File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 78

Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 15:48:32 +0100
Subject: Re: 9/11/01

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 the
citizens 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

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 the
following 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

Mary Murphy&Salstrand wrote:

> Steve,
> It feels good to be writing again and also to hear from you.
> A couple of short points about your response.
> I was talking about Americans subjectively, not objectively. Certainly
> the map does not fit the territory, as I thought as I showed in one
> paragraph in my post, referencing some of the terrible things we have
> done in the middle east.
> What I meant was this. American policy is really a form of
> anti-globalism because its wants to act unilaterally to achieve its ends
> with the narcissistic thought that there will be no consequences.  In
> short and to be vulgar - we want to fuck the world without getting
> fucked back.
> 911 revealed that project to be a folly.
> For me globalism is a condition (something like Lyotard's postmodern!).
> It is not a matter of tendencies, but of an emerging situation.
> Like you, I refuse the resurgence of religion, whether Islamic,
> Christian or Jewish.  All are involved in a mystification that must be
> overcome.  My hope is a world where people begin to take responsibility
> for their own actions and not ask "why does god permit this to happen?"
> (It happens because of neo-liberalism in the context of globalism. God
> is irrelevant!)
> The whole idea of framing this conflict in terms of Jesus versus Allah
> as a kind of World Federation wrestling match scares the hell out of me.
> eric


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