David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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||categorize this paper)|
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
James Mensch (2003). Benito Cerino: Freud and the Breakdown of Politics. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 7 (2):117-131.
Marilyn Friedman (2007). Female Terrorists. Social Philosophy Today 23:189-200.
Mark R. Reiff (2008). Terrorism, Retribution, and Collective Responsibility. Social Theory and Practice 34 (2):209-242.
Paul Gilbert (1994). Terrorism, Security, and Nationality: An Introductory Study in Applied Political Philosophy. Routledge.
Alistair M. Macleod (2004). Terrorism and the Root Causes Argument. Social Philosophy Today 20:97-108.
Saul Newman & Michael P. Levine (2006). War, Politics and Race: Reflections on Violence in the 'War on Terror'. Theoria 53 (110):23-49.
Ernest Barker (1937/1972). The Citizen's Choice. Freeport, N.Y.,Books for Libraries Press.
Johanna Oksala (2012). Foucault, Politics, and Violence. Northwestern University Press.
Roland Bleiker (2009). Aesthetics and World Politics. Palgrave Macmillan.
Gabriella Slomp (2009). Carl Schmitt and the Politics of Hostility, Violence and Terror. Palgrave Macmillan.
Richard Hildreth (1854/1971). Theory of Politics. New York,B. Franklin.
Kevin M. Cherry (2012). Plato, Aristotle and the Purpose of Politics. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads2 ( #553,718 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?