Never before has imperialist victory or defeat so much depended on a struggle for hegemony in the world of images; and never before has the dominant world power been subject to real catastrophe in the realm of the Spectacle, as happened to the US on September 11. The present turn to empire and enclosure - what Afflicted Powers terms military neo-liberalism - is confronted not only by various forms of radical Islam but by a new kind of vanguardism armed with the toolkit of spectacular politics. This book attempts to rethink certain key aspects of the current global struggle within this overall perspective, and to provide some critical support for present and future oppositions. Its main themes are: the Spectacle and September 11; blood for oil; permanent war and illusory peace; the U.S.-Israel relationship; revolutionary Islam; and modernity and terror.
Retort is a gathering of antagonists to capital and empire, based for two decades in the San Francisco Bay Area. The present book arises from the group's efforts to confront the current political moment and some of the main forms of resistance to it. Involved in the writing were Iain Boal, T. J. Clark, Joseph Matthews, and Michael Watts.