“Democracy…means, then, that there is no alienation of power— neither in relation to its exercise, nor in relation to its formation or the specificity of executive action.”10 This negative definition, in terms of non-alienation, can alsobe putpositively as follows:it is “the liberation of all social energies in a general conatus [desire or striving to survive] of the organization of the freedom of all. Continual and permanent.”11From this point of view, “Legitimation is inalienably rooted in collectivity; only the collectively expressed potentia, only the creativity of the multitudo determines legitimacy.”12 What this means is that even when a State or institution has been constituted,it isnot inoculated against the constitutive process of the multitude that gave rise to it. It is constantlyandat every point (and not justat a few points and at strictly defined intervals) under threat of the withdrawal of the civil consensus that constructed it.13 For Spinoza and Negri,this immanence and permanence of the collective constitutive process is what makes democracy the onlygenuinely absolute government. “Absolute” in this case does not refer to“absolutism,” which would be the figure of thefixedand unalterable transcendence of the despot andthe State, butrather to the unlimitedness of a continuousand immanent process of re-creation or re-inventionthat is congruent with Deleuzeand Guattari’s definition of the absolutedeterritorialization of philosophy itself: democracy…determined sub specie aeternitas…[is] a metamorphosis that does not stop, that has no end—it increasingly affirms the power of the ‘absolutum’ collective body, at the very moment in which it denies the presence of fear, terror, death….Therefore the imperium democraticum, because it is omnino absolutum, because it lives on eternity, is not limited to any [positive political] Constitution…but rather constantly transcends them all dynamically since it is ever more capable of perfection.14If it is not limited toany specificform of constitution (which would in fact re-13Timothy Murphy (University of Oklahoma, English). “Becoming Multitude: Toward a Theory and Practice of Absolute Democracy.” April 16th, 2005.
R6 D&G Kintroducea version of the irreversiblecontractarian transfer of right and power), then rather than being one particular form of government among others, in fact “theSpinoziandefinition of democracy is the definition of ‘non-government’….[It] isnot a form of government butrather asocialactivity of transformation” (ibid). Spinozian absolute democracy is not any historically given actual form, but rather the asymptotic virtual limit of the constitutive process, and thus it “can in no way be defined as a constitutional democracy, that is, as a form of government based on the division and balance of Powers and on their reciprocal dialectic”15 such as exists in contemporary democratic States. Democracy sub specie aeternitas is what