B2G2W5, jmensch@stfx.ca

Abstract
In a world shaken by terrorists’ assaults, it can seem as if no one is in control. Political leaders often appear at a loss. They cast about for opponents, for those on whom they can exert their political will. The terrorists, however, need not identify themselves. If they do, the languge they use may be messianic rather than political. Rather than indicating negotiable political solutions, it points to something else. Coincident with this, is the pursuit of terror dispite the harm it causes to a given political agenda. The extreme form of terrorism does not speak at all. It bombs and kidnaps, not to negotiate, not to use its victims as pawns to gain a political advantage, but simply to terrorize, to involve innocent bystanders in its own suicidal acts. How does politics confront the absense of negotiable demands? By seeing terrorist’s acts as a “declaration of war?” War, however, has its goals. It is, Clausawitz teaches, a continuation of politics by other means. Yet in the absence of any clear statements, can we know what someone who mails anthrax has in mind? Can we tell what would actually satisfy those who use passenger planes as missiles to kill themselves and thousands of others? Terrorism, here, represents, not politics, but its breakdown. It is not some state power in control of a political process. It cannot be characterized as a political opponent. It is, rather, a method. By implying a way to achieve a political goal, even the word, “method,” says too much. As a sign of the breakdown of politics, it should rather be called a symptom. It was Freud who first introduced the notion of “symptoms” and “breakdown” to describe the loss of control. In what follows, I will apply his insights to Melville’s tale of revolt on a..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,273
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

2 ( #314,240 of 1,096,248 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

0

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.