Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 21:26:33 +0000 Subject: Anti Americanism and Anti-Europeanism All The below text is from M. Hardt - taken from the Guardian on Friday. The question to ask of it is whether the analysis of the nation-state is correct and whether the appearance on the recent peace-marches of vast numbers of people who are identifying with 'peace' - rather than the warfare that the neo-liberal globalisers require to resolve there current economic and developing ideological crisis. If the protesters are truly functioning as 'anti-american' then perhaps you can help me understand what is so wrong with being 'anti-american' ? Where did the fixation of being nice to the 'rich' and the 'powerful' come from? Enjoy - regards steve (Paul Legrande (situationist) - once said to a noted French Philosopher "...why are you making such a fuss about culture, it's simply a resource...") Michael Hardt wrote: "There is a new anti-Europeanism in Washington. The United States, of course, has a long tradition of ideological conflict with Europe. The old anti-Europeanism generally protested against the overwhelming power of European states, their arrogance, and their imperialist endeavours. Today, however, the relationship is reversed. The new anti-Europeanism is based on the US position of power and it protests instead against European states failing to yield to its power and support its projects. The most immediate issue for Washington is the European lack of support for the US plans for war on Iraq. And Washington's primary strategy in recent weeks is to divide and conquer. On one hand, Defence Secretary Rumsfeld, with his usual brazen condescension, calls those European nations who question the US project, primarily France and Germany, "the old Europe", dismissing them as unimportant. The recent Wall Street Journal letter of support for the US war effort, on the other hand, signed by Blair, Berlusconi and Aznar, poses the other side of the divide. In a broader framework, the entire project of US unilateralism, which extends well beyond this coming war with Iraq, is itself necessarily anti-European. The unilateralists in Washington are threatened by the idea that Europe, or any other cluster of states, could compete with its power on equal terms. (The rising value of the euro with respect to the dollar contributes, of course, to the perception of two potentially equal and competing power blocs.) Bush, Rumsfeld and their ilk will not accept the possibility of a bi-polar world. They left that behind with the cold war. Any threats to the uni-polar order must be dismissed or destroyed. Washington's new anti-Europeanism is really an expression of their unilateralist project. Corresponding in part to the new US anti-Europeanism, there is today in Europe and across the world a growing anti-Americanism. In particular, the coordinated protests last weekend against the war were animated by various kinds of anti-Americanism - and that is inevitable. The US government has left no doubt that it is the author of this war and so protest against the war must, inevitably, be also protest against the United States. This anti-Americanism, however, although certainly justifiable, is a trap. The problem is, not only does it tend to create an overly unified and homogeneous view of the United States, obscuring the wide margins of dissent in the nation, but also that, mirroring the new US anti-Europeanism, it tends to reinforce the notion that our political alternatives rest on the major nations and power blocs. It contributes to the impression, for instance, that the leaders of Europe represent our primary political path - the moral, multilateralist alternative to the bellicose, unilateralist Americans. This anti-Americanism of the anti-war movements tends to close down the horizons of our political imagination and limit us to a bi-polar (or worse, nationalist) view of the world. The globalisation protest movements were far superior to the anti-war movements in this regard. They not only recognised the complex and plural nature of the forces that dominate capitalist globalisation today - the dominant nation states, certainly, but also the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, the major corporations, and so forth - but they imagined an alternative, democratic globalisation consisting of plural exchanges across national and regional borders based on equality and freedom. One of the great achievements of the globalisation protest movements, in other words, has been to put an end to thinking of politics as a contest among nations or blocs of nations. Internationalism has been reinvented as a politics of global network connections with a global vision of possible futures. In this context, anti-Europeanism and anti-Americanism no longer make sense. It is unfortunate but inevitable that much of the energies that had been active in the globalisation protests have now at least temporarily been redirected against the war. We need to oppose this war, but we must also look beyond it and avoid being drawn into the trap of its narrow political logic. While opposing the war we must maintain the expansive political vision and open horizons that the globalisation movements have achieved. We can leave to Bush, Chirac, Blair, and Schröder the tired game of anti-Europeanism and anti-Americanism....."
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