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By William V. Spanos

A examine of imperialism that stretches from old Rome to the post-Cold battle international, this provocative paintings boldly revises our assumptions concerning the family tree of the West. instead of finding its resource in classical Greece, William V. Spanos argues, we must always glance to historic Rome, which first articulated the guidelines that might develop into primary to the West's imperial venture. those founding rules, he claims, have trained the yank nationwide id and its overseas coverage from its origins.

The Vietnam conflict is on the heart of this e-book. within the contradiction among the "free international" common sense hired to justify U.S. intervention in Vietnam and the genocidal practices used to gain that common sense, Spanos unearths the fruits of an imperialistic discourse achieving again to the colonizing intent of the Roman Empire. Spanos identifies the language of enlargement within the "white" metaphors in Western philosophical discourse because the colonization of Greek idea via the Romans. He indicates how those metaphors, and their function in metaphysical discourse, have lengthy been complicit within the violence of imperialism.

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Thus it also assumes that a mediated perspective — the taking of a certain distance from this dislocating "chaos"—enables a fuller (literally "im-partial") view that will reveal the informing Presence and thus the meaning to which the immediate perspective is blinded by its partial vision. In the sedimented everyday language of Occidental knowledge production this distanced or mediated or impartial perspective enables comprehension of the unknown. This interrogation of the essential movement of Occidental thought thus discloses not simply the metaphoricity of the Occidental tradition's idea of truth, but also the integral relationship between the metaphorics of vision and reification in its production.

This systematic metaphorization of being constitutes the origin of (and is obscured by) the naturalized and enabling principle of the logic — the truth discourse — of Occidental metaphysics: that Identity is the condition for the possibility of difference. And it is to the specificity of this constructed polyvalent metaphorical ("white") system that we must, above all, turn if we are to plumb the historical past of modern Western imperialism and, more important, the depth of its inscription as ideology in the modern Western subject and its language.

This operation is usually referred to as the transformation of being-in-the-world into a subject-object binary. But to estrange the sedimented meaning of this verbal counter — and to draw attention to its relevance to the imperial project proper — I think it preferable as well as more accurate to refer to this splitting of Dasein from being as one in which the encompassing (Apollonian) eye and its 16 The Ontological Origins of Occidental Imperialism seminal light are separated from and privileged over the other more immediate and truant senses in the pursuit of knowledge about being.

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