The body electric

The Body Electric: lessons from the 1996/1997 protests in Belgrade

I – Preliminaries

It was never my city. The regime re-consolidates its power at the federal elections on November 3rd 1996, aided by an information bias on State television and radio which achieves a ratio of 298:1 against the opposition2. On November 17th, following the unofficial count in the second round of the local elections, the squares of 34 cities in Serbia celebrate the victory of the Zajedno coalition. The election team of Slobodan Milošević’s Socialist Party of Serbia extends their congratulations. The following day, a mass celebration by Zajedno is organised at Republic Square in Belgrade. Its leaders continue to the City Assembly to caution the electoral commission not to tamper with the results. That same evening, having taken stock of the imminent clipping of privileges and income and the possibility that defeat at the local elections this time could result in defeat at the following federal elections, Slobodan Milošević orders the rewriting of election registers and sets in motion the respective annulment and legal contestation of results at 134 election posts. Protests spark in Niš, Užice, Pirot and Jagodina. Zajedno leaders write an open letter to Slobodan Milošević and provide a number of foreign embassies with copies of the original election registers.

On November 21st an estimated 20,000 people gather at Republic Square for the first of 83 days of protest called by Zajedno. Two days later the students commence 116 days of protests in Belgrade, its members asking for an independent electoral commission and distancing themselves from party politics. The arrow of time. The Municipal Court in Belgrade annuls 33 Zajedno mandates in the Belgrade City Assembly and the Supreme Court dismisses the complaints of the Zajedno coalition. On November 27th the third round of the local elections is boycotted by Zajedno. After one day when the throwing of eggs at the State media outlets and the City Election Commission is replaced by stones, the protests continue peacefully. The EU withdraws trade preferences to Yugoslavia and the United States of America, OSCE and the Council on Europe exert pressure on Milošević to acknowledge the election results. The London Times reports the presence of 100,000 protesters on Belgrade’s streets while Serbian State television notes a “handful of provocateurs and hoodlums”. The City Election Commission is showered with toilet paper and chants of: “We’ve had enough of your shit!” Following a visit by an armed Marko Milošević to Radio Bum93 in Požarevac, his father’s home town, radio stations B92, Radio Index and Radio Bum93 are closed down. A complete state monopoly on news coverage of the Belgrade protests is enforced. The protests are characterised as “destructive”, “violent” and “pro-fascist” by the President of the Serbian Parliament who adjourns the session of the parliament, under pretext3. International pressure on the regime is consistent and five US congressmen participate in the Belgrade protests. A number of judges of the Supreme Court sign an open letter expressing their doubts over the work of the electoral commission and the judiciary, but the Municipal Court still dismisses the appeal by Zajedno. On December 5th, B92 and Radio Index are back on air after an interruption caused by a “waterlogged coaxial cable“ – Radio Bum93 will remain closed for 8 months. The Minister for information and the president of the Socialist Party of Serbia in Niš resign.

On December 10th, after two failed appeals to the Supreme Court by the City of Belgrade Electoral Commission, an exceptional request to reconsider its ruling is turned down. Zajedno refuse to verify their own mandates in the federal parliament. An impasse is reached. After a resolution from the European Parliament, Milošević invites a high-profile delegation from OSCE. The attempt to introduce a State-supportive Independent Student Movement fails. 29 cities continue with daily opposition protests and following the recognition of the Zajedno complaints by the municipal court in Niš, Milošević receives the falsified election records from a student delegation which walks 220 kilometers from Niš to Belgrade – his first meeting with the protesters. A central “Meeting for Serbia” is scheduled by Zajedno for 24th December, a day before the OSCE report is due to be published. Pro-regime rallies are organised in a number of towns in the run up to a central Belgrade rally “For Serbia” , also scheduled for 24th December. After more than 100,000 demonstrators celebrate St Nicholas’s Day on Republic Square, the Serbian Patriarch Pavle writes to appeal for the cancellation of the parallel Belgrade protests and states that he will side with those exposed to the use of force; the Serbian Orthodox Church blesses the students. During the preparations on 24th December, fistfights occur at Terazije square and an opposition supporter is shot by a regime supporter. The police disperse the crowds, take over the main intersections and the rally attended by approximately 50,000 supporters is addressed by Milošević himself under the banner “ Serbia will not be ruled by a foreign hand”. The Zajedno rally and protest walk occurs on Republic Square attended by approximately 200,000 people. The following day, the Ministry of Interior announces that police will no longer allow the blocking of traffic and police cordons block the protests. The OSCE report supports the claims of Zajedno and splits the ruling coalition. An open letter by The Head of General Staff, Perišić supports “the people” and calls on the constitutional role of the army.

Approximately half a million people celebrate New Year’s Eve on the streets of Belgrade in an atmosphere of superabundance. The Yugoslav Foreign Minister concedes Užice, Zrenjanin and Kragujevac to the findings of the OSCE report. On January 5th, thousands of cars perform the blockade of the blockade causing complete gridlock in Belgrade and enabling the protest walks to continue. A mass celebration of Christmas Eve is held in front of the Church of St Sava. The Government concedes opposition victory in Niš and the police blockade continues. As the citizens are prevented from protesting, the students spearhead the protests and extend their demands to the complete recognition of election victory, its proclamation in line with OSCE, pursuance of responsibility for the fraud and the resignation of rector and vice-rector. After a mass celebration of the Orthodox New Year, the Belgrade and Niš Election Commissions concede opposition victory. 24 hour protests coalesce around a single student action in a single street, the cordon against cordon in Kolarčeva. Zajedno decline OSCE mediation with the government and after 180 hours, the police cordon is removed, enabling the continuation of the Zajedno rallies. On February 2nd, water cannons, teargas and police batons rip through the attempted demonstrations. 200 people are hospitalised. Operation Avala 925 is headed by acting Minister of the Interior, colonel-general Radovan Stojčić Badža, responsible for training camps for volunteers in the war in Croatia and the swelling of the police force to approximately 80,000 servicemen.4 The following day, the students peacefully reignite the protests and the EU and OSCE condemn the repression. On 11th February 1997, the Serbian Parliament passes a lex specialis on local elections in accordance with the OSCE report. The civil protests end and the Belgrade City Assembly is constituted, but Zajedno calls for an end to media suppression and a rally on 9th March to mark the sixth anniversary of the 1991 demonstrations. The student protests continue and a third attempt at a protest walk to Dedinje (the location of Milošević’s residence) is prevented. The rector and vice rector of Belgrade University resign on March 7th and their resignations are accepted by the University Board on March 19th thereby ending the student protests the following day with a banner “To be continued…” left hanging on the University rectorate.

II – United Colours of …?

Composition; consciousness; orientations in w96

Both the presentation and the representation of the Belgrade 1996/1997 protests (henceforth: w96) have favoured the neutral image of the festive, nonviolent, “deeply democratic voice of the people”: “ Belgrade is the world” (shouts the main slogan) – and the world is watching. Within Serbia one could not see any reports as the TV blockade was complete – the sound of the streets was radio B92, with its roving reporters moving and standing with the crowds, gaging the mood, measuring police presence, while its music set the (heart)beat of the walkers wherever they were. It was a live, internal diagram of the protests. CNN news reports were the representative image, used both to navigate the city (satellite dishes proliferated during the 1990s) and to spectacularise the event globally. It was a flat image, revelling in a colourful people’s protest and anticipating a Czechoslovakian or Romanian scenario: mass attacks on the media outlets with paper planes, eggs and paint; the hanging of 100 condoms on the Supreme Court on World AIDS Day; the washing ofTerazije square after the pro-regime meeting or the Belgrade University building so that the only remaining dirty thing in it would be the rector5… The form of universal carnivalesque politics was more important than the concrete content. Such an approach enables the easy inscription of the protests into the “history” of “the fall of Communism/dictatorship” and “the rise of democracy/transition/Euro-Atlantic integration” by forcing upon the events an external linear sequence and a generic rather than singular character.

W96 was, like February 1989, like March 1991, like the summer of 1992, both a civil and student protest. The two age groups most represented were firstly 20-29 and secondly 40-496 with men and women involved on an equal basis. 91% of the participants were urban and most of them were from Belgrade. The great majority were middle-class students and professionals (which was not so in prior cases7. Workers (service sector and industrial) which compose 23% of the city’s population formed only 6% of the protesters and research indicates that almost all of these workers had already participated in opposition protests. Although Zajedno had won in traditional working-class areas of Belgrade like Rakovica, Milošević still dominated and/or channelled working-class loyalty8, through the media, state-owned industry and satellite parties which fragmented the opposition – both small ones and the unofficial regime partner SRS (Serbian Radical Party9. Despite protests in many cities, the media blockade successfully isolated Belgrade (nb: reinforced by the city’s tolerated alternative radio stations) and the heart of the struggle from working-class areas of the country. Moreover, the student protests, whose Initiative and broad base of participants took a nonparty and anti-union stance were the backbone of the movement. Although 57% of all participants believed that a general strike would prove crucial and despite victory in the provinces, Zajedno did not call for one and rather relied on constant legal/legitimist pressure within Serbia and the pressure of international bodies and governments. This was a measure of the internal power (and interests) of Zajedno, which after all was a loose coalition which was to dissolve in mid-1997 and acted according to its structure and short-term legalistic interest as a force not strong enough to topple the regime. Its external influence as a popular front proved more far-reaching: two thirds of the student protesters participated in the civil protests10. It is worth noting that between 6% and 8% of the student Initiative Main Board and protesters (in declining proportion) had direct experience of the war or front line and a quarter had parents which had participated in the 1968 protests11. Still, there is a contrast with 1992 when the student protests had a central organisation and a clearly articulated programme with high-reaching demands12.

However, the composition of w96 was not dual, but multiple. Feminist and/or anti-war groups which were first visible in the summer/autumn of 1991 (war in Croatia) and came into their own in the large protests in 1992 (war in Bosnia and international sanctions) were the ones that changed the face of protest in Serbia. For example, Black Ribbon Mourning for Sarajevo organised by Centre for Anti-war Action which wove a column of people with black ribbons several kilometers long and sounded air-raid sirens and audio recordings of shelling, brought Sarajevo from the TV screens onto the streets. Women in Black organised months of daily vigils and behind a mute protest was involved in the hiding of draft-evaders, undertook a visit to women’s groups in Sarajevo at the height of the siege and formed a Serbia-wide Women’s Peace Network.13 These lessons and previous student protests formed a vital part of street education in the use of space as well as the forming of networks and alliances outside existing political structures and channels. The vast majority of the w96 participants had experience of previous opposition protests (with a figure of around 18% of those who had attended pro-Milošević rallies prior to 199114. Hence, the findings that 80% of the protesters joined in the first 5 days and that over half attended on a daily basis should state the obvious.15 That the protests would last that long was completely unexpected and whereas the motor of w96 were the students and the Zajedno platform, the bursts of energy that were formed around the New Year celebrations and the season’s religious calendar should not be underestimated. A number which is lacking is that for people from the diaspora which were visiting during the holiday period, one which according to my estimates and memory was substantial and which explains how this could have contributed to the internal winding-down of the protests at the end of January.

In terms of political affiliation, a third of the protesters were not affiliated, 38% were Zajedno sympathisers and 23% were members of one of the main opposition parties16. The party members were mostly DSS -Democratic Party of Serbia (10% – conservative, nationalist party)17, then SPO – Serbian Renewal Movement (10% – conservative, nationalist, clero-monarchist) and finally DS – Democratic Party (3% – broadly social democratic). In their own words, 55% of participants saw themselves as “right wing” (extreme/right of centre/moderate right : 9/18/28) and 21% as “centrist”.18 DSS members displayed the most radical (readiness to extend protest demands), anti-socialist and traditionalist tendencies. That the traditionalist tendencies were coupled with anti-egalitarian views points to a lack of consistency and more of a vague orientation than displayed by SPO and DS voters. Out of the three parties, DSS members predominantly saw Milošević’s biggest mistake as his inability to solve the national question. Although almost all of those polled were against Milošević, the desire for a strong leader was strongly present (45%) though less than in 1992 (the effect of two wars).19 Most saw national affiliation as important and compared to 1992 and 1993 the nationalist tide was on the rise.20 The dominant values of the participants were middle-class: practically all believed that the future society should be built on the model of Western democracies and half that it can only be based on safeguarding private property21. Liberal values (understood broadly as civil liberties) contrasted with egalitarian ones were sharply on the rise within the civil protest since 1993 (when it represented merely half of the opinion)22, but they had remained at peak level within the student body. This points to a bankruptcy of the state ideology of social egalitarianism promoted during Tito and is a direct result of the wars and the pauperisation of the middle-class in the 1990s.

Lastly, there is an unsurprising congruence of motives for joining the protest and the protest demands: around 60% of those polled wanted justice, freedom and recognition of electoral results and between 27% and 42% wanted regime change. Most were ready to last out until the end and about half expected compromise solution, both of which proved to be the case.23 Should the dominance of these pragmatic, rather minimalist, moderate and legalistic demands to be taken at face value? If what I have outlined is a diagram of w96, locating its various actors and forces and their internal contradictions, their behaviour, offering interpretations of their genealogy of their composition/structures, and hinted at possible or likely political allegiances, I now turn to speculations on its internal construction.

III – The One; Measures of time; measures of power; universalism

The time of Power, the time of the State presents itself as the time of measure.24 It is a force of equivalence and reversibility (between production, circulation and distribution, between labour and capital, between measure of value and standard of price, between the population and/or polity and constitutionalism/parliamentarianism), a tautological flattening universality: the One. It is time as an external envelope, transcendent time25 which lays claim to all of the past and all of the future. Its tendency is the zero of neutralisation/equilibrium and a constrained, dominable space. Another conception of time can be thought along internal lines: time as immeasurable productive power, as phenomenological fabric, as base substance and flow of production, a collective substance interior to class consciousness and political orientation. It is an immanent multiplicity, an archipelago of restless, real times.26 Its tendency is a multiversal proliferation and dynamised space. The relationship between these two conceptions of time is not binary, but asymmetrical – the time of measure is extracted from and imposed on the productive time of collective corporeality. This in turn means that crisis can take shape in every point, within every trajectory or movement and in every inversion of this fabric.

In Antonio Negri’s words, the hard time of the State is “that functional envelope that, starting from the constitution, gives a context to the times of jurisdiction, of administration and of repression.”27 In abandoning the idea of right or justice that transcends power relations, we can say with Spinoza: “Right, or power” (Jus, sive Potentia). Right is coextensive with power, it is not anthropocentric (as it is a multiplicity) and it is wholly immanent (even if the power of the State or sovereign is always greater than that of collective corporeality, it is measured in a watershed).28 If an individual is nothing but the bounded power of a singularity and the State is a mystification of collective corporeality, the collective subject of politics cannot be the polity which is composed of equal essences.29 Instead, it is a singularity composed of multiple singularities (which in turn are multiplicities). It is such a collective corporeality that Spinoza names the multitude (multitudo) – “the abyss upon which every state is constructed”30. Spinoza’s conception of the multitude has none of the traditional essentialist conceptions of the “the masses” as the “plebs”, the rabble. The power of the multitude is the condition of our power and their weakness is our weakness – as such it is a singularity that can be a source of decisionmaking. Negri, once again: “All the ‘pure’ or unilateral definitions of the decision <that of the sovereign>, are false. The decision is always multilateral, ‘impure’ and monstrous, because the singular is always an immeasurable determination of bodies, of languages and of machines.”31 Finally, the multitude is composed of multiple time-pressures which form it as the arrow of time – a singular, irreversible, open present.

If at first glance, w96 can be seen as a dress rehearsal for the 5th October 2000 revolution when Milošević was deposed, its features are different. The “youth movement” Otpor (resistance) was not the internally composed (mostly) urban body of w96, but a highly coordinated decentred movement distributed throughout the country which received funding from US government-affiliated organisations such as National Endowment for Democracy, International Republican Institute, and US Agency for International Development32. Its logo and logic were later exported to revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine. The NATO air strikes had destabilised Milošević and the general strike was called. The campaign “Gotov je!” (He is finished!) during the summer of 2000 resulted in police actions throughout the country, so many that the power of Otpor became difficult to gage. When thousands of people from the provinces took the stage with the people of Belgrade, the police and army did nothing. In 2000, the masses are channelled in a “revolution” the inclusiveness and universality of which is performed with a clear end and measure.33 They take the stage in the execution of a well-known “dialectical movement”: masses/dictator/democracy. It should be no surprise that the streets of Belgrade saw the first and last Gay Pride in 2000, its participants being among the very few that summer who were beaten not by the police. One thing is certain: 5th October 2000 could not have been possible without w96, and equally not without the state-sponsored protests during the NATO bombing – they formed the corporeal knowledge and motor of it. However, in 2000 the political decision and measure of power is mediated by parties and groups within the country and influence from abroad in such a way that the consensus on the primacy of law and political representation is universal. Behind them hide the reactionary powers that we have seen and heard in the last 8 years.34

Three examples should suffice that here (sic) is nothing transcendent about sovereignty: Milošević’s about-turn on 18th November 1996, the importance of his clan in maintaining power as seen in the case of Radio Bum93 and most importantly the series of counter-meetings culminating in 24th December 1996. Having played the State’s waiting game to its end and facing the pressure of the OSCE mission, Milošević takes leave of eternity and takes to the squares where his power was forged. His highly-staged rallies are bounded in space and time, in contrast to the multitude whose central activity is that of walking the city, palpating it in brooks and spates, trickles and waterfalls. The clamor of pots and pans during the state television news every night at 19.30 moves between the insides of houses, via windows and balconies and the street – removing the distinction between private and public, between the visible and the audible. What also suffers is the experience of equal measures that is part of routinised circulation. Undoubtedly war and bread queues, shortened school lessons and hyperinflation (if you order a drink pay for it now, because by the time you are finished, your money is no good) had shaken those foundations. Now, what opens up between the hard time of the state and the future of any political programme (“progress” in all of its shades) within the different time pressures in the city is a direct knowledge and experience of dystopia. There is no future, for weeks on end the time is now. The inertia of traffic and capital is the direct experience of the movement of the multitude, even when it is still. I remember an hour with my father on 5th January 1997: the only thing was the sea of parked cars on the Boulevard of the Revolution and the drone of car sirens bouncing off the buildings; no one spoke. Years later I realised this was a temple.35 The internal organisation of w96 and its spatiotemporal structures were universalising. They were based on a chain of equivalence, i.e. equality and difference, rather than sameness.

On 24th December, on the city square, Milošević says: Jus, sive potentia, which translates as truncheons. On the television screen he says: L’État, c’est moi, which translates as his short grunt to the crowds: “I love you too”. He was skilled at superimpositions. Likewise in proliferating divisions. As in 1992, the protests remain in the centre of the city and the walkers never reach his residence. Belgrade remains isolated from the rest of Serbia, the student protest from the workers. Fully realising that the legitimacy of the movement comes from the students, the state media<1 also work on separating theirs from the civil protests. When the time comes to push for the prosecution of those that had organised election fraud, for the conflict between local government positions and those of central government, for the dissolution of the Tito-Milošević state structure, the student protest remains bounded. The small cakes of privileges in local government are enough for the Zajedno representatives. The externally imposed limit of right and power is accepted at face value as the power of the multitude. The measure of the power of the State is accepted in the form of a pure decision, the lex specialis: the Act on Confirming the Unofficial Results of Elections for Councillors of Municipal and City Assemblies Listed in the Report of the OSCE Mission. In fact, the concrete spatial measure of State power is the ridge in the centre of the city: the (student) cordon against the (police) cordon. The incapacity of the police apparatus in using repression against the incalculable number and indeterminate power of the multitude.

IV – Postscript

The Same; Slow Motion; Flashback; The Universal

On 21st Feb 2008, soon after the proclamation of the independence of Kosovo, the film director Emir Kusturica went on stage at a rally called “Kosovo is Serbia”. The concluding words that evening were: “These are peaceful civil protests, without disturbances, without party squabbles and differences. Tonight we are gathered around one party, around one persuasion, and that persuasion is called Kosovo! Kosovo in our Serbia – Kosovo is Serbia!” The rally was organised by the government and boosted in numbers by a day off work which ended with the burning of the US Embassy. The president of Serbia was errant in neighbouring Romania as staying in the country would require his presence on that stage which in turn would mean political suicide. Kusturica spoke of myths and Nobel Prizes. He also spoke of mouse-holes, perhaps unaware of Milošević’s speech in Bor from December 1990.36 He also said: “The 17th of February is a day which is meant to be followed by the 18th. However, the number 18 will have to wait. There should be instituted a new numeration, a new calendar. That calendar will wait until, on a new 17th, Kosovo is free again.” As a filmmaker he knows a thing or two about montage and slow motion, and that on film, time is reversible, especially if it is State-sanctioned. For my money, I would here cut to a flashback on December 13th 1996, when on that same square 250.000 people observed a minute’s silence for Feriz Blakçori, a Kosovo Albanian who was a victim of police torture.37

London, April 2008.
Pešč, 16.06.2008.


  1. Lazić, 1999:166
  2. Đukić, 1999:180
  3. Dragan Tomić in Lazić, 1999: 214
  4. April 19, 1997 – Vreme, News Digest Agency No 289
  5. Lazić, 1999:201; Đukić, 1999:185
  6. Lazić, 1999:34. All figures are based on and combined from the monograph compiled by M. Lazić. References to particular studies are omitted.
  7. See Lazić, 1999:61
  8. His “anti-bureaucratic revolution” in 1988/1989 was branded as “the happening of the people”. It was performed as a defusing of the communist bureaucracy (and surreptitious installment of the Milošević machine) and its integral part were the “truth rallies” which spread the “truth” on the situation of the Serbs in Kosovo. Research from 1988 show that 66% people thought that the truth rallies showed “authentic discontent”, as opposed to 16% who thought them a manifestation of nationalism. Also see Dragović-Soso, 2004:310
  9. An extreme right-wing party, supporting the idea of Greater Serbia, its leader, Vojislav Šešelj is at present undergoing trial at the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.
  10. Lazić, 1999:182
  11. Lazić, 1999:185
  12. In 1992 the students called for: the disbanding of Parliament and government, the resignation of Milo{evi}, the forming of a government of national salvation and a scheduling of elections. The much smaller and shorter-lasting protests were less optimistic and although the student demands were in line with calls from different (and often contradictory) standpoints in the opposition, the allpervasive loquaciousness of the war machine (and by this I do not simply mean war propaganda) was far stronger. See also Lazić, 1999:135
  13. More recently, in 2006, after a decade of solidarity and cooperation between women’s groups in Kosovo and Serbia, The Kosova Women’s Network and The Women in Black Network formed The Women’s Peace Coalition. The defining memory of the first plenary meeting in Struga, Macedonia, remains for me the intense physical, emotional and intellectual work which formed 3 days of lectures and workshops – a constant questioning, crossing of boundaries and consolidation of standpoints – work with history of the flesh, but grounded in the present.
  14. Lazić, 1999:44, 46
  15. Lazić, 1999:84ff
  16. Lazić, 1999:42
  17. The case of DSS is indicative – in 1996 it ran with Zajedno in the federal elections, but separately in the local elections. As this text is being written, the acting Prime Minister of Serbia is Dr Vojislav Koštunica, leader of DSS. The parliamentary elections in 2007 yielded 81/64/47 votes to SRS/ DSS with NS (People’s Party Coalition)/DS coalition. The minority government took 3 months to forge and was formed 7 minutes before the constitutional deadline with an alliance of DS/DSS et al. At present, SRS holds the popular vote, with DS following; SPO’s support at present is negligible.
  18. The centrist position within Serbia at the time should undoubtedly be understood as right, because Milošević discredited even the form of leftism and because since the emergence of party pluralism in 1990, the majority of parties had a national programme at the heart of its policies. For figures see Lazić, 1999:145ff and for a treatment of the triumph of nationalist ideology see Dragović-Soso, 2004:Chapter 5.
  19. Lazić, 1999:135, 105
  20. Lazić, 1999:143
  21. Lazić, 1999:105
  22. Lazić, 1999:138
  23. Lazić, 1999:156
  24. See Negri, 2004: p23 – p101
  25. In classical transcendental philosophy, “time is the mobile image of the immobility of being.” Negri, 2004: 148
  26. Here it is worth mentioning Badiou’s criticism of Deleuze and his binary conception of one and multiplicity, where the second term is favoured as a vitalist force: a qualitative, open fullness (in this sense the difference is between a closed One and an open One). The opposition boils down to their basic premises, which for Deleuze are ontological and for Badiou mathematical, enabling him (following Riemann more consistently) to think neutral multiples or n-dimensional multiples, freed from spatial/temporal, qualitative/quantitative determinations, i.e. to think a multiple-withoutone. A multiple-without-one is not only anti-humanist or non-anthropocentric as Deleuze’s multiplicities, it is neutral and mathematisable in a potentially infinite number of ways. (See Badiou, 2004:75ff) Although when I refer to the term multiplicity, I take it to stand for neutral multiples and not a vitalist force, here I am keen to stress that my first term is corporeal immanence. Another way of putting it would be through Spinoza: “No one has hitherto laid down the limits to the capabilities/powers of the body” (Ethics, III/2)
  27. “With regards to juridical time: ‘the law affirms its continuing validity and therefore its universality in superimposing the fixity of an eternal present over the fluidity of time and therefore, explicating its axiological validity through formal validity’ (Opocher). With regard to administrative time: it consists simply of operations of transferability, of execution, rendering its validity effective – circularity is its only substance. The time of penal law and repression is able to demonstrate in the most incredibly harsh way this nullification of time. Between nothingness and terror, an absolute and mystical temporal nothingness emerges.” Negri, 2004: 84
  28. “Men have never transferred their right and surrendered their power to another so completely that they were not feared by the very persons who received their right and power.”; “For our power physically remains ours: we do not abandon it but keep it and it is precisely because we keep it that others need us to realise their own ends .” (Spinoza in Montag, 1999:70) “Sovereign powers possess the right of commanding whatever they will only for as long as they do in fact hold supreme power. If they lose this power, with it they also lose the right of complete command.” (Spinoza in Montag, 1999:71)
  29. Man and citizen, society and market are all derived from an idea of individuality rather than singularity. See Negri, 2004:215
  30. Montag, 1999:77
  31. From Negri, 2004:248 (Nb: when Negri speaks of bodies, languages and machines, he has in mind the theory of Umwelt: the embodied spatiotemporal world of the human species. See Negri 2004: 38-41; 93; 98-100; 115-117; 155.) Another way of putting it would be:

    “An age is solitude
    Or a barricade against the singular man
    By the incalculably plural.”

    Wallace Stevens, Description Without Place, 1945

  33. I follow Badiou’s sequence of “political procedure” without using his terminology. This quote should suffice, for the rest I refer you to his “Politics as truth procedure”: “Egalitarian logic can only begin when the State is configured, put at a distance, measured. It is the errancy of the excess that impedes egalitarian logic, not the excess itself. It is not the simple power of the state of the situation that prohibits egalitarian politics. It is the obscurity and measurelessness in which this power is enveloped. If the political event allows for a clarification, a fixation, an exhibition of this power, then the egalitarian maxim is at least locally practicable.” Badiou, 2004:158
  34. “The fundamental concept of representation is not reactionary because it annuls the particular in the general, but fundamentally because it annuls the being of time, the reality of movement.” Negri, 2004:84
  35. Perhaps this says it better than I could:

    “I sing the body electric,

    The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
    They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
    And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.
    Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
    And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
    And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul? And if the body
    were not the soul, what is the soul?”

    Walt Whitman, I Sing the Body Electric

  36. Đukić, 1999:67
  37. See:

    That winter, one could also hear chants to the police: “Go to Kosovo instead!” (See Rez VI/Oct/2005:12), and almost exactly a year later Belgrade students supported the protests of the Serbian students in Priština against Albanians using student premises. (Lazić, 1999:28) In the polls during w96, 36% supported the abolition of Kosovo’s autonomy, 14% supported its current status, 11% would prefer confederate status, 11% partition, 8% a return to the charter of the 1974 Constitution and 1% supported an Kosovo as an independent state.