American Insurgents: A Brief History of American by Richard Seymour

By Richard Seymour

All empires spin self-serving myths, and within the US the main effective of those is that the United States is a strength for democracy world wide. but there's a culture of yank anti-imperialism that exposes this deceptive mythology. American Insurgents is a stunning, revelatory background of anti-imperialism within the usa because the American Revolution. It charts the events opposed to empire from the Indian Wars and the expansionism of the slave South to the Anti-Imperialist League of Mark Twain and Jane Addams. Seymour crafts a full of life and obvious clarification of why a few of these events succeeded and others failed. the result's an essential viewpoint for these organizing antiwar resistance at the present time.

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In fact, it is positivist natural science that has been, more often than not, progressive in terms of building upon the knowledge won in the past. We know more about nature and the physical world than ever. In social science, there has been some progress, but a large amount of time and effort here goes into endless debates, reformulations, rediscovering wheels invented long ago, and even static, radical, and stultifying skepticism. Relational models in the physical sciences are receiving increasing attention, though whether a post-Einstein paradigm shift is underway is unclear.

As influenced by metaphysical-theoretical assumptions (recognized or not), idealism is subject to positing invisible subjective forces as causal forces and falsely universalizing this as a historical constant. When this sort of reductionism meets ahistoricism, the result is a false universalization of current individuality for universal human nature. Marx (1973: 83) thus criticizes Smith and Ricardo because, for them, “this eighteenth-century individual—the product on one side of the dissolution of the feudal forms of society, on the other side of the new forces of production developed since the sixteenth critique and method 33 century—appears as an ideal, whose existence they project into the past.

12 12 Marx revisits this point in several places. In Critique of Political Economy: “Since labor-time is the common measure of gold and commodities, and since gold figures as the measure of value only in so far as all commodities are measured by it, the idea that money makes commodities commensurable, is therefore a mere fiction of the process of circulation. It is rather the commensurability of commodities as incorporated labortime, that turns gold into money” (Marx 1911: 78–79). In the Grundrisse: “But, as mere numerical magnitudes, as amounts of any unit of the same name, they only become comparable to one another, and only express proportions towards one another, when each individual commodity is measured with the one which serves as unit, as measure.

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