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  • I. Introduction
  • Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri

The general apparatus of imperial command actually consists of three distinct moments: one inclusive, another differential and a third managerial. The first moment is the magnanimous, liberal face of Empire. All are welcome within its boundaries, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, and so forth. In its inclusionary moment, Empire is blind to differences; it is absolutely indifferent in its acceptance. It achieves universal inclusion by setting aside differences that are inflexible or unmanageable and thus might give rise to social conflict. . . . The resulting public space of power neutrality makes possible the establishment and legitimation of a universal notion of right that forms the core of the Empire. . . . The Empire does not fortify its boundaries to push others away, but rather pulls them within its pacific order, like a powerful vortex. With boundaries and differences suppressed or set aside, the Empire is a kind of smooth space across which subjectivities glide without substantial resistance or conflict.

The second moment of imperial control, its differential moment, involves the affirmation of differences accepted within the imperial realm. While from the juridical perspective differences must be set aside, from the cultural perspectives differences are celebrated. Since these differences are considered now to be cultural and contingent rather than biological and essential, they are thought not to impinge on the central band of commonality or overlapping consensus that characterizes the Empire's inclusionary mechanism. They are nonconflictual differences, the kind of differences we might set aside when necessary. . . . The differential moment of imperial control must be followed by the management and hierarchization of these differences in a general economy of command. Whereas colonial power sought to fix pure, separate identities, Empire thrives on circuits of movement and mixture. The colonial apparatus was a kind of mold that forged fixed, distinct castings, but the imperial society of control functions through modulation. . . . [End Page 1]

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
Empire
...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1536-1810
Print ISSN
1522-5321
Pages
p. 3
Launched on MUSE
2000-10-01
Open Access
No
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