Multitudes 14 on the US-Europe Rift

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* Special Issue: Multitude #14: the US-Europe Rift

URL = The minor is on Argentina


Michel Bauwens, 2003:

Article 1: Yann-Moulier Boutang on the US-Euro rift

Boutang argues that Europe has a built in tendency towards federalism, even if it is not formally recognized. He believes that the rift is not short-term because:

   - 1) the massive mobilization against the 2nd Iraq war showed a unified European public opinion, which is also against neoliberalism, considered to be a 
US project
   - 2) because the Euro forces Europe to compete with the dollar on the international financial market, creating unwelcome constraints for the US

YMB thinks the hawks are a long-term phenomenom, not limited to the fundamentalists, and their enemy is in fact precisely a strong Europe, which would act differently

Article 2: Bifo

Bifo is more radical: he says we are facing a form of Nazi-liberalism, with power having been taken over by a criminal gang. He deplores the powerlessness of the movement after 9/11, which could not stop the war. Anti-top demonstrations are henceforth useless, since the power is now one of American weapons only. Europe as a nation-state project is dead, and should be replaced by a network of networks, the reign of minorities, since networks have no majorities.

- “On ne peut pas penser que la démocratie du future consiste seulement dans l’application du principe ‘un homme, une voix” à l'échelle planétaire .. parce que la formation de la volonté politique planétaire doit tenir compte des différences, des écarts irréductibles. Démocratie globale veut dire démultiplication des espaces de décision, fractalisation de la volonté politique. Des communautés minuscules doivent être mise en situation de s’autogouverner comme reseaux independants et en même temps connectés qui constituent la société." (Bifo, M14, p.28)__

Article 3: Daniel Cohn-Bendit on Europe

The problem today is that national deficits are no longer balanced by the movements of money, since the Euro has taken over. Thus deficits have to be funded by borrowing Euros, but this makes it in effect a reserve currency, directly competing with the dollar. We are entering an era of inevitable Euro-Atlantic stress, also because Europe has to develop its own positive policies, and merely say no to the US.

Article 4: Bronzini on social rights

The legitimacy of the nation-state was obtained through social protection, that of Europe can only be created by a social wage (Habermas).

There were three phases in the construction of a social Europe:

   - 1) embedded liberalism: social rights are enshrined in every state
   - 2) crisis: the market subverts the possibility of social policy (Maastricht)
   - 3) re-embedding liberalism: social security embedded in the European constitutional system

Article 5: Negri and Hardt

Negri notes that, though conditions now surpass the ability of nation-states to manage them on their own, that all models to respond to respond to it are in crisis: i.e. American unilateralism, UN multilateralism, and the EU's multilevel functionality ...

Hardt writes that, for a strategy of the multitudes to become possible, ie. cooperating singularities, the social classes must be able to cooperate. Not only have new technologies given new possibilities, but the forms of immaterial labour are transforming all classes, including agriculture.


- "Il y a aujourd'hui une tendance au devenir commun du travail et ce devenir a lieu sous l'hégémonie du travail immatériel. Bien que l'agriculture reste dominante en termes quantitatifs et que le nombre de travailleurs industriels n'a pas baissé (globalement), les qualités et les conditions du travail immatériel tendent à transformer toutes les autres formes de travail."

Hardt insists that the multitude is a singular term, because, despite its diversity, it has the capacity to take decisions.

Article 6: Neyrat

The US are in fact strongly opposed to globalisation:

   - 1) they want narcissistic exemption from global rules
   - 2) they cannot fund the necessary force level and are too financially dependent on the outside world
   - 3) they do not have a universal civilisation outside of consumerism

- Quote: “L’auto-organisation est fonction d’une hetero-constitution: l’organisation du Soi est ouverture sur un environnement qui constitue notre intérieur même … (Edgar Morin, La Méthode) .. En s’auto-organisant, une societe introjecte un exterieur qu’elle sélectionne et c 'est cette sélection qu'opère sa fermeture … La boucle est un processus constituant d’ouverture/fermeture. Une ‘boucle bloquée' ne signifie rien d’autre que le dépérissement d’un système.”

The mistake of Europe is that it takes problems from the inner system, which create insecurity, as a problem from outside, i.e. the migrants. Neyrat argues that a social wage would create the conditions for a create auto-organizing Europe which would become post-imperial.

- L’Europe n’est pas un Empire, ni une fédération d'identités, mais une fédération d'étrangetés.__

- _Est European tout resident d’Europe__

- La résidence européenne est une forme d’inclusion; un résidence qui se caractérise par une forme de vie__

- Toute forme de vie a droit à un Revenu Social Garanti, qui lui donne les moyens d’affirmer sa puissance et de participer à l'auto-organisation europeenne__

- Doit y être possible tout ce qui augmente la puissance d'être, interdit tout ce qui la diminue: identifications proto-typiques, accumulations productivistes, consommations désastreuses, formes de représentations politiques mortifères__