The Government of Time

Theories of Plural Temporality in the Marxist Tradition


Can the Marxist tradition still provide new resources for thinking the specificity of historical time? This volume proposes to transform our understanding of Marxism by reconnecting with the ‘subterranean currents’ of plural temporalities that have traversed its development. From Rousseau and Sieyès to Marx, from Bloch to Althusser, from Gramsci to Pasolini and Postcolonialism, the chapters in this volume seek both to valorise neglected resources from Marxism’s contradictory history, and also to read against the grain its orthodox and heterodox currents. Privileging not the single time of historical development, but the plural temporalities that intertwine in and constitute any given historical conjuncture, and arguing against merely subjectivist theories of temporal multiplicity, this volume studies the articulation of the real, plural temporalities of mass political action. Comprehending their dynamics is a necessary precondition for a renewed politics of emancipation.

Contributors include: Luca Basso, Stefano Bracaletti, Mauro Farnesi Camellone, Fabio Frosini, Augusto Illuminati, Nicola Marcucci, Vittorio Morfino, Luca Pinzolo, Peter D. Thomas and Massimiliano Tomba.
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Biographical Note

Vittorio Morfino, Ph.D. (1998), University of Paris VIII Saint Denis, is a Senior Researcher in the History of Philosophy at the Università di Milano-Bicocca. He is the author of Plural temporality: Transindividuality and the aleatory between Spinoza and Althusser (Brill, 2014) and Genealogia di un pregiudizio: L’immagine di Spinoza in Germania da Leibniz a Marx (Georg Olms Verlag, 2016) among other titles. He is an editor of Quaderni materialisti and of Décalages.

Peter D. Thomas, Ph.D (2008), University of Amsterdam, is Senior Lecturer in the History of Political Thought at Brunel University London. He is the author of The Gramscian Moment: Philosophy, Hegemony and Marxism (Brill, 2009) and co-editor of Encountering Althusser: Politics and Materialism in Contemporary Radical Thought (Bloomsbury, 2012) and In Marx’s Laboratory: Critical Interpretations of the Grundrisse (Brill, 2013).

Table of contents

Introduction: Tempora multa
Vittorio Morfino and Peter D. Thomas

1 The Temporality of the General Will
Augusto Illuminati

2 The French Revolution and the Temporality of the Collective Subject between Sieyès and Marx
Luca Basso

3 Layers of Time in Marx: From the Grundrisse to Capital to the Russian Commune
Massimiliano Tomba

4 Temporality in Capital
Stefano Bracaletti

5 On Non-Contemporaneity: Marx, Bloch, Althusser
Vittorio Morfino

6 Fraternitas militans. Time and Politics in Ernst Bloch
Mauro Farnesi Camellone

7 Gramsci’s Plural Temporalities
Peter D. Thomas

8 ‘Space-Time’ and Power in the Light of the Theory of Hegemony
Fabio Frosini

9 The Seeds of Ancient History: The Polemical Anachronism of Pier Paolo Pasolini
Luca Pinzolo

10 Modern Times: Sociological Temporality between Multiple Modernities and Postcolonial Critique
Nicola Marcucci



All interested in theories of historical time, the history of the Marxism, modern political thought and contemporary social and political theory and philosophy.

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