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Militarization as comedy of (t)errors

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Economia Autonoma
Issue number7
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)72-92
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The ultimate catastrophe, emerging from the war against terror, is the disappearance of
politics. In a sense, therefore, it is deceptive to speak of a ‘politics’ of security for the
difference between ‘normal’ politics and politics of security is not a quantitative but a
qualitative difference. The difference is between politics as such and a politics, which
consciously rejects the political nature of given questions. The subjectivity relevant to
terror and security can no longer be related to the idea of freedom based on individual
responsibility (discipline) or to the instances of security based on risk management through
‘objective systems’ (control). In stark contrast to both situations, terror and politics of
security do not place responsibility in a definite actor or system. The convertibility of the
hostage and the infantilization of the citizen bring with them a new constellation of
responsibility. This paper explores how tendency of discipline turns in control, and the tendency of control in terror. It is in this context that the contemporary politics of security
transforms the processes of post-panoptic ‘control’ into a form of sociality, a lifestyle. In
this process, the different dispositive of sovereignty, discipline, control, security/terror
seem to co-exist, overlap and clash, containing within themselves elements of one another.
The logic at work here is that of the series: 1, 1+2, 1+2+3. After all, in relation to the
biopolitics (of terror and security), a categorical, Kantian ethics cannot be sufficient. The
crucial question is no longer the content of an ethical stance but, rather, the decision as to
who counts as a subject worthy of ethical concern in the first place.