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2015, Sat, Sep 26

The scandal of private property

With Michael Hardt

Marx and Engels claimed that the theory of the communists can be summed up in a single phrase: the abolition of private property. Progressive legal theorists, however, maintain that we need to understand property as not one thing but a bundle of right, and consequently that progressive political work is not against property but, so to speak, within it, that is, for some rights of property and against others.

Michael Hardt will investigate what property is and the passions – including security, fear, and desire – that characterize its continuing centrality in contemporary society. That will allow him to approach again, from today's perspective, what it would mean to heed Marx and Engel's mandate.

Michael Hardt is Professor of Literature at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA. He is co-author with Antonio Negri of Empire, Multitude, Commonwealth and Declaration.

This event is organised by the Berlin Educational Institute of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in cooperation with the “Investigating Logistics” KOSMOS summer university at the Humboldt University to Berlin. The event is made possible through funding from the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin.