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Albrecht Altdorfer, The Battle of Alexander at Issus, 1529

From Empire to Multitude: A Critique of the Perpetual Omnipotence of Global Capitalism? Mehmet Z. Demir--Denmark-- Spring-2008


For Cengizhan Balta


FROM EMPIRE TO MULTITUDE:A CRITIQUE OF THE PERPETUAL OMNIPOTENCE OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM? The means employed by the lust for power have changed, but the same volcano continues to glow, the impatience and the immoderate love demand their sacrifice: and what one formerly did "for the sake of God" one now does for the sake of money, that is to say, for the sake of that which now gives the highest feeling of power and good conscience.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Introduction The US, that is, the leading force of global capitalism thus globalization, is not only empire that reigned on the globe. There existed a Roman Empire, for example, of which omnipotence was not far from the US possesses here and now. It is not, of course, history itself that provides us the same logic of the conducts of empires, and the astoundingly similarities of their means and tools, but rather a conscientious historian who interprets and recounts what was happening as Edward Gibbons did: 'The perpetual intercourse between the court and the provinces was facilitated by the construction of roads

the institution of posts. But these beneficial establishments were accidentally connected with a pernicious and intolerable abuse. Two or three hundred agents or messengers were employed, under the jurisdiction of


the master of the offices, to announce the names of the annual consuls, and the edicts of victories of the emperors. They insensibly assumed the licence of reporting whatever they could observe of the conduct either of magistrates or of private citizens; and were soon considered as the eyes of the monarch and the scourge of the people. Under the warm influence of a feeble reign they multiplied to the incredible number of ten thousand, disdained the mild though frequent admonitions of the laws, and exercised in the profitable management of the posts a rapacious and insolent oppression. These official spies, who regularly corresponded with the palace, were encouraged, by favour and reward, anxiously to watch the progress of every treasonable design from the faint and latent symptoms of disaffection, to the actual preparation of an open revolt. Their careless or criminal violation of truth and justice was covered by the consecrated mask of zeal; and they might securely aim their personed arrows at the breast either of the guilty or the innocent, who had provoked their resentment, or refused to purchase their silence. A faithful subject, of Syria perhaps, or of Britain, was exposed to the danger, or at least to the dread, of being dragged in chains to the court of Milan or Constantinople, to defend his life and fortune against the malicious charge of these privileged informers. The ordinary administration was conducted by those methods which extreme necessity can alone palliate; and the defects of evidence were diligently supplied by the use of torture.' 1

That the similarities with what the US empire has been applying by means of Abu Gharib, Guantanamo and the CIA interrogation centres in Europe and of military ruining, economically spoiling and existentially humiliating, i.e., the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, is not the only idea that it may be gained through Gibbon's narrative. Not that untruthfulness and injustice might bring about a collapse of an empire; incidentally these are simply primordial characteristics and prerequisites of prevailing as an empire. But that the Roman Empire has fallen. In spite of an eighth century expression i.e., ' As long as the Coliseum stands, Rome shall stand; when the collosium falls, Rome will fall; when Rome falls, the world will fall'2, it has fallen. The founder of the so-called world-system analysis, Immanuel Wallerstein, has argued that the hegemony of the US is in decline. Walllerstein proposes three periods that starts out from he past and ends up with the future: unquestioned hegemony (1945-1970), down turn (1970-2000), and decline (2000-2025). The period of unquestioned hegemony, the argument runs, was a product of the second world war that brought about a devastation for the world


except the United States , one which was ready to benefit from this devastation and obtained an unquestionable 'economic dominance' thus a 'political primacy. The would-be opposition posed by the USSR, which was able to disencumber itself from the devastation created by the second world war by means of an immense ideological machine, was mitigated by dint of Yalta arrangements according to which all the entire world was parcelled out economically and ideologically between these two the so-called superpowers. In this period, Wallerstein maintains, the US did obtain ' 95 per cent of what it wanted 95 percent of the time'. Yet, it was this period itself that had the seeds of the further quaqmires for the US thus those which are the beneficiaries of the then existing world-system i.e., the economic recovery of Western Europe and Japan along with the so-called 'four dragons' ( Taiwan, Singapore, Honkong, and South Korea), the ideological and strategical separation of 'People's Republic of China' from Stalin's USSR, the Algerian liberation, the Cuban revolution and so forth. For Wallerstein, the period of downturn (1970-2001) is framed by the politico-cultural transformations wrought by the so-called 1968 revolutions and the economic turbulence. Even the 'collusion' of the Soviet Union with the US imperialism did not stymie what is called the failure of 'developmentalist ideology' for which the 'neo liberal' reaction through the Thatcher and Reagan regimes, the IMF and the World Economic Forum at Davos was launched in the 1980's. The collapse of the Soviet Union marked the end of the period of downturn. The period of decline (2001-2025), Wallerstein argues, can be seen through the attempts to restore the hegemonic position of the US by the neoconservatives who were appointed in the high positions in 2001 by junior Bush. The neoconservatives' strategy was an aggressive foreign policy which included the rejection of international treaties such as Kyoto Protocol and Law of the Sea. In the same year the US paid the price of what its imperialistic actions had begotten: the September 11 attacks hit the US the first time in its soil. The 9/11 was a good opportunity to quench the thirstiness of the neo-conservatives' neo-imperialism. They did not miss this opportunity. Yet, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan along with an 'axis of the good' still remains a hellish cauldron for the


inhabitants of these lands as well as for the US as of June 2008. 'Finally' , Wallerstein concludes: 'Latin America has the potential to emerge as a significant autonomous actor, if released from dependence on the US and capable of consolidating some form of economic unity. If it could attract Mexico into its camp, it might then be able to make giant economic and political steps forward – to the detriment, to be sure, of the US. Where other potential forces – especially, but not only, India, Iran, Indonesia and South Africa – would fit into such an overall geopolitical realignment is the last clear question of the coming period. And lurking behind any possible reconfiguration of world politics would be questions of access to energy and to, in a world beset by ecological dilemmas and potentially producing vastly more than existing capacities of capitalist accumulation. Here could be the most explosive isues of all, for which geopolitical manoeuvring or reshuffling offers any solution.3

Whether or not Wallerstein's periodizations and predictions are impeccably plausible, there are three reasons for summing up and quoting his essay. First, it would be utile to give a historical background simply because if there is a decline for the global capitalist hegemony under the auspices of the United States, it has occurred in the end of 20 th century and in the beginning of 2000s just as it was de facto set into motion in the wake of the Second World War i.e., the Yalta Arrangements and more specifically Bretton Woods. Second, the perpetual omnipotence of global capitalism thus the US hegemony must not perforce be taken granted. One even might claim that it is a myth, one which haunts the contemporary academic and popular discourses. Third, by this background, we have been prepared to question Michael Hard and Antonio Negri's Empire and Multitude that we shall deal with in this essay. We shall discuss these two texts whether or not they are able to evince a critique of the perpetual omnipotence of global capitalism and thus its leading force the US.


Empire In Empire4 Hardt and Negri seem to have agreed with Wallerstein with respect to 'decline' we have referred to in our introduction. 'The decline', they maintain, ' is no longer a future destiny but the present reality of Empire.' 5 Yet, unlike Wallerstein who explicitly refers to a 'decline' of the United States, the way Hardt and Negri operate the term Empire is ambiguous in terms of what exactly it is. It does connote different meanings in different contexts throughout Empire. To give some of the primordial definitions, in the very beginning, 'Empire' as the argument proceeds, ' is the political subject that affectively regulates these global exchanges, the sovereign power that governs the world.' (p.XI) By means of contemporary transformations, we are told, that sovereignty has taken a new form that consists of a series of national and supranational organisms which are united under a single logic of rule. So, this is what their basic hypothesis is: ' The new global form of sovereignty is what we call Empire.' (p. XII) It is, again, this Empire of which rule has no limits. (p. XIV) This limitless 'a specific regime of global relations', which they call Empire, is the enemy. (p.45-6) Why? Because 'Empire is from its inception decadent and corrupt.' (p. 201) The ambiguity of the term Empire perhaps is most palpable when it is defined in this manner: 'The striated space of modernity constructed places that were continually engaged in and founded on a dialectical play with their outsides. The space of imperial sovereignty, in contrast, is smooth. It might appear to be free of the binary divisions or striation of modern boundaries, but really it is crisscrossed by so many fault lines that it only appears as a continuous, uniform space. In this sense, the clearly defined crisis of modernity gives way to an omnicrisis in the imperial world. In this smooth space of Empire, there is no place of power - it is both everywhere and nowhere. Empire is an ou-topia or really a non-place.'6

Sounds smoothly good if and only if this were a best-seller book to be consumed in leisure time; Harry Potter for example. There are, to be sure, several severe consequences which this kind of rhetorizing along with an incompetent poetizing brings about. For the sake of


brevity, let us only emphasize two of them. First, this kind of double-faced enigmatic entailment desolates those who crave for a formula that helps construct a trajectory to escape the current quandary created by global capitalist post-political Zeitgeist, borrowing the vocabulary of Chantal Mouffe, that characterizes our global capitalist age. This is a point that has already been accentuated by E. M. Wood. She for whom Empire is a book that resembles something written by a guru of globalization protestingly asks: ' What does this mean for the possibilities of opposition?'7 Second, this kind of ubiquity/contra-ubiquity dialectic does not only imply a disarray in terms of spatiality but also in terms of subjectivity and quality. This is to say that in an everywhere/nowhere Empire the political subject seems to have turned to be everybody/nobody so that the distinction between exploiter/exploited and oppressor/oppressed, that is, under the auspices of global capitalism, is blurred. By the same token, Empire concomitantly becomes everything and nothing. This ubiquity/contra-ubiquity dialectic hardly precludes what they call 'counter-empire' to be lethally tainted, which is formulated as follows: 'Empire can be affectively contested only on its own level of generality and by pushing the processes that it offers past their present imitations. We have to accept that challenge and learn to think globally and act globally. Globalization must be met with a counter-globalization, Empire with a counter-Empire.' 8

So tracking a close conceptual scrutinizing to have some understanding of Empire in itself seems to have reached the conclusion: Empire is nebulous, as Charles Tilly has pointed out. 9 Empire nonetheless is an immense book. It would be too quick to conclude our questioning at this point due to the fact that Empire talks about too many things. So, let us keep questioning Empire in contradistinction to imperialism and colonialism, which must perforce always be kept in mind in each context where global capitalism is at stake, in order that we may have some understanding of Empire so that we may test whether Empire is able to evince a plausible critique of the perpetual omnipotence of global capitalism. For Hardt and Negri, the sovereignty of nation-states is in decline. The nation-states are no longer able to regulate economic and cultural exchanges. This inability, the argument runs,


is a primordial pre-indication for Empire. The sovereignty of nation-states was an indispensable element for imperialisms and European colonialisms. Imperialisms, we are told, were an extension of the sovereign European nation-states beyond their boundaries. So, the world map used to be coded in European colours i.e., red for British, blue for French, green for Portuguese and so on. Hardt and Negri goes on to argue that Empire, on the contrary, has by no means a territorial centre of power, fixed boundaries, and barriers. Rather, Empire, we are told, is characterized and managed by decentred and deterritorializing apparatus of rule, hybrid identities, flexible hierarchies and plural exchanges through modulating networks of command. So, they conclude, the strictly coded world map has turned out to be an imperial global rainbow.10 This reasoning that the contradistinction of Imperialism/Colonialism and Empire depends on seems to be plausible in terms only of imperialism part. Yet, as soon as Empire enters into the realm of this reasoning the entire contradistinction breaks down. Herein, we must perforce ask: Cannot still we code contemporary world map in Euro-American colors due simply the fact that they operate hand in hand in Iraq and Afghanistan based on a certain profit shares, not to mention, for example, the Chinese imperialism that bobbles Tibet and Sinjang? Are not these pure imperialist operations an extension of sovereign states such as the US, the UK along with other nation-states, albeit the balance for sharing profits might have more or less changed between the corporations and the states? Was not the East India Company along with many others, for example, being managed by decentred and deterritorializing apparatus of rule, hybrid identities, flexible hierarchies and plural exchanges? Based on these unavoidable questions, why should we be convinced by this contradiction and abandon the notions of imperialism and colonialism? It should come as no surprise, then, that this contradistinction impels Hardt and Negri to contradictions: 'Empire can only be conceived as a universal republic, a network of powers and counterpowers structured in a bondless and inclusive architecture. This imperial expansion has nothing to do with imperialism., nor with those state organisms designed for conquest, pillage, genocide, colonization, and slavery. Against such imperialisms, Empire extends and consolidates the model of network power. Certainly, when we consider


these imperial processes historically ( and we will soon focus on them in U.S. History), we see clearly that the expansive moments of Empire have been bathed in tears and blood, but this ignoble history does not negate the difference between two concepts.' 11

Well, to state our dissonance in the gentlest way, it does negate the difference between two concepts. What is more, it does not only negate the difference between two concepts but also catches Hardt and Negri with their pants down. How? Have a closer look at the terms that are employed for imperialism: conquest, pillage, genocide, colonization and slavery; as if these terms are not exactly at stake and play for what the US and her allies have been doing since a few decades either directly or by means of their loyal pawns; Vietnam or Indonesia under the iron fist of Suharto, for example. 12 On the other hand, the expansive moments of Empire, we are told, have been bathed in tears and blood and are characterized as only an 'ignoble' history. No conquest, no pillage, no genocide, no colonization, no slavery on the one hand; only tears, bloods and an ignoble history on the other. To sum up, what is at stake here is that Hardt and Negri desperately seeks to escape the entanglement created by their refractory insistence on the difference between two concepts for the sake of justifying and indemnifying that difference which is arbitrary and artificial. Let us to put aside the discombobulation stemmed from the concept of ' Empire' itself in the way has been applied throughout Empire and understand it as global capitalist hegemony under the auspices of the United States. That is, let us to look at and question how it holds sway and operates in the context of and in accordance with Empire. For Hardt and Negri, 'imperial' control operates by means of three means which are global and absolute: the bomb, money and ether. ( Note that the rancour that Hardt and Negri have for the concept of imperialism is not at stake for the concept of imperial) The array of thermonuclear weapons, the argument proceeds, which are cumulated at the peak of Empire, - No matter where this peak is; but incidentally we all know that the United States possess a spate of these weapons - is a continuation of a threat that is ready for the action to destroy the life itself. This, we are told, is an 'operation of absolute violence', a 'metaphysical


horizon' that transform the traditional notion of sovereignty on the monopoly of legitimate physical force. The development of nuclear technologies and their concentration at 'imperial' hands that limit the sovereignty of states i.e. the power over taking decision on either war or peace. Under the threat of the 'imperial' bomb, the argument runs, the wars are no longer 'wars' in the traditional sense, but rather they are 'limited conflicts', or 'civil wars' or dirty wars'. It is these new form of wars, thanks to the nuclear technologies, that characterize the passage from modernity to postmodernity and from modern sovereignty to Empire.13 The second global and absolute control device is money that is concentrated at the financial and political centres of Empire i.e., the global cities. By means of this mechanism, the argument goes, the world market is regulated and does force national or regional monetary regimes to be subordinated as to its own order. This universal construction of monetary regime rather than based upon 'new productive localities', 'new local circuits of circulation', and new values is based on the political necessities of Empire. As the imperial arbiter money, they maintain, does constitutes the world market by dint of 'allocations of wealth', 'measures of value', and the 'productive functions.14 For Hardt and Negri, the 'management of communication', the 'structuring of education system', and the 'regulation of cultures' are the ones which characterize the third imperial control: ether. As is in the case of the bomb and money, ether has much to do with sovereignty that is dissoluted by simply and shortly by communication i.e., ether. 'Communication', they conclude, ' is the form of capitalist production in which capital has succeeded in submitting society entirely and globally to its regime, suppressing all alternative paths. If ever an alternative is to be proposed, it will have to arise from within the society of the real subsumption and demonstrates all the contradictions at the heart of it.' 15 Charles Tilly in his short essay ' A Nebulous Empire' poses the question: ' How did capital activate its three alleged means of control – bombs, money, ether – and how did those three means produce their effects on the whole world's population?'16 These are unavoidable


questions, indeed. Yet, it is our contention that in spite of all the ambiguity of how these three means are activated and operated, they are to a certain degree acceptable and might be a standpoint to starting out with questioning the perpetual omnipotence of global capitalism under the auspices of the United States. This is to say that Hardt and Negri should have tracked this path and tried to construct what they call 'counter-Empire' in the same way the 'imperial' control operates. Indeed, a perverted version of this was already operated by 9/11 which stroke at the heart of the United States and at least humiliated her; making susceptible its permanently omnipotence through effectively using these three means. 17 Instead, Hardt and Negri proposed some 'romantic' abstractions, some of which are scarcely discernible from that of Neo- liberal cosmopolitan projects as Chantal Mouffe has pointed out 18, that have nothing to do with the political reality in which Empire, as they call it, or global capitalist hegemony under the auspices of the United States operates here and now i.e., multitude as the subject (p.64), cosmopolital liberation as the object (p.64), the postmodern revolution against Empire (p.65), a communication of singularities (p.54), global citizenship (p.399), absolute democracy (p.410), cooperation versus the title of property (p.410), fear versus love of multitude (p.399), a resistance that becomes love and community (p.361) and so on. 'This is a revolution', Hardt and Negri conclude, 'that no power will control – because biopower and communism, cooperation and revolution remain together, in love, simplicity and also innocence. This is the irrepressible lightness and joy of being communist.' 19 We shall deal with these 'love affairs', so to speak, in the next section in detail but let us give a hint pertaining to whether or not Empire is able to evince a convincing critique of the perpetual omnipotence of global capitalism under the auspices of the United States: if love for bombs, simplicity for money and innocence for ether are capable of being an antidote, then Empire is also a convincing critique of the perpetual omnipotence of global capitalism under the auspices of the United States that innocently loves the bombs, money and ether with an extreme simplicity.


Multitude Multitude is a book which is as fragile as Empire. 'By fragile we do denote something like a glass or an object which is made of glass. An object of this kind may and does possess certain qualities such as transparency, brightness,luminance, pureness, innocence and so on. It is these qualities that characterize something as fragile i.e., something that is easily broken, something that is susceptible to be damaged and destroyed, something that is vulnerable to be perished under the pressure of a violent act either physical or epistemological. Thus, in the realm of 'political ontology',one does need something like a tool which is made of steel, one which is hammered with sweat, blood, courage, intellectual keenness and inexhaustible passion. Something that does not only aims at self-surpassing, which only ends up with a secular this-worldly individual salvation, but also a surpassing that coerces its own limits which the temporality has imposed as an ultimate horizon, a surpassing that rebels against throwness and forgetfulness. ' Multitude, on the other hand, is a book which is as immense as Empire and talks about too many things as much as Empire. For Hardt and Negri, it is high time to rethink, modificate and put into practice democracy. 'Yet never has democracy been more necessary.' , they write, ' No other path will provide a way out of the fear, insecurity and domination that permeates our world at war; no other path will lead us to a peaceful life in common.'



is no small task, indeed. In order not to be accused of being naive, one is supposed to prove that there has ever existed such an age in which fear, insecurity, domination and thus war have ceased to reign on the globe globally. This is no small task either. One may perhaps find this kind of utopic fantasies that tally well with the religious bed time stories which Hardt and Negri are fond of: 'The political times and the mode of production have changed. We have to construct the figure of a new David, the multitude as champion of asymmetrical combat, immaterial workers who become a new kind of


combatants, cosmopolitan bricoleurs of resistance and cooperation. These are the ones who can throw the surplus of their knowledges and skills into the construction of a common struggle against imperial power. This is the real patriotism, the patriotism of those with no nation. More than ever this patriotism takes shape in the conspiracy of the many, moving toward decisions through the common desire of the multitude. What mercenaries can stand up to that? Today the cry with which Machiavelli closes The Prince once again has all the urgency and validity that it had almost five years ago, a cry against injustice and corruption: ' This barbarian domination stinks to everyone!' We need to find a way to renew Machiavelli's exhortation to liberation in the vernacular of the contemporary global multitude and thus renew the real tradition of patriotism.'23

First, the multitude needs a real democracy; second real patriotism. It is these notions that will take the multitude to a 'peaceful life in common'. In order to accomplish this, the multitude needs a David that symbolizes the good and just against Goliath that characterizes injustice and corruption i.e., the evil. So, the struggle, if there is and will be one, is a struggle between good and evil. Does not this sound like the one that was activated by the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11 in the name of democracy along with a ludicrous American patriotism? So, if skinny David really slained gigantic Goliath with a ridiculous slingshot, then Hardt and Negri's real democracy and real patriotism will defeat what they call 'imperial power'. From this it must perforce follow that if one has an aim to struggle with an 'imperial power', then one initially must perforce think beyond good and evil, beyond religious bed time stories and beyond already fagged concepts. But what, then, is the multitude? 'Political action aimed at transformation and liberation today', they maintain, 'can only be conducted on the basis of the multitude.' 24 It should come as no surprise that this notion is established just as the way the concept of Empire is established. The concept of imperialism does provide , as we have seen, the contradistinction with which the concept of Empire is created and operated. For the multitude, the concept of the people provides the contradistinction. Whilst the people, the argument proceeds, is one, the multitude, on the contrary, is many. Although the population is comprised of different individuals and classes, they argue, the people is synthesized and


reduced into one identity. On the other hand, the multitude is still plural and multiple. It is a set of singularities. The multiplicity that the multitude does possess does not appear to be fragmented, anarchical or incoherent. This is why the multitude, they claim, has nothing to do with the crowd, the masses, and the mob. These are, we are told, not singularities. Although they can have social effects, but cannot act of their own accord. They are thus vulnerable to external manipulations. The multitude, on the contrary, is an active social subject that operates as to what the singularities share in common. For the multitude, the argument goes, the key concept is 'common' that has nothing to do with identity or unity. The multitude is the only social subject that is capable to realize democracy i.e., the rule of everyone by everyone. ' The biopolitical production of multitude', they conclude, ' tends to mobilize what it shares in common and what it produces in common against the imperial power of global capital. In time, developing based on the common, the multitude can move through Empire and come out the other side, to express itself autonomously and rule itself.' 25 As might be seen, the contradistinction between the multitude and the people appears to be artificial just as the one between imperialism and Empire. What is more, herein we must ask: What criterion does distinguish the multitude from that of the crowd, the masses, and the mob? What kind of privilege the multitude has that renders it immune to external manipulation? How can the old Hobbesian thesis bellum omni contra omnes be overcome and be realized as the rule of everyone by everyone? What kind of common that provides a harmony between singularities and mobilizes the multitude thus autonomously rule itself? In the inner logic of Multitude, a mysterious phrase, i.e., constituent power, seems to be a would-be answer for these questions: 'It is a decision that emerges out of the ontological and social process of productive labour; it is an institutional form that develops a common content; it is a deployment of force that defends the historical progression of emancipation and liberation; it is, in short, an act of love.'26 An act of love? What is that supposed to mean? And lo and behold, it is a political concept:


'People today seem unable to understand love as a political concept, but a concept of love is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude. The modern concept of love is almost exclusively limited to the bourgeois couple and the claustrophobic confines of the nuclear family. Love has become a strictly private affair. We need a more generous and more unrestrained conception of love. We need to recuperate the public and political conception of love common to premodern traditions. Christianity and Judaism, for example, both conceive love as a political act that constructs the multitude. Love means precisely that our expansive encounters and continuous collaborations bring us joy. There is really nothing necessarily metaphysical about the Christian and Judaic love of God are expressed and incarnated in the common material political project of the multitude. We need to recover today this material and political sense of love, a love as strong as death. This does not mean you cannot love your spouse, your mother, and your child. It only means that your love does not end there, that love serves as the basis for our political projects in common and the construction of a new society. Without this love, we are nothing.' 27

Exactly. This is nothingness. This is a will to nothingness and meaninglessness. This is how vulgar superstitions and ignoble perversions are unabashedly articulated as a political project. Perhaps we also need a post-modern, revolutionary, materialist and communist Jesus Christ along with his intimate companions i.e., the whores, the homosexuals. No, not perhaps, we absolutely need a pervert Jesus Christ who must lead the multitude to a big orgy where we must first conduct the kiss-ins in which men would kiss men and women women in a public place to shock people who are homophobic just as in the Queer Nation action held at a Mormon convention in Utah that we must call as a new of new weapony for democracy today as Hardt and Negri do. 28 After this orgy, the multitude must crucify Jesus Christ so that the multitude might have a new religion. Yet, the multitude will have to wait for a few centuries until this new religion becomes the state religion of the United States. When the multitude's new religion is institutionalized and establishes its own church, Multitude, which Hardt and Negri call as a 'philosophical book' 29, will probably be the Holy Scripture of this new religion of the multitude.


Conclusion Let us recall our problem formulation: To what extent do Hardt/Negri's Empire and Multitude demonstrate a convincing critique of the perpetual omnipotence of global capitalism that predominates on the globe under the lead of the US? Our conclusion is that in no respect are Empire and Multitude able to evince a critique of the perpetual omnipotence of global capitalism. It is our contention that these books are the ones that are bound to wait in the shelf of the book stores and the university libraries to be consumed far from what they have bombastically claimed. Let us fetch up with Theodor Adorno whose words have still validity today: 'No theory today escapes the marketplace. Each one is offered as a possibility among competing opinions; all are put up for choice; all are swallowed. There are no blinders for thought to don against this, and the selfrightheous conviction that my own theory is spared that fate will surely deteriorate into self-advertising.' 30


REFERENCES 1 Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Dell, 1963, p. 318-9 2 Ibid., p. 711 3 Immanuel Wallerstein, 'The Curve of American Power', New Left Review 40, July-August 2006 4 We shall always capitalise the term 'Empire' in order to remain loyal to Hardt and Negri's usage throughout Empire. When, however, we use Empire qua the title of the book, we shall also italicise it as we have always done for all the title of the books we refer to. 5 Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire, Harvard University Press, 2000, p.380 (Hereafter, Hardt and Negri, Empire) 6 Ibid., p.190 7 Ellen Meiksins Wood, 'A manifesto for Global Capital', In Debating Empire, Ed. Gopal Balakrisnan, Verso, 2003, pp. 61-82 8 Hardt and Negri, Empire, pp.206-7 9 Charles Tilly, 'A Nebulous Empire', In Debating Empire, Ed. Gopal Balakrisnan, Verso, 2003, pp. 26-29 10 Hardt and Negri, Empire, pp. XII-XIII 11 Ibid., pp.166-7 12 We are perfectly aware of the fact that Empire was published in 2000. We have two other contemporary examples as of June 2008 that impeccably fit for these terms that Hardt and Negri use for the concept of imperialism i.e., Iraq and Afghanistan. 13 Ibid., p.345 14 Ibid., p.346


15 Ibid., pp.346-7 16 Charles Tilly, 'A Nebulous Empire', In Debating Empire, Ed. Gopal Balakrisnan, Verso, 2003, p.28 17 See our detailed analysis of the relation between Islamic fundamentalism and violence: ' Islamic Fundametalism and Violence: Clash of Meanings?', CCG Project, Autumn 2006, Aalborg University 18 Chantal Mouffe, On the Political, Routledge, 2005, p.107 19 Hardt and Negri, Empire, p.413 20 See our, 'Epistemological Violence: Interpretation in and through Nietzsche's Thought', CCG Project, Winter 2007-2008, Aalborg University 21We have tried to construct 'political ontology' as a conceptual framework here: 'Political Ontology in the Age of Global Capitalism', CCG Topic Study, Spring 2008, Aalborg University. 22 Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, Penguin Books, 2004, p. XII 23 Ibid., pp.50-1 24 Ibid., p.99 25Ibid., 99-101 26 Ibid., 351 27 Ibid., pp.351-2 28 Ibid., p.347 29 Ibid., p.357 30 Theodor Adorno, Negative Dialectics, Trans. E. B. Ashton, Routledge, 1973, p.4


BIBLIOGRAPHY Adorno Theodor, Negative Dialectics, Trans. E. B. Ashton, Routledge, 1973 Gibbon Edward, The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Dell, 1963 Mouffe Chantal, On the Political, Routledge, 2005 Hardt Michael and Negri Antonio Empire, Harvard University Press, 2000 Hardt Michael and Negri Antonio, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, Penguin Books, 2004 Tilly Charles, 'A Nebulous Empire', In Debating Empire, Ed. Gopal Balakrisnan, Verso, 2003 Wallerstein Immanuel, 'The Curve of American Power', New Left Review 40, July-August 2006 Wood Ellen Meiksins, 'A manifesto for Global Capital', In Debating Empire, Ed. Gopal Balakrisnan, Verso, 2003


From Empire to Multitude  

If love for bombs, simplicity for money and innocence for ether are capable of being an antidote, then Empire is also a convincing critique...

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