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Multitudes of people have, even in this short interval, come from the hills and fastnesses in which they had sought refuge for years, and have reoccupied their ancient deserted villages. The islands, rocks and cliffs and some inland lochs are frequented in multitudes by a great variety of water-fowl. Just as the inhabitants of each town honoured their tutelar deity by solemn processions to his temple, so, at the period of the Olympic games, the temple of Zeus at Olympia formed the goal of multitudes from every Hellenic country.

The ample revenues which his predecessors had consumed in pomp and luxury he diligently applied to the establishment of hospitals; and the multitudes who were supported by his charity preferred the eloquent discourses of their benefactor to the amusements of the theatre or of the circus.

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The generally recognized principal Avatars do not, however, by any means constitute the only occasions of a direct intercession of the deity in worldly affairs, but - in the same way as to this day the eclipses of the sun and moon are ascribed by the ordinary Hindu to these luminaries being temporarily swallowed by the dragon Rahu or Graha, " the seizer" - so any uncommon occurrence would be apt to be set down as a special manifestation of divine power; and any man credited with exceptional merit or achievement, or even remarkable for some strange incident connected with his life or death, might ultimately come to be looked upon as a veritable incarnation of the deity, capable of influencing the destinies of man, and might become an object of local adoration or superstitious awe and propitiatory rites to multitudes of people.

An oyster in this condition was kept in an aquarium by itself for a fortnight, and after that period its genital organs were found to contain multitudes of spermatozoa in all stages of development. With such vast multitudes to relieve, it proved impracticable to exact the labor which was required as a test of destitution. Dorpat was taken, but countless multitudes were lost in vain before Riga.

They lived surrounded by multitudes of semi-servile coloni, or farmers, bound to the soil, of actual slaves, and of buccelarei, who were free swordsmen to whom they gave rations buccelatwm, soldiers bread, or buccella, a portion. In the emperor Constantine the Great caused multitudes of Frankish prisoners to be thrown to the beasts here, and in made a similar spectacle of the captive Bructeri. Multitudes of such hairs on the branches of the roots cause the entry of great quantities of water, which by a subsequent similar osmotic action accumulates in the cortex of the roots. His fears and prejudices melted away as he discerned that this was the very method needed for reaching the multitudes living in almost heathen darkness.

In other parts of the world they have been recorded in multitudes that obscured passers-by on the other side of the street. The suffering Magyar multitudes eagerly responded to these seductive teachings, and the result was a series of dangerous popular risings the worst in and in which heresy and communism were inextricably intermingled. The didactic element was no longer in sole possession of the field, for the inrush of multitudes to the Christian faith and the building of large churches necessitated a return to the evangelical or proclamatory type of sermon.

I are said to be held fast lest they should break in elemental fury on land and sea, are not let loose or referred to in the subsequent narrative, and also from the mention of the , Israelites of the twelve tribes, to whom no further reference is made; for these can no more be identified with the countless multitudes in vii. This is a prejudice of the same kind with the last, arising from our experience of bodies consisting of immense multitudes of atoms. There seems in fact nothing to prevent us from holding that while natural laws express the average tendencies of multitudes they give no clue to the movement of individuals.

With its principle of Christian brotherhood, its emphasis upon the equality of all believers in the sight of God, and its preaching of a new social order to be set up at the return of Christ, it appealed strongly to multitudes , particularly of the poorer classes.


Here his evangelistic fervour attracted multitudes to his preaching, including Roman Catholics, but at the same time excited the anger of his opponents; and the result of their opposition was that after a ministry of fifteen months he was commanded by the civil authorities 27th of September to leave Erfurt within forty-eight hours. It was not merely for conquest and tribute that the fierce Mexicans ravaged the neighbourlands, but they had a stronger motive than either in the desire to obtain multitudes of prisoners whose hearts were to be torn out by the sacrificing priests to propitiate a pantheon of gods who well personified their bloodthirsty worshippers.

A statue of the Virgin stands on a rock projecting above the grotto, the walls of which are covered with crutches atld other votive offerings; the spot, which is resorted to by multitudes of pilgrims from all quarters of the world, is marked by a basilica built above the grotto and consecrated in Of the multitudes of cases of mimicry between different species of Lepidoptera, a few only can be selected for description.

The contemporary ecclesiastics recorded with wonder many instances of their clemency: the Christian churches saved from ravage; protection granted to vast multitudes both of pagans and Christians who took refuge therein; vessels of gold and silver which were found in a private dwelling, spared because they "belonged to St. Immediately on its establishment in the Third Order spread with incredible rapidity all over Italy and throughout western Europe, and embraced multitudes of men and women of all ranks from highest to lowest.

The spiritual princes, besides displaying all the faults of the secular princes, had special defects of their own; and as simony was universally practised, the lives of multitudes of the inferior clergy were a public scandal, while their services were cold and unimpressive. The production of singularities does not simply amount to the global production of commodities and reproduction of society, but it is also the singular production of a new subjectivity. In fact, today in the mode of immaterial production that characterises our epoch it is very difficult to distinguish the production of commodities from the social reproduction of subjectivity, since there are neither new commodities without new needs nor reproduction of life without singular desire.

What interests us at this point is to underline the global power of this process: in fact, it lays between globality and singularity according to a first rhythm synchronic of more or less intense connections rhyzomatic, as they have been called and another rhythm diachronic , of systoles and diastoles, of evolution and crisis, of concentration and dissipation of the flux. In other words, the production of subjectivity, i. Of course, someone insinuates that the multitude is substantially an improposable concept, even a metaphor, because one can give unity to the multiple only through a more or less dialectical transcendental gesture just as philosophy has done from Plato to Hobbes and Hegel : even more so if the multitude i.

But the objection is weak: here the dialectical Aufhebung is ineffective because the unity of the multiple is for the multitude the same as that of living, and living can hardly be subsumed by the dialectics. Moreover, the dispositif of the production of subjectivity that finds in the multitude a common figure, presents itself as collective praxis, as always renewed activity and constitutive of being.


We could never insist enough on the importance of the Spinozist presupposition when dealing with this theme. First of all, an entirely Spinozist theme is that of the body, and particularly of the powerful body. We dealt with this determination when we insisted on the multitude as power. Therefore, the body comes first both in the genealogy and in the tendency, both in the phases and in the result of the process of constitution of the multitude.

But this is not enough. We must reconsider all the hitherto discussion from the point of view of the body, that is to say we must go back to points 1 , 2 , 3 of the preceding section, and complete them in this perspective.

Multitudes Synonyms, Multitudes Antonyms |

When we consider bodies, we not only perceive that we are faced with a multitude of bodies, but we also understand that each body is a multitude. Intersecting the multitude, crossing multitude with multitude, bodies become blended, mongrel, hybrid, transformed; they are like sea waves, in perennial movement and reciprocal transformation. There is no possibility for a body to be alone. It could not even be imagined. When man is defined as individual, when he is considered as autonomous source of rights and property, he is made alone.

Metaphysics of individuality, when confronted with the body, negate the multitude that constitutes the body in order to negate the multitude of bodies. Transcendence is the key to any metaphysics of individuality as well as to any metaphysics of sovereignty. On the other hand, from the standpoint of the body there is only relation and process. The body is living labour, therefore, expression and cooperation, therefore, material construction of the world and of history.

In production the activity of bodies is always productive force and often primary matter. In fact there could be no discussion of exploitation, whether it is concerned with commodity production or with life reproduction, that does not directly touch upon bodies. Then, the concept of capital on one side the production of wealth, on the other the exploitation of the multitude must always be realistically looked at also through the analysis of how far bodies are made to suffer, are usurped or mutilated and wounded, reduced to production matter.

Matter equals commodity. We cannot simply think that bodies are commodified in the production and reproduction of capitalist society; we also have to insist on the reappropriation of goods and the satisfaction of desires, as well as on the metamorphoses and the empowerment of bodies, that the continuous struggle against capital determines. Once we recognise this structural ambivalence in the historical process of accumulation, we must pose the problem of its solution in terms of the liberation of bodies and of a project of struggle to this end.

In other words, a materialist dispositif of the multitude can only start from the primary consideration of the body and of the struggle against its exploitation. The multitude is a multitude of bodies; it expresses power not only as a whole but also as singularity. Each period of the history of human development of labour, power, needs and will to change entails singular metamorphoses of bodies. Even historical materialism entails a law of evolution: but this law is anything but necessary, linear, and unilateral; it is a law of discontinuity, leaps, and unexpected syntheses.

It is Darwinian, in the good sense of the word: as the product of a Heraclitean clash and an aleatory teleology, from below; because the causes of the metamorphoses that invest the multitude as a whole and singularities as a multitude are nothing but struggles, movements and desires of transformation.

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By saying this we do not wish to deny that sovereign power is capable of producing history and subjectivity. However, sovereign power is a double-face power: its production can act in the relation but cannot eliminate it. At first, sovereign power as relation of force can find itself confronted with the problem of an extraneous power that obstructs it. Secondly, sovereign power finds its own limit in the very relation that constitutes it and in the necessity to maintain it.

Therefore, the relation presents itself to sovereignty firstly as obstacle where sovereignty acts in the relation , secondly as limit where sovereignty wants to eliminate the relation but does not succeed in doing so.


On the other hand, the power of the multitude of the singularities that work, act, and sometimes disobey is capable of eliminating the sovereign relation. We have two assertions here. The first is: the production of sovereign power goes beyond the obstacle whilst not being able to eliminate the limit that consists in the relation of sovereignty. The second is: the power of the multitude can eliminate the sovereign relation because only the production of the multitude constitutes being.

These can ground the opening to an ontology of the multitude. This ontology will start being exposed when the constitution of being that is attributed to the production of the multitude will be practically determinable. It seems possible to us, from a theoretical point of view, to develop the axiom of the ontological power of the multitude on at least three levels. The first one is that of the theories of labour where the relationship of command can be demonstrated immanently as groundless insussistente : immaterial and intellectual labour, in other words knowledge do not require command in order to be cooperative and to have universal effects.

On the contrary: knowledge always exceeds with respect to the trading values that are meant to contain it. Language is the primary form of constitution of the common, and when living labour and language meet and define themselves as ontological machine, then the experience that founds the common is realised. Thirdly, the power of the multitude can be exposed on the terrain of the politics of postmodernity, by showing how no conditions for a free society to exist and reproduce itself are given without the spread of knowledge and the emergence of the common.

In fact, freedom, as liberation from command, is materially given only by the development of the multitude and its self constitution as a social body of singularities. At this point, I would like to reply to some of the criticisms that have been levelled against this conception of the multitude, in order to move forward in the construction of the concept. A first set of criticisms is linked to the interpretation of Foucault and its use made in the definition of the multitude. These critics insist on the improper homology supposedly given between the classical concept of proletariat and that of multitude.

Such homology, they insist, is not only ideologically dangerous since it flattens the postmodern onto the modern: just as the authors of Spat-modernitat do, who sustain the decadence of modernity in our time , but also metaphysically so, because it poses the multitude in a dialectical opposition against power. I disagree with the second observation, because if we refer to Foucault, I cannot see how we can think that his notion of power excludes antagonism. On the contrary, his conception has never been circular, and in his analysis the determinations of power have never been trapped in a game of neutralisation.

It is not true that the relation amongst micropowers is developed at all levels of society without institutional rupture between dominant and dominated. In Foucault, there are always material determinations, concrete meanings: there is no development that is levelled onto an equilibrium, so there is no idealist schema of historical development. If each concept is fixed in a specific archaeology, it is then open to a genealogy of a future unknown. The production of subjectivity in particular, however produced and determined by power, always develops resistances that open up through uncontainable dispositifs.

Struggles really determine being, they constitute it, and they are always open: only biopower seeks their totalisation.

Control de Multitudes

This concerns both the surface of the relations of force and the ontology of ourselves. It is not the case to go back to an opposition in the form of a pure exteriority between power and the multitude, but to let the multitude, in the countless webs that constitute it and in the indefinite strategic determinations that it produces, free itself from power. Foucault is a revolutionary thinker; it is impossible to reduce his system to a Hobbesian epistemic mechanics of equipollent relations. A second group of criticisms is directed against the concept of the multitude as potency and constituent power potenza e potere costituente.

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