…Every act of terrorism begins, in the eyes of its practitioners, as an instance of counterterrorism. The most murderous cases of terrorism in this century have ostensibly been counterterroristic measures by the police in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany; and the special kind of love-hate relationship that exists between the policeman and the revolutionary terrorist, each in a sense indispensable to the other, has been a vital influence in conditioning the professional psychology of both.
The police factor was particularly significant in the evolution of the terrorist syndrome that developed in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century. Revolutionary terrorism made its earliest appearance there during the wave of repression and political reaction that swept the country after the unsuccessful nationalist insurrection of 1863 in Russian Poland. The reign of Alexander II had begun in a euphoric atmosphere of progress and social reform, but the Polish uprising, along with intensified pressure from the reactionary elements in Russian society, pushed Alexander and the czarist administration sharply to the right.
The socialist and populist idealists who up to then had conceived the transformation of Russian despotism as a gradual process to be brought about by educating the masses found themselves subject to increasing police harassment. From reformers they rapidly turned into revolutionaries; the more energetic ones organized underground groups and resorted to terrorism.( to be continued)…
Slavoj Zizek:The fundamentalist Islamic terror is NOT grounded in the terrorists’ conviction of their superiority and in their desire to safeguard their cultural-religious identity from the onslaught of the global consumerist civilization: the problem with fundamentalists is not that we consider them inferior to us, but, rather, that THEY THEMSELVES secretly consider themselves inferior (like, obviously, Hitler himself felt towards Jews) – which is why our condescending Politically Correct assurances that we feel no superiority towards them only makes them more furious and feeds their resentment. The problem is not cultural difference (their effort to preserve their identity), but the opposite fact that the fundamentalists are already like us, that they secretly already internalized our standards and measure themselves by them. (This clearly goes for Dalai Lama who justifies the Tibetan Buddhism in WESTERN terms of the pursuit of happiness and the avoidance of pain.) Paradoxically, what the fundamentalists really lack is precisely a dosage of “true” “racist” conviction into one’s own superiority.
The perplexing fact about the “terrorist” attacks is that they do not fit our standard opposition of Evil as egotism, as disregard for the common Good, and Good as the spirit of (and actual readiness for) the sacrifice for some higher Cause: terrorists cannot but appear as something akin to Milton’s Satan with his “Evil, be thou my Good”: while they pursue (what appears to us) evil goals with evil means, the very FORM of their activity meets the highest standard of the Good. The resolution of this enigma is easy, known already to Rousseau: egotism (the concern for one’s well-being) is NOT opposed to common good, since altruistic norms can easily be deduced from egotist concerns….Freud already knew it: death-drive is opposed to pleasure principle as well as to reality principle, i.e., the true “Evil” (= death drive) involves self-sabotage, it makes us act AGAINST our own interests. (Dupuy is here wrong in his characterization of the Lacanian psychoanalysis as part of the ongoing “mechanization of the mind” – psychoanalysis, on the contrary, REINTRODUCES notions of Evil and responsibility into our ethical vocabulary; “death-drive” is the name for what DISTURBS the homeostatic mechanism of rational pleasure-seeking, the weird reversal where I sabotage my own interests. If THIS is the true evil, then not only of today’s secular pragmatic ethical theories, but even the “mechanization of the mind” in cognitive sciences, are to be conceived not as in itself “evil,” but as a defense against Evil.Read More:http://www.lacan.com/zizfrance1.htm