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America's Shadow: An Anatomy of Empire by William V. Spanos

By William V. Spanos

A research of imperialism that stretches from historic Rome to the post-Cold struggle international, this provocative paintings boldly revises our assumptions in regards to 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 may turn into primary to the West's imperial undertaking. those founding rules, he claims, have educated the yank nationwide id and its overseas coverage from its origins.

The Vietnam struggle 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 reveals the end result of an imperialistic discourse attaining again to the colonizing reason of the Roman Empire. Spanos identifies the language of growth within the "white" metaphors in Western philosophical discourse because the colonization of Greek idea by way of the Romans. He indicates how those metaphors, and their position in metaphysical discourse, have lengthy been complicit within the violence of imperialism.

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Extra resources for America's Shadow: An Anatomy of Empire

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To think meta-physically is thus to think backward. This means retro-spectively or circularly, for the purpose of accommodating difference to a preconceived end or of reducing the differential force of time to a self-identical, objectified, timeless presence, while preserving the appearance of the temporality of time. To put this reduction in the terms precipitated by the implicit distinction between two kinds of time (one that is derivative and one that is original), to think metaphysically is to transform the spectral nothingness of being (das Nichts) into a comforting and/or productive totalized 10 The Ontological Origins of Occidental Imperialism Something, a Summum Ens.

These are the inaugural onto-logical era (Greco-Roman, in which the logos as e-mergent physis becomes ratio, simultaneously imminent in and external to nature); the theo-logical (the medieval/Protestant, in which the logos as ratio becomes the visible and transcendental Logos or Word of God); and the anthropo-logical (the Enlightenment, in which the visible Word of God becomes the invisible Logos of Man). These epochal revolutions in the history of philosophy were epistemic in scope and depth. But the revolutionary character of these transformations should not obscure the recuperative representational impulse informing each phase of representation — not least the anthropological, the phase that is alleged by Foucauldians, and all-too-casually assumed by many cultural and postcolonial critics, to have constituted an epistemic break in the thought of the Occident.

29 What, from the condition of being-in-the-world, the inter esse,30 appeared The Ontological Origins of Occidental Imperialism 21 hauntingly partial — darkly illegible, hopelessly indeterminate, uncanny, spectral, and thus anxiety-provoking, that is, paralyzing — now, from this disengaged vertical distance, takes on substantial and intelligible shape. The (mind's) eye is en-abled, in other words, to transitively survey (comprehend) time in its totality and thus to see — indeed, foresee — the lineaments of the pattern, the figure, the structure that is obscured by proximity, that hides behind the appearance of radically temporal difference.

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