nettime's umpire on Thu, 22 Aug 2002 04:15:33 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Empire for Beginners - by Rob los Ricos [3x]

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   Re: <nettime> Empire for Beginners - by Rob los Ricos                           
     "N Jett" <>                                                    

   Re: ] Empire for Beginners - by Rob los Ricos                                   
     "anarcho sando" <>                                     

   Re: <nettime> Empire for Beginners - by Rob los Ricos                           
     Are Flagan <>                                                  


Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 21:22:24 +0000
From: "N Jett" <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Empire for Beginners - by Rob los Ricos

>Empire for Beginners
>Reviewed by Rob los Ricos

Did I get a different copy of the book or something? This sounds nothing 
like the Empire I've been reading!


Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 06:19:07 +0000
From: "anarcho sando" <>
Subject: Re: ] Empire for Beginners - by Rob los Ricos

where it is being debated, I have rudely cut and paste ( without emails ) 
the addresses of some peoples comments from this list and others to this 
thread, leading from the article.

it is being debated elsewhere


Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 10:52:58 -0400
From: Are Flagan <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Empire for Beginners - by Rob los Ricos

8/20/02 1:28 PM, "tobias v" <> :

> on Empire ...

Two of the most prominent philosophers of "opposition," Foucault and
Derrida, have of course already explored the troublesome pleasures of
power and the binary roots of western metaphysics beyond what Tobias
proposes. Foucault stressed that power must always also work in positive
ways to assert its negative aspects and Derrida, of course, did not
advocate an escape from the binary (inside/outside) but a reworking of its
logocentric privileges, his metaphysics of presence, to disturb or
redistribute them. (Although deconstruction can arguably not be reduced to
narrow goals like this; it is rather the dispersed effect/affect of a

I am acutely aware that both these projects were born after the last
glorious revolt of 68, which forced a radical rethinking due to the
failure of oppositional politics and paradigms to seize the revolutionary
moment beyond a certain carpe diem that immediately grew nostalgic at the
sight of barricades in the streets of Paris and reverted to the status

What Tobias proposes, then, is hardly a new strategy to deal with the
"negative" aspects of Empire or globalization, but the revocation of
tactics that grew out of a disillusionment with a past oppositional
failure anchored in Marxist revolutionary thought. Instead of seizing a
bedrock historical reality, like Marx and Engels extolled in the
Manifesto, the solid to air mix that would supposedly crystallize in sober
senses and reveal the real conditions of life has given way to the po-mo
kit for opposition that comes complete with Foucault and Derrida
instructions. Arguably, only the most fateful experiment could possibly
fashion even a minor explosion from these ingredients (but here we return
to the pitfall of Marxism--revolution).

The more interesting aspects and openings come with the comparison between
past imperialism and present globalization (although I see distinctions
here as rather lexical). Once the imperial Empire stretched itself thin
across the globe, its ideology became increasingly difficult to uphold in
circumstances and climates not exactly hospitable or conducive to its
workings of privilege. The result was, for example, that India came to
Britain and Britain to India long before the official handover of
sovereignty and restating of borders--in other words: the maintenance of
centrality under imperialism demands a dispersal that in turn undermines
its privileged position. One can speculate, of course, on the many
parallels that gave us WW II to effectively finish off the last imperial
enclaves (effectively to reassert positions) and the present war on
terrorism that violently struggles to maintain the terms and conditions
that come with a corporate, global Empire.

It is somewhat encouraging in this regard that Canada yesterday refused to
sanction or participate in any unprovoked US strike against Iraq. There is
also an unconfirmed rumor that Bush has bought the entire fleet of Enron
jets with taxpayer money to settle all outstanding debts for Ken Lay et
al. The plan is to use Texas death row inmates to pilot them in
Kamikaze-style attacks on Baghdad to symbolically revenge the WTC attacks
live on network television and boost approval ratings for the 2004
(s)elections. What I am saying is that there must surely be growing room
for another collectivity, call it globalization, here...

- -af


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