Machiavelli's Example, the Uprising of the Woolworkers

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)


In this paper I will focus on the introduction by Machiavelli of the 'perspective' in political knowledge. Concretely I point out its meaning, modalities and consequences by reading the Istorie Fiorentine, III, 13 in which Machiavelli recounts the social urban revolt of 1378, the Tumulto dei Ciompi. In this fragment he shows that the content of politics is the social question, the form is struggle and resistance, the grammatical subject/actor is the multitude of common people. He asserts that there are always two conflicting perspectives, and that everything is relative and changeable. This is not only a theory explaining revolution but it is itself revolutionary and leads to the procedure of the reversal as an exemplary tool. In the Machiavellian example the discontinuous view of time is essential, according to Negri, as also is the question of violence used (or not). Machiavelli's theory contains the enlightened radical presuppositions that all humans are equal, also in the fact that they all have particular ideas, which they like to express in different ways. As an object of knowledge and representation political affairs require imagination. This is associated with people's ambiguity and with the immanent ontology. To argue this interpretation, I will feed these proposals back to texts of Spinoza, Van den Enden and Koerbagh. I hold up the thesis that the radical enlightenment effectuated by these philosophers shows its political subversion and revolutionary potency in its analogy and familiarity with the mentioned texts of Machiavelli. The immanent thought of Spinoza makes itself clear while using the Machiavellian paradigm of time. The theory of the two conflicting perspectives shows its meanings and consequences in light of the distinction between the power of the multitude and the institutional power of authorities. This leads to reflections on the necessity of free thought and speech, and disobedience.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 2013
EvenementUnknown -
Duur: 1 jan 2013 → …


Periode1/01/13 → …


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