March 7, 2017

America's Shadow: An Anatomy of Empire by William V. Spanos

By William V. Spanos

A research of imperialism that stretches from historical Rome to the post-Cold conflict international, this provocative paintings boldly revises our assumptions concerning the family tree of the West. instead of finding its resource in classical Greece, William V. Spanos argues, we must always glance to historical Rome, which first articulated the information that will turn into primary to the West's imperial venture. those founding principles, he claims, have proficient the yank nationwide id and its international coverage from its origins.

The Vietnam battle is on the heart of this booklet. within the contradiction among the "free global" common sense hired to justify U.S. intervention in Vietnam and the genocidal practices used to achieve that good judgment, Spanos unearths the fruits of an imperialistic discourse attaining again to the colonizing intent of the Roman Empire. Spanos identifies the language of growth within the "white" metaphors in Western philosophical discourse because the colonization of Greek suggestion through the Romans. He indicates how those metaphors, and their function in metaphysical discourse, have lengthy been complicit within the violence of imperialism.

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Nature, in being calculated in advance, and history, in being historiographically verified as past, become, as it were, "set in place" [gestellt]. Nature and history become the objects of a representing that explains— Only that which becomes object in this way is — is considered in being. We first arrive at science as research when the Being of whatever is, is sought in such objectiveness. — MARTIN HEIDEGGER, "The Age of the World Picture" The thematization of the sublimated and naturalized metaphorics of reification informing the truth discourse of the Occident points to the complicity of knowledge production (truth) and power over the Other.

S. Eliot. Here it will suffice to say that both, like Hegel, invoke the idea of "comprehensive vision" in knowledge production in the name of "intellectual deliverance" (Arnold), but their articulation of its meaning clearly suggests that its real end is the willful spatialization and pacification of time and the difference it disseminates under the aegis of the imperial eye. But even the extension of this disclosure of the epistemological violence inhering in the reifying visualism of the philosophical discourse of the West to include literary production, indeed, language itself, is not adequate as a measure of the depth and scope of its imperial sway.

12 However that "otherly" surface is represented, whether as shadow (as in Plato) or as signature (as in St. Augustine and the Church Fathers) or as negation (as in Hegel) or as fragment (as in modern empirical science), the metaphysical mode of inquiry assumes that the difference the inquirer encounters is not an irresolvable contradiction or contingency, but a problem that can and must be solved in the name of the truth. It assumes the Other to be a mere appearance: a recalcitrant agency of concealment and instability that must yield what it conceals to the stabilizing truth of Identity, of the One, of the End, of Presence.

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