A Global War Regime

Michael Hardt & Sandro Mezzadra, New Left Review:

The incessant parade of armed confrontations, large and small, serve to prop up a militarized governance structure that takes different forms in different places, and is guided by a multi-level structure of forces, including the dominant nation-states, the supranational institutions and competing sectors of capital, which sometimes align and sometimes conflict.


In opposing the global war regime, calls for ceasefires and arms embargos are essential, but the present moment also demands a coherent internationalist politics. What is needed are coordinated practices of desertion through which people can depart radically from the status quo.


How can one desert such a variegated structure? Local and individual gestures have little effect. The conditions for an effective praxis must involve collective refusal organized in international circuits. The mass protests against the US invasion of Iraq, which took place in cities across the world on 15 February 2003, correctly identified the supranational formation of the war machine and announced the possibility of a new internationalist, anti-war actor. Though they failed to stop the assault, they created a precedent for future practices of mass withdrawal.

Bookmark the permalink.