File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 81

Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 06:12:36 +1000
Subject: provocation


You ask the big question here:

"It may sound like we've reached the reductio ad absurdum of my argument.
I seem to be talking about fighting a war while trying to avoid
antagonizing the enemy! But I submit that this is the weird new reality
we face. And if the language we're using to describe that reality makes
it seem inconceivable, then it's time to find some new language."

I know this is hardly the time to sound flippant, but ...

This new war is a crusade that can only be fought by soldiers not wearing
uniforms. It is a crusade nevertheless because what is uniform to soldiers
of both sides is a single defining characteristic - certainty in an
afterlife, and that self-sacrifice will lead to a heavenly paradise. We
haven't come all that far from the French romaunce, courtly love, the
chivalric code. 

The answer, perhaps, to the dilemma you describe, of resisting panopticonic
terror (they're watching us, we can't see them) without using a scatter
gun, would involve military rationalization. Devolve the role of front-line
soldier to one's own fundamentalist heaven-gazers. Their zealotry might
easily be channelled into appropriate skills, razor and garrotte, and hand
to hand combat with (and only with) others of their ideological ilk.
Two birds one stone?
Too cynical?



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