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a time for fear
 
Friday, June 20, 2003  
Simon doesn't find the D/G quote that Mark uses very helpful in elucidating current world events, and thinks it confuses things. But what about the following? I find it pretty clear, lucid and useful; plus it seems to describe Al Qaida very well, and goes some way beyond the analysis of cause and effect, or moral condemnation (with out in fact discounting either), and also absolves D/G of the State = bad, nomadic war machine = good accusation/reduction.

We are referring to religion as an element in a war machine and the idea of holy war as the motor of that machine. The prophet as opposed to the state personality of the king and the religious personality of the priest, directs the movement by which a religion becomes a war machine or passes over to the side of such a machine. It has often been said that Islam, and the prophet Mohammed, performed such a conversion of religion and constituted a veritable espirit de corps: in the formula of Georges Bataille, "early Islam, a society reduced to a military enterprise." This is what the West invokes in order to justify its antipathy toward Islam. Yet the Crusades were a properly Christian adventure of this type. The prophets may very well condemn nomad life; the war machine may very well favor the movement of migration and the ideal of establishment; religion in general may very well compensate for its specific deterritorialization with a spiritual and even psychic reterritorialization, which in the case of the holy war assumes the well-directed character of a conquest of the holy lands as the centre of the world. Despite all that, when religion sets itself up as a war machine, it mobilizes and liberates a formidable charge of nomadism or absolute deterritorialization; it doubles the migrant with an accompanying nomad, or with the potential nomad the migrant is in the process of becoming; and finally, it turns its dream of an absolute State back against the State-form...The necessity of maintaining the most rigorous of distinctions between sedentaries, migrants and nomads does not preclude de facto mixes; on the contrary, it makes them all the more necessary in turn.

11:21 AM

 
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