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Bad decisions, and occasionally genuinely tragic behaviour, abound elsewhere: in Poison a schoolgirl develops a fixation with creepy Mr Knox, a French and Spanish teacher who married one of his past pupils. In Escape Routes , the bond between the Zork a text based interactive fantasy video game obsessed narrator and her older, sensitive male babysitter is severed when the latter goes missing. I just find myself standing in the bathroom, my heart beating fast. The characters in Multitudes are struggling to escape their circumstances, but are for the most part determined to survive, to learn how to move forward into becoming the women they want to be.

We decide according to the lessons we want to learn, and all of us have already lived here many times over, learning new and different lessons, meeting over and over the same people in endlessly new configurations. Multitudes is a lively, humane book, gritty but wholehearted, and it offers an ultimately optimistic, progressive vision for the city of Belfast and the women who come from there, while never forgetting what has come before.

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For more information see our Cookie Policy. Multitudes by Lucy Caldwell review: gritty teenage tales of the Troubles Multitudes is a lively, humane book, gritty but wholehearted, and it offers an ultimately optimistic, progressive vision for Belfast and its women, writes Colin Barrett. Colin Barrett. Sat, May 7, , First published: Sat, May 7, , More from The Irish Times Books. Sponsored RDS members: driving change for good.


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Ducks, Newburyport: One extraordinary sentence 1, pages long. The multitude is a whole of singularities. On these premises we can immediately begin to trace an ontological definition of what is left of reality once the concept of the people is freed from transcendence. The way in which the concept of the people took shape within the hegemonic tradition of modernity is well known. The thought of Modernity operates in a twofold manner on these grounds: on the one hand, it abstracts the multiplicity of singularities and, in a transcendental manner, unifies it in the concept of the people; on the other hand, it dissolves the whole of singularities that constitute the multitude into a mass of individuals.

The modern theory of natural right, whether of empirical or idealist origin, is a theory of transcendence and of dissolution of the plane of immanence all the same. On the contrary, the theory of the multitude requires that the subjects speak for themselves, and that what is dealt with are unrepresentable singularities rather than individual proprietors. The multitude is a class concept. In fact, the multitude is always productive and always in motion.

When considered from a temporal point of view, the multitude is exploited in production; even when regarded from the spatial point of view, the multitude is exploited in so far as it constitutes productive society, social cooperation for production.

The class concept of multitude must be regarded differently from the concept of working class. The concept of the working class is a limited one both from the point of view of production since it essentially includes industrial workers , and from that of social cooperation given that it comprises only a small quantity of the workers who operate in the complex of social production. If we pose the multitude as a class concept, the notion of exploitation will be defined as exploitation of cooperation: cooperation not of individuals but of singularities, exploitation of the whole of singularities, of the networks that compose the whole and of the whole that comprises of the networks etc.

It is only so long as there are individuals who work that labour is measurable by the law of value. Even the concept of mass as an indefinite multiple of individuals is a concept of measure, or, rather, has been construed in the political economy of labour for this purpose. In this sense the mass is the correlative of capital as much as the people is that of sovereignty we need to add here that it is not by chance that the concept of the people is a measure, especially in the refined Keynesian and welfares version of political economy.

On the other hand, the exploitation of the multitude is incommensurable, in other words, it is a power that is confronted with singularities that are out of measure and with a cooperation that is beyond measure. If the historical shift is defined as epochal ontologically so , then the criteria or dispositifs of measure valid for an epoch will radically be put under question. We are living through this shift, and it is not certain whether new criteria and dispositifs of measure are being proposed.

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The multitude is a concept of power. Through an analysis of cooperation we can already reveal that the whole of singularities produces beyond measure. This power not only wants to expand, but, above all, it wants to acquire a body: the flesh of the multitude wants to transform itself into the body of the General Intellect.

The tendency, constitutive of the multitude, towards ever more immaterial and intellectual modes of productive expression wants to configure itself as the absolute recuperation of the General Intellect in living labour. It is still necessary to insist on the difference between the notion of multitude and that of people. The multitude can neither be grasped nor explained in contractarian terms once contractarianism is understood as dependent on transcendental philosophy rather than empirical experience. In the most general sense, the multitude is diffident of representation because it is an incommensurable multiplicity.

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The people is always represented as a unity, whilst the multitude is not representable, because it is monstrous vis a vis the teleological and transcendental rationalisms of modernity. In contrast with the concept of the people, the concept of multitude is a singular multiplicity, a concrete universal. The people constituted a social body; the multitude does not, because the multitude is the flesh of life. If on the one hand we oppose the multitude to the people, on the other hand we must put it in contrast with the masses and the plebs.

Multitudes Synonyms, Multitudes Antonyms |

Masses and plebs have often been terms used to describe an irrational and passive social force, violent and dangerous precisely by virtue of its being easily manipulated. On the contrary, the multitude is an active social agent, a multiplicity that acts. Unlike the people, the multitude is not a unity, but as opposed to the masses and the plebs, we can see it as something organised. In fact, it is an active agent of self-organisation. From the perspective of power, what to make of the multitude? Effectively, there is really nothing that power can make of it, since here the categories that power is interested in — the unity of the subject people , the form of its composition contract amongst individuals and the type of government monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, separate or combined — have been put aside.

The concept of multitude introduces us to a completely new world, inside a revolution in process.

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We cannot but imagine ourselves as monsters, within this revolution. Gargantua and Pantagruel, between the 16th and 17th century, in the middle of the revolution that construed modernity, are giants whose value is that of emblems as extreme figures of liberty and invention: they go through the revolution and propose the gigantic commitment to become free. Today we need new giants and new monsters who can join together nature and history, labour and politics, art and invention in order to show the new power attributed to humanity by the birth of the General Intellect, the hegemony of immaterial labour, the new abstract passions and the activities of the multitude.

We need a new Rabelais, or, better, many of them. To conclude we note again that the primary matter of the multitude is the flesh, i. In order to designate it we need the old and new term element, in the same sense as this term was used to speak of water, air, earth and fire, i. The flesh is in this sense an element of Being. Like the flesh, the multitude is oriented towards the fullness of life. The revolutionary monster that is named multitude and appears at the end of modernity continuously wants to transform our flesh into new forms of life.

We can explain the movement of the multitude from the flesh to new forms of life from another point of view. This is internal to the ontological shift and constitutes it. By this I mean that the power of the multitude, seen from the singularities that compose it, can show the dynamic of its enrichment, density and freedom.


The production of singularities does not simply amount to the global production of commodities and reproduction of society, but it is also the singular production of a new subjectivity. In fact, today in the mode of immaterial production that characterises our epoch it is very difficult to distinguish the production of commodities from the social reproduction of subjectivity, since there are neither new commodities without new needs nor reproduction of life without singular desire. What interests us at this point is to underline the global power of this process: in fact, it lays between globality and singularity according to a first rhythm synchronic of more or less intense connections rhyzomatic, as they have been called and another rhythm diachronic , of systoles and diastoles, of evolution and crisis, of concentration and dissipation of the flux.

In other words, the production of subjectivity, i. Of course, someone insinuates that the multitude is substantially an improposable concept, even a metaphor, because one can give unity to the multiple only through a more or less dialectical transcendental gesture just as philosophy has done from Plato to Hobbes and Hegel : even more so if the multitude i.

Multitudes como estrellas / Claudia Lorelle

But the objection is weak: here the dialectical Aufhebung is ineffective because the unity of the multiple is for the multitude the same as that of living, and living can hardly be subsumed by the dialectics. Moreover, the dispositif of the production of subjectivity that finds in the multitude a common figure, presents itself as collective praxis, as always renewed activity and constitutive of being.

We could never insist enough on the importance of the Spinozist presupposition when dealing with this theme. First of all, an entirely Spinozist theme is that of the body, and particularly of the powerful body. We dealt with this determination when we insisted on the multitude as power. Therefore, the body comes first both in the genealogy and in the tendency, both in the phases and in the result of the process of constitution of the multitude. But this is not enough. We must reconsider all the hitherto discussion from the point of view of the body, that is to say we must go back to points 1 , 2 , 3 of the preceding section, and complete them in this perspective.

When we consider bodies, we not only perceive that we are faced with a multitude of bodies, but we also understand that each body is a multitude. Intersecting the multitude, crossing multitude with multitude, bodies become blended, mongrel, hybrid, transformed; they are like sea waves, in perennial movement and reciprocal transformation.

There is no possibility for a body to be alone. It could not even be imagined.