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Friday, October 29, 2004 

"Searching for vision not invisibility"

Stan Goff's new article on From The Wilderness is not only wonderful, it's available for free. In this latest installment in his series of articles on the political economy of US imperialism, Goff focuses on the continuously active role played by the US state in the extension and maintenance of dollar hegemony as well as the US's changing relationship to other international actors with regards to debt.

In tackling this subject, he engages two of the more dominant strains within the anti-imperial discourse. On the one hand, his examples, through their historical significance, highlight the weaknesses of the capital-centric analysis of the Hardt/Negri school; adding meat to discussions about the comparative influence of and the different roles played by members of the US-Japanese-European triad in a way that I think more cleanly separates what Hardt/Negri get right from what they get wrong. On the other, Goff openly challenges all segments of the (Leninist) left, especially those among us who use a more state-centric analytical paradigm in responding to the Hardt/Negri school, to move away from our past practice of "selectively censoring" aspects of the "Hilferding, Hobson, and Lenin thesis" in order to place current conditions within outdated paradigms. A notable and important charge for a fragmented left within the metropoles during a period of gloves-off imperialism.

For a perspective quite similar to Goff's but focused instead on the tasks facing those "at the empire's boarders" currently resisting/attempting to understand the roots of US imperialism, I highly recommend Samir Amin's latest treasure trove, The Liberal Virus.

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