History/Etymology

Cheryl has some explanation of the name of the group on her blog, and I thought I would add more here:

“The poor is a subjugated, exploited figure, but nonetheless a figure of production…the poor is distinguished by…its indispensible presence in the production of a commonwealth…the poor itself is power…the multitude is the common name of the poor…the poor, every poor person, the multitude of poor people, have eaten up and digested the multitude of proletarians…”
H&N, Empire, pp. 156-158

“The closer we look at the lives and activity of the poor, the more we see how enormously creative and powerful they are…the poor embody the ontological condition not only of resistance but also of productive life itself….All of the multitude is productive and all of it is poor.”
–H&N: Multitude, pp. 129-133

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One thought on “History/Etymology

  1. Thanks for that elaboration …. and thanks for reminding me. And now that I revisit that italicized passage, I’d like to add to your quotes…
    “Only the poor lives radically the actual and present being, in destitution and suffering, and thus only the poor has the ability to renew being….” and building off of “The poor itself is power.” with “There is World Poverty, but there is above all World Possibility, and only the poor is capable of this.” (Empire, 157)

    Nothing to lose. The poor have nothing to lose, for they have so little already; there is little risk of failure as a result, and the potential that resides within that state of mind yields countless possibilities; and as academics, stepping outside of disciplinary boundaries and engaging the text opens up new associations and connections… the minor program “Ph.D in the Built Environment” exemplifies this.

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