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

By William V. Spanos

A research of imperialism that stretches from historical Rome to the post-Cold battle global, 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 historic Rome, which first articulated the guidelines that will develop into basic to the West's imperial undertaking. those founding principles, he claims, have proficient the yank nationwide id and its overseas coverage from its origins.

The Vietnam conflict is on the heart of this e-book. 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 common sense, Spanos unearths the end result of an imperialistic discourse achieving 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 idea 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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Everything converges on to the eye as to the vanishing point of infinity. 44 Thus, for example, the pervasive obsession, both in theory and practice, in eighteenth-century England (in Sir Joshua Reynolds, Henry Fuseli, James Harris, Alexander Pope, and many others) for the panoramic view of a landscape painting that privileged the distanced — ideal and "public" — eye. " The polyvalent theory informing this politically productive panoramic landscape painting is resonantly epitomized by the British rhetorician George Campbell.

In the slipping away of beings only this "no hold on things" comes over us and remains. 11 Metaphysics is thus a circular mode of inquiry that, in beginning from the end, has as its end the (finally futile) total reification and determination of the essential anxiety-activating indeterminacy of the nothing, of temporality, of the differences that temporality disseminates: of a phantasmic alterity, as it were. To use the rhetoric in Heidegger's discourse that points to the essential imperialism of metaphysical ontology, it is an end-oriented mode of inquiry intended to level or at-home or domesticate or pacify — that is, to "civilize" — the "threatening" The Ontological Origins of Occidental Imperialism 11 not-at-home (die Unheimliche) that being as such "is" for Dasein.

44 Thus, for example, the pervasive obsession, both in theory and practice, in eighteenth-century England (in Sir Joshua Reynolds, Henry Fuseli, James Harris, Alexander Pope, and many others) for the panoramic view of a landscape painting that privileged the distanced — ideal and "public" — eye. " The polyvalent theory informing this politically productive panoramic landscape painting is resonantly epitomized by the British rhetorician George Campbell. In identifying the emergent Linnaean natural science with the surmounted landscape, he points proleptically to this eye's affiliation, not simply with the panoptics that Jeremy Bentham was about to apply to penology, but, as I will suggest later, with the systematic classification of the flora and fauna of the "new worlds" that inaugurated the imperial project proper: In all sciences, we rise from the individual to the species, from the species to the genus, and thence to the most extensive orders and classes [and] arrive...

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