Negri and bacon

OpenSentence Type Foundry typefoundry at
Mon Nov 3 15:10:28 MST 2003

> Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2003 22:50:03 -0500
> From: "Jose G. Perez" <jgperez at>
> Subject: Negri and bacon
> Louis writes: "I don't think this quite adds up to an endorsement of the
> occupation. It is instead a kind of mandarin intellectualization of the
> issues, a clever playing with the question of whether the USA is like
> Victorian England."
> Here's what Negri said:
> "Right now, we are not dealing with a colonial administration but with a
> classic process of nation building. And therefore we are dealing with a
> transformation in a democratic direction."
> a) It is a colonial administration
> b) This is nation wrecking and subjugation, not building
> c) This is in no sense "democratic."

a) The United States does not allow itself to have colonies, and this
  imposes a special character upon their "territories", not all of
  whom have legal structures identical to the states and many of whom
  have significant autonomy.  I used to talk to Guamanian federal
  employees on the phone, and although they were plenty pissed at
  the federal government they didn't sound too upset or about being
  part of the US (and we're talking people of color here); the US is
  one of the less oppressive authorities in the area.
b) It's not the Marxist's job to build nation-states, or even to
  support malign but independent ones.
c) There have been very real increases in the amount of freedom ordinary
  Iraqis have as a result of the occupation; for example, there are a
  plethora of "unchained" periodicals -- you don't have to read USA Today.

> Negri endorses the occupation, he may do so in his insufferably
> petty-bourgeois way, but he's whoring for Bush all the same. No ifs ands
> or buts about it.

> Oink, oink, scratch a liberal, find a pig.

Too cute.  Firstly, Negri's in prison and what have you done lately?
Secondly, he's in prison not because he's into violence but because he knew
thrusting young sans-bucks who didn't understand there's no such thing
as *contropotere in tasca*.  Thirdly, we're talking about one of the more
intellectually responsible figures on the left (and one of the few genuine
theorists of the workers' movement, rather than "translators" for academic
audiences -- with no offense to any present company), but this is because
ultimately contentless and unreasonable invective does count as "talking".
You gots to chill -- so let's put it off a little bit, okay?

Jeff Rubard

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