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By Nestor Miguez, Visit Amazon's Joerg Rieger Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Joerg Rieger, , Jung Mo Sung

In past the Spirit of Empire, the authors learn the worldwide empire not just in its political and financial dimensions, but additionally in its symbolic buildings of strength and in its basic assumptions frequently taken without any consideration. How does empire mold human subjectivity, for example, and the way does it impact the certainty of people in the complete of construction? What are the spiritual dimensions of empire, its claims to divine attributes like omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, eternity, and what approximately its alleged exclusiveness and pervasiveness that destroys human existence and freedom, which turns politics right into a banal subject? The authors suggest to seem past empire to the opportunity of politics and freedom, to the restoration of the concept of individuals, to the significance of ongoing difficulty for the oppressed and excluded, and to a messianic religion that enables us to reside in anticipation, even though ambiguously, of the promise of recent occasions to return.

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Empire now seems to have incorporated the lessons of Freudian psychoanalysis that subjectivity and desire are best shaped unconsciously. The advertising industry (embodying a combination of cultural, religious, and economic concerns) represents the most sustained effort at shaping subjectivity and desire at the level of the unconscious. ), but by the associations produced in the unconscious: shaping desire, feeling good, and producing identity (what is called ‘branding’ in advertising lingo – religionists might call it ‘initiation’) is the key.

There is only room for desire generated in hegemonic domination. It is important to clarify the concept of hegemony here. Today it is a worn-out concept that is debated in some currents of ‘post-Marxist’ political philosophy. 29 This is not the place to revisit this debate. In our conception, hegemony is a dimension of social construction where the factors that provoke domination come into play, and that operates in the field of the political culture, and in that intermediate space in which the relation is generated between politics and subjectivity (as much in the individual as in collective subjects) of those who become social and political actors.

3 The analysis of these mechanisms will allow us, in a second step, to identify alternative possibilities for the formation of subjectivity and desire, pointing beyond the structures of Empire. Nevertheless, despite these softer patterns shaping subjectivity and the self, we cannot afford to neglect the role that force and repression play. Under the current conditions of Empire, soft power is complemented by hard power, which includes military action and acts of torture; the increased use of hard power in recent years has reshaped relationships on all levels in a short amount of time.

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