He draws a clear line from the Cold War to the war on terror and makes sense of our collective cultural efforts to recognize the not-so-new normal of nonstop military empire-building. Antiwar Liberalism against Liberal War Chapter 3. Dispatches from the Drug Wars Chapter 4. History: American History Military History. Political Science: Race and Politics. You may purchase this title at these fine bookstores. Outside the USA, see our international sales information. University of Chicago Press: E.
About Contact News Giving to the Press. The Global Republic Frank Ninkovich. Arthur Vandenberg Hendrik Meijer. Table of Contents. Deployment of Diversity. This well-researched and meticulously written book suggests that permanent war is not antithetical to liberal governance—it is, in fact, part and parcel of it. Palpatine believes that the political order must be manipulated to produce peace and stability. When he mutters, "There is no civility, there is only politics," we see that at heart, he's an esoteric Straussian.
Empire of Defense: Race and the Cultural Politics of Permanent War, Darda
Make no mistake, as emperor, Palpatine is a dictator--but a relatively benign one, like Pinochet. It's a dictatorship people can do business with. They collect taxes and patrol the skies. They try to stop organized crime in the form of the smuggling rings run by the Hutts. The Empire has virtually no effect on the daily life of the average, law-abiding citizen. Also, unlike the divine-right Jedi, the Empire is a meritocracy. The Empire runs academies throughout the galaxy Han Solo begins his career at an Imperial academy , and those who show promise are promoted, often rapidly.
And while it's a small point, the Empire's manners and decorum speak well of it. When Darth Vader is forced to employ bounty hunters to track down Han Solo, he refuses to address them by name. Even Boba Fett, the greatest of all trackers, is referred to icily as "bounty hunter. When he captures Solo, he calls him "Captain Solo. I suspect it's the former. After an exhausting fight, Vader is poised to finish Luke off, but he stays his hand. He tries to convert Luke to the Dark Side with this simple plea: "There is no escape.
Don't make me destroy you. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
In defense of the British Empire
The Empire doesn't want slaves or destruction or "evil. None of which is to say that the Empire isn't sometimes brutal. But viewed in context, these acts are less brutal than they initially appear. Poor Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen reach a grisly end, but only after they aid the rebellion by hiding Luke and harboring two fugitive droids.
They aren't given due process, but they are traitors.
Race and the Cultural Politics of Permanent War
The destruction of Alderaan is often cited as ipso facto proof of the Empire's "evilness" because it seems like mass murder--planeticide, even. As Tarkin prepares to fire the Death Star, Princess Leia implores him to spare the planet, saying, "Alderaan is peaceful. We have no weapons. But the audience has no reason to believe that Leia is telling the truth. In Episode IV, every bit of information she gives the Empire is willfully untrue.
In the opening, she tells Darth Vader that she is on a diplomatic mission of mercy, when in fact she is on a spy mission, trying to deliver schematics of the Death Star to the Rebel Alliance. When asked where the Alliance is headquartered, she lies again. Leia's lies are perfectly defensible--she thinks she's serving the greater good--but they make her wholly unreliable on the question of whether or not Alderaan really is peaceful and defenseless.
If anything, since Leia is a high-ranking member of the rebellion and the princess of Alderaan, it would be reasonable to suspect that Alderaan is a front for Rebel activity or at least home to many more spies and insurgents like Leia. Whatever the case, the important thing to recognize is that the Empire is not committing random acts of terror. It is engaged in a fight for the survival of its regime against a violent group of rebels who are committed to its destruction. As we all know from the final Star Wars installment, Return of the Jedi, the rebellion is eventually successful.
The Emperor is assassinated, Darth Vader abdicates his post and dies, the central governing apparatus of the Empire is destroyed in a spectacular space battle, and the rebels rejoice with their small, annoying Ewok friends. But what happens next? There is a raft of literature on this point, but, as I said at the beginning, I'm going to ignore it because it doesn't speak to Lucas's original intent. In Episode IV, after Grand Moff Tarkin announces that the Imperial Senate has been abolished, he's asked how the Emperor can possibly hope to keep control of the galaxy.
So under Imperial rule, a large group of regional potentates, each with access to a sizable army and star destroyers, runs local affairs. These governors owe their fealty to the Emperor.
And once the Emperor is dead, the galaxy will be plunged into chaos. In all of the time we spend observing the Rebel Alliance, we never hear of their governing strategy or their plans for a post-Imperial universe. All we see are plots and fighting. Their victory over the Empire doesn't liberate the galaxy--it turns the galaxy into Somalia writ large: dominated by local warlords who are answerable to no one.
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