File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 62

Subject: re 9/11/01
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 14:56:35 GMT

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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