File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0110, message 120

Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 14:55:30 +0100
Subject: Re: gas


I have consistently maintained that the post 911 events must be 
consdered from an understanding based on a theorisation of globalisation 
- there is an ongoing tendency to pull the dicussion back to the belief 
that we are existing in some form of 'pax americana' the evidence does 
not support this and more to the point it has been extremely badly argued.

For the moment I would suggest that rather than argue a specifically 
limited economic case based on oil and energy - I would rather see a 
case founded on the expansion of  capital into those areas where it has 
been forbidden access, for theologically and psychotic reasons. 

For this reason the media is wrong - the ideological justification does 
not work  - the current event is not about the US or 'our civilisation' 
but about the extension of globalisation, global capitalism and by 
default Development into the last corners of the world where a 
pre-capitalist regime and associated resistors threatened it. Our 
civilisation is fundementally related to exchange-value not symbolic 

The fundamental argument/difference here is the extent to which this is 
a 'USA' based adventure or a 'G20' adventure. You are, in your own words 
veering towards a notion of globalisation founded on  the 'pax 
americana' I am rejecting this as a mis-reading of the event, and as I 
think I may have said previously that the 'G1 country in allaince with 
the other G19 countries is engaging in a globalisation adventure...'

I'll reply on Badiou



Mary Murphy&Salstrand wrote:

>Steve wrote,
>no no no - what it shows is the opposite, it confirms the meaning of 
>globalisation as being precisely for 'development'.  Nation state 
>globalisation is the current operational form of globalisation, with a 
>few extra-national organisations. The purpose of globalisation is 1) 
>development and  2) continuing dominance of G20 countries... why did you 
>think it was different?
>I wrote as I did, based on the suspicion that, as this war lingers on,
>(with estimates that as many as 6,000,000 civilians may risk death this
>winter) it is not really about terrorism after all and that Afghanistan
>is merely a proxy.
>What really seems to be at stake here is Saudi Arabia and the strategic
>interests of the US in maintaining the control of the oil fields in the
>Middle East.  It is no secret that the goal of Osama bin Laden is to
>replace the wealthy pro-US royal family with a pro-Islamic regime. Of
>course, this turn of events would be devastating to a US civilization
>which remains the largest consumer of energy in the world, thanks to the
>neo-colonialist relationship which allows it easy access to oil through
>a classic form of colonial exploitation.  
>You see the media is right.  It is about civilization.  Our civilization
>is based upon exploitation of the weak and the poor just as Greek
>civilization was based upon exploitation of its slaves.  Our leaders and
>pundits tell us, cynically, things cannot be otherwise.  
>A united Islamic government in the Middle East would end this hegemony
>and the lack of availibility for cheap crude would bring about an
>economic disaster for the US.  The real terror is the potential that the
>US might lose this privileged access before other sources become
>available. (That is why Bush is so frantic about drilling in the Arctic
>Circle and on public lands.  It isn't about conservation at all, but
>about the control of the petro-dollars.)
>Ask yourself the following question.  If a peaceful Islamic movement
>arose that requested that requested a democratic government,
>self-determination and an end to sanctions and the military presence of
>the US in the Middle East, would this ever be granted by the US?
>The short answer is - only when the oil fields are depleted and there is
>nothing left to take.  Then, the desert will be gladly returned in to
>the people (except in the case of Israeli settlements, of course!)
>That is why I agree we must examine these events from a globalist
>perspective, but the specificity of what is occurring points more to
>nationalist and colonial  hegemony than to globalism per se.  There are
>unique players and unique stakes that make this situation different from
>other events.


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