[Marxism] Hardt in the Nation

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at berkeley.edu
Sun Jul 16 14:38:24 MDT 2006

Just skimmed Hardt's Nation piece. Seemed to say that the old imperialist
analytics can't grasp what is new but then Hardt implies that what is new
is absolutism on a global scale!  At any rate,
it does not follow from the obstacles faced by US imperialism
that the Empire as they have idiosyncratically defined it has in fact emerged
or serves as a constraint on actors.
Hardt's negative thesis simply does not establish the positive thesis.
There is no reason to believe that a  kind of US-based monarchical hegemony
is possible. The US may be structurally unable to make the sacrifices for
the Empire to work and the US may demand as a condition of its 
cooperation concessions
which its potential partners are unwilling to make.
Empire seems to be a thesis about the possibility of hegemony in 
which the dominant
bloc can and must win the assent of other actors.
But perhaps we are living in a post-hegemonic world, as argued by Cyrus Bina
in the research section on his webpage.
All that said, I think the idea of multitude is in fact very 
interesting, especially
as it opposes "the people" which through a series of indexicals usually means
a national populace (see Michael Billig Banal Nationalism).


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