Ontological constructivism : Negri and the philosophical foundations of a future communism
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As we find in Empire and Multitude, Antonio Negri's political project IS a thoroughly Marxist analysis and critique of global or late capitalism. By modifying and updating Marx's conceptual tools, he is able to provide a clear account of capitalism's processes, its expanding reach, and the revolutionary potential that functions as its motor. By turning to Negri's philosophical works, however, we find that this political analysis is founded on a series of concepts and theoretical positions. This paper attempts to clarify this theoretical foundation, highlighting in particular what I term "ontological constructivism" - Negri's radical reworking of traditional ontology. Opposing the long history of transcendence in epistemology and metaphysics (one that stretches from Plato to Kant), this reworked ontological perspective positions individuals - not god or some other transcendent source - as the primary agents responsible for molding the ontological landscape. Combined with his understanding of kairos (subjective, immeasurable time), ontological constructivism lays the groundwork for opposing transcendence and rethinking contemporary politics.