By William V. Spanos
A learn of imperialism that stretches from historical Rome to the post-Cold conflict global, 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 should always glance to historical Rome, which first articulated the information that might turn into primary to the West's imperial venture. those founding principles, he claims, have educated the yankee nationwide id and its international coverage from its origins.
The Vietnam battle is on the middle 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 gain that common sense, Spanos reveals the end result of an imperialistic discourse attaining again to the colonizing intent of the Roman Empire. Spanos identifies the language of enlargement within the "white" metaphors in Western philosophical discourse because the colonization of Greek proposal by way of 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 info for America's Shadow: An Anatomy of Empire
As the very metaphors used to characterize the "false" suggest, that opposition was simply one — no doubt the most fundamental — of a whole series of binary oppositions inhering, however asymmetrically developed, in History, in, that is, the founding Occidental representation of temporal being-as-a-whole by way of perceiving "it" meta-ta-physika: Being and time, Identity and difference, the Word and words, Being and nonbeing, Subject and object, Sanity and madness, Culture and anarchy, Civilization and barbarism, Man and woman, the White race and the colored races, the West and the east, the North and the south, and so on.
But to estrange the sedimented meaning of this verbal counter — and to draw attention to its relevance to the imperial project proper — I think it preferable as well as more accurate to refer to this splitting of Dasein from being as one in which the encompassing (Apollonian) eye and its 16 The Ontological Origins of Occidental Imperialism seminal light are separated from and privileged over the other more immediate and truant senses in the pursuit of knowledge about being. This privileging of vision entails the representation of being metaphorically as a tenebrous Unheimliche Welt — a domain of disorienting and dislocating confusion, of obscurity and darkness.
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.