Taking a cue from Amorinblog, I am making an attempt to speak to the notion of disparities. Lets see how is goes.
What is terrorism?
When we think about the activities of terrorism, a marginal view might situate terrorism in terms of truth. What we have with the possibility of terrorism is a function of truth, or “true-Being”. In the consideration of what human beings do, we should not ignore or set aside this aspect of truth: Truth is Being truth. To set this function of human consciousness in terms of ‘belief’ merely reifies the Western colonial construct of subjective centrism, a construct that posits free will and choice in an absolute context of the ability for the subject to align itself with a transcendent course, such as we found in the American context “manifest destiny”. This is to say, we ostracize such “pre-terrorists”, people who might not have becomes terrorists yet they did, through the ideological matrix of the self-referential ethics of choice to say that the one who is a terrorist is choosing unethical behavior; the native tribes of the western northern hemisphere were for most purposes to the early American government, terrorists in every light, even though we understand now how the American “post-colonial” period was an unethical act (still we do very little to repair the wrong). ‘Choice’, and correspondent terms such as ‘free will’, can be understood as a Western liberal code for creating antagonism in the world, an aggravating aspect of Western capitalism and its war machine.
Yet see that the question is not one about an essence of choice. It is practically nonsense to suggest that we do not have choice. But at the same time, if we do not recognize a dual aspect of consciousness, then we always stay within the ideological paradigm of an absolute ethics despite how we might want to situate or define any other liberal ethics of inclusion; we will routinely stay in the unity of consciousness that is able to consider parts of itself, parts it conceives, the unity that appropriates plurality to its uses. Reflection, in this way, is misunderstood axiomatically to be witnessing something outside of itself. As part of the liberal ethical front (and I mean this to describe a kind of Western impetus, a certain manner of coming upon reality) we should not worry so much about what others are doing, in fact, we are only able to understand such ‘other’ through this antagonistic orientation that is first and foremost based in worry, fear, and philosophical resentiment. Ours is based in a contradicting antagonism, and our plight, as well as our ability to act, is based upon a cognitive platform of reconciliation in knowledge. We have then, as we are, to deal with our own BS if we are to ever stop jutting forth to then recoil in the usual modern oscillation of the war solution. In an odd sort of reprimand, the very idea of enlightenment typically does not translate into domination through war; no wonder colonial-exploratory Europe had to see other non-Europeans as ‘less than human’.
Two things here: This is not a argument against war or that we should not have war; this is not an argument for pacifism. Neither is this a suggestion that we should (somehow) withdraw from interacting with others; the point is toward an ability to be honest with ourselves about the situation at hand. As part of an ideological situation, we indeed have a front line; we cannot but be involved with a partition, of sorts, whereby we face and have confrontation with those aspects of the world in which we find ourselves. To move this understanding into any sort of utopian theme of ‘universal peace’ would then be to set aside our moment, our modernity, to basically negate our moment into a whole past to say then that all wars and conflict in history arose due to these constraints, whereas the truth of the matter is that which arrives only within our modern situation as wars stemming from these defined antagonisms: Basically we identify our moment by establishing the contradiction in this context. If we are ever to realize (which is to say, understand the truth of) our situation, then it seems the manner must take place within as the contradiction that is outside of the ideological or mythological construct, a situation that is not accorded to the construct to be thereby abstract (it is indeed occurring within the norm) but, is rather marginalized to the extreme, actively being withheld for the purposes of maintaining a particular kind of reality (ethics).
This is no longer a critique of meta-narratives; such a critique was still occurring in the antagonistic space, a space that could only be resolved through various ‘faiths’ that resolve the modern contradiction (the Deleuzian “Zen”, the New Age Spirituality, the Eastern Karmic cosmos, the “Christian” denominations that are not properly Protestant nor Catholic, and other discourses that take place in ironic suspensions). We have found that the critique of meta-narratives was how a particular ideological state perpetuates itself through ulterior colonialist motions. The Postmodern (but particularly the subsequent ‘method’) thought itself as an exception to the metanarrative, and used irony to suggest its difference, but we found that it merely supplied the ‘final’ narrative to substantiate Capitalism as the ground of real discourse (the “postmodern methodological platform”; see Lyotard “The postmodern condition”, and “The Differend”: The demand for a ground of real veracity, a limiting of irony, calls forth the criterion of ‘efficiency’ that brings about ‘experts’ to define what knowledge is valid, which knowledge is allowed to be considered as true, as well as the reparations that will be made to that aspect of knowledge that was excluded in the interest of efficiency.) But we were not done with irony, that is why definition is insufficient to bring about decisive changes in ideology; hence the various philosophical reconciliations for identity that we find all over the internet, and hence the instigation of a divergence in philosophy.
(Note: The question for divergence seems to be noticed. What others have been trying to do with ‘non-standard’ ideas and such, I simply address directly and say I am a philosopher and this ‘other’ manner of philosophy is still true as it can be identified thus conventional because the orientation upon objects by which it addresses things to gain its veracity. We do not speak from the unitive philosophical paradigm but rather admit that such a paradigm exists at least in parallel. Only one kind of argumentation exists which can reduce all signals to a single matrix, and that is the conventional philosophical route; it does not propose that it is capable of doing this, and that is why we are able to identify its mode with nothing. As I have said elsewhere, we are dealing with the instance of what stays static while something else changes, a calculus, of philosophical reckoning. What has withdrawn has indeed withdrawn beyond all argumentation: It has already been established. As well, any further argumentation is superfluous, redundant but indeed real and valid.)
So this is also not a critique of such identities. It is a describing of how humanity functions; we should not expect such understanding will change our behavior. It indeed will bring about or be involved with some sort of change, but the change will be related in a particularly real manner that seems to be able to avoid the truth of statements and yet likewise be able to argue effectively for how the truth is not what originally was there (a mistaken intension of intentionality). Neither is this a pragmatics, nor a promotion of a way into praxis. This is analysis, a possibility into a beginning of a science that has been brewing for some time (time is not the issue). The fact of atomic interactions is related to the war machine only through incidental, circumstantial yet real discussion, negotiation and argument; the science itself dealt only with the interrelating of factual situations, itself as a founding term that actually departs (instead of merely feigning departure). When we rely only upon a determination of human activity through this former method (of the circumstantial discussion) we arrive at never having the bomb built in the first place, no nuclear energy, no astrophysics, no understanding of our sun or the solar system, etc. No wonder there has been an effort to get back to the “pre-modern” Real thing.
We thus have now reached that point of discernment, an ability to deal with the being of human without recourse to incessant mythological justifying defaults that reify the free intuiting agent of transcendence. Thus far, we have not had a scientifically philosophical way to gain access into what human beings do because we were too busy doing it, busy using the manner; as an analogy, we’ve been like astronomers who have been looking at ourselves looking at the stars thinking we were actually looking at and discussing the stars: Through this approach we can only get so much information about the stars. The most recent of this manner is what we could generalize into a category of ‘Enlightenment’, but other categories that need be sorted are ‘State’ and ‘Capitalism’, among others, and “Neurophysiology” is not one of these primary aspects at this moment. We do not know yet how these function for human beings; we have only been using such categories in a proposal to find out how we might Be, indeed, using them to Be. In our finding this out, then, we have reached a kind of apogee in mythological function: Coming upon such self-reflection there by understands such knowledge as a means to enact, what is now/then seen, as a Truth. Only when this occurs does a moment arise by which to view through a larger frame of what has occurred. It does not occur through any choice in the matter, but indeed functions to begin to detract from itself.
From this moment we might be able to understand what ‘Terrorism’ might be. The first order of business, though, is to dismiss oneself from the reflection of identity, and this does not occur through any choice of free will. As I noted above, this is not a suggestion to indicate that terrible things have not occurred throughout human history, or that we can identify some essential human attribute or psychology to thereby alleviate us from such terrible occurrences. This is a description of what role Terrorism is playing in the reality of being human: Terrorism, in a large sense, is the antithesis of free will and choice; quite terrible. Psychology, at this moment, is too overdetermined in solution to be able to ponder a fact that does not move toward choices of human solutions; there are too many human issues in the world for an institution to consider bare facts; all such facts are ideological and political arguments that function as platforms by which to enact a possibility of real solution. It does no discredit to such psychological method to point out what it does, though, but the reaction that would take such a description as indicating a fault of psychology, or as suggesting that psychology is incorrect or wrong, is missing the point of fact for the sake of its ideological purpose, which is to rely upon the self-evidence of its teleology of real solution. Science concerns facts; real solutions are of a different order, of a different moment. And such moments are not, or at least do not have to be, at odds.
We thus make a proposal that seems almost a truism: Terrorism is the act that takes place from an ideological point of exclusion; terrorism exploits points of access.
I have suggested above that the idea (ideal) of human ‘belief’ is a manifestation of an ideological lack, a founding term that is supposed by the constituents of the ideology to account for what lay outside its purview. It is a colonizing ideal: Belief. Again, in this conceptual moment, we need separate ourselves from the notion that human beings all throughout history have been having beliefs. We are not concerned with what history might have to say about what human beings might “have been” believing (for indeed they were); that is of a different order of analysis. What occurs in terrorism is that the open door, that is supposed to be welcoming and inclusive of various human capacities and manifestations of belief, is not being taken. There is something about the welcome that is understood intuitively and innately to not be welcoming; to wit, the sensible response: My belief is not a belief, it is the Truth. Regardless of how we wish to emphasize our open ideal, in the case of terrorism, it has not worked, that’s why such acts are “terrible”, because they make no sense, they occur outside of our sensibility, our ability to make sense. Our sense of it is 1)that it is terrible, 2)unethical, 4)insane, 5) inhuman,6)of a ‘bad’ sort of religious fundamentalism. Perhaps we even make sense of the people’s acts patronizingly; they are ignorant, they are delusional, they are uneducated, they have been raised in an intolerant culture, they are the product of ‘bad’ ideology or psychology, they have been brainwashed. We cannot dismiss that any of these disclaimers may be the case, but for the act itself, especially individuals who willingly and with intent sacrifice their own lives in the act of terrorism – how else are we to make sense of such acts but through the unitive aspect of consciousness and its humanity that has good and bad psychologies accompanied by ethical mandates ? One cannot choose to escape their reality.
In these kind of reckonings there is no consideration of, as Alain Badiou has said, “difference as indeed different”, in other words, there is no considering their position for what it is in actuality, which is to say, as indeed a Truth that does not reconcile or fit snugly and comfortably in ‘our’ ideological nest. Indeed; I recently heard of how Donald Trump approaches foreign policy in a way that is different than what America has historically: Instead of attempting to defeat authoritarian regimes or dictatorships, reprimanding them with trade and alliance penalties, like the monarchy of Saudi Arabia, Trump approaches other nations on their own ground, allowing their political organization to function in whatever way it does so long as it does not interfere with American interests specifically. This appears very much like a situation where what is different is engaged with in its difference. How ironic that the person who so many in America see as contrary to American interests would be the person who would take an approach that can appear philosophically sound? I doubt Trump is that smart or educated, but it goes to show that we are not speaking about practical reconciliations of thought and action, but indeed a scientific description of the situation at hand. Could this be an indication of a possible beginning of a philosophical science that does not answer to conventional philosophical method?
Terrorism occurs at points of access. (Side note: The paranoia that often arises out of the consideration of an actual Artificial Intelligence develops the very point of access that an A.I. would be able to take advantage.) Terrorism is the revealing that access is not automatic nor guaranteed by any sort of discursive item, and that access now must be authorized (by experts). This is not homicide or murder, in as much as those events target individual people for specific identifiable reasons; e.g. Sam hates Pablo. Of course, we could see some similarities breaching this codification in the U.S. legalizing the corporation as an individual person: The experts tell us now that the human being is an incorporation, and not the other way around. It is not that corporations have become people, its that people must be incorporated to have ‘free’ access. In this sense, then, “in the name of (the True) Islam, I kill a number of symbolic representatives of the Christian West” is murder because this individual is incorporated (with an institution called ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-kaeda, Neo-Nazi, Free-Speech Movements, Pro-life, Black Lives Matter, whatever.. ). The irony, and the evidence that such terrorist groups see themselves through the lens they wish to destroy, is that they are asserting their freedom of access, pointing out the contradiction inherent in the (Western Liberal Capitalist) liberal mind set. This is the divine beauty of Capitalism: Its apparent omnipotence. Those who are not terrorists are those who are definably and axiomatically free to access: They are born incorporated: Nationalism has ‘bred’ itself into an offspring. Of course terrorism is insensible: How does one make sense of an act of assertion that positions itself against something that is already inherent to the act itself? This is the contradiction as well as the blind spot we find also involved in the critique of race relations. How much more non-sensible can it be for those who must behave through such ideological mechanisms? But this is not an issue of knowledge and education as much as it is what is occurring. The fact that such marginalized groups would have to speak about how to gain for themselves basic and inalienable rights is just about the most ridiculous thing that could occur given our ideological ground. Might the ‘terrorist’ actually be more sane??
This is not my position, necessarily, by the way, nor am I arguing anything about what sanity might be. But, an analysis of a situation must be able to point out facts about the situation if we are to get anywhere: Speaking about or describing what is offensive should not be taken as an argument for that which offends. A person of color is not asking me to change my skin color, reject my heritage nor deny myself as a human being in the world; she just asks me to be open to facing some harsh truths that come from outside of my ability to reckon on my own.
Identity has been taken to a further extreme, perhaps as a counterpoint to the extreme absence of sense that the act of terrorism evidences. I am not going to make an argument against that kind of reckoning, but only point out that such situations are about the political order. As to facts, if I may take the Islamic Terrorists as a case example (though we could put this analysis to any so called Terrorist), the suicide bomber is not targeting specific people, in fact, the hatred is entirely ideological (as I said): It is not Burt that I hate but that Burt is American, and he is not so much an American, as I reestablish the Truth of my sense, the sense of Truth, and re-appropriate to assert the Truth, as much as he is an Infidel. The point of access is a symbolic act against symbols, the scheme of which, on the part of the Terrorist, functions to reclaim conceptual territory (see my REBLOG post about conceptual territory) through lumping the antagonist into the counter-partial founding category by which a closing is understood as an opening (an act of faith); the corresponding ideal of the West is ‘belief’. The point of access is exactly the gap that opens up with murder without personal motive; the personal motive is the successful attack upon Truth. It is no secret that the opening for belief allows for all sorts of ethical compromises that brings into question every ‘belief system’ that functions under its umbrella. Only in the “blasé” attitude (Walter Benjamin ?) that accompanies the pursuit of real identity may someone have a valid ‘belief’; one must suspend their ideals in ‘nothing’ in order to ‘really believe’ (or to have faith). It is this kind of nihilism that is terrified by someone who is willing to die to destroy even the smallest piece of the antagonizing ideological leviathan; the transcendence that accompanies the modern nihilism is of a different sort than that usual Western ideal that places religious thinking in the category of concern with a transcendent ‘creator’. The Western religion of nihilism (the state of belief) cannot bring itself to have any sort of passion strong enough that would allow itself to willingly kill itself; how ironic. Here we even have the beginnings of a philosophical explanation of addiction, as well as the reason why it has reached epidemic proportions in America; but as well, a possible explanation of China and how it becomes present in the West.
The point of the terrorist act is to destroy the antagonistic state, the state that directly confronts the Truth through the ideal of human belief (the ideal of ‘belief’ is a singular ideological Truth). The terrorist act thus is an act that is already admitting what it is losing; like the Kamikaze fighters of World War 2 Japan, Japan had already lost the war, but would not admit it. Slavoj Zizek speaks of this kind of ideological instance in the analogy of the cartoon character, say, Wile E. Coyote, chasing the road runner off a cliff, running out into the air. Coyote does not fall until he looks down and realizes that he is standing on nothing, and even then, he has time to wave good-bye to the camera. The interesting part of this, though, is that the terrorists are already a part of the ideology that they are terrorizing, because they are already admitting that this antagonistic state has a claim in their Truth: They are fighting against the ideal of belief, an ideal concept –like that which is unstable within Anslem’s argument for the proof of the existence of God, — that they already and inherently understand; we might see the contradiction suspended in the terrorist act in as much as they destroy their own lives in the process of attempting to destroy the whole of the antagonistic state: A ‘not-life’ for a ‘life’. Likewise, they know that their act will not actually destroy the whole of the infidel’s kingdom, but perhaps (who really knows) they ‘believe/know’ that their act will cause some sort of cascading event of collapse, as their disruption in concert with the ongoing series of disruptions will inevitably achieve their ideological goal, which is to dispense with ideology (as belief). We might see again a similar ideological activity in the events of Helter Skelter, ,where the murders of Hollywood celebrities would instigate a race war. Such antagonisms supply the fodder that ironically sustains the Capitalist ideology.
Terrorism could be marking that point when Capitalism has run out in to the air; perhaps it is now waving to us, but I doubt it. If I have to summarize the point of this essay on terrorism, perhaps it is that terrorism is an ideological construct that has its basis in nothing, an irony, because while it destroys people, actual lives, it is already serving Capitalism as a source of capital, of “magic”, of supplying energy to the ideological fetishized commodity that is identity: Terrorism is understood effectively, axiomatically, automatically to be identifying a real-true thing. Disgusting ethical juxtaposition really, but again this is why Capitalism could be said to be the umbrella Religion of Nothing, because people have to have faith in order to be able to ignore the incredible depth of the nothingness in which such events, and their labels, induce.
It is within such determinations that we find necessarily that I am not speaking of a unitive situation, but indeed, I am speaking about how such a unitive situation operates.
I could go on, and there is a further bit having to do with explosions, but Ill leave it here for now.