Virtuality and Resistance: Situating the Manifesto Between Command and Political Metamorphosis

Matt Applegate Ph.D., Molloy College


This article surveys and identifies contemporary theories of the manifesto genre’s use and place in radical politics. Following the work of Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, this article argues that the manifesto comes to be thought as a mode of spatial and temporal reconfiguration focused in the present, rather than as a program prophesying or determining the future of resistance. Indicative of a metamorphosis in the interplay between state power, capitalist sovereignty and those who resist it, this article’s primary claim is that the manifesto is not doomed to obsolescence in the face of new revolutionary forms, but comes to function as a virtual topography of resistance. In our contemporary moment the manifesto comes to be theorized and comes to function as a site where multiple spaces and times of resistance are mobilized against state power and capitalist sovereignty while its tactical imperatives come to be articulated absent of a programmatic determination of their use.