By William V. Spanos
A examine of imperialism that stretches from historic Rome to the post-Cold struggle 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 tips that will turn into primary to the West's imperial venture. those founding principles, he claims, have knowledgeable the yank nationwide id and its overseas coverage from its origins.
The Vietnam struggle is on the heart of this booklet. within the contradiction among the "free international" good judgment 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 achieving again to the colonizing motive of the Roman Empire. Spanos identifies the language of growth within the "white" metaphors in Western philosophical discourse because the colonization of Greek idea via 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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Extra resources for America's Shadow: An Anatomy of Empire
In the sedimented everyday language of Occidental knowledge production this distanced or mediated or impartial perspective enables comprehension of the unknown. This interrogation of the essential movement of Occidental thought thus discloses not simply the metaphoricity of the Occidental tradition's idea of truth, but also the integral relationship between the metaphorics of vision and reification in its production. For the movement of distancing and mediation in the process of inquiry eventuates in the sundering of Dasein from being and the reduction of each to a singular, clear, and self-present status.
It is, in short, the entire relay of being that haunts or threatens the authority of the received (hegemonic) discourse of the dominant, that is, Western, order. This systematic metaphorization of being constitutes the origin of (and is obscured by) the naturalized and enabling principle of the logic — the truth discourse — of Occidental metaphysics: that Identity is the condition for the possibility of difference. And it is to the specificity of this constructed polyvalent metaphorical ("white") system that we must, above all, turn if we are to plumb the historical past of modern Western imperialism and, more important, the depth of its inscription as ideology in the modern Western subject and its language.
In the name of a delineated, administered, and predictable social order emanating out of the Metropolis, Rome reduced the originative peripatetic thinking of the pre-Socratics and even the classical Greek philosophers to a derivative, calculative, and institutionalized mode of thought. Despite the obvious historically specific variations, the Occident has been essentially imperial ever since the Romans colonized and pacified an errant, polyvalent, and differential thinking that, as such, was not amenable to their polyvalent imperial project.
America's Shadow: An Anatomy of Empire by William V. Spanos