File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 59

Subject: re 9/11/01
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 06:20:18 -0500

Actually, looking at the event from Europe and reading and judging the
responses across the various media, from CNN to the BBC and into the
Web, in some sense all of us who live in the G8 countries are as
effected as thecitizens of the nation state - USA. In some sense with
the proliferation of the global culture, the industrialisation of
culture, perhaps I should say these days the informationalisation of
culture, has led us to be (almost) all Americans in this circumstance...
The extraordinary sight of the G8 countries commiting themselves and
then realising the problems associated with Bush's declaration of war on
the terroists (Which some people have in some sense been mis-read as a
potential declaration of war on Islam, which it is by no means clear
that it is...)  The Bush declaration of war is the first virtual war in
history. It is a war that has been declared without anyone to fight
against, struggling to become actual, probably vainly waiting for
someone to go to war against and of course never finding anyone, since
no 'nation state' is involved. This will not stop the G8 countries
bombing carefully selected targets if they can find any... but virtual
targets are the hardest to locate and understand especially when they
are resisting the desire of others that they become actual...
If it is Bin-Laden, which seems probable,  hiding out in the destroyed
shambles of Afghanistan - it will not be hard too imagine the war-trail
in Brussels in 2005. After he's handed over by the Afghanistan govenment
for a reasonable price.... By then of course we will be able to define
thefollowing much more clearly... 
(For Stalin substitute 'Bin-Laden'... )
"Reality entails the differend. That's Stalin, here he is. We
acknowledge it. But as to what Stalin means? Phrases come to be attached
to this name, which not only  describe different senses for it (this can
still be debated in dialogue), and not only place the name on different
instances, but which also obey heterogeneous regimens and/or genres.
This heterogeneity, for lack of a common idiom, makes consensus
impossible. The assignment of a definition to Stalin necessarily does
wrong to the nondefinitional phrase relating to Stalin, which this
definition for a while at least, disregards or betrays. In and around
names, vengence is in the prowl. Forever?" (Lyotard the Differend 92.)
Regards sdv


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