The Migrant Metaphor Within Radical Italian Thought

Ingrid M. Hoofd


Abstract

NoBorder activisms and Italian philosophies are highly complicit in the ongoing fortification of the EU and the West, and of the West’s subsequent global hegemonic spread through Eurocentric discourses and technologies. I will show that many radical Italian writings, through a metaphorisation of the ‘migrant’ or ‘refugee’, supplement the alter-globalisation movement in effectively reproducing the Eurocentric fantasy of the Enlightenment subject as the ultimate centre for social change, just as much as those despised EU policies do. I will do so by pointing out that this migrant metaphor functions primarily as a tool to make possible the claim for some sort of hegemonic ‘unification of struggles’ in ‘the new world order’ by these radical Italian thinkers. They will be shown to do so through a doubly romanticising move, leading to both the reproduction of the migrant or refugee as a heroic figure and the acting out of an unfinishable desire for communal self-identification with the migrant, through claims that s/he embodies the transcendental fantasy of the total subsumption of boundaries.

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