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Description de l’éditeur
Factory of Strategy is the last of Antonio Negri's major political works to be translated into English. Rigorous and accessible, it is both a systematic inquiry into the development of Lenin's thought and an encapsulation of a critical shift in Negri's theoretical trajectory.
Lenin is the only prominent politician of the modern era to seriously question the "withering away" and "extinction" of the state, and like Marx, he recognized the link between capitalism and modern sovereignty and the need to destroy capitalism and reconfigure the state. Negri refrains from portraying Lenin as a ferocious dictator enforcing the proletariat's reappropriation of wealth, nor does he depict him as a mere military tool of a vanguard opposed to the Ancien Régime. Negri instead champions Leninism's ability to adapt to different working-class configurations in Russia, China, Latin America, and elsewhere. He argues that Lenin developed a new political figuration in and beyond modernity and an effective organization capable of absorbing different historical conditions. He ultimately urges readers to recognize the universal application of Leninism today and its potential to institutionally—not anarchically—dismantle centralized power.
These lessons on Lenin by Negri (Empire, with Michael Hardt) are taken from lectures that the Italian Marxist philosopher gave in the 1970s; they focus on Leninism, rather than on Lenin himself, taking issues raised by socialist debates in pre-revolutionary Russian and applying them to the contemporary conjuncture. Negri meticulously examines key texts by Lenin, including What Is to Be Done? (1902) and The State and the Revolution (1917), comparing them with the works of Marx and quoting long passages from both thinkers. Negri doesn't editorialize much, instead providing clear explanations of Lenin's advice to activists whether Lenin followed his own advice or not. Statements from Lenin and Marx about "current" situations and "today's times" resonate with circumstances in the present. Anticapitalism did not begin or end with Lenin: Marx wrote of class struggle half a century earlier, and though the terms have shifted (from "proletariat" vs. "bourgeois" to "the 99%" vs. "the 1%"), the battle continues, according to Negri.