We begin with the story of Prudenica Martin Gomez, who died while attempting to cross the us-mexico border

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Solvency—Open Borders

We should reject the notion that “we” can control who “we” are.

Ajana 2006 [Btihaj, “Immigration Interrupted,” Journal for Cultural Research, 10.3]

Although it is often argued that Levinas as well as Derrida’s unconditional hospitability cannot be unproblematically (or even possibly) translated into a political action (Metselaar 2003, p. 9) insofar as it is merely articulated at the level of the dual self-Other relationship rather than sociality as a whole (this being particularly true of Levinasian ethics), their vision is, nonetheless, salient in terms of provoking a radical transformation in social and political imaginaries and invoking the exigency of a ‘politics of generosity that would foster rather than close off different ways of being’ (Diprose 2002, p. 172). Such politics will not proceed from ‘a hermeneutics of depth’ (Rose 1999, p. 196) in which subjectivity is wrought around self-containment, self-sufficiency and self-determinacy, presented as a project to be accomplished. Instead, it might find its point of departure in the potential encounter with the other and the total exposure to embodied alterity. For it is the experience of encountering and being-exposed-to that infuses the crisis ‘into the hyphen at the heart of the nation-state’ (Coward 1999, p. 12) and undoes any immanentist attempt to essentialise identity, commonality and belonging. Whilst it is unclear as to how such an ethico-political vision may be put into practice (perhaps this ‘not-knowing-how’ would save this alternative vision from being turned into yet another figure of immanentism), it may be that the rejection, transgression and obliteration of immigration controls are to be regarded as the touchstone of this radical ethico-politics and an epitome of the necessary shift from politics of borders to politics of singularities where ‘No One Is Illegal’ (Cohen 2003).

The aff breaks down the distribution of rights in terms of citizenship, giving rise to universal personhood, and eliminating the distinction between citizen and alien.

Shamir 05 (Ronen, Professor of Sociology at Tel-Aviv University, 2005 “Without Borders? Notes on Globalization as a Mobility Regime,” Sociological Theory 23.2 http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=a38a1096-53e7-4f5d-8fb2-678c41fae19b%40sessionmgr10&vid=4&hid=26)
Hence, she finds that under the new conditions of global migration and an emergent global regime of human rights, “the logic of personhood supersedes the logic of national citizenship” (1994:164) and that “citizenship is losing ground to a more universal model of membership anchored in transcendent and de-territorialized notions of personal rights” (1994:3). Studying illegal immigration and guest-workers in both Europe and the United States, and with different normative concerns than those of Soysal in mind, Jacobson nonetheless seems to share with Soysal some core theoretical observations. In his Rights Across Borders: Immigration and the Decline of Citizenship, Jacobson (1996) argues that the combined effect of trans-national migration and the emergence of a sweeping trans-national regime of human rights brings about the erosion of the traditional basis of nation-state membership, namely, citizenship. Under the emergent global human rights regime, he argues, the notion of “universal personhood” comes to dominate the social and political imagination. Subsequently, rights are increasingly predicated on residency rather than on citizen status, eroding the very distinction between citizen and alien and compromising the link between territorially bounded national sovereignty and citizenship. Both Soysal and Jacobson, therefore, seem to share the view that normative or cultural globalization—here conceptualized in terms of an emergent global human rights regime—is a process that profoundly challenges the heretofore sacred notion of bounded territoriality and its bundle of associated citizenship rights. The perceived tension is thus between the trans-national (“open”) principle and the national (“close”) principle. In other words, to the extent that some states or political blocs try to halt or slow the process of conferring rights on immigrants in the name of sovereignty and social integrity, the assumed implication is that we have to theorize these attempts as running against the sweeping pressure of globalizationqua-openness.

The method of analyzing biopolitics at the border is key to understand the manifestation of biopolitics through immigration controls. We must abandon the discourse of the resolution to deconstruct the biopolitical order – any other action is further delay.

Ajana, Lecturer in Culture, Digital Humanities & Creative Industries at King’s College London. 2005 [Btihaj, 2005 “Surveillance and Biopolitics,” Electronic Journal of Sociology. RH]
From this inventory of the kind of surveillance technologies deployed at the border and in relation to asylum and immigration, and from what has been discussed hitherto, we might be able to see how discipline and control are being merged together within the realm of biopolitics through the hybridisation of management techniques and the dispersion of networks of control. In fact, the biopolitics of borders is precisely where the metaphoric transition from disciplinary society to control society is complicated insofar as it is intrinsically entrenched within a domain of complex contestation and dialectical constellations in which the two modalities of power coexist through the juxtaposition of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms of discipline and control. This, being manifested in the existence of detention centres where panoptical practices are inflicted upon those who are ‘imagined’ as ‘potential’ (rather than ‘actual’) risk (or, in fact, as being both) as well as in the technologies of securitisation which function by means of instilling a sense of self-surveillance and self-control, constructed as the basis for freedom, legitimacy, right and citizenship (in the case of ID cards and passports for example). Not for a moment should we suggest that the era of discipline and confinement has completely ceased to exist, nor should we avoid attending to the myriad of changes taking place at the heart of contemporary societies. Instead, it is imperative to distil some fresh understanding from the actualities (and virtualities) of everyday life by abandoning teleological, dualistic and progressive discourses and venturing into what might be discovered in the vicinity of ‘strange couplings, chance relations, cogs and levers that aren’t connected, that don’t work, and yet somehow produce judgements, prisoners, sanctions’ (Foucault, in Rose, 1999: 276). To this I would add, refugees, detainees, deportees, the exiled and so on, for such is the system of biopolitics; a system of peculiar assemblages and violent ramifications to which there can be no neat analysis or simple theorisation.

Aff is key to prevent bare life – rethinking of individual ethics in the context of the border is key

Zylinska, Professor of New Media and Communications at the University of London, 2004 (Joanna, “The Universal Acts: Judith Butler and the biopolitics of immigration,” Cultural Studies 18.4, pg. 530-33) MM
Indeed, even the very process of naming an Iraqi, Albanian or Kurdish refugee an ‘asylum seeker’, towards whom the hospitality of the host nation is to be extended, is inevitably violent. Butler explains that ‘The naming is at once the setting of a boundary, and also the repeated inculcation of a norm’ (1993, p. 8). Taking account of the performativity of the hegemonic political discourses can enable us to shift the borders that delineate and establish the contours of the human within these discourses. This in turn can create a possibility for a new politics of immigration, a politics that is informed by an ethics of response and responsibility that goes beyond the set of moral obligations. Looking at excluded, abject, non-human bodies positioned at the threshold of the legitimate political community, Butler declares: The task is to refigure this necessary ‘outside’ as a future horizon, one in which the violence of exclusion is perpetually in the process of being overcome. But of equal importance is the preservation of the outside, the site where discourse meets its limits, where the opacity of what is not included in a given regime of truth acts as a disruptive site of linguistic impropriety and unrepresentability, illuminating the violent and contingent boundaries of that normative regime precisely through the inability of that regime to represent that which might pose a fundamental threat to its continuity. (1993, p. 53) Taking a cue from Butler, we might thus argue that a responsible immigration politics should not be based on the idea of integration and immersion but rather on the preservation of the outside as ‘the site where discourse meets its limits’. This does not of course mean that all asylum seekers should be permanently kept on the threshold of the country or community they want to enter, and that we should naively celebrate them as an irreducible alterity that resists incorporation. However, it is to suggest that the biopolitics of devouring the other, of digesting and disseminating him or her across the body politic, in fact forecloses on the examination of the normative regime that establishes and legitimates the discourse of national identity. The ‘asylum seeker’ / itself a product of the regime to which s/he is subsequently opposed / can only function on the outside of that regime as its limitation and a guarantee of its constitution. (Once the community truly opens itself up to what it does not know, both its knowledge of alterity and self-knowledge are placed under scrutiny, a state of events that leads to the inevitable shifting of the boundaries between the host as the possessor of goods and the newcomer as their ‘seeker’.) The idea of liberal multiculturalism in which all alterity is welcomed and then quickly incorporated into the host community risks occluding the violence at the heart of the constitution of this very community, even if this community defines itself in terms of diversity or pluralism, and not necessarily national or ethnic unity. The task of refiguring the ‘outside’ as a future horizon, without attempting to annul and absorb this outside altogether, presents itself as a more responsible response to the ‘asylum question’. An ethics of bodies that matter It is through Butler’s engagement with ‘bodies that matter’ that I now want to sketch an ethical response to the biopolitics of immigration practised by the UK and many other ‘sovereign democracies’. Of course, Butler’s own argument develops out of the investigation of the ‘heterosexual matrix’ whichlegislates genders through the reiterated acting of accepted gender roles. Nevertheless, it also enables us to think through the regulatory mechanisms that are involved in producing/performing legitimate citizenship. Butler suggests that in our investigation of juridical acts that legislate different forms of political subjectivity we should turn to the notion of matter, ‘not as a site or surface, but as a process of materialization that stabilizes over time to produce the effect of boundary, fixity, and surface we call matter ’ (1993, p. 9, original emphasis). She is interested in investigating how the materialization of the norm in bodily formation produces a domain of abjected bodies, a field of deformation that, in failing to qualify as the fully human, fortifies those regulatory norms (1993, p. 16). But the main thrust of her investigation is to find out what this contamination means for the ‘universal acts’ of Western democracies, and for the political actions embarked upon to guarantee the survival of these acts. And, further, if there is a certain ambivalence already inherent in these acts, can we think them otherwise? Butler thus formulates the following question: ‘What challenge does that excluded and abjected realm produce to a symbolic hegemony that might force a radical rearticulation of what qualifies as bodies that matter, ways of living that count as ‘‘life’’, lives worth protecting, lives worth saving, lives worth grieving?’ (1993, p. 16). I want to suggest that the challenge that the excluded and abjected realm produces to a symbolic hegemony therefore comes in the form of an ethical injunction, in revealing the originary ethicality of the ‘universal political acts’ already in place. For these acts - such as the 2002 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act - can only be formulated in response to the other, an other whose being precedes the political and makes a demand on it . Knocking on the door of Western democracies, ‘bodies that matter’ are ethical in the originary Levinasian sense; they are already taken account of, even if they are to be latter found not to matter so much to these sovereign regimes. Butler’s argument thus poses a blow to the alleged sovereignty of the democratic subject, whose response to the needs of the ‘other’ has to be properly managed through the application of utilitarian principles intermixed with a dose of human-rights rhetoric. Though in Excitable Speech she does not arrive at her questioning of political subjectivity via Levinas but rather via a parallel reading of Austin and Althusser, to me her account of ‘how the subject constituted through the address of the Other becomes then a subject capable of addressing others’ (1997, p. 26) sounds positively Levinasian.9 In Totality and Infinity , Levinas describes this relationship between self and other in the following way: The alleged scandal of alterity presupposes the tranquil identity of the same, a freedom sure of itself which is exercised without scruples, and to whom the foreigner brings only constraint and limitation. This flawless identity freed from all participation, independent in the I, can nonetheless lose its tranquillity if the other, rather than countering it by upsurging on the same plane as it, speaks to it, that is, shows himself in expression, in the face,and comes from on high. Freedom then is inhibited, not as countered by a resistance, but as arbitrary, guilty, and timid; but in its guilt it rises to responsibility. . . . The relation with the Other as a relation with his transcendence / the relation with the Other who puts into question the brutal spontaneity of one’s imminent destiny / introduces into me what was not in me. (1969, p. 103) Levinas understands this inevitability of responsibility and ethics as a need to respond to what precedes me and challenges my self-sufficiency and oneness, to what calls on me to justify ‘my place under the sun’. This realization is crucial for developing our notion of citizenship and political justice. To actively become a citizen, a host, a member of the public sphere / instead of just passively finding oneself inhabiting it as a result of an alleged privilege that occludes what it excludes / I need the other not in a negative sense, as an outside to my own positive identity, but to put me in question and make me aware of my responsibility. This is the only way in which mature political participation can take place; otherwise we will only be ‘running a software’, as Derrida describes it, i.e. applying a ready-made computer program to an allegedly predictable situation in which a need for a decision gives way to a technicized manoeuvre. It is the other that makes me aware of the idea of infinity in me, an idea that, according to Levinas, ‘establishes ethics’ (1969, p. 204). Through an encounter with the other I realize that the political subjectivity I inhabit is always temporarily stabilized, that it can be changed, redrafted or, to use Butler’s term, recited. And it is biopolitics that establishes a certain sense of normativity through managing and regulating ‘bare life’, a life that is subject to this ethical injunction, to intrusion and wounding, to a call to response and responsibility.

Unconditional hospitality solves— it creates an absolute openness to the Other

Ajana 06, (PhD in Sociology from London School of Economics and Political Science Btihaj. "Immigration Interrupted." Journal for Cultural Research 10.3 (2006): 259-273. Print.)
In contrast, unconditional hospitality is a response to the ethical imperative which precedes the realm of politics, philosophy and sociality. It is offered to anyone and everyone regard- less of whether they are TB/HIV negative or not, whether they are skilled migrants or not, whether they would contribute to the economy or not, whether they would conform to the customs and values of the host entity or not. This notion of hospitality entails a responsibility that has no limits, no particularity, and an absolute openness to the Other that goes beyond any expectation, deter- mination and knowledge. For ‘hospitality is…an experience which proceeds beyond knowledge toward the other as absolute stranger, as unknown, where I know that I know nothing of him’ (Derrida 2000, p. 8) – so much so that the subject becomes not a host but a ‘hostage’ to the Other (Levinas in Derrida 2000, p. 9) with no choice but to be responsible and hence hospitable. (However, this notion of being hostage to the Other is not to be regarded in negative terms for it is the alterity of the other and his/her call that shape one’s subjectivity, incite one to think, to feel (Diprose 2002, p. 134) and to be- come). Thus, and to use Levinas’ (1981, p. 98) allegory, which is probably derived from Nietzsche’s (1997, p. 91) ‘Ye love your virtue as a mother loveth her child; but when did one hear of a mother wanting to be paid for her love?’, the ethical relation of self (in our case, this would be the State) to the Other becomes something akin to the relation of the mother to her fetus; an inevitable and, at times, excessive responsibility for which nothing is necessarily expected in return.

The concept of “alienation” is dehumanizing and only opening the borders can solve

Johnson 2007(Dean and Mabie-Apallas, Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, “Opening the Floodgates”, New York University Publication)

Embracing open borders would send an expressionist message that all people, including people of color from the developing world, have equal dignity.73 Rather than be classified as undesirable and dehumanized “aliens” subject to exclusion and, at times, brutal border enforcement, 74 citizens of other nations would be welcomed as persons worthy of full membership in America. People of color would be valued as equals under the law in U.S. society. Unlike current immigration law and its enforcement, such important messages would tend to dampen— rather than exacerbate—the nativism and racism that often have infected public discourse on immigration and shaped the treatment of immigrants and certain groups of citizens in the United States.

Limiting immigration is paradoxical and needs to be interrupted

Ajana 06 (Btihaj. PhD in Sociology from London School of Economics and Political Science "Immigration Interrupted." Journal for Cultural Research 10.3 (2006): 259-273. Digital.
Western governments are permeated with assumptions vis-à-vis the prevalence of freedom and democracy. These assumptions seem to be paradoxically and iron- ically giving the right to some to categorise, criminalise, demonise, detain, expel and exclude, whilst invoking virtues of fairness and tolerance: ‘We live in a country which places great store on democracy, tolerance, fair play and freedom of speech… We will set an annual limit to immigration, including a quota for asylum seekers’ (Howard 2005). This enduring paradox which animates the political discourse is indeed what reveals the hollowness of these claims (freedom and democracy), which are, after all, [they’re]mere figures of speech, ornaments hanging on the politics of exclusion and regimes of domination. Such a paradox demands an interruption of these assumptions in order to rethink the question of immigration and reconfigure the notion of otherness that dwells at the heart of political philosophy.

Open Borders would solve the racial inequality being caused by the current system, and could serve as a stepping stone to other forms of equality

Johnson 2007 Dean of UC Davis School of Law(Kevin R., 2007“Opening the Floodgates; Why America Needs to Rethink Its Borders and Immigration Laws”)
Border enforcement could focus on the true dangers to U.S. society, rather than the exclusion of hardworking people simply seeking to better their lives in pursuit of the American Dream. The immigration laws would thus stand to better protect national security and public safety than the current ones do. The current system is woefully inadequate at basic tracking of the noncitizen population. The United States, by ensuring the legal entry of most noncitizens, would have a much better record than it currently does of who in fact is entering the country and where they live once here, furthering the important goal of protecting public safety and national security. Millions of noncitizens would not be living in the shadows of American society, outside the purview of law enforcement and the protections of the law, as they are today. With immigrants’ fear of removal reduced significantly, exploitation of undocumented immigrants in the workplace might well decline on its own accord. Employers would not hold the strong lever of undocumented status over these immigrants, which often allows employers to dictate the terms of the employment relationship to workers. However, better enforcement of basic labor and employment law would presumably still be necessary. Governmental resources could be redirected from¶  ¶ wasteful border enforcement efforts to enforcing basic workplace protections for all workers. Removing the stigma of “illegal” immigration status thus would benefit all workers. In no small part, this would happen because the current dual labor market—one regulated by law and the other that is not—that exists today would be dismantled, thus creating the opportunity for regulation of the workplace of all workers. Legal avenues for immigrating to the United States would replace illegal means of entry. Open borders thus hold the promise of drastically reducing deaths on the border, an everyday occurrence in contemporary times. They would also reduce the current racial discrimination that plagues immigration enforcement in the United States and seeps into all aspects of American social life. Human trafficking would be reduced, as would the criminal element engaged in the deadly, exploitative, and downright horrifying trade in human beings. In essence, open borders would go far to clean up the inequality and injustice that are perpetrated by the current U.S. immigration laws and their enforcement.

The concept of “alienation” is dehumanizing and only opening the borders can solve

Johnson 2007(Dean and Mabie-Apallas, Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, “Opening the Floodgates”, New York University Publication)

Embracing open borders would send an expressionist message that all people, including people of color from the developing world, have equal dignity.73 Rather than be classified as undesirable and dehumanized “aliens” subject to exclusion and, at times, brutal border enforcement, 74 citizens of other nations would be welcomed as persons worthy of full membership in America. People of color would be valued as equals under the law in U.S. society. Unlike current immigration law and its enforcement, such important messages would tend to dampen— rather than exacerbate—the nativism and racism that often have infected public discourse on immigration and shaped the treatment of immigrants and certain groups of citizens in the United States.

Deregulation is the only option, current management collapse is inevitable

Johnson 2007(Dean and Mabie-Apallas, Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, “Opening the Floodgates”, New York University Publication)
It is entirely possible for the United States to return to a system of more open borders. Although not perfectly analogous, the massive deregulation of various industries near the end of the twentieth century demonstrates the potential for moving from a highly regulated body of public law to a much less regulated system.54 Although the deregulation of immigration would generate knee-jerk resistance, this model makes perfect sense for the United States. The micromanagement of migration against the tide of market, political, and social forces, as U.S. immigration laws currently attempt to do, is doomed to fail. We need look no further than the current immigration mess in which we find ourselves today to see that.

Mobility is key to ultimate freedom and essential rights of all human beings

Johnson 2007(Dean and Mabie-Apallas, Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, “Opening the Floodgates”, New York University Publication)

Because immigration enforcement has conventionally been viewed as the sovereign power of a nation, little attention has been paid to the deep impacts that immigration law and enforcement have had on immigrants. In the world of immigration, the rights of the nation-state have historically trumped any interests of the individual. Thus, despite its commitment to individual rights, the United States has expressly denied noncitizens any general rights to travel into this country. One can envision few personal choices that can have greater lifealtering impacts than the decision about which country one chooses to live and work in. The ability to move can obviously have profound impacts on a person’s—and his or her family’s—entire life. Accordingly, free movement of people can be seen as the ultimate freedom and the fundamental right of all human beings.22 The right to migrate between nations could—and should—be viewed as a basic civil right of the individual. Such a view would be more consistent with liberal theory than a Bordering on the Immoral | 91 claim that state sovereignty trumps any and all limits on immigration restrictions. 23

Only by embracing the “other”, neighbors, strangers and enemies alike, will we overcome the empirical happenings of class hierarchies and war

Ashcroft 2009 ( Bill, teaches at the University of Hong Kong and the University of NSW, editor of The Post-Colonial Studies Reader and the author of The Empire Writes Back, Beyond the Nation: Post-Colonial Hope, The Journal of the European Association of Studies on Australia) Australian Studies Centre, Universitat de Barcelona
Gilroy’s aim is to see whether multicultural diversity can be combined with an¶ hospitable civic order (1), whether a convivial acceptance of difference might be¶ achieved in a different kind of multicultural society than the examples presently¶ available, particularly in Britain. A key moment in the book comes when he considers¶ Freud’s rejection, in Civilization and its Discontents, of Christ’s admonition to “love thy neighbour as thyself.” Not all men, Freud concludes, are worthy of love (72). But¶ Gilroy responds¶ I want to dispute his explicit rejection of the demand to practice an undifferentiated attitude toward friends and enemies, intimates and strangers, alike (…) I want to explore ways in which the ordinary cosmopolitanism so characteristic of postcolonial life might be sustained and even elevated. I would like it to be used to generate abstract but¶ nonetheless invaluable commitments in the agonistic development of a¶ multicultural democracy that Freud and the others cannot be expected to¶ have been able to foresee. (80)¶ Like many forms of utopian hope, Gilroy’s utopianism is critical, relying on “a planetary consciousness” in which the world “becomes not a limitless globe, but a small, fragile and finite place, one planet among others with strictly limited resources that are allocated unequally” (83). On such a planet the injunction to “love thy neighbour as thyself,” an undifferentiated attitude toward friends and enemies, might become a necessity rather than a vain hope. This, at least, for Gilroy, is worth exploring.¶ Paradoxically, the ground on which the possibility of a convivial diaspora rests is the¶ melancholia of a post-imperial Europe, and of Britain in particular. The imperial¶ melancholia first articulated by Mathew Arnold in ‘Dover Beach’—a peculiarly¶ Victorian version of the condition “started to yield to [a post-imperial] melancholia as¶ soon as the natives and savages began to appear and make demands for recognition in¶ the Empire’s metropolitan core” (99). Consequently, “immigration, war and national identity began to challenge class hierarchy as the most significant themes from which the national identity would be assembled” (99). Former colonial subjects were confident that “their reasonable requests for hospitality would be heard and understood. They had no idea,” says Gilroy, “that those requests were impossible to fulfil within the fantastic structures of the melancholic island race” (111).

Through the power of discourse we must break through the ontological constriction of national borders, only then will we be free

Ashcroft 2009 ( Bill, teaches at the University of Hong Kong and the University of NSW, editor of The Post-Colonial Studies Reader and the author of The Empire Writes Back, Beyond the Nation: Post-Colonial Hope, The Journal of the European Association of Studies on Australia) Australian Studies Centre, Universitat de Barcelona
Yet in cultural terms the nation is perhaps an even more ambiguous phenomenon than it¶ has been in the past, and this is particularly so in post-colonial theory. The nation-state¶ has been critiqued in post-colonial analysis largely because the post-independence, postcolonized¶ nation, that wonderful utopian idea, proved to be a focus of exclusion and division rather than unity; perpetuating the class divisions of the colonial state rather than liberating national subjects. However nationalism, and its vision of a liberated¶ nation has still been extremely important to post-colonial studies because the idea of¶ nation has so clearly focussed the utopian ideals of anti-colonialism. There is perhaps¶ no greater example of this than India, where independence was preceded by decades of¶ utopian nationalist thought, yet in Rabindranath Tagore we find also the earliest and¶ most widely known anti-nationalist. For Tagore, there can be no good nationalism; it¶ can only be what he calls the “fierce self-idolatry of nation-worship” (2002, 15)—the¶ exquisite irony being that his songs were used as Bengali, Bangladeshi and Indian¶ Copyright © Bill Ashcroft 2009. This text may be archived¶ and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy,¶ provided that the author and journal are properly cited¶ and no fee is charged¶13¶ national anthems. So the trajectory of colonial utopianism has been deeply ambivalent:¶ on the one hand offering the vision of a united national people, and on the other a¶ perhaps even more utopian idea of the spiritual unity of all peoples.¶ The years since 1947, when India led the way for other colonial states into post-colonial¶ independence, has been marked by the simultaneous deferral of pre-independence¶ nationalist utopias, and yet a vibrant and unquenchable utopianism in the various postcolonial¶ literatures. This utopianism has taken many forms but its most significant postcolonial¶ characteristic has been the operation of memory. Yet in the decades before and¶ after the turn of the century utopianism has taken a significant turn—one affected by¶ globalization, with its increasing mobility and diasporic movement of peoples—that¶ might be cautiously given the term cosmopolitan. Again it is India that has led the way¶ in its literature, not only because of the proliferation of South Asian diasporic writing,¶ but also because India itself has thrown the traditional idea of the nation as imagined¶ community into question.¶ That national ideal of one people, so successfully championed by Nehru has never been¶ more challenged than it has by India’s size and complexity. India shows us that the¶ ‘nation’ is not synonymous with the state and despite the increasing mobility of peoples¶ across borders, the proliferation of diasporas, the increasing rhetoric of international¶ displacement, India reveals that before national borders have been crossed, the national¶ subject is already the subject of a transnation. I want to propose the concept of¶ transnation to extend the post-colonial critique of nation, (or more specifically the¶ linking of nation and state) and to argue with the entrenched idea of diaspora as simply¶ defined by absence and loss. Such a definition of the diasporic population as¶ fundamentally absent from the nation fails to recognise the liberating possibilities of¶ mobility. The transnation, on the other hand, represents the utopian idea that national borders may not in the end need to be the authoritarian constructors of identity that they have become. The beginning of the twenty first century reveals a utopianism as powerful as it is different from the nationalist utopianism that began to grow in the early decades of the¶ twentieth. This cosmopolitan utopianism reaches beyond the state and considers the liberating potential of difference and movement. This is, of course, dangerous territory¶ because we have ample evidence of the melancholic plight of people who must move across borders, must in fact flee the nation either as economic or political refugees, or as subjects oppressed in some way by state power. Such people are decidedly unfree.¶ Transnation may be mistaken to rest on a far too benign view of global movement and¶ may encounter the objection that the idea of freedom from borders is in fact ignoring the¶ plight into which globalization has thrown people disadvantaged by class, ethnicity,¶ war, tyranny and all of the many reasons why they may need to escape. For this reason I¶ treat the term ‘cosmopolitan’ with considerable caution, as a word complicated by¶ overtones of urbanity and sophistication, a term much more successful as an adjective¶ than a noun. The term ‘transnation’, while it pivots on a critique of the nation, and a utopian projection beyond the tyranny of national identity, nevertheless acknowledges that people live in nations and when they move, move within and beyond nations, sometimes without privilege and without hope.¶ The transnation is more than ‘the international,’ or ‘the transnational,’ which might¶ more properly be conceived as a relation between states. The concept exposes the¶ distinction between the occupants of the geographical entity—the historically produced¶ multi-ethnic society whom we might call the ‘nation’ and the political, geographic and¶ administrative structures of that nation that might be called the ‘state.’ Transnation is¶ the fluid, migrating outside of the state (conceptually and culturally as well as¶ geographically) that begins within the nation. This is possibly most obvious in India¶ where the ‘nation’ is the perpetual scene of translation, but translation is but one¶ example of the movement, the ‘betweenness’ by which the subjects of the transnation¶ are constituted. It is the ‘inter’—the cutting edge of translation and renegotiation, the inbetween space—that carries the burden of the meaning of culture. Nevertheless, the¶ ‘transnation’ does not refer to an object in political space. It is a way of talking about¶ subjects in their ordinary lives, subjects who live in-between the positivities by which¶ subjectivity is normally constituted.¶ That the transnation is distinct from diaspora can be confirmed by seeing Salman¶ Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981) as the founding text of a new generation. This¶ generation was indeed characterised by mobility and hybridity and gained worldwide¶ attention through Indian literature in English, literature from what might called the¶ ‘third-wave’ diaspora. It was characterised by a deep distrust of the boundaries of the¶ nation, a distrust embodied in Saleem’s despair. But Rushdie’s novel had a different,¶ more utopian vision as he explains in Imaginary Homelands The story of Saleem does indeed lead him to despair. But the story is told in¶ a manner designed to echo, as closely as my abilities allowed, the Indian¶ talent for non-stop self-regeneration. This is why the narrative constantly¶ throws up new stories, why it “teems.” The form – multitudinous, hinting at¶ the infinite possibilities of the country – is the optimistic counterweight to¶ Saleem's personal tragedy. (1991, 16)¶ Saleem’s personal tragedy is of course the tragedy of the post-colonial nation. But it is¶ also the tragedy of the idea of the bordered nation itself, the very concept of a bounded utopian space within which a diverse people could come together as one. The saving¶ grace, for Rushdie, is the capacity of a people to ‘teem,’ its irrepressible and exorbitant¶ capacity to transcend the nation that becomes its most hopeful gesture. This way of¶ describing national concerns deeply rooted in culture and myth engages the nation as a¶ ‘transnation,’ a complex of mobility and multiplicity that supersedes both ‘nation’ and¶ ‘state.’¶ What is perhaps most striking about contemporary post-colonial utopianism is that it¶ captures the spirit of liberation strengthened rather than suppressed by the massive¶ absurdities of the ‘War on Terror.’ Marxist utopianism was generated paradoxically by¶ the growth of neo-liberal capitalism, growing stronger and stronger during the latter half¶ of the Twentieth Century as communist states imploded. But I think this growth can be matched by the deep vein of postcolonial utopianism that we find in literature, a vein of hope that becomes more prominent with the growth of transnational and diasporic¶ writing. This is quite different from that nationalist utopianism that died under the weight of post-independence reality. This is a global utopianism now entering the realm of critical discourse, even in the most agonistic of critics.¶ While the utopianism of post-colonial literature has developed extensively during the¶ Twentieth Century, I want to address examples of this utopian tendency in post-colonial¶ criticism at the turn of this century. Paul Gilroy’s After Empire (2004) and Edward¶ Said’s Freud and the non-European (2003) indicate that the element of hope circulating¶ around the possibility of freedom from nation, (or at least from the ontological constriction of national borders), and freedom from identity itself, may be gathering strength as a feature of twenty first century literature and criticism. Indeed, the¶ characteristic these works all share is a utopianism deeply embedded in critique, a tentative hope for a different world emerging from a clear view of the melancholic state of this one.

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