B2G2W5, jmensch@stfx.ca

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)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,694
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
2 ( #797,500 of 2,197,248 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature