File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 12

Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 15:58:02 +0100
Subject: Re: Empire and the "Facts"

Hugh and All

> Yes, we are trying to understand the background and  reasoning that leads to
> the theory of  "Empire". The role of the above-named Revolutions in N&H's
> development of  the "Empire" thesis may be of significance, but more
> important, perhaps, to my way of thinking,  is an understanding of
> present-day  realities in those countries and the other countries to which
> the "Empire" thesis would apply..

I agree that our understanding of 'Empire' should start from our understandings
of what constitutes gobalisation. But the importance of the text is probably
that it marks a turning point in writings on globalisation. Over the past decade
the majority of writings on globalisation have been either 1) neo-liberal,
neo-conservative triumphalist texts, which have for example incorrectly argued
that the nation state is effectively and necessarily dominated by the global
economy which results in nation states having to eradicate the welfare state
provisions etc Or 2) left accounts of globalisation which have tended to be
accepting of the underlying thesis of the first perspective.

The importance of Empire is that it attempts to construct a different

> More data is needed to define problems of globalisation to which the
> "Empire" thesis is addressed.

The problem is that the differend implied above between 'Empire' and positions 1
and 2 may be irreconcilable.

> Have the new technologies, which have recently contributed so much to the
> development of global capitalism, also changed "subjectivites" of a global
> "multitude" or the "multitude" of workers within industrialized nations?

Good question - I believe that this may be the case - this is implied in
Lyotard's (and Deleuze and Guattari's work) later work? Certainly this is a
direct implication of 'The Differend' and 'The Inhuman' texts.

Does anyone believe that this is not the case - that 'subjectivity' has not
changed since the advent of capital and science, that the social chhanges that
result from the arrival of the PM condition have not changed the social
imaginaries we exist within?

> A military campaign must have a map of the terrain, knowledge of manpowerr
> and armanents of  opposing forces, their strengths and weaknesses. This is
> the basis for a plan (theory) of attack.

Ah theory...




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