Michael Hardt, the author of Multitude and Empire talks about love, how can love function as a political concept, why love, the proper and improper ways love has functioned politically, love as activism, and evil and its relationship to love. Public open video philosophy lecture for the faculty and students of the European Graduate School, Media and Communication Studies Department Program, EGS, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe, 2007. Michael Hardt. Michael Hardt, born 1960 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", Empire proposes that 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.
Born in Washington DC, Hardt attended Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland. He studied engineering at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1983. In college during the 1970s energy crisis, he began to take an interest in alternative energy sources. Talking about his college politics, he said, "I thought that doing alternative energy engineering for third world countries would be a way of doing politics that would get out of all this campus political posing that I hated."
After college, he worked for various solar energy companies. Hardt also worked with NGOs in Central America, doing tasks like bringing donated computers from the U.S. and putting them together for the University of El Salvador. Yet, he says that this political activity did more for him than it did for the El Salvadoreans. In 1983 he moved to Seattle to study comparative literature. From there he went to Paris where he would meet Negri and write his dissertation under Negri's guidance. Michael Hardt speaks fluent French and Italian, and is Professor of Literature and Italian at Duke University. In 2006, he was a member of the group of 88 Duke professors who signed a statement supporting the accuser in the Duke rape case.