[Marxism] Once again on Empire and imperialism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 13 13:56:05 MDT 2006

In the latest issue of the Nation Magazine, Michael Hardt makes a valiant 
but ultimately doomed attempt to rescue his Empire thesis from the dustbin 
of history. Ultimately, this involves coming to terms with the recent focus 
on "imperialism" made ineluctable by the last 4 years of hellish assaults 
on Islamic peoples in the third world. Hardt grants that for some gullible 
souls, "The Bush doctrine of unilateralism was, in fact, nothing but a new 
name for US imperialism." Even though certain bronto-Marxists were never 
invited on Charlie Rose's talk show, they did come forward with "a flood of 
 about the new (or not so new) US imperialism."

I can certainly understand Michael Hardt's frustration. Unlike him and Toni 
Negri, these "leftist intellectuals" were content to stick within the 
limits of Marxism theory and not try to supplant it with jazzy new 
theories. Writing a brand-new theory takes at least 5 years or so, but 
writing those oh-so-boring Monthly Review books with the word "imperialism" 
in the title is no challenge at all. Contrary to the John Bellamy Fosters 
of the world, Hardt insists that "imperialism is no longer an adequate 
concept for understanding global power and domination, and clinging to it 
can blind us to the new forms of power emerging today."




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