ThoughtStorms Wiki

Warning : not all definitions of "empire" on this page are used to mean the same thing.

A lot of outdated stuff FIXME

Description of Hardt and Negri's "Empire". (Which I still have to read) on http://www.shaviro.com/Blog/

There's a wonderful passage in Multitude (190ff) where Hardt and Negri write of the way that political philosophy has traditionally seen the nation or the society as a body: Hobbes' Leviathan is only the most famous use of this more-than-metaphor. The multitude, they say, can in this context only be seen as something monstrous, a disorganized agglomeration of flesh, since it rejects the sovereignty of the head over the other organs that is the central concern of Hobbes' model (and that of all too many later political thinkers as well). Capital works, in the terms Hardt and Negri implicitly borrow from Deleuze, by separating the body politic from what it can do. In Deleuze and Guattari's terms, the multitude is a body without organs; it expresses its potentialities to the fullest by rejecting the restrictions imposed by the hierarchical organization of the organs.

While I find this image compelling, I can't help being haunted by its inversion. In my picture, capital itself is the monstrous flesh, the body without organs, that we the multitude are forced to inhabit. This flesh is "really" ours, ultimately ours. But in our pragmatic, day-to-day experience, we don't own it, or hold it in common. Rather we scurry about, in its folds and convolutions, like lice or fleas; or at best, we reprogram its code here and there, just a little bit, like viruses. It oppresses us, but we are stuck; we hate it, but we can't live without it. Can we transform this parasitic, shadowy state of being into a form of resistance? *

See also : DecentralizedLeft / TheLeftTheoryOfDisagreement

How similar is this to American imperialism? (See AntiAmericanism)

Chris Lydon, the issue is empire : http://blogs.harvard.edu/lydondev/2004/09/02/the-issue-is-empire/


VinayGupta's recommendations in TheLongPeace are a call to make Empire a reality.

We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. : http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html

Empire is learned : https://web.archive.org/web/20111202190625/http://servingtheword.blogspot.com/2005/05/where-do-empires-come-from-israel.html?showComment=1118857740000

See also :