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By Jeremy Gilbert

Universal floor is an leading edge exploration of the philosophical courting among collectivity, individuality, impact and enterprise within the neoliberal period. Jeremy Gilbert argues that individualism is compelled upon us via neoliberal tradition, fatally proscribing our potential to flee the present hindrance of democratic politics.

The ebook asks how forces and concepts against neoliberal hegemony, and to the individualist culture in Western concept, may serve to guard a few proposal of communality, and the way a long way we needs to settle for assumptions concerning the nature of individuality and collectivity that are the legacy of an elitist culture. alongside how it examines various rules and practices of collectivity, from conservative notions of a hierarchical, patriarchal, homogenous group to the politics of 'horizontality' and 'the commons' that are on the center of radical pursuits today.

Exploring this primary faultline in modern political fight, universal floor proposes a substantially non-individualist mode of imagining social lifestyles, collective creativity and democratic probability.

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Extra resources for Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in an Age of Individualism

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For now, what is important is that the individualist model tends to have a number of further implications, insofar as its privileging of the private, interior domain of experience tends to posit the individual self as the key source of most of our capacities to act in the world – to innovate, decide and create. Commercial success is 32 Gilbert T01517 01 text 32 08/10/2013 08:11 a war of all against all understood to be largely the result of the entrepreneurial acumen and endeavour of particular individuals, rather than of the shared labour of many or of the strategic ability of elites to organise that labour to their own advantage.

But above all, it is a matter of making possible instances of what Bernard Stiegler – following Simondon – calls ‘collective individuation’ (Crépon and Stiegler 2007): that is to say, instances wherein groups, 27 Gilbert T01517 01 text 27 08/10/2013 08:11 common ground on whatever scale, can (however temporarily) achieve the capacity to co-ordinate their interests, resolve their disagreements, and intervene together in the fabric of the world. The obvious question which emerges here is the same one that was raised by the end of the Preface: why haven’t new forms of democracy emerged, except among the most marginal and militant sections of the world’s population, given the evident redundancy of the old ones and the techno-social possibility of the new?

Freedom from dependence on others means freedom from any relations with others except those relations into which the individual enters voluntarily with a view to his own interest. The individual is essentially the proprietor of his own person and capacities, for which he owes nothing to society ... Although the individual cannot alienate the whole of his property in his own person, he may alienate his capacity to labor. Human society consists of a series of market relations ... Since freedom from the wills of others is what makes a man human, each individual’s freedom can rightfully be limited only by such obligations and rules as are necessary to secure the same freedom for others.

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