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<nettime> Empire, Negri and Hardt
Nemonemini on Mon, 2 Dec 2002 11:55:58 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Empire, Negri and Hardt




I went to Amazon to review Singer's One World and ended up reviewing
Empire.


Empire
by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri 
Halflife of a republic...?
 John Landon 

This riddling work has been the target of so many direct hits and the
howls-of-protests of liberal political-sci mandarins that the only thing
left (in a postmodern vein, 'these fragments have we from our ruins')is to
review is the footnote on page 31, "...the thesis that the decline of Rome
began with Caesar was continually reproposed throughout the historiography
of the age of the Enlightenment..." That about says it. These critics must
ask who gets the last laugh. The books sifts the leftist omens of capital
demise with the correct foreboding, but not prophecy: It is easy to
protest postmodern pastiche, but history shows every chance republics
decay into empires, and their decadence begins not with the barbarians
invading but with the appearance of Ceasars. Have the Caesars appeared?
They may have upgraded their act, and after so much expertise with
Madison-Ad you'll never know what hit you.The question seems taken for
granted in the book, but its crypto-Spenglerianism with a Foucauldian
postmodern face seems unsure, or else ambivalent, or else licking it
chops, if by a change of labels this decadence might do the job of failed
revolution. What an odd book. I read it twice, but was unable to get with
the program, but then saw their point, better the leftist Caesars??? 'We
will make you a better offer'. In fact, the riddle of the book is solved
by taking it in fragments, a puzzle to be solved, with many pieces
disassembled, from Descartes to Derrida.  Leftist thought is fatigued,
this like the sufi stop shatters dead brain mass. Anything but more Second
Internationale cliches. However, there is no postmodern escape. The
postmodern provokes the an awesome task the Russian revolution too
obviously failed to resolve, actually understanding the modern so you can
surpass it! That's the catch in this type of argument. You are back to the
grind with schoolboy lessons ('discipline and punish') in the 'regles du
jeu', with or without a Voltaire wig. The postmodern simply jacknifes
against its modernism, and becomes its next outcome. Fascinating,
unnerving book. But the solution to the revolutionary problem requires a
republic...


John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
http://eonix.8m.com
nemonemini {AT} eonix.8m.com




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