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WEEK 13 – WAR,VIOLENCE AND MODERNITY (2): CIVIL VIOLENCE Preliminary comments on Terrorism.

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Presentation on theme: "WEEK 13 – WAR,VIOLENCE AND MODERNITY (2): CIVIL VIOLENCE Preliminary comments on Terrorism."— Presentation transcript:

1 WEEK 13 – WAR,VIOLENCE AND MODERNITY (2): CIVIL VIOLENCE Preliminary comments on Terrorism

2 Terrorism Weapon of desperation used by the weak Opposed by many mainstream revolutionaries e.g. Lenin and Bolsheviks – tended to strengthen state, not weaken it Rarely achieves its goals except: – To encourage repression – IRA 1970s; ‘Al Qaeda’ – Assassination (not ‘terror’ as such) Exerts an influence way beyond its reality – political effects – Threatened states infringe their own civil liberties – Tends to strengthen the threatened state (cf Tsarist Russia) Terrorist’s chief weapon is often the enemy’s media as in CharlieHebdo

3 Terrorism Deaths Worldwide

4 Worldwide deaths from Terrorism in 2013 Since 2005 figs have risen sharply to over 18,000 in 2013 mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan where they shade into guerrilla and civil war Iraq — where 2,492 incidents in 2013 left 6,362 dead. Afghanistan — where 1,148 incidents left 3,111 dead. Pakistan — where 1,933 incidents left 2,345 dead. Nigeria — where 303 incidents left 1,826 dead. Syria — where 217 incidents left 1,078 dead. Turkey had 34 attacks and 57 deaths United States had nine attacks and six deaths. The United Kingdom had a high number of attacks (131), but most of these were small-scale attacks in Northern Ireland and left only three dead. Israel had 28 attacks in 2013 that left two people dead [Figs from Institute for Economics and Peace quoted by Washington Post]

5 Muslim victims of al-Qaeda Between 2004 and 2008 al-Qaida claimed responsibility for 313 attacks, resulting in the deaths of 3,010 people. And even though these attacks include terrorist incidents in the West -- in Madrid in 2004 and in London in only 12 percent of those killed (371 deaths) were Westerners. between 2006 and 2008, non-Westerners were 38 times more likely to be killed by an al-Qaida attack than Westerners. [Der Spiegel based on figs from the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the United States' Military Academy at West Point in New York]

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7 Road Deaths USA – selected years since 1945 YearTotal deaths , , , ,093 (peak) , , ,808 Currently 1 death per 10,000 population per year

8 Road deaths UK since = 1 death per 25,000 of population

9 Future Terrorism Hollywood nightmares nuclear weapon (e.g. Disguised as freight container or ‘suitcase bomb’) chemical agents – anthrax; botulism; sarin gas contaminating water cyberterrorism Most of them either need state-level involvement (leads to fear of ‘rogue state’) or threaten own aims and objectives States are the most effective terrorists e.g. Drones in the Obama years: 390 strikes – 2,5000 deaths – at least 250 civilians

10 WEEK 13 – WAR,VIOLENCE AND MODERNITY (2): CIVIL VIOLENCE Lecture One Civil and Revolutionary Violence [i.e. not state vs state violence –war Violence within a state]

11 1.State violence (often‘Legitimate’) capital punishment corporal punishment imprisonment, exile, transportation police/judges/law [Terror] Zizek – ‘objective’ violence; ‘structural’ violence – the necessary, everyday violence to maintain the status quo

12 2. Anti-state or intra-state violence civil war revolutionary violence ‘illegitimate’ terrorism racial/ethnic violence criminal (personal) violence (gangs, bandits, muggers, hooligans, etc.) [struggles of this type often more heated than regular war]

13 Not pursued in these lectures 3. Violence of nature (‘acts of God’) wild animals (bears, lions, tigers, sharks, snakes, wolves, insects) note also violence against these creatures climatic hazards (drought, flood, storm) geological hazards (volcanoes, earthquakes, mud slides, tsunami) Note that exposure to these conditions is socially conditioned as is -

14 Malaria Deaths 2013 Some 200 million cases Some 660,000 deaths [World Health Organisation]

15 4. ‘Economic’ violence famine death by interest rate / ‘laws’ of competition / economic structures death by product (tobacco; baby milk; untested drugs) ‘accidents’ Disease Also part of ‘objective’/structural violence

16 Revolutionary Violence French Revolution Fall of Bastille (parading De Launay’s head: parading head and heart of other victims) September Massacres (1789) prisoners of all categories killed by insurgents Jacobin Terror (16,600 executions nationwide including c. 2,500 in Paris) (cf. c. 4m. dead in Napoleonic Wars)

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19 Russian Revolution Civil War (10 million deaths) - mostly from cholera, typhus, influenza and starvation - extensive atrocities (looting in Petrograd December 1917; armed grain requisition; peasant retribution) - social dislocation e.g. urban depopulation (Petrograd 2.5 m. to 750,000); - White anti-semitism - at least 50,000, perhaps 200,000 deaths

20 Interpreting Violence 1. Traditional Hostile View Burke (1790s)- ‘cruel ruffians and assassins reeking with....blood’ Hippolyte Taine (mid 19th.c) ‘vagabonds, beggars, fugitives from justice’ ‘the mob’ ‘riff-raff’ ‘bandits’ ‘brigands’ Thomas Carlyle - admires fight for freedom but fears anarchic mass. [Note French rev in British tradition usually seen in negative light as terror and tyranny- Scarlet Pimpernel, Dickens ‘Tale of Two Cities’, Hornblower - very few sympathetic reflections]

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23 2. Making Sense of Violence Albert Soboul (1964) - strategic significance of the revolutionary ‘journées’ (days) Bastille - saves Paris September massacres fuelled by fear of invasion Terror - strengthens war effort -weakens counterrevolution

24 Edward Thomson (1963)- ‘rescue [lower classes] from the enormous condescension of posterity….Their aspirations were valid in terms of their own experience’ Moral economy of the masses. [cf Clifford Geertz (1970)- ‘thick description’ in anthropology & Subaltern Studies – revolution in understanding peasants (Vietnam war)] George Rudé (1959)- the crowd Eric Hobsbawn Bandits (1969)(‘social’ banditry or criminality?

25 3. Revolutionary Violence as Response to State Violence [Foucault (1960s - 70s)- state ‘invents’ forms of criminality -esp. over property - and forms of madness in order to lock up and repress the poor and rebellious in prisons and asylums] Peter Linebaugh The London Hanged (1991)- capital punishment as instrument of class war Rise of capitalism achieved by mass violence of state - Highland clearances: enclosures; repression of resistance (Anti-Combination Acts; transportation) in ‘The Many-Headed Hydra’ (2001) Linebaugh and Rediker include slavery and slave trade - mythologizes joint resistance of victims - slaves; seamen; maroons etc.

26 Arno Meyer The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions (2000) - ‘The Furies of revolution are fuelled primarily by the inevitable and unexceptional resistance of the forces and ideas opposed to it’ ‘the hecatombs of the foreign wars of the French and Russian revolutions exceed those of their civil wars, and yet the former are glorified and mythologized, the latter execrated.’

27 Note also: Return of tendency to stress revolutionary violence Bicentennial of French Rev. Francois Furet & Mona Ozouf Simon Schama - ‘Citizens’ (1989) Russian Rev Orlando Figes - ‘A People’s Tragedy’ (1996) (influenced by Maxim Gorky)


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