Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition


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Five hundred years since the capitalist mode ascended to domination, one should not be surprised. Or should one? It would seem then that the Balkans are caught, together with all the mankind, within contemporary global processes, in the form these processes take in peripheral and semi-peripheral regions of the world-system, of which the Balkans region is only one among the many.

Its basic effect is everywhere the same: it normalizes the processes which I have sketched. In this respect, those who in Europe, disagree with Bourdieu and agree with the Balkan-Orientalist ideology, actually only honour a specific tradition of modern Europe. Not the discredited tradition of Orientalism, though — but the honourable tradition of the modern democratic constitution by social contract. Since democratic culture can only be achieved through centuries-long practice of democratic institutions, the enterprise is trapped in a vicious circle.

The problem is not new in Europe, and has been developed, precisely as a question of civilisation and culture:. For an emergent people to taste the healthy principles of the politics and to follow the basic rules of the reason of the state, it would be necessary that the effect could become the cause, that the social spirit which must be the work of institution would precede the institution itself, and that humans be before the laws what they must become by them.

Translation mine. The vicious circle has to be broken from the outside. Rousseau invented a supplementary function which sets the process of political institution-cultivation in motion by an external intervention. This function is performed by le Legislateur , the Legislator. The people examines the laws, and finds them good, and, in its capacity of the Sovereign, adopts them by its free will. It is in this process of examination, assessment and adoption of the law that the people cultivates itself, and becomes a political nation.

While analysts agree that the world system is in crisis, their interpretations diverge. Immanuel Wallerstein holds that this is the final crisis of capitalism. In the future, Giraud expects the countries with low wages and high technological capacity India, China, South East Asia, Eastern Europe increasingly to catch-up with the present rich, while internal differences in the rich countries will irresistibly start to grow again. Every cycle is marked by the hegemony of the world-power which is capable of establishing an alliance between the state and the capital.

The cycle which is presently approaching its end was dominated by the US hegemony. The United States still have political and military supremacy, whilst the available capital has moved to East Asia. If the state and the capital, although dislocated, establish their alliance again, a new capitalist cycle is likely to begin. If this does not happen, then capitalism will come to its end.


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The new system will either be an empire without market, or a market without an empire. These are some possible scenarios if the dominating logic of the present extends into the future. At present, this logic is basically circular and still reproductive of the existing relations of domination. It establishes an ideal synthesis of savoir-pouvoir , of power and knowledge.

We should therefore call for strategies that will break the horizon of the alienating alternatives and the corresponding alienating processes. Such endeavours and strategies have already been practised — we should not forget that they were practised in the Balkans of the eighties. The alternative practices and discourses of the eighties have opened fresh perspectives, initiated emancipatory practices over vast domains which, before that, had been occupied by technologies of control and discipline.

Marta Gregorcic , Matjaz Hanzek , "Gospodarska rast ne izboljsuje clovekovega zivljenja" [Economic growth does not improve human life], Revija Srp , vol. From: Richard G. Wilkinson , Unhealthy Societies. The first industrial revolution produced railways and destroyed much of the peasantry; the second industrial revolution gave automobile and aircraft and, with the great agrarian crisis of the end of the 19 century, completed the social effects of the first revolution. Our industrial revolution, the third one, is the "informational revolution" which gave us personal computer, virtual reality and "instant" global markets.

Summary of French conquest of Cochin China began 23 Sept and still incomplete: Outline of accomplishments of Annamese Government in Tonkin including popular elections, abolition of undesirable taxes, expansion of education and resumption as far as possible of normal economic activities: Request to 4 powers: Despite what seemed like a match with stated U. Thus, Vietnam and their leader would have to wait another decade until they could win their freedom through combat. And even then, when the United Nations did finally adopt nearly the same policies that were requested years earlier, in the Geneva Accords, the United States determined that the Vietnamese still needed its help.

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The opinions of the U. Specialist 4 Robert E. When Ho Chi Minh asked us for help against the French, we should have told him we can't help him militarily against the French but we can use pressure to get the French out. Once the French were gone, we should have dealt with Ho Chi Minh, instead of letting the country get divided and backing puppet government after puppet government. Part of American Exceptionalism is the assumption that the United States knows best, that its ways are best, and that the United States should bring these ways to others across the world; i.

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No, the United States had to stay the course. As such, Americans were inscribed with the representation of Ho Chi Minh as a communist villain. Medic, David Ross, who served in Vietnam, spoke to that discourse when he said: In the same way that Americans had been inscribed with the "fact" that all communists were bad; the same prejudiced but again hidden under the terms "obvious" and "truthful" view that would years later allow U.

The problem with this discourse is that it ignores history. President Woodrow Wilson's concepts of self-determinism.

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In it, he held off asking for immediate independence, focusing instead on natural rights, which he assumed France would support. Ho Chi Minh asked for the release of political prisoners, freedoms of press and speech, freedom of association and assembly, the freedom to travel abroad, the creation of new schools for better education, and a permanent native delegation in French parliament to represent Vietnam's interests.


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Undaunted, Ho Chi Minh wrote similar appeals well into the forties, writing not only to France, but other Western democracies. During twenty-some years of appeals, the United States could not say that Ho Chi Minh was a communist, because he was not. Ironically, it was the West ignoring these pleas that drove Ho Chi Minh to communism. He was always more interested in his country's well-being than any political philosophy. Indeed, he wrote in his memoirs that: I gradually came upon the fact that only Socialism and Communism can liberate the oppressed nations and the working people throughout the world from slavery.

Communism was avoided in Europe because industrialists were more adaptable than Marx presumed and actually made reforms to satisfy the workers. No one was showing that attitude toward Southeast Asia. Rather than treat Southeast Asians as people with desires and rights, the United States saw them merely as pieces on a game board, to be strategized and moved as fit U. And so Ho Chi Minh the communist liberator was created. The United States would argue that Ho Chi Minh and the communists would not allow fair or free elections; it claimed that the Geneva Accords would unjustly divide a nation.

In the same discourse, the United States represented itself as trying to "strengthen the free world": In doing this, they also posed themselves in binary opposition to the imperial powers that had dominated South Vietnam previously: Yet, it is at this juncture, through Vietnam, and through Ho Chi Minh in particular, that this discourse is exposed. By definition, hegemonic discourse does its best to remain hidden, invisible to the people upon which it acts.

However, with the North Vietnamese leader, the evidence penetrates the flowery rhetoric that the United States espoused in talking about Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and the communist "threat. In a Joint Chiefs of Staff Memorandum from , it was reported that:. While it is obviously impossible to make a dependable forecast as to the outcome of a free election, current intelligence leads the Joint Chiefs of Staff to a belief that a settlement based on free elections would be attended by almost certain loss of the Associated States of Indochina to Communist control.

Eisenhower, were even more damning: I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held at the time of the fighting, possibly 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader rather than Chief of State Bao Dai [of South Vietnam]. This was not about freedom; this was not about democracy. He was their George Washington.

In time, having fought off two imperial powers, he would perhaps become two George Washingtons. The only possible reconciliation of these facts is that the election of Ho Chi Minh and the subsequent freedom of Vietnam as a nation would not have suited U. Placidia persecuted, later marries general Constantius; expelled by Honorius and goes to Constantinople. By , the Burgundians, Franks, and Goths obtain permanent grants in Gaul.

Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition
Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition
Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition
Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition
Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition
Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition Empire and Hegemony: Abridged Edition

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