Michael Hardt is an American literary theorist and political philosopher based at Duke University. Perhaps his most famous work is Empire written with Antonio Negri. The sequel to Empire, called Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, was released in August, 2004, and details the idea of the multitude (which Hardt and Negri initially elaborated in Empire) as the potential site of a global democratic movement. Sometimes referred to as the "Communist Manifesto of the 21st Century", Hardt and Negri's Empire proposes that what they view as the forces of current class oppression, namely - corporate globalization and commodification of services (or "production of affects") - have the potential to fuel social change of unprecedented dimensions.
The Common in Communism
On the concept of the common both as a natural good and as human product. The common, in other words, refers both to the land, water, and air as well as language, knowledges, ideas, images, and affects. The primary argument is that capitalist production is increasingly reliant on and oriented toward the production of the common and yet the common is destroyed (and its productivity reduced) when transformed into either private or public property. The task is to institute free access and circulation of the common.