has progressively

declined. The primary factors of production and exchange—

money, technology, people, and goods—move with increasing ease

across national boundaries; hence the nation-state has less and less

power to regulate these flows and impose its authority over the

economy. Even the most dominant nation-states should no longer

be thought ofas supreme and sovereign authorities, either outside

or even within their own borders.
The decline in sovereignty of nation-

states, however, does not mean that sovereignty as such has declined.
1

xii

P R E F A C E

Throughout the contemporary transformations, political controls,

state functions, and regulatory mechanisms have continued to rule

the realm ofeconomic and social production and exchange. Our

basic hypothesis is that sovereignty has taken a new form, composed

ofa series ofnational and supranational organisms united under a

single logic ofrule. This new global form ofsovereignty is what

we call Empire.

The declining sovereignty ofnation-states and their increasing

inability to regulate economic and cultural exchanges is in fact one

ofthe primary symptoms ofthe coming ofEmpire. The sovereignty

ofthe nation-state was the cornerstone ofthe imperialisms that

European powers constructed throughout the modern era. By ‘‘Em-

pire,’’ however, we understand something altogether different from

‘‘imperialism.’’ The boundaries defined by the modern system of

nation-states were fundamental to European colonialism and eco-

nomic expansion: the territorial boundaries ofthe nation delimited

the center ofpower from which rule was exerted over external

foreign territories through a system of channels and barriers that

alternately facilitated and obstructed the flows of production and

circulation. Imperialism was really an extension ofthe sovereignty

ofthe European nation-states beyond their own boundaries. Even-

tually nearly all the world’s territories could be parceled out and

the entire world map could be coded in European colors: red for

British territory, blue for French, green for Portuguese, and so

forth. Wherever modern sovereignty took root, it constructed a

Leviathan that overarched its social domain and imposed hierarchical

territorial boundaries, both to police the purity ofits own identity

and to exclude all that was other.

The passage to Empire emerges from the twilight of modern

sovereignty. In contrast to imperialism, Empire establishes no terri-

torial center ofpower and does not rely on fixed boundaries or

barriers. It is a
decentered
and
deterritorializing
apparatus ofrule that progressively incorporates the entire global realm within its open,

expanding frontiers. Empire manages hybrid identities, flexible hier-

archies, and plural exchanges through modulating networks ofcom-

P R E F A C E

xiii

mand. The distinct national colors ofthe imperialist map ofthe

world have merged and blended in the imperial global rainbow.

The transformation of the modern imperialist geography of

the globe and the realization ofthe world market signal a passage

within the capitalist mode ofproduction. Most significant, the

spatial divisions ofthe three Worlds (First, Second, and Third) have

been scrambled so that we continually find the First World in the

Third, the Third in the First, and the Second almost nowhere at

all. Capital seems to be faced with a smooth world—or really, a

world defined by new and complex regimes of differentiation and

homogenization, deterritorialization and reterritorialization. The

construction ofthe paths and limits ofthese new global flows has

been accompanied by a transformation of the dominant productive

processes themselves, with the result that the role ofindustrial factory

labor has been reduced and priority given instead to communicative,

cooperative, and affective labor. In the postmodernization of the

global economy, the creation ofwealth tends ever more toward

what we will call biopolitical production, the production ofsocial

life itself, in which the economic, the political, and the cultural

increasingly overlap and invest one another.

Many locate the ultimate authority that rules over the processes

ofglobalization and the new world order in the United States.

Proponents praise the United States as the world leader and sole

superpower, and detractors denounce it as an imperialist oppressor.

Both these views rest on the assumption that the United States has

simply donned the mantle ofglobal power that the European nations

have now let fall. If the nineteenth century was a British century,

then the twentieth century has been an American century; or really,

ifmodernity was European, then postmodernity is American. The

most damning charge critics can level, then, is that the United

States is repeating the practices ofold European imperialists, while

proponents celebrate the United States as a more efficient and more

benevolent world leader, getting right what the Europeans got

wrong. Our basic hypothesis, however, that a new imperial form

ofsovereignty has emerged, contradicts both these views.
The United

xiv

P R E F A C E

States does not, and indeed no nation-state can today, form the center of
an imperialist project.
Imperialism is over. No nation will be world leader in the way modern European nations were.

The United States does indeed occupy a privileged position

in Empire, but this privilege derives not from its similarities to the

old European imperialist powers, but from its differences. These

differences can be recognized most clearly by focusing on the prop-

erly imperial (not imperialist) foundations of the United States

constitution, where by ‘‘constitution’’ we mean both the
formal

constitution,
the written document along with its various amend-

ments and legal apparatuses, and the
material constitution,
that is, the continuous formation and re-formation of the composition of social

forces. Thomas Jefferson, the authors of the
Federalist,
and the other ideological founders of the United States were all inspired by the

ancient imperial model; they believed they were creating on the

other side ofthe Atlantic a new Empire with open, expanding

frontiers, where power would be effectively distributed in networks.

This imperial idea has survived and matured throughout the history

ofthe United States constitution and has emerged now on a global

scale in its fully realized form.

We should emphasize that we use ‘‘Empire’’ here not as a

metaphor,
which would require demonstration ofthe resemblances

between today’s world order and the Empires ofRome, China,

the Americas, and so forth, but rather as a
concept,
which calls

primarily for a theoretical approach.2 The concept ofEmpire is

characterized fundamentally by a lack of boundaries: Empire’s rule

has no limits. First and foremost, then, the concept of Empire posits

a regime that effectively encompasses the spatial totality, or really

that rules over the entire ‘‘civilized’’ world. No territorial boundaries

limit its reign. Second, the concept ofEmpire presents itselfnot as

a historical regime originating in conquest, but rather as an order

that effectively suspends history and thereby fixes the existing state

of affairs for eternity. From the perspective of Empire, this is the

way things will always be and the way they were always meant to

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