After empire : melancholia or convivial culture? - download pdf or read online

By Paul Gilroy

ISBN-10: 0203482816

ISBN-13: 9780203482810

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S midcentury initiatives against racism. That return is necessary because consideration of these questions has only a minimal presence in today’s incomplete genealogies of the global movement for human rights, which are inclined to imagine that conflict between “race” and more inclusive models of humanity was concluded long ago. If the historical anomaly represented by archaic racial division does, contrary to expectations, remain legally or morally open, if it is still somewhere “on hold” and therefore a muted part of the history of our present, the discomforting events to which these discussions refer are most likely to be recovered 15 INTRODUCTION: ON LIVING WITH DIFFERENCE or remembered in the name of the same racial, ethnic, and national absolutes and particularities that I intend to call into question.

On the other hand, to be dismissed on raciological grounds as bestial or infrahuman was to be cast outside of both culture and historicality. The raciologists of Europe’s imperial period worked to give Hegel’s famous speculations a blunt facticity. The theater of history was indeed the temperate zone. Recognizing the extent of this pattern, its enduring power, and the legacy of its claims upon academic historiography, geography, and philosophical anthropology is another necessary step toward appreciating how the idea of history as a narrative of racial hierarchy and racial conflict helped to undo modernity’s best promises.

The militarization of social life promotes an automatic solidarity in which soldier-citizens who carry or practice the defining culture of their national state become indistinguishable to the point of being interchangeable. ”21 The dominance of authoritarian political formations and the orchestration of nationalistic moods set out to close down every opportunity for that variety of reflection. The info-war is already underway. It erases any possibility that dissent might have a positive value and declares that seeking any distance from the national culture’s center of gravity is a form of low-grade treachery.

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After empire : melancholia or convivial culture? by Paul Gilroy


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