We, the People of Europe?: Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (Translation/Transnation)

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Power ceases in the instant of repose; itresides in the moment of transition from apast to a new state; in the shooting of the gulf;in the darting to an aim. This one fact theworld hates, that the soul becomes; for, thatforever degrades the past We do not yet seethat virtue is Height, and that a man or acompany of men plastic and permeable toprinciples, by the law of nature must over-power and ride all cities, nations, kings, richmen, poets, who are not.

Gloria Anzalda with Friedrich Nietzsche. The juxtaposition of these two thinkers ina study on transnational citizenship is likely tostrike one as oxymoronic, if not downright whim-sical. Yet the task at hand will appear far fromarbitrary if we keep in mind that the focus of thisessay is not a simple comparison between twotheorists of subjectivity. Rather, my aim here isto show that the limits and contradictions inher-ent in Nietzsches conception of the value-freeself supranational European and syntheticman [Nietzsche, The Will to Power1 nos.

Although he initiates a profounddeconstruction of Western thought and valuestandards Beyond Good and Evil no. Nietzschean subject remains haunted by anexclusive logic centered around the limitativevalue standards of an elitist phallo- and Euro-centric philosophy. By contrast, Anzaldainscribes her conception of the hybrid womanwithin a philosophical frame that manages tosupersede the logic of exclusion with its cate-gories of good and evil, self and other, high andlow, master race and slave race , purity andimpurity, technocratic elite and democratic herd Nietzsche, Gay Science nos.

While a close interrogation of her Borderlandsreveals a critical scheme similar to Nietzsches,her conclusions are far more promising inasmuchas she develops her critique into an inclusivetheory of radical difference and multiplicity,which she fleshes out in her vision of transna-.

To theterritorialized mythology of mexicanismo[Mexicanism] Anzalda 21 and the originaryhomeland, Anzalda substitutes a deterritorial-ized topos that becomes an ontological and cogni-tive model of borderless, mosaic existence in themost general sense:. The psychological borderlands, the sexualborderlands and the spiritual borderlands arenot particular to the Southwest.

In fact, theBorderlands are physically present wherevertwo or more cultures edge each other, wherepeople of different races occupy the sameterritory, where under, lower, middle andupper classes touch Living on borders andin margins, keeping intact ones shifting andmultiple identity and integrity, is like trying toswim in a new element, an alien element.

There is an exhilaration in being a participantin the further evolution of humankind [T]he alien element has become familiar never comfortable, not with societys clamor touphold the old, to rejoin the flock, to go withthe herd. Anzalda 21, iii 5. In light of these comments, I would like to spec-ify that my reading of Anzaldas mestizaje hybridization offers to theorize this signifier ofbiological and cultural cross-pollinization 77 along two lines: cross-pollinization as a keyphilosophical principle within a general modelof borderlessness, where mestiza subjectivityno longer represents a fixed referent in a territo-rially and ethnically determined project ofregional consciousness or nation-formation;cross-pollinization as a fuzzy index of indefinitebecoming and multiplicity, in contrast with defi-nite categories of subjectivity, territory, andnation ality.

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This essay therefore does not aimto treat Anzaldas use of mestizaje in relation toany specific narrative of hybrid origin. As this essay will argue,Anzaldas supersession of lower and upperin a shifting frontier marked by the multiplicityof mestizaje stands in stark contrast toNietzsches exclusive vision of a homogenizingspecies serving [a] sovereign higher species WTP no. For all the fundamental discrepancies betweenNietzsche and Anzalda, however, the lattersthought remains in continuity with a significantNietzschean postulate: the supposition that theworld is not an organism at all, but [a] chaos ofdifferential forces in becoming and an oscillatingfield of mutual fertilization WTP nos.

A ceaselessly fluctuat-ing topos peopled by communities of hybridsubjects, her frontier is a site of transformationand chaotic morphogenesis, an inevitableunfolding; like a dissipative structure, it isa vague and undetermined space in a constantstate of transition Anzalda 81, 3. Similarly, there is a close correspondencebetween the paradox of the Nietzschean self asynthetic man as well as a multiplicity ofsubjects incarnating infinite ways of beingdifferent WTP nos.

Like the bermensch, whose comprehensive egorealizes itself by striving after infinite differenceand becoming-other, the hybrid woman is amultiple personality insofar as she represents adisjunctive synthesis Deleuze, Logic of Sense of ways of being different: a blendingof ontological categories incorporated from theothers of the public sphere the alien livingbetween two nations, the perverse, the queer,the troublesome, the mongrel, the mulatto, thehalf-breed, the half dead; in short, those whocross over, pass over, or go through the confinesof the normal Anzalda 3, Like themosaic Borderlands conceived as cognitiveparadigm more than geopolitical site Gmez-Pena 5 this alienness of the undeter-mined, cross-over self problematizes alloriginary narratives rooted in national or regionalvisions, however pluralistic they are.

Here, the closely related tropes of disjunction,complexity, and indeterminate space are onceagain central to the process of hybridity thatimpels the mestizas ontological transformation:her metamorphosis into a transcategorial blend-ing of modes of becoming-other. Byembracing the condition of the atopian cross-roads as her founding ontological position, themestiza also comes to accept that.

In Nietzsche, such disjunctions are mapped outat two isomorphic and mutually determininglevels: a shifting ontology reflecting the fluidityof all concepts, types and species UntimelyMeditations II no. Through thought the ego is posited; buthitherto one believed that in I thinkthere was something of immediate certainty If we relinquish the soul, the subject, theprecondition of substance in general disap-pears.

One acquires degrees of being, one losesthat which has being There are no durableultimate units, no atoms, no monads Thesphere of a subject [is] constantly growing the center of the system constantly shifting [There are] multiplicities but units arenowhere present in the nature of becoming. Embed Size px.


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None of us want to see immigration laws tightened. Yet when someone comes to me and asks if I could take in a foreign family, then I say, well, not really. Charity begins at home with the door firmly shut.

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Most people are as cowardly and comfortable as I am. It can live on the outliers ofconsciousness and push its way in until there is no other choice but to address it. Perhaps it isout for revenge or maybe it just seeks acknowledgement of a transgression perpetratedagainst an innocent person. In the film, Georges Laurent Daniel Auteuil , a well offtelevision host, finds his serene life disturbed by the sudden appearance of videotapes ofhis house and violent drawings. Georges suspects Majid Maurice Benichou , anAlgerian man who came to live with Georges family as a child after his parents died inthe Algerian Massacre of Georges lied to his parents about Majid and concoctedterrible stories that eventually resulted in Majid being sent to an orphanage.

The idea of colonialism at its heart is about the commodification offoreign lands and resources even people to bolster the wealth of another country. Whilecolonialism occurred in many countries throughout time, European colonialism changedthe course of history and ushered in a new era of war, violence, and profit. Europeancolonization practiced by the major Western powers Britain, France, Germany, Spain eventually fell into distress during the midth century.

After World War I,anticolonialist movements grew in popularity in the colonies occupied by the Westernpowers. Back in France, Algerians led rallies and protests against the French governmentwhile renegade members of the FLN launched terrorist attacks against governmentoffices. On October 17, , Algerians went to the streets of Paris to protest a curfew setby the chief of police, Maurice Papon.

Papon ordered the police to break up the peacefuldemonstration by any means necessary. The police open fired on the demonstrators,killing countless Algerians.


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  4. After the massacre, Papon and the French governmentclaimed only two Algerians were killed but eyewitnesses estimated that up to peoplewere murdered. The media went silent and never questioned the official story and fordecades after, the French government suppressed all information about the October 4. EventuallyAlgeria would win their independence but the damage had been done.

    Austin notes that the repression of the massacre eventually turnedinto something more palatable for French citizens. He says that in the mids, Franceunderwent a period of historical "renegotiation and selective remembering" Austin In November , President Chirac called for French citizens to be proud of theimportant achievements made in Africa through colonization.

    In fact, it was not until that the French governmentacknowledged that the Algerian massacre even occurred. Then in October , themayor of Paris dedicated a plaque to the Algerians massacred on October 17, Thismove was one of the first admissions of the French government to their responsibility inthe event. The dedication of the plaque was met with fury from conservative French whofelt as though such a move was divisive and even dangerous to national unity. If theywere to accept the negative effects of colonialism and their responsibility in the massacre,the idea of France as the symbol of everything that is desirable about European society 5.

    The process of decolonization affected European countries, especially theWestern powers, in one important way: decolonization allowed the formerly colonized tomove into the same sphere as the colonizer. It is not until Georges receives the violent drawingsthat he remembers Majid and is plagued with nightmares of memories that may or maynot be true. The return of Majid — the Other — into Georges life causes a contradictionbetween the identity Georges portrays and the fears that he holds.

    Diversity and Contestations over Nationalism in Europe and Canada

    In the book UnthinkingEurocentrism, Ella Shohat and Robert Stam argue that colonialist racial hierarchypresupposes the power and intelligence of the white man. This construction is what at first look seems the basis for Georges character. On the other hand, the character of Majid is not fully formed and exists at first as whatGeorges wants him to be — a villainous Other.

    As the film progresses, the stereotypes that viewers are familiar with no longerwork. The reemergence of the memory of Majid causes Georges identity tobe called into question. AsGeorges slowly becomes more disconnected from the viewer with his own dishonesty,the viewer begins to question the idea of Majid as the source of the tapes and drawings. Themain point of colonialism is the idea of European universalism. European powers occupy 7. This contradiction can belinked to the problem of inclusion in the process of decolonization.

    Now that the formerlycolonized lives in the society of the former colonizer, all the culture and opportunitiespromised to him are taken away.

    tr.ysuseqemubah.cf The former colonizer takes a protective stance againstthe foreigner and labels the culture as only for native citizens and never for foreigners. Georges would seemingly carry on his life as usual if not forthe emergence of the tapes and drawings that spark in Georges an unnamable guilt. Forexample, when Georges visits his mother and tells her that he dreamed of Majid, she hasno recollection of who Majid was. Georges himself cannot connect the dreams to hisculpability in lying about Majid as a child. However, Majid and Georges are connectedto the representation of both guilt for Georges and suffering for Majid in the tapesand drawings.