Marx, Albright,rnBlair & Gatesrnby Srdja TrifkovicrnKmpirernby Michael Hurdt and Antonio NegrirnCambridge, MA:rnHarvard Vniversih’ Press;rn512 pp., $35M)rnWhen the jacket blurb tells you thatrnthe book before you “basiealhcombinesrna kojesian notion of global marketrnas post-historv (in this sense akin tornFukuama’s eschatology) with a Foucauklianrnand Deleu/.ian notion of bio-pokrnitics (in this sense crossing the road of arnSloterdijk who also poses the question of arncoming techniques of the production ofrndie humau species),” you can be excusedrnfor dreading the task of reading it.rnAs it happens, going througli almostrn500 pages of klardt’s and Negri’s oftenrnponderous prose proed to be a rewarding,rneen c’e-opcning experience. It confirmedrnwhat I had alwas suspected: thatrnthere can be no alliance that goes “bevondrndie left and righf’ in resisting die globalistrnimperialism diat seeks to destroy our culture,rnour histor-, our ideutih, and ultimateKrnour humauih. With brutal frankness,rndie authors, intelligent and ruthlessrnmen of die left, allow diat Empire is “bad”rnin its present fonn — iolent, driven by dierngreed and hubris of the ruling elite—butrntlie’ reject resistance based on an affirmationrnof human nature, faniih’, nation, orrnau odier form of tradihonal communih’.rnOn die contrar}’, the’ want to channel thern”enabling” potential of Empire into a postpostmodernrnworld of dieir own liking. Ultimately,rnEmpire is “bad” because it is notrncnrrenri-i’ run 1)- die likes of Hardt and Negrirn—but it must not be fought, lest thatrnpleasing prospect be jeopardized.rnThe authors’ opening description ofrnthe process of globalization is, on thernwhole, accurate. Globalization doesrnnot produce onlv global markets andrncircuits of production but a global order,rna new logic and structure of rule, arnnew soereignt’. The process, while notrnspontaneous, is not dictated by any singlerncenter of rationalih’ transcending globalrnforces. The decline in the sovereignt ofrnnatifJii-statcs docs not mean die declinernof so’ereignh as such; it “has taken a neyrnform, composed of a series of nationalrnand supranational organisms united underrna single logic of rule .. . ]that] we callrnEmpire.” This Empire should not be confusedrnwith “imperialism,” wliieh merel’rnextended the soyereignt- of Europeanrnstates beond their boundaries. By contrast.rnEmpire is a “decentered and deterritorializingrnapparatus of rule that progressiyelyrnincorporates die entire global realm”rnwith its Inbrid identities and flexible hierarchies,rneradicahug nationalist colors ofrnthe imperialist map of the world andrnblending dieni in the imperial global rainbow.rnThe creation of vyealth within itrntends eer more toward “biopolitieal production,rnthe production of social life itself”rnkimpire differs from imperialism inrnthat it is not based in am one “nation.”rnThe United States does not form the centerrnof die project, and America’s apparenriyrnpriyileged position in Empire willrnnot preent its absorption b the emergingrnfinancial, cultural, and juridical networks.rnIt goes beyond space and timernand effectiyely suspends history: Eroni itsrnperspeetixe, this is the way things will alwaysrnbe and were always meant to be. Itrnis total, creating die wodd it inhabits. Itrnnot oiih’ regulates human nature butrnseeks to rule over it. Last, but by nornmeans least, “although the practice ofrnEaiipire is continually badied in blood,rn[its] concept is always dedicated tornpeace.” It “presents its order as permanent,rneternal, and necessarw”rnEmpire’s designated enemies are atrnonce banalized, reduced to an object ofrnroutine ])olice repression, and absolutizedrnas the Enemy, an absolute threat tornthe ethical order. (The book was finishedrnlong before the bomhing of Kosovo, sornthe authors cite the Gulf War as an articulatedrnexample of the demonizing process.)rnEmpire is formed not on die basis of forcernitself but on die capacit- to present forcernas being in the .service of right and peace.rnThe intenening authorih’ can define “e-rnery hnie in an exeephonal way” the demandsrnof intervention and then deployrndie rhetorical force of the media and thernpolice force of “tiie international coiiimuiiit’.”rnSupranational subjects, legitimatedrnnot bv codified right but b ad hoc consensus,rnintervene in die name of any typernof emergeue}’ or overriding moral principle.rnThe rule of law is replaced b’ the legitimacyrnof universal values.rnFor all of Empire’s powers of oppressionrnand destruction, Hardt and Negrirnwarn that we should not feel nostalgic forrnthe order of yore, which to them wasrnnothing but the “old forms of domination.”rnThe passage to Empire and globalizafionrn”offer[s] new possibilities to thernforces of liberation,” and “our . . . is not simpl- to resist fliese processesrnbut to reorganize them and redirectrndieni towards new ends.”rnFor the authors, the emerging Empirernis useful and necessap,- because it de.stroysrnthe barriers to Hardt’s and Negri’s preferredrneschatological model. It cleansesrnsocieties of the burden of traditionalrnidentity and clears the way for the eventualrnunleashing of the political energiesrnof the multitude —the Third World multitude,rnto be precise. The new, globalizedrnworld makes the march of that multitudernacross “Western” national bordersrnand the destruction of the host societies’rnconstruct (the present Empire) inevitable.rnAnd so the resulting new barbarismrnwill not be the end of histon’, butrndie beginning of a better world:rnI he new barbarians destroy withrnan affirmative violence and tracernnew paths of life widi tiieir ownrnmaterial existence. These barbaricrndeployments work on human relationsrnin general, but we can recognizerndiem today first and foremostrnin corporeal relations and configurationsrnof gender and sexuality.rnConventional norms of corporealrnand sexual relations between andrnwidiin genders are increasingKrnopen to challenge and transformation.rnBodies themselves mutate torncreate new posthuman bodies.rnThe first condition of this corporealrntransformation is the recognitionrnthat human nature is in no wa-rnsc]3arate from nature as a whole,rnthat there are no fixed and necessar’rnboundaries between die humanrnand the animal, the humanrnand the machine, die male and diernfemale, and so forth; it is die recognitionrnthat nature itself is an artificialrnterrain open to ever new niutafioii,rnmixtures and hybridizations.rnWhen such ideas, made in Frankfurt,rnfirst gained credence with the 1970’srnNew Left, they had a Utopian ring. Therncritical mass required to make the transformationrnpossible could not be foundrnwithin the West, while flic revolutionaryrnpotential of die Third World proved repeatedlyrndisappointing. Following therntall of tiie Berlin Wall in 1989, the out-rnFEBRUARY 2001/29rnrnrn