File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0110, message 65

Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 21:14:22 +0100
Subject: terror


We have now reached the third day of the actual war, three days of bombs 
falling from the planes onto a landscape that looked quite destroyed 
enough. The politicians have endlessly spoken of careful targeting and 
the minimisation of civilian casualties, bombs fall and food parcels 
follow, an act of stunning cynicism givern the history of Afghanistan in 
the past 25 years the levels of support that the Islamic fundementalists 
recieved from the people now bombing them...

How then can we imagine Lyotard responding to the past month?

I imagine him speaking of the events with the same dispassionate 
approach that is evident in 'Just Gaming in the 4th day' where the 
discussion revolves around the different prescriptions of the Red Army 
Faction and Chancellor Schmidt and later a discussion of 'terror' and 
what leads to it.  Perhaps most pertinently. "...There is a type of 
violence that, at bottom, belongs to the game of war: I am in front of 
the adversary, I make a breakthough, an incursion; I destroy a part of 
his forces. I do not see what is objectionable about that... When the 
RAF makes an incursion and destroys the American Computer at Heidelberg, 
that is war: the group considers itself at war... it is actually 
destroying a part of the forces of the adversary... a two sided war." 
This strikes me as a brief and pertinant analysis of the classic 
terroristic action. "....When the same group kidnaps Schleyer and 
blackmails a third party with his death at stake, then we are in an 
altogether different violence that has no relationto the previous one 
and which alone deserves the name terroism...It excludes the game of the 
just... It excludes the game of the just because the Schleyer in 
question is obviously taken as a means here. He is threatened with 
death, but this threat is addressed to a third party, not to him..." 
(67) He goes onto to say many relevant things but I'll stop there for 
the moment.

Let us further clarify by stating that the differend between the 
terroists and the G8 states who are colluding in their destruction 
through threatening the largely peasant state of Afghanistan with actual 
warfare (from the virtual to the actual in a month... and we wait with 
bated breath to see if Iraq and Libya are  to be bombed as well....) 
 From here it seems obvious that both the terroists and the G8 are 
plainly unjust, but let me be fair - it is extremely hard to decide if 
the criteria for the evaluation of whether a given act is just or 
unjust, are real or not. The ethics of the situation become extremely 
problematic since it is impossible to compare like for like. It is 
almost as if  it is up to everyone to decide for themselves... Consider 
: On the one side we have a theocratic facist who wants to return women 
to the sub-human status they have had, mostly, since the invention of 
the state and on the other side we have the seemingly theocratic 
christian state(s) that previously encouraged his host states rise to 

It seems to me that we can state that the determinent idea of both sides 
leads inexorably to terror. Further that what may be required as we sit 
before our 'keyboards' is a 'critique of political judgement' not of the 
neo-kantian style however for I think of the accusation of Deleuze - to 
desire power is to be psychotic.

To be un-psychotic and political is to demand 'a social wage and a 
guaranteed income for all...' anything less is not to be on the side of 
the angels.



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