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This book is about the global crisis and the right to resistance, about neoliberal biopolitics and direct democracy, about the responsibility of intellectuals and the poetry of the multitude. Using Greece as an example, it argues that the recent and persistent sequence of protests, insurrections and revolutions has radically changed the political landscape. Their regularity makes their timing unpredictable but their continued occurrence certain. Political science obsessed with the machinations of leaders, parties and parliaments cannot understand these spontaneous and leaderless events. Traditional class analysis is similarly inadequate because it cannot understand the social composition of immaterial production or the ideology and cultural politics of neoliberalism. Political practice is well ahead and a corrective to theory. This book uses radical political philosophy to understand these events and uses the protests to correct radical philosophy. Moving from ethics to aesthetics, politics and psychoanalysis, it develops the theoretical tools of multitude, demos, political ontology, hegemony and biopolitics to offer an interpretation of our turbulent times. Popular insubordination is redefining the practice of politics and the ideas of socialism and Europe. This new politics, placed in the context of law and rights, is the latest example of the drive to resist, a persevering characteristic of the human spirit. The EU and the IMF used Greece as a guinea pig to test the conditions of social reconstruction in times of crisis. But the manifold resistances turned the object of experimentation into a political subject and overturned the plans of elites. The idea and limits of democracy are redefined in the place of their birth.
Costas Douzinas is Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London, and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.