File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0108, message 78

Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 19:23:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Sublime Empire


am writing fast tonight, little time. While I agree with you that
journalism isn't philosophical, I would also argue it has its place.  In
the background of this discussion is the conversation Hugh and I had
previously about Richard Rorty.  He wrote a article in the Nation a few
years ago and argued there for the need of the left in America to put
together a concerete program.

I think you could argue a similar tactic makes sense globally.

By the way, I didn't mean this as a criticism of empire.  One of the
many things I admire about the book is its philosophical sense.  

eric wrote:
> Eric
> 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
> onwards...
> 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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