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Publication Details

Reference
Bond, Patrick (2001) Radical Rhetoric and the Working Class
During Zimbabwean Nationalism’s Dying Days1. Journal of World Systems Research,  vii, 1, spring : 52-89.

Summary
Introduction: African Nationalism in decline
Startling arguments have been made by radical scholars that the nation-state is no longer an appropriate site for contestation of formal power, on behalf of social progress, by the ‘multitudes.’2 Perhaps most extreme is the stance of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (2000: 305), in Empire:

As the concept of national sovereignty is losing its effectiveness, so too is the so-called autonomy of the political. Today a notion of politics as an independent sphere of the determination of consensus and a sphere of mediation among conflicting social forces has very little room to exist. Consensus is determined more significantly by economic factors, such as the equilibria of the trade balances and speculation on the value of currencies. Control over these movements is not in the hands of the political forces that are traditionally conceived as holding sovereignty, and consensus is determined not through the traditional political mechanisms but by other means. Government and politics come to be completely integrated into the system of transnational command. Controls are articulated through a series of international bodies and functions. This is equally true for the mechanisms of political mediation, which really function through the categories of bureaucratic mediation and managerial sociology rather than through the traditional political categories of the mediation of conflicts and the reconciliation of class conflict. Politics does not disappear; what disappears is any notion of the autonomy of the political.

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