File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0108, message 74

Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 19:21:04 +0100
Subject: Re: Sublime Empire

Far be it from to correct with 'in these times' but really how'd they expect
to change the world if they don't know the its origins? All of the new-left
ideas mentioned in the paragraph below derive from the political groups that
people like Negri, Guattari, Gorz and others were part of in the 60s

Mary Murphy&Salstrand wrote:

> "To the usual calls for direct democracy, the leitmotif of the
> "anti-globalization" movement everywhere, they've made three major
> additions: A principle of global citizenship, the elimination of all
> controls over freedom of movement in the world (Ya Basta! especially has
> targetted immigration detention facilities): a universally guaranteed
> "basic income" to replace programs like welfare and unemployment
> (originally derived from the French MAUSS group); and free access to new
> technologies - in effect, extreme limits to the enforcement of
> intellectual property  right. (Most Americans assume these ideas derive
> from Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's book "Empire."  They don't. They
> got them from Ya Basta!)
> One of the surprizes for me in reading "Empire" was how little of the
> book was spent in describing this political program. Maybe twenty pages
> or so at the very end. And I agree, in some ways the above statement is
> better than Empire because it is more direct and concrete.

I disagree - journalism is a short lived and usually irrelevant form of
knowledge transfer - it's never around long enough to change anything... the
direct and concrete statements above were derived from philosophical, social
and economic texts - it is the way of things for people to refuse the
intellectual roots of things.

> Nonetheless I think the value of "Emmpire" lies not so much in the
> politics it offers, but in laying down the conditions of possibility (or
> is that virtuality?) that makes these politics real.  It is something
> like a Kantian transcendental deduction, only in this case, the ground
> is below and immanent. Today the voice of god rises up from the ditch.
> There is great value in all this, even if there is no place on the earth
> where this value can be measured.  It is beyond even the fulcrum of
> Archimedes. The terminology of the sublime is not used,however, the
> concept of Empire seems sublime because Empire is not a place.  Empire
> is the non-localized space-time compression, a true u-topia.  Today, we
> nomads are all real nowhere cyborgs. We don't go in circles. We move in
> mobeus strips of libidinal flesh.
> What this Marxist-Deleuzian tendency gives us is a politics of the
> sublime (even though we know there is no politics of the sublime) and a
> new way to understand the postmodern, not as the exhaustion of politics,
> not as the mourning of lost forms of politics, not as the triumph of
> neo-liberalism, but as a Protean form of being against, the Great
> Refusal, a nondialectical subjectivity within the multitude which
> resists and resists again. By the very fact of this resistance it causes
> a response to occur which attempts to re-control and reterritorialize.
> The masters experience the  perpetual belatedness of recapture. The
> paralogical is furtive and agile like quicksilver.
> History is not at an end. It has merely become sublime. Long live
> history.  The postmodern is the hydra which all the labors of Hercules
> cannot destroy.
> eric


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