Latin America’s Left: Between Demos and Kratos
On Constituent Power: Antonio Negri has emerged as a key thinker—and supporter—of these new movements of the people. His concept of “constituent power,” central to Insurgencies, and his work with Michael Hardt on “the multitude”2 are particularly important in understanding this new political reality. Negri and Hardt reject liberal democracy and capitalism, the idea of a vanguard party and party-led violence (seeing in them a tendency, à la Camus, toward totalitarianism and repression of liberty), and, most specifically, the idea that revolutionary change could come from a unitary power operating from above. The last point responds to Giorgio Agamben and other leftists who follow Carl Schmitt’s vision and argue for the unified and top-down nature of sovereign power and see it as something that can be used during a crisis to promote radical change.