The new communists of the commons: Twenty-first-century Proudhonists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

If Proudhonism in the nineteenth century was, as Marx argued, a petty bourgeois ideology, this paper argues that the new communism of the commons propounded by Badiou, Hardt and Negri, and 05i06ek is a twenty-first-century avatar of it. It speaks not for what Poulantzas called the ‘traditional petty bourgeoisie’, as Proudhon did, but for the ‘new petty bourgeoisie’ of ‘non-productive wage-earners’, which has also lately styled itself the ‘creative class’. A failure to comprehend the dynamics of capitalist accumulation and a general antipathy to any general organization of labour in society, and thus to any serious politics, are common to both. In addition, the paper shows that the protection of the cultural commons, the core of the project, is but a programme aiming for the continued reproduction of the creative class within capitalism. It is also prey to a series of misunderstandings – of the concept of the commons itself, of contemporary capitalism whose dynamics forms the backdrop of their project and
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-233
JournalInternational Critical Thought
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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bourgeoisie
twenty-first century
bourgeois ideology
capitalist society
wage earner
communism
nineteenth century
labor
organization
politics
Society

Keywords

  • commons
  • idea of communism
  • creative class
  • Proudhonism
  • Marxism

Cite this

The new communists of the commons: Twenty-first-century Proudhonists. / Desai, Radhika.

In: International Critical Thought, 2011, p. 204-233.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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