nationalism, or else...

<<Maybe we should send Ariel Sharon to the
"international" tribulnal in Hague?>>

Excellent idea - and GW Bush too...

1. Jivko, can I suggest that you spend more time thinking before you respond
to your respondants - it seems to me that people are being quite polite and
helpful, but your position (I haven't been subscribed for long) seems
increasingly defensive and closed...

2. I am inspired by Foucault's texts, and I go back now and then and read
them with joy, but isn't the thing to do *new* work, rather than simply
learning what Foucault had to say and treating it as some kind of 'theory'
which may then be 'applied' ? so wouldn't it be a good idea to go out and do
a genealogy of nationalism, which Foucault certainly didn't do?

3. As far as nationalism being 'taboo' in 'the west', I don't think this is
true at all. Certainly in the UK people seem to be talking about it all the
time, although admittedly in very confused and confusing ways (Scottish and
Welsh devolution, Northern Ireland, the EU and our possible loss of
'sovereignty', the BNP [British Nationalist Party - small, but recently got
quite a few votes in Oldham, framed by riots], etc.). And the farce of the
'UN', NATO, etc.

4. After all this, I don't think the 'problem' is nationalism at all though,
but rather the whole confused area of identity politics (which does seem to
have been prominent in 'the west' before becoming a worldwide phenomenon,
not wishing to ascribe any origin or ownership) where all over the world
people (leaders?) are trying to define and defend (often proactively)
various 'identities'. This problem is almost, dare I say it, 'universal' at
the moment however, manifesting itself in Israel/Palestine, Oklahoma, this
list, much western academic feminist and postcolonial discourse, etc, etc.

5. Finally, a genealogy of nationalism isn't to my taste (to write at
least), but it does seem to me that Foucault, particularly in his last
writings on ethics, is one of those who can help to lead us out of this
impasse. Perhaps the problem is, as Henri Bergson said, to identify the
problem, and so I ask the list for suggestions for a genealogy that would
further Foucault's work and provide new ways of seeing the various conflicts
in the world today? (And perhaps, as a side question, to what extent does
Hardt and Negri's _Empire_ do this?)


'Thus formless is not only an adjective having a given meaning, but a term
that serves to bring things down in the world, generally requiring that each
thing have its form. What it designates has no rights in any sense and gets
itself squashed everywhere, like a spider or an earthworm.' - Bataille

Partial thread listing: