Academic journal article The Comparatist

vEmpire, Glocalization, and the Melancholia of the Sovereign (1)

Academic journal article The Comparatist

vEmpire, Glocalization, and the Melancholia of the Sovereign (1)

Article excerpt

The multitude is the real productive force of our social world, whereas Empire is a mere apparatus of capture that lives only o. the vitality of the multitude--as Marx would say, a vampire regime of accumulated dead labor that survives only o. the blood of the living.--Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire, 62.

What is thus put at risk by this terrifying autoimmunitary logic is nothing else than the existence of the world, of the global itself.--Jacques Derrida, Le "concept" du 11 semptembre, 98-99. (2)

Who or what will come out of going global? Who or what is going global, and who or what is going to come out of it? From the word go, the questions multiply. There are several regimes that one can hear in the phrases "go global" or "going global." One is the admonition to go global, now that everybody or everything else has. An encouragement, an invitation, a welcome: go global, release yourself from national or other boundaries of identity, be free! A shipment, an envoi, is going global, a letter without destination or a preprogrammed itinerary and without assured delivery. Going global might be precisely this possibility of never arriving or never arriving properly; but also going global might be never having departed from a certain, designated space in the first place.

The other sense, the other direction, of going global, is quite the opposite, a warding-o. of the global: Go, go away global! The global should go away with all its misery, the political and ecological devastation that follow globalization like a shadow. No less a figure than Hannah Arendt warned, almost sixty years ago, in The Origins of Totalitarianism, that "The danger that [is] a global, universally interrelated civilization may produce barbarians from its own midst by forcing millions of people into conditions which, despite all appearances, are the conditions of savages" (302). That danger of going global will be or will have been a reverse potential of any going global. Is "going global" good to go? Who or what will come out of it?

One should hear in "going global" an almost poetic beauty, an alliteration of g/gl, gl/g, go, go, goo, goo, gl, gl, al/la, la/al, la/la, a poetic equivalence, to speak in Roman Jakobson's terms: a language in its infancy, with all the future and the potentiality of senses, meanings, combinations, and directions open to it. Going global would be the very glottic opening of language and into language, a pleasure of a glossa, of words, an enjoyment in and of the words, a glottal-global, globetrotting experience that is almost literary--poetic, unpredictable, free to go anywhere, going global as the going of and dissemination of the global, the global is/as going global, g-o-o-o-o global!, and, as Heidegger would have it, the world worlds. Going global would be the becoming of the totality of senses, senses and meanings that go in every direction, towards what Jean-Luc Nancy calls the creation of the world, or globalization: La creation du monde ou la mondialisation (2002). Going global as a pleasure, a jouissance of going global, "as an exercise of an infinitely finite and insatiable signification which is the act of being in a sense of being placed in the world" (l'exercice insatiable et infiniment fini qui est l'etre en acte du sens mis en monde) (64).

By the same token, one should not forget that this alliteration, going global, this glottic repetition, and the meaning for which it stands and as it stands, is possible only in English, and that going global is going on at the expense of other languages and cultures. You cannot go global in French, Russian, German, my native Serbo-Croat, or any other language. Going global sentences other cultures not to a poetic but to a generalized equivalence, a forced translation of an English-dominated globalization. Going global may be seen, thus, as the slogan of a generalized erasure of all alterity, singular difference, idioms, and idiomaticity. …

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