Seeking what?

Subversion, situation, and transvaluation

in Focaal

Hardt and Negri's transvaluation of violence into the sign of emergent revolutionary subjectivity begins in a philosophical dream, not any actual historical anthropology. Negri's politics of subversion attempt to articulate the ongoing constitution of a new multitude but actually constitute the alter ego to Pax Americana's vision of nation-state sovereignty and finance-dominated capitalism. Thorstein Veblen's critique of the finance-dominated, postmodern new order, first rendered in 1919, draws similar conclusions about fictions in sovereignty by nation-state and contradictions between vested interests and the global commons. But Veblen correctly warns against romanticizing violent tactics. An anthropology of situations will better help scholars clarify contemporary predicaments and potentials than will search for an insurgent global multitude. The issue is urgent in the situation of globalized counterinsurgency. Anthropology can and should mount a better critique of actual global politics than it can find within the values of any philosophy, even one committed to the Spinozan celebration and amplification of immanence.

Focaal

Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology