Two critiques: "Empire" and "new imperialism"

Empire

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Download this article (pdf). It discusses the issues round “globalisation” by way of two critiques, of Negri-Hardt and of the “new imperialism” theory of John Rees, Alex Callinicos and other writers associated with the British SWP.

Both accounts have a theological taste to them. But where Negri’s and Hardt’s is enthusiastic, mystical theology, Callinicos’s is the theology of the worldly-wise, “moderate” prelate of a modern established church.

Both Hardt/Negri and Callinicos/Rees slide off the narrow and slippery path of scientific analysis — substituting speculative construction for empirical investigation in one case, dragging the ill-fitting costume of yesterday’s theory onto today’s reality so as better to be able to agitate about “imperialism — just like Lenin condemned” in the other.

Other material about "autonomist Marxism" on this site:

Autonomist Marxism: three themes, three critiques

Autonomism, workerism, and Trotskyism in Italy;

Review of Steve Wright's book on the history of autonomism in the 1960s and 70s.

On other sites:

A compact summary of autonomism, in the form of an interview with the American autonomist Harry Cleaver by Massimo De Angelis: www.eco.utexas.edu/Homepages/facstaff/Cleaver/InterviewwithHarryCleaver.html.

Review of Hardt and Negri's Empire: Other texts, including the historic ones like Mario Tronti's "Lenin in England": www.geocities.com/cordobakaf/index.html.

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