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By Richard Seymour

All empires spin self-serving myths, and within the US the main powerful of those is that the United States is a strength for democracy world wide. but there's a culture of yankee anti-imperialism that exposes this deceptive mythology. American Insurgents is a shocking, revelatory historical past of anti-imperialism within the usa because the American Revolution. It charts the activities opposed to empire from the Indian Wars and the expansionism of the slave South to the Anti-Imperialist League of Mark Twain and Jane Addams. Seymour crafts a full of life and obvious rationalization of why a few of these activities succeeded and others failed. the result's a necessary standpoint for these organizing antiwar resistance at the present time.

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In this system, we locate, from the other side of the political spectrum, our most creative and indefatigable political impulse: the principle of hope. In the 1930s, as Nazi flames engulfed continental Europe, Bloch undertook a mammoth study of what the Magical Marxist spirit might be. In our own war-torn times, he bequeaths us “wishful images” of the future, and a lot of what he wrote sounds like a great Homeric epic poem, a delirious siesta in a Márquezian hammock, full of Eldorados and Edens, of Münchhausen Macondos from a distant planet we call the earth-to-come, the one we’ve never yet seen.

Mass consumption and star-commodities fill the frame and pollute the mind; different merchandise jostles on the stage and glistens in ads. The diffuse spectacle thrives off the gadget and the gimmick and indulges in the commodity, in BlackBerrys and cell-phones, in iPods and SUVs, in accumulation for accumulation’s sake, production for Merrifield T02187 01 text 32 24/12/2010 10:46 living an illusion 33 production’s sake. With the diffuse spectacle, commodity logistics reach “moments of fervent exaltation” (Thesis # 67) in which the only goal is the goal of submission.

What’s so curious about García Márquez’s notion of the insomnia plague is how it captures an equally bizarre reality we ourselves have been living out for four decades now, a reality Debord labeled “the society of the spectacle,” a reality where “the sun never sets on the Empire of modern passivity” (Thesis #13). Debord says that the society of the spectacle is founded on “the production of isolation” (Thesis #28), a condition that reinforces the idea of a “lonely crowd,” of people bound, on the one hand, by a common economic and political system, yet, on the other hand, brought together in a “unity of separation,” as spectators lost in an agglomeration of “solitudes without illusions” (Thesis #70).

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