Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bamyeh Blog

I found this reading on Postnationalism to be particularly interesting. Herein, Bamyeh discusses how globalization is affected by post/trans/nationalism and how these all relate back. He views these as ideologies, thanks to a question he posed to Prof. Benedict Anderson of Cornell. He now sees that nationalism is the ideology with the most modern solidarity and there is no possible alternative. He asserts that the process of globalization is changing due to human interests established through nationalism. Nationalism concerns moral value judgments, where that is lost in postnationalism. Also, following the European model, nationalism is singular in character.

Bamyeh goes on to state that the US follows none of the three, but rather has formed a new stage of imperialism, citing six "irrational" distinguishing features. Firstly, the coercive capacity of the state has not diminished. Next, the imperial state has maintained and expanded its commitment to a hierarchical vision while three, the imperial state continues to find a common national interest even as globalization fragments nations. Next, the imperial state isolates the “vanquished” and renders large markets inaccessible to global capitalism, while the imperial state has reduced its social responsibility and maintained its military strength. Finally, the means of defining conflict have shifted from economic to cultural and people of the world are being portrayed differently.

While the "new imperialism" is certainly interesting, I fear it is not widely accepted enough for me to cite it as America's actual state of being. Rather I feel we have seen a nationalist rebirth since the 9/11 attacks, the likes of which we have never seen, except perhaps around the bicentennial. Many fear the postnationalist UN and NATO, clinging instead to our own scared shores. The idea of America as imperialists is being quickly overshadowed by rapid expansion of the East.

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