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Pauper into prince


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Pauper into prince

  1. 1. Pauper into Prince Machiavelli, manifestos, and the multitude Robbie Fordyce
  2. 2. “…I hope it will not be considered presumptuous for a man of very low and humble condition to dare to discuss princely government, and to lay down rules about it […] one needs to be a ruler to understand properly the character of the people and to be a man of the people to understand properly the character of rulers.” -- Machiavelli, The Prince, dedication.
  3. 3. Readings of The Prince The apparent text. The text as satire. The text as revolutionary tactic.
  4. 4. Althusser, Gramsci, and the Prince Gramsci Althusser
  5. 5. Classic manifestos The “Communist Manifesto” – Manifesto of the Communist Party. The “Hacker Manifesto” – The Conscience of a Hacker. The “Cyborg Manifesto”.
  6. 6. Similarities across various manifestos • Emerges from within the political/social category it seeks to discuss; usually populist. • Claims to represent a particular subject. • Proposes a new mode of production or a new epistemological outlook • Generally acts on the basis of problems of alienation/ideology, which it claims to be able to solve.
  7. 7. Compare with the „petition‟. • Petitions operate mainly through democratic party politics. • Petitions have no dialogues directly surrounding them. • Petitions are produced generally by NGOs, media outlets, political parties. • Petitions are similar, but not equivalent to the manifesto; perhaps better considered as a subordinate category.
  8. 8. My argument: • That the manifesto form is a primary means of political action online. • Temporary political mechanisms. • Facilitates discussion of network communication. • Can motivate offline politics.
  9. 9. Auxiliary aspects of my argument • No guarantees. • Problematic politics. • Highly temporary.
  10. 10. “Philosophy functions by intervening not in matter, or a living body, or in the class struggle, but in theory. […] It acts outside of itself through the result that it produces within itself.” -- Althusser, Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists, 106-107.