If Foucault is correct about the multiple sites of resistance, what does this tell us about Hardt and Negri's political diagnosis in Empire?

Essay by quicksilver81University, Bachelor's May 2003

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Firstly, two foundations for this study must be established: the nature and constitution of Foucault's multiple sites of resistance that we might, as clearly as possible, understand the lens through which we must view the political diagnosis proposed by Hardt and Negri in Empire; and also what the political diagnosis of Hardt and Negri actually is. This then allows us to attempt to draw out what we see through this particular Foucauldian lens, evaluating what we see of Hardt and Negri's political diagnosis, that is, Empire, and how they propose that it be resisted and countered against the backdrop of our starting point: the assumption that Foucault is correct about the multiple points of resistance. Using this framework, we are able to gain relevant insights into the state of Empire that Hardt and Negri see as existing, giving us also a basis for critique. In summary, the outcome of our study will show that the multitude, the proletariat, because power relations are dependent upon multiple points of resistance (Foucault 1998:95) and any resistance must take this form, cannot resist on a unified global scale as Hardt and Negri envisage due to the incommunicability of separate struggles.

Foucault's definition of power and resistance

Foucault (1998:92-96) states that the power is everywhere and because there is no centre or sovereign source from which it emanates power comes from everywhere. Resistance is also present wherever power is present, therefore as power is everywhere and coming from everywhere, so is resistance, this means that resistance is always internal to power, never being outside it. Power relations depend on multiple points of resistance for their very existence as mentioned above and they "play the role of adversary, target, support, or handle in power relations." As the points of resistance are present in all areas...