Theoria 44 (108):102-117 (2005)
The opening sentence to Michael Hardt's and Antonio Negri's Empire1 is pregnant with promise and peril. Signifying a process deemed to be under way, it hearkens back to and beyond that famous Manifesto of 1848, even while looking forward to a time when what is now only imminent will have become reality. In part summoned into existence to fulfill the ancient prophecies of declining Rome and rising Christianity, Empire is said to be 'realizing' or 'manifesting' itself in time honoured 19th-century, especially Marxist, fashion; but whereas the specter invoked by the Communist Manifesto haunted only a continent, the immaterial spirit of Empire, dripping crisis like ectoplasm, stalks the entire world.
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