By Fred Halliday
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Extra resources for The World At 2000
Most significantly of all, the two major drives of European history over the past half millennium, economic and strategic expansion outwards, and internecine war within. have both been independent of any 'other'. The former, economic growth and the Industrial Revolution, was largely endogenous, driven from within; the latter had remarkably little 28 The World at 2000 relation to the non-European world, be it in terms of competition for raw materials or strategic rivalry. The ·other' is convenient, as apologia and source of plunder, not determinant.
The 'just war tradition·. which has in the past legitimated wars of national liberation and national defence. is now cast as some newly formulated apologia for imperialism. 12 If we look around the world today these critics are, arguably, the most influential opponents of western hegemony. The diffusion of Noam Chomsky's work is. arguably. an index of this. 13 So too is Edward Said's principled, but misjudged, critique of the 1993 Oslo Agreements between Israel and the PLO. No doubt too the enthusiasm and ease with which such 'anti-imperialist' arguments are adopted testifies to the depth of resentment provoked by western hegemonic power.
As we shall see in the discussion of 'anti-imperialism' in Chapter 3 and Chapter 10, to reject this legacy as unacceptably 'Eurocentric', or 'ethnocentric', a product of some undifferentiated hegemonic narrative, is to lose an important element in the emancipatory legacy of humanity as a whole. 6 There is a further risk in such a rejection: it may concede, in the name of relativist uncertainty, to forms of oppression, justified in nationalist terms. Not all that is oppressive is derived from hegemony: any assessment of oppression and denial of rights has to combine denunciation of that which is exogenous, imperial or hegemonic, and that which is endogenous, nativist and instrumentally 'authentic'.
The World At 2000 by Fred Halliday