File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0110, message 15

Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 22:30:20 -0500
Subject: Re: the event


Thank you. I read your analysis with great interest and am very grateful
to hear a voice outside the US who has such a different perspective. I
have come to realize that the stance I am taking with regard to this
crisis is globalist over nationalist, but I'm also aware that the
globalist position is difficult because, like I said about justice, it
is still in the process of being created. I like what you are saying and
find it both thoughtful and provocative.

I have to admit I hadn't hear about Tony Blair attempting to push the US
in the direction of "Debt eradication, Kyoto agreement and so on. The
re-establishment of Afghanistan as a state, possibly bringing Iraq back
into the legal state status" but intuitively this makes sense.  As one
of the chief architects of "third way" political thinking (with all its
obvious faults) I wouldn't expect him to endorse Bush completely the way
our Democratic congresspeople and Senators did.

Part of the problem with this kind of negotiation is that it seems so
much behind the scenes.  But any movement of the US towards changing its
policies of aggression in the Middle East would be positive.

I think you are on target about the transnational corporations. Agree
with you that without the state they are dodo birds.  I am always amazed
that the conservatives talk about capitalism as though it were as
natural as a rain forest, forgetting to mention the heavy military and
governmental machinery required to maintain it.  The corporation is a
legal fiction if there ever was one, a marriage of Juraissic Park and
constitutional law. 

I'll accept what you are saying about colonialism for the moment.  It
also seems to me that if any section of the globe today remains a
vestige of colonialism it is those places where oil is king.  Oil seems
implicated in this terrorism in ways that haven't even been discussed.

Again, I like what you are saying about the counter-globalism movement.
I just want to hit you with one question. Hardt and Negri strongly
advocate 1) universal citizenship (2) guaranteed annual income (3) free
access to information and technology.

Isn't there a way in which this is merely extending the welfare state
into the global arena.  I can imagine a more enlightened capitalism
agreeing to all of the above as a way to limit bureaucratic interference
by the state and reduce populist resistance. After all, each one of
these ideas have been advocated by libertarian neo-liberals at some time
or other.  Milton Friedman is a case in point.  He argued for a GUI (or
negative income tax) way back in the sixties.  It almost was passed into
law under Nixon of all people.  Granted the framing of this was pretty
reactionary, but my point is this. Are the proposals of Hardt and Negri
really just a new form of globalism liberalism?  Would a real revolution
call for something more or is this the necessary step to get there?

Be careful what you wish for!



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