imperialism strikes back
A book that returns to the classics to explain the present and an AmCham summit that confirms vassalage. Editorial of “El Círculo Rojo”, a program from La Izquierda Diario that is broadcast on Thursdays from 10 pm to 12 midnight on Radio Con Vos, 89.9.
- Last Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in a debate table, regarding the presentation of the book dollar imperialism by Maurizio Lazzarato published by the publisher Lemon ink.
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- Lazzarato is a philosopher and sociologist, he has lived in France for quite some time, although he gives his presentations in his native language: Italian. He published several books that were translated in Argentina. The previous one was War or revolution, because peace is not an alternative (also published by Tinta Limón and which generated multiple discussions)
- The book —not for me or for us—, but for the ideas that have circulated in the last decades in the field of “critical thought”, of left-wing thought in a broad sense, is a provocative book.
- And what is his way of provoking? Well, affirming that in order to understand the contemporary world it is necessary to return not only to the classical authors, but to the classical notions: for example, the first and obvious one because it is in the title is the notion of imperialism. But also war, class struggle, revolution, the notion of strategy, among others.
- In several of his previous books, Lazzarato proposes a thesis that is also in dollar imperialism: suggests that the intellectual thought after 1968 (the emblematic date of the French May that gave birth to many changes in general and in the intellectual field, in particular) displaced imperialism, revolution and war from its horizon.
- This resulted in a harmonious and pacified thought (ultimately a thought of defeat) that endorsed the idea that a governmentality proper to neoliberalism governed, a softpowerwhich was reduced to a biopolitical administration technique that had set aside the multiple mechanisms of violence on which power rests.
- Books that in the last decades were very fashionable in the academy as The new reason for the world From the French Christian Laval and Pierre Dardoto, the works of the North American philosopher Wendy Brown would be the expression of that way of thinking —as Lazzarato would say— power in terms positivea kind of soft power who had managed to internalize dominance, passive subordination in the new subjects created by neoliberalism without the need for greater violence, in the context of a relatively harmonious globalization.
- I am synthesizing and in those works there are elaborations that are interesting. But Lazzarato says that they are a bit unilateral because behind that neoliberal governmentality and, both in its origin and in its operation, there continued to be looting, violence, coercion, dispossession and eventually wars that not only target the countries over which imperialism exercises its dominance (among other weapons, with the dollar), but also towards the competing powers with which it disputes in world geopolitics. Well, the financial crisis that broke out in 2008 with the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers and, of course, the war in Ukraine bring all these issues up to date. As well as the revolts and mobilizations that have swept the world in recent times and that went from the famous Arab Spring in 2011 to Colombia or Chile on our continent or the different movements that we witnessed in France.
- As an example of all this, a button on the political scene of our country is enough: last Tuesday the annual meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States took place in Argentina. The inaugural act was in charge of Facundo Gómez Minujín, president of JP Morgan Argentina, who was in charge of transmitting the US demands to the leaders and presidential candidates of our country: more adjustment in the context of a serious social crisis , reduction of public spending (which he considered excessive), eliminating the fiscal deficit, the independence of the Central Bank, and deepening the extractivist agenda, etc. etc It was not a “wave” request, a recommendation, but rather it was made within the framework of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to anticipate eventual disbursements with an economy in a permanent run. That is to say, applying the coercion and coercion of —as Lazaratto would say— the imperialism of the dollar.
- There they paraded to take the exam: Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Patricia Bullrich; Sergio Massa; Daniel Sciolli; the Argentine ambassador to the US, Jorge Argüello and Horacio Rosatti, president of the Supreme Court of Justice who had just suspended two elections in Tucumán and San Juan. All at the feet of the empire.
- Apart from various discussions that the book can generate dollar imperialism (the limits between war and peace, social subjects, etc.) It seems to me very good, very progressive, to replace certain categories, not for a mere intellectual exercise, but because they better express the world we are facing, its true nature and its fault lines that enable, among other things, the possibility of changing it.
Politics / Dollar / United States / IMF / Imperialism / AmCham