Thursday, August 04, 2005

black globalization

Blood & Treasure offers an analysis of what the author terms "black globalization" based on an entry taken from "Global Guerrillas".

The Iraqi resistance is, we learn, characterized by flat management structure, portfolio careers, free agency, continuous improvement, delivery cycles, learning organizations, skill set development, and outsourcing. The very model of a modern multinational.

At the same time, a comment to the earlier, "Global Guerrillas" post states "As I read about the strategies mentioned above it suddenly hit me where I had heard of them before, from a book I read in the 80's called 'The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism' by Hakim Bey." To which the "Global Guerrilla" blogger links his own analysis of Fallujah as a TAZ.

I think this undecidability, or rather the cross-mutation between commerce and subversion under the sign of terror, can also be seen in classical piracy, as I mentioned earlier.

Is there really a difference between "black" globalization and any other form of globalization? Is not "black" globalization the "truth" of a putative "white" globalization, which is held back only by the remnants of transcendence and command?

What's at issue is also, in the sixteenth century as much as today, the relation between Multitude and Empire.

The question is precisely whether what we have here is an identity, an undecidability, or perhaps a complex series of potential "tipping points" between different forms. Is there in fact no real distinction between the two (between globalized insurgency and networked commerce), except for their overcoding by the state discourse of a "war on terror"? Or is there in fact a real difference, whose contours can only be mapped contextually and historically, i.e. in terms of effects (does, for instance, piracy encourage or slow down the slave trade) rather than by examining the movement itself? Or can a line be drawn between Multitude and Empire, albeit with the acknowledgement that one may easily and at almost any time be converted into the other?

Certainly the pull of commerce is very strong. One could imagine a number of guerrilla groups (the FARC, the IRA, even Sendero) that have become dominated by what had perhaps originally been an instrumental use of illegal trade networks. Smuggling, extortion, and protection rackets may have originated as means to raise funds to continue the armed struggle, but their logic overtook the instrumentality of political violence.

Is this how the multitude becomes "corrupted"? Whereas Empire becomes corrupt through the hypostasis of state command?

1 comment:

Jon said...

Well, for instances of "remnants of transcendence" attempting to hold back globalization, or aspects of globalization, look only to the immigration and visa policies of the US and the UK.