1 August 1933 |
|School||Autonomism · Marxism|
|Main interests||Political philosophy · Class conflict · Globalization|
|Notable ideas||Philosophy of globalization · multitude · theory of Empire|
Born in Padua, he became a political philosophy professor in his hometown university. Negri founded the Potere Operaio (Worker Power) group in 1969 and was a leading member of Autonomia Operaia. As one of the most popular theorists of Autonomism, he has published hugely influential books urging "revolutionary consciousness."
He was accused in the late 1970s of various charges including being the mastermind of the left-wing terrorist group Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse or BR), involved in the May 1978 assassination of Aldo Moro, two-time Prime Minister of Italy, and leader of the Christian-Democrat Party, among others. Voice evidence suggested Negri made a threatening phone call on behalf of the BR, but the court was unable to conclusively prove his ties. The question of Negri's complicity with left-wing terrorism is a controversial subject. He was indicted on a number of charges, including "association and insurrection against the state" (a charge which was later dropped), and sentenced for involvement in two murders.
Negri fled to France where, protected by the Mitterrand doctrine, he taught at the Université de Vincennes (Paris-VIII) and the Collège International de philosophie, along with Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. In 1997, after a plea-bargain that reduced his prison time from 30 to 13 years, he returned to Italy to serve the end of his sentence. Many of his most influential books were published while he was behind bars. He now lives in Venice and Paris with his partner, the French philosopher Judith Revel.
Early years 
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Antonio Negri was born in Padua, Italy in 1933. He began his career as a militant in the 1950s with the activist Roman Catholic youth organization Gioventú Italiana di Azione Cattolica (GIAC). He joined the Italian Socialist Party in 1956 and remained a member until 1963, while at the same time becoming more and more engaged throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s in Marxist movements.
He had a quick academic career at the University of Padua and was promoted to full professor at a young age in the field of "dottrina dello Stato" (State theory), a particularly Italian field that deals with juridical and constitutional theory. This might have been facilitated by his connections to influential politicians such as Raniero Panzieri and philosopher Norberto Bobbio, strongly engaged with the Socialist Party.
In the early 1960s Negri joined the editorial group of Quaderni Rossi, a journal that represented the intellectual rebirth of Marxism in Italy outside the realm of the communist party.
In 1969, together with Oreste Scalzone and Franco Piperno, Negri was one of the founders of the group Potere Operaio (Workers' Power) and the Operaismo (workerist) Communist movement. Potere Operaio disbanded in 1973 and gave rise to the Autonomia Operaia Organizzata (Organised Workers' Autonomy) movement.
Arrest and flight 
On 16 March 1978, Aldo Moro, former Italian prime minister and Christian Democrat party leader, was kidnapped in Rome by BR. His five-man body guard was murdered soon after. While they were holding him, forty-five days after the kidnapping, the Red Brigades called his family on the phone, taunting Moro's wife about her husband's impending death. Nine days later his body, shot in the head, was found dumped in a city lane. The conversation was recorded, and later broadcast and televised. A number of people who knew Negri and remembered his voice identified him as the probable author of the call, but the claim has been since dismissed: the author of the call was, in fact, Valerio Morucci.
On 7 April 1979, at the age of forty-six, Antonio Negri was arrested for his part in the Autonomy Movement, along with others (Emilio Vesce, Luciano Ferrari Bravo, Mario Dalmaviva, Lauso Zagato, Oreste Scalzone, Pino Nicotri, Alisa del Re, Carmela di Rocco, Massimo Tramonte, Sandro Serafini, Guido Bianchini, and others). Padova's Public Prosecutor Pietro Calogero accused those involved in the political wing of the Red Brigades, and thus behind left-wing terrorism in Italy. Negri was charged with a number of offenses, including leadership of the Red Brigades, masterminding the 1978 kidnapping and murder of the President of the Christian Democratic Party Aldo Moro, and plotting to overthrow the government. At the time, Negri was a political science professor at the University of Padua and visiting lecturer at Paris' École Normale Supérieure. The Italian public was shocked that an academic could be involved in such events.
A year later, Negri was exonerated from Aldo Moro's kidnapping after a leader of the BR, having decided to cooperate with the prosecution, testified that Negri "had nothing to do with the Red Brigades." The charge of 'armed insurrection against the State' against Negri was dropped at the last moment, and because of this he did not receive the 30-year plus life sentence requested by the prosecutor, but only 30 years for being the instigator of political activist Carlo Saronio's murder and having 'morally concurred' with Lombardini's murder during a failed bank robbery.
His philosopher peers saw little fault with Negri's activities. Michel Foucault commented, "Isn't he in jail simply for being an intellectual?" French philosophers Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze also signed in November 1977 L'Appel des intellectuels français contre la répression en Italie (The Call of French Intellectuals Against Repression in Italy) in protest against Negri's imprisonment and Italian anti-terrorism legislation.
In 1983, four years after his arrest and while he was still in prison awaiting trial, Negri was elected to the Italian legislature as a member for the Radical Party. Claiming parliamentary immunity, he was temporarily released and used his freedom to escape to France. There he remained for 14 years, writing and teaching, protected from extradition in virtue of the "Mitterrand doctrine". His refusal to stand trial in Italy was widely criticized by Italian media and by the Italian Radical Party, who had supported his candidacy to Parliament.[not in citation given]
In France, Negri began teaching at the Université de Paris VIII (Saint Denis) and the Collège International de Philosophie, founded by Jacques Derrida. Although the conditions of his residence in France prevented him from engaging in political activities, he wrote prolifically and was active in a broad coalition of left-wing intellectuals. In 1990 Negri with Jean-Marie Vincent and Denis Berger founded the journal Futur Antérieur. The journal ceased publication in 1998 but was reborn as Multitudes in 2000, with Negri as a member of the international editorial board.
Negri was released from prison in the spring of 2003, having written some of his most influential works while behind bars.
Political thought and writing 
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The book has had widespread influence in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, but many activists and scholars have been critical of the work.
In March 2008, Antonio Negri, who had been incarcerated from 1997 to 2003, abandoned procedures to obtain a visa for entry into Japan where he planned to give lectures on labor and other issues at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, Kyoto University, and the University of Tokyo. The Immigrant Control and Refugee Recognition Law bans entry to Japan by a foreign national if he has been given a prison sentence of one year or longer, except for political prisoners.
Occupation movements of 2011–2012 
In May 2012 Negri self-published (with Michael Hardt) an electronic pamphlet on the occupation and encampment movements of 2011–2012 called Declaration that argues the movement explores new forms of democracy. The introduction was published at Jacobin under the title "Take Up the Baton".
- "Prison, with its daily rhythm, with the transfer and the defense, does not leave any time; prison dissolves time: This is the principal form of punishment in a capitalist society."
- "Nothing in my books has any direct organizational relationship. My responsibility is totally as an intellectual who writes and sells books!"
- "...it is indeed necessary to recognize as a fact the emergence of the B.R. [Red Brigades] and NAP [Armed Proletariat Nuclei] as the tip of the iceberg of the Movement. This does not require one in any way to transform the recognition into a defense, and this does not in any way deny the grave mistake of the B.R. line. At one point I defined the B.R. as a variable of the movement gone crazy... I state again that terrorism can only be fought through an authentic mass political struggle and inside the revolutionary movement."
- In Empire the expansion of capitalism is supposed to be 'internal' rather than 'external,' in that it "subsumes not the noncapitalist environment but its own capitalist terrain—that is, that the subsumption is no longer formal but real."
Selected works (English) 
- Negri, Antonio. Insurgencies: Constituent Power and the Modern State, translated by Maurizia Boscagli. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Reprint by University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
- Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Commonwealth, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-674-03511-9
- The Cell (DVD of 3 interviews on captivity with Negri) Angela Melitopoulos, Actar, 2008.
- Antonio Negri, The Porcelain Workshop: For a New Grammar of Politics Translated by Noura Wedell. California: Semiotext(e) 2008.
- Antonio Negri, Political Descartes: Reason, Ideology and the Bourgeois Project. Translated by Matteo Mandarini and Alberto Toscano. New York: Verso, 2007.
- Antonio Negri, Negri on Negri: In Conversation with Anne Dufourmentelle London: Routledge, 2004.
- Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, New York: Penguin Press, 2004.
- Antonio Negri, Subversive Spinoza: (Un)Contemporary Variations, edited by Timothy S. Murphy, translated by Timothy S. Murphy, Michael Hardt, Ted Stolze, and Charles T. Wolfe, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004.
- Antonio Negri, Time for Revolution. Translated by Matteo Mandarini. New York: Continuum, 2003.
- Antonio Negri, The Labor of Job: The Biblical Text as a Parable of Human Labor, (Forward: Michael Hardt; Translator: Matteo Mandarini), Duke University Press, (begun 1983) 2009.
- Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire, Harvard University Press, 2000.
- Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio. Labor of Dionysus: A Critique of the State-Form. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.
- Negri, Antonio.The Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza's Metaphysics and Politics, translated by Michael Hardt. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.
- Antonio Negri, Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons on the Grundrisse, New York: Autonomedia, 1991.
- Antonio Negri, Revolution Retrieved: Selected Writings on Marx, Keynes, Capitalist Crisis and New Social Subjects, 1967–83, trans. Ed Emery and John Merrington, London: Red Notes, 1988. ISBN 0-906305-09-8
- Antonio Negri, The Politics of Subversion: A Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1989.
- Félix Guattari and Antonio Negri, Communists like us, 1985.
- Goodbye Mr. Socialism Antonio Negri in conversation with Raf Valvola Scelsi, Seven Stories Press, 2008.
- Casarino, Cesare and Negri, Antonio. In Praise of the Common. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
- Declaration, with Michael Hardt, 2012.
Online articles 
- Multitudes quarterly journal (in French)
- Archives of the journal Futur Antérieur (in French)
- English translations of recent articles by Antonio Negri from Generation Online
- Hardt & Negri (2002), "Marx's Mole is Dead" in Eurozine
- Between "Historic Compromise" and Terrorism: Reviewing the experience of Italy in the 1970s Le Monde Diplomatique, August–September 1998
- "Towards an Ontological Definition of Multitude" Article published in the French journal Multitudes.
- Extract from Negri and Hardt's Empire at Marxists.org
- "Take Up the Baton."
Further reading 
- The Cell (DVD of 3 interviews on captivity with Negri) Angela Melitopoulos, Actar, 2008.
- Empire and Imperialism: A Critical Reading of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Atilio Boron, London: Zed Books, 2005. (Publisher's announcement)
- Reading Capital Politically, Harry Cleaver. 1979, second ed. 2000.
- The Philosophy of Antonio Negri, vol. 1: Resistance in Practice, ed. Timothy S. Murphy and Abdul-Karim Mustapha. London: Pluto Press, 2005.
- The Philosophy of Antonio Negri, vol. 2: Revolution in Theory, ed. Timothy S. Murphy and Abdul-Karim Mustapha. London: Pluto Press, 2007.
- Dossier on Empire: a special issue of Rethinking Marxism, ed. Abdul-karim Mustapha. London: T&F/Routledge, 2002.
- Autonomia: Post-Political Politics, ed. Sylvere Lotringer & Christian Marazzi. New York: Semiotext(e), 1980, 2007. (Includes transcripts of Negri's exchanges with his accusers during his trial.) ISBN 1-58435-053-9, ISBN 978-1-58435-053-8. Available online at Semiotext(e)
- Antonio Negri Illustrated: Interview in Venice, Claudio Calia, Red Quill Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1-926958-13-2 (Publisher's announcement)
- "Antonio Negri Profile at the [[European Graduate School]]. Biography, bibliography, photos and video lectures." (in Englisch). Saas-Fee,Switzerland: European Graduate School. Retrieved 2010-12-12. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- Portelli, Alessandro (1985). "Oral Testimony, the Law and the Making of History: the 'April 7' Murder Trial". History Workshop Journal (Oxford University Press) 20 (1): 5–35. doi:10.1093/hwj/20.1.5.
- Drake, Richard. "The Red and the Black: Terrorism in Contemporary Italy", International Political Science Review / Revue internationale de science politique, Vol. 5, No. 3, Political Crises (1984), pp. 279–298. Quote: "The debate over Toni Negri's complicity in left-wing terrorism has already resulted in the publication of several thick polemical volumes, as well as a huge number of op-ed pieces."
- Windschuttle, Keith. "Tutorials in Terrorism" The Australian, 16 March 2005[dead link]
- "Tecniche d'indagine. Quando il telefono è un bluff". Panorama (in Italian). 29 September 2011.
- Lucio Di Marzo (10 December 2011). "Dopo il caso Battisti,ora Toni Negri spiega la filosofia ai francesi". Il Giornale (in Italian).
- Malcolm Bull (4 October 2001). "You can’t build a new society with a Stanley knife" (in Englisch). London Review of Books. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- Michel Foucault, "Le philosophe masqué" (in Dits et écrits, volume 4, Paris, Gallimard, 1994, p. 105)
- Revised bibliography of Deleuze
- Gilles Deleuze, Lettre ouverte aux juges de Negri, text n°20 in Deux régimes de fous, Mille et une nuits, 2003 (transl. of Lettera aperta ai giudici di Negri published in La Repubblica on 10 May 1979); Ce livre est littéralement une preuve d'innocence, text n°21 (op.cit.), originally published in Le Matin de Paris on 13 December 1979
- "Pannella: e' chiaro che mira all' amnistia". Corriere della Sera. 22 June 1997. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- The Independent, "Antonio Negri: The nostalgic revolutionary", 17 August 2004. Accessed 7/04/10
- See, for instance, The Topology of Being and the Geopolitics of Knowledge: Modernity, empire, coloniality by Nelson Maldonado Torres
- "Anti-globalism symbol Negri cancels Japan visit, visa problem". Associated Press. 20 March 2008.
- Gray, John (20 November 2009). "Commonwealth, By Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri / First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, By Slavoj Zizek" (in Englisch). The Independent. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- Preface to his The Savage Anomaly. The Power of Spinoza's Metaphysics and Politics. [A study "drafted by the light of midnight oil in prison" (ibid.), from April 1979 to April 1980]. Minneapolis/Oxford: University of Minnesota Press, 1981, p. xxiii
- Autonomia: Post-Political Politics, ed. Sylvere Lotringer & Christian Marazzi. New York: Semiotext(e), 1980, 2007.
- Hardt and Negri 2000, p. 272.
- "Title Unknown". Archived from the original on 25 October 2009.
Quotations related to Antonio Negri at Wikiquote