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By William V. Spanos

A research of imperialism that stretches from historic 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 historic Rome, which first articulated the information that will develop into basic to the West's imperial undertaking. those founding principles, he claims, have educated the yank nationwide id and its international coverage from its origins.

The Vietnam warfare is on the middle of this ebook. within the contradiction among the "free international" common sense 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 attaining again to the colonizing purpose of the Roman Empire. Spanos identifies the language of growth within the "white" metaphors in Western philosophical discourse because the colonization of Greek concept 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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Additional resources for America's Shadow: An Anatomy of Empire

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But not in the face of this or that thing. Anxiety in the face o f . . , but not for this or that. The indeterminateness of that in the face of which and for which we become anxious is no mere lack of determination but rather the essential impossibility of determining it. In a familiar phrase this indeterminateness comes to the fore. " What is "it" that makes "one" feel ill at ease? We cannot say what it is before which one feels ill at ease. As a whole it is so for him. All things and we ourselves sink into indifference.

4 It is a rhetoric that reinscribes the "mutated" Enlightenment into a disciplinary tradition that, precisely like Heidegger's genealogy of humanist modernity, has its origins in metropolitan Rome. This hypothetical objection of a certain strain of Foucauldians, then, can be 6 The Ontological Origins of Occidental Imperialism seen to repeat what I will show to be the essential blindness of most postcolonial criticism, which has as its model Foucault's "discontinuous" history. It fails to think the imperial project back far enough in the process of employing in its critique the very language, especially the metaphysically grounded metaphors of empire, that originates in that inaugural historical occasion.

As Derrida puts this ruse of a developed logocentrism, "The concept of centered structure is in fact the concept of a play based on a fundamental ground, a play constituted on the basis of a fundamental immobility and a reassuring certitude, which itself is beyond the reach of play. "39 To recall the tradition extending from the late Greeks and Romans, through Descartes and Hegel (and the Marxists, for that matter), to the post-Cold War purveyors of the end-of-history thesis, the structure precipitated by metaphysical perception constitutes an image of the arrival of time to its destined "end," which is to say, to its inclusive closure.

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