Apr 30 Whither empire?


One other advantage about the approach to empire and colonialism adopted in our four books is that it takes colonialism–and especially fascism–as a (racist, violent, and ultimately impossible) solution to a real crisis. Thus this crisis does not simply disappear with the end of the war or the retreat of the colonial power. If and how this crisis reappears, in what form, in what register, and how it might be solved in a post-colonial context is immediately an urgent issue.

Readings: In order of importance:

  1. Harootunian, The Empire’s New Clothes (excerpts)
  2. Ho Chi Minh, “The Path which Led Me to Leninism” (1960)
  3. Ho Chi Minh, “Vietnamese Declaration of Independence” (1945)
  4. Mao, “On Contradiction;”
  5. Park, Two Dreams in One Bed ch. 6

Highly recommended: An example from Ireland on the difference between a national  revolution and a social revolution see 1:27:20 to 1:34:20 (especially 1:31:27 on) of The Wind that Shakes the Barley. The longer scene, and the whole movie is very good on this, too.