From: Big Brother <hbu65@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 14:30:49 BST
Ming the Merciless wrote:
> i guess my problem here is the assumption that "counterviolence"
> is implicitly bad. is all violence implicitly bad?
i don't thank that this was fortin's argument. fortin seems to be
arguing that the way the terrorist 'other' (more on this straw-word
later) is created textually in american political culture and
conditions our response. that is, the terrorist is always juxtaposed
to the victim (the reader) through the employment of a number of
'religious, psychological, and sexual images.' the reader is
ensnared in the counter-terrorist text without questioning the
'political agenda proposed', the nature of the totalised terrorist
figure, or the spectrum of responses forclosed by accepting the text
this isn't meant to be a normative stance on violence by either the
terrorist or those who punish the terrorist. rather, its a call to
explore how we understand the violences we employ. thus, in this
particular case, i was arguing that maybe we should discuss the
particulars of what our 'democratic' censorship means on the
supposedly 'postmodern' forum of the internet, what normative codes
we are endorsing, who these 'cyber-nazis' actually are. the vision
of the 'cyber-nazi' holds considerable power in our imaginations,
why is this? these aren't just philosophical ramblings (i'd hope),
but they are political questions.
> imply that "antiterrorist discourse" means more than just
> censorship - must we embrace all our enemies as if they were our
fortin's answer to the above questions in his particular context is
that when 'we' accept unconditionally the terrorist discourse we
legitimise the power of the state to secure us from these threats. i
doubt that he is arguing that we must embrace all 'enemies', but
explore the historical construction of enemies, and more
importantly, who and how the security from these enemies is being
one's deconstructive teaspoon might be (an)other's philosophical
hammer. i think i was attempting to resist totalising our
visions and responses towards the 'other' and instead viewing
punishment/strategy in its historical and temporal context. i'm not
saying 'one should never do x to the cybernazi/sexist/racist' just
as i'd hope you are not arguing 'one should always do x to the
in the same vein, john writes:
> Instead of retreating to the universal and insisting that all
> suppression of the other be regarded as *a priori* immoral, why
> can't we use our judgment to assess specific instances?
i don't believe that my post was a a priori normative call to end
all supression of any other. take your two examples, the white
'other' can't march and the black 'other' can't find housing. the
problem comes in applying our 'judgement'. what texts do we draw on
when we formulate our judgement of inclusion/exclusion?
instead, maybe hagel and crew were rash in their attempt to
ontologise the lord and the bondsman? the ontologisation of identity
means that we search to find ourselves not in our historical or
temporal location, but in terms of those outside our identity, the
now real material 'others.' maybe, when we rush to place ourselves
in our modern spaces of identity we are prone to uncritically accept
fortin's 'terrorist' discourse because the other MUST occupy that
colin asks, how does one ethically silence a voice? critically
examining what it means to silence and what one means by ethically.
who are those we silence? why do we silence them? what modes of
thought to we legitimise when we silence? what sources/regimes of
silencing to we condone? and even, why do we 'resist' silencing?
does our position in the white tower implicate our choice?
the 'wooly minded liberal',