Thursday, November 25, 2004


Just a quick post before the mandatory "thankful" gluttany. I confess that I have not read much Hardt and Negri, or read them well, but lately I have been absorbed by the reviews in this issue of ACME. The review by Moore may be a bit harsh and off the mark, but

"Today the enemy, just like war itself, comes to be at once banalized (reduced to an object of routine police repression) and absolutized (as the Enemy, an absolute threat to the ethical order)" (Hardt and Negri, 2001, 12).

As perceptive as the above description may be, we are faced today with a series of American global strategies that not only shed doubt on the successful realization of Empire (in the fashion imagined by Hardt and Negri) but that, increasingly, appear to be heading in a rather different direction. What Empire does the Bush administration have in mind? Is the war on terror actually the sign of a retreat from the realisation of Empire? Is it a return to Modernity? A way to militarise its crisis? Does not the unilateral turn of the US administration over the past two years negate the very principles of Empire (based within a recognition of global law and order as prescribed by international organisations)? Does not the US administrations decision to withdraw from the Kyoto protocol, and from the anti-ballistic missile treaty, its failure to ratify the Rio pact on biodiversity, its reactionary opposition to the ban on landmines, the biological warfare convention and the creation of the international criminal court, its progressive delimination of the United Nations and its new vision of Nato's world role--do not all of these actions fundamentally undermine the realisation of Empire's global geography? Are we not being faced, perhaps, with an attempt to create a counter-Empire, characterised by a militarised globalisation and monolithic imperialism--a far cry from the domination of a bio-political system of uncertain boundaries and high mobility that Hardt and Negri describe--and invite us to combat, "from the inside"?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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