Beyond the “tragedy of the commons”: conflict a production of subjetivity in contemporary capitalism

PhD Thesis by Alexandre Mendes from UERJ and Universidade Nomada

This thesis investigates the dimensions of historical, philosophical and political concept of the common, from a problematization influenced by heterodox Marxist studies and the thought of Michel Foucault.The theoretical approach begins with an analysis of the hypothesis of the “tragedy of commons”, represented by Garrett Hardin in a famous article in Science Magazine in 1968. The further development seeks to understand such a formulation from the foucauldian analysis on the art of liberal and neoliberal governing, with emphasis on the concept of biopolitical production of subjectivity. This terrain of analysis is supplemented by studies of an economic approach called “bio-economy”, which seeks to weave biopolitics with an understanding of current forms of capitalist accumulation and it crisis. From a research which is directed to the terrain defined as “heterodox marxism,” on seeks to study the relationship between the common and new forms of primitive accumulation, seeing how the former has increasingly appeard in this branch of critical studies. In this field, on emphasizes the concept of “primitive social and subjectivity accumulation”, based on studies of Karl Marx (Grundrisse), Antonio Negri and Jason Read. The last chapter is devoted to the concept of “production of common”, taking as its starting point the work of Jean-Luc Nancy, and especially the investigations of Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt. The common appears as a central concept for understanding the biopolitical production of social wealth in contemporary capitalism, and also its expropriation by new modes of accumulation. On the other hand, the common also emerges as antagonism to capital and public-private dichotomy, pointing to new ways of understanding communism.

Keywords: Tragedy of the common. Michel Foucault. Production of subjectivity. Biopolitics. Marx. Antonio Negri. Production of the common. Capitalism. Communism.

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