I must confess my bias to Empire. Roman, Chinese dynasties, Soviet, Islamic, American, Putin’s Russian, Contemporary Chinese, it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t: the problem with pretty much any discourse on Empire is the privilege afforded ideology, be it nationalist or economic, be it humanist or religious. If you’ll pardon the somewhat flamboyantly Scientological the phrase, this privilege is an implant of the discourse’s natural historicity. But real people, living real lives do not mean anything to historicity nor does historicity mean anything to them. Real people living real lives are either led to Empire or led to the local by the forces of the time. That is, in order to understand Empire, what Empire really means for the individual, and what is local, separatism, what the separate means for the individual, in order to frame that discourse, we must abandon a historicity’s metaphysical frame and adopt a new, physical phenomenology of motivation.


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