Paolo Virno: A Grammar of the Multitude.

Paolo Virno: A Grammar of the Multitude. For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life
Semiotext(e), Los Angeles/New York 2004

24: “I believe that in today’s forms of life one has a direct perception of the fact that the coupling of the terms public-private, as well as the coupling of the terms collective-individual, can no longer stand up on their own, that they are gasping for air, burning themselves out. This is just like what is happening in the world of contemporary production, provided that production – loaded as it is with ethos, culture, linguistic interaction – not give itself over to econometric analysis, but rather be understood as a broad-based experience of the world.”

40: “My thesis, in extremely concise form, is this: if the publicness of the intellect deos not yield to the realm of a public sphere, of a political space in which the many can tend to common affairs, then it produces terrifying effects. A publicness without a public sphere: here is the negative side – the evil, if you wish – of the experience of the multitude.”
41: “The general intellect, or public intellect, if it does not become a republic, a public sphere, a political community, drastically increases forms of submission.”

50: “It was not necessary to have read Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics to know that labor, political action, and intellectual reflection constituted three spheres supported by radically heterogeneous principles and criteria. /…/
So then, this ancient tripartioning which was still encysted into the realm of common sense of the generation which made its appearance in the public scene in the Sixties, is exaclty what has failed today.”

51: “In fact, political action now seems, in a disastrous way, like some superflous duplication of the experience of labor /…/ it follows them closely while offering a poorer, cruder and more simplistic version of these procedures and stylistic elements.”
67: “The peculiar publicness of the Intellect /…/ manifests itself indirectly within the sphere of the State by way of a hypertrophic growth of the administrative apparatus. The administration, and no longer the political-parliamentary system, is the heart of ‘stateness’ /…/ because the administration represents an authoritarian coalescence of the general intellect, the point of fusion between knowledge and control /…/ In short, we no longer face the well-known processes of rationalization of the State; on the contrary, we must acknowledge the achieved statization [statizzazione] of the Intellect which has occured.”

52-53: “The performing arts […] have indeed a strong affinity with politics. Performing artists – dancers, play-actors, musicians, and the like – need an audience to show their virtuosity, just as acting men need the presence of others before whom they can appear; both need a publicly organized space for their ‘work’, and both depend upon others for the performance itself.” (Hanna Arendt, Between Past and Future)

56: “The speaker alone – unlike the pianist, the dancer or the actor – can do without a script or a score.”
66: “While the virtuoso in the strictest sense of the word (the pianist, the dancer, for instance) makes use of a well defined score, that is to say, of an end product in its most proper and restricted sense, the post-Fordist virtuosos, ‘performing’ their own linguistic faculties, can not take for granted a determined end product.”
41: “The sharing of linguistic and cognitive habits is the constituent element of post-Fordist process of labor. All the workers enter inte production in as much as they are speaking-thinking.”
56: “contemporary production becomes ‘virtuosic’ (and thus political) precisely because it includes within itself linguistic experience as such. If this is so, the matrix of post-Fordism can be found in the industrial sectors in which there is ‘production of communication by means of communication’; hence, in the culture industry.”

102: “all of post-Fordist labor-power can be described using the categories with which Marx analyzed the ‘industrial reserve army’, that is, unemployment.”
103: “there is no substantial difference between employment and unemployment. It could be said that: unemplyment is non-rumerated labor and labor, in turn, is remunerated unemployment.”
102: “For the post-Fordist multitude every qualitative difference between labor time and non-labor time falls short.

61: “My hypothesis is that the communication industry (or rather, the spectacle, or even yet, the culture industry) is an industry among others, with its specific techniques, its particular procedures, its peculiar profits, etc.; on the other hand, it also plays the role of industry of the means of production. /…/
The culture industry produces (regenerates, experiments with) communicative procedures, which are thendestined to function also as means of production in the more traditional sectors of our contemporary economy. This is the role of the communication industry, once post-Fordism has become fully entrenched: an industry of the means of communication.”
60-61: “When money mirrors in itself the value of commodities, thus showing what society has already produced, the spectacle exposes in a separate form that which the aggregate of society can be and do.”

85: “Nihilism is a praxis which no longer enjoys a solid foundation, one made up of support structures and protective practices upon which one can rely.”
86: “Opportunists are those who confront a flow of ever-interchangeable possibilities, making themselves available to the greater number of these, yielding to the nearest one, and then quickly swerving from one to another.”
87: “Cynics recognize /…/ both the preeminent role played by certain cognitive premises as well as the simultaneous absence of real equivalents.”

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