Saturday, September 10, 2005

citizenship (global)

global citizenship logoThe spread of a discourse of "global citizenship" comes from the fact that citizenship itself (of the old-fashioned, national variety) is in crisis.

With the failure of representative institutions, endemic voter apathy and disenfranchisement, the democratic deficit of national regimes both Western and non-Western, let alone multinational organizations from the UN to Monsanto, liberal theorists appeal to so-called global civil society and a diverse range of social movements, shoe-horning their practices into a citizenship model, to be secured by an ever more expansive state.

The whole enterprise is ethically, pragmatically, and politically bankrupt.

The days of the citizen-subject are numbered, if not already over. Fetishizing that outmoded form obscures any analysis of the new forms of subjectivity that are enforced or enabled in the current balance of forces between Empire and Exodus.

Liberal political theory remains blind to the "bare life" of the non-subject in Guatánamo or the New Orleans Superdome, and is incapable of assessing the fluid subjectivities of terrorist or looter, multitude good or bad.

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