15th Nov2012

Empire and Nation

by jessicawalker

Anderson notes how Kaiser Wilhelm articulates his national identity by stating that he “was one among many of the same kind as himself” and that when one serves a representative function they are also stating their allegiances against another group. This new universal imperialism that beat out dynasties notions of allegiance means that there has to be something defined against a nation. Must this also be so?

Is accounting for the development of official nationalism Anderson talks about the how empire gets made simultaneously with Nation. Basically, certain political powers were articulating a Nation while developing the idea of one which was the case with English nationalism. This was often predicated on the control of bodies across borders. Some bodies are not allowed or don’t have access to the metropole yet are connected to it by policies of naturalization. I’m wondering how Mezzadra

and Neilson would further complicate Andersons conception of nation via theorizing through borders. Although Anderson does account for labor power, especially in how he talks about southeastern Chinese labor forces in Japan I wonder if his pre-capitalism understand of how bodies move through the borders of nations echoes what Mezzadra and Neilson are suggesting in the age of global capitalism. These are obviously not the same context but the same carving, establishing, and re establishing, of imagined, physical, and temporal borders still seem to resonate between the readings.

In what ways can we say Empire is a simulacra of group or nation. Hardt and Negri write the Empire “envelops the entire space of what is considers civilization a boundless, universal space; and second, a notion of right that encompasses all time within its ethical foundation. Empire exhausts historical time, suspends history, and summons the past and future within its won ethical order. IN other words, Empire presents its order as permanent, eternal, and necessary.”

Space: A infinite processes whereby interconnecting systems of global, social, cultural and embodied knowledges inform the value of place. Space is a right.

Place: Fixed in the material and moving freely. Facilitated by place marking objects like maps.

Identity: The processes of having the ability to sense your presence in space—to know you are alive. How you make sense of places’ relationships to the idea of individualism.

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