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2001 attacks on the WTC
The Spirit of Terrorism: And Requiem for the Twin Towers (2002) Jean Baudrillard
[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
That we have dreamed of this event, that everybody without exception has dreamt of it, because everybody must dream of the destruction of any power hegemonic to that degree, — this is unacceptable for Western moral conscience, but it is still a fact, and one which is justly measured by the pathetic violence of all those discourses which attempt to erase it.
It is almost they who did it, but we who wanted it. If one does not take that into account, the event lost all symbolic dimension to become a pure accident, an act purely arbitrary, the murderous fantasy of a few fanatics, who would need only to be suppressed. But we know very well that this is not so. Thus all those delirious, counter-phobic exorcisms: because evil is there, everywhere as an obscure object of desire. Without this deep complicity, the event would not have had such repercussions, and without doubt, terrorists know that in their symbolic strategy they can count on this unavowable complicity. 
The September 11, 2001 attacks (also referred to as 9/11 or September 11) were a series of coordinated attacks upon the United States of America carried out on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, in which a total of nineteen hijackers simultaneously took control of four U.S. domestic commercial airliners. The hijackers crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City—one into each of the two tallest towers, about 18 minutes apart. Within two hours, both towers collapsed. The hijackers crashed the third aircraft into the U.S. Department of Defense headquarters, the Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed into a rural field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, following apparent passenger resistance. The official count records 2,986 deaths in the attacks, including the 19 hijackers. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11,_2001_Terrorist_Attack
- Welcome to the Desert of the Real: Five Essays on September 11 and Related Dates (2002) - Slavoj Zizek [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In the months after September 11, titles like 'The End of the Age of Irony' abound in our media. Liberals and conservatives proclaim the end of the American holiday from history. Now the easy games are over; one should take sides. Zizek argues this is precisely the temptation to be resisted. In such moments of apparently clear choices, the real alternatives are most hidden. Welcome to the Desert of the Real steps back, complicating the choices imposed on us. It proposes that global capitalism is fundamentalist and that America was complicit in the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. It points to our dreaming about the catastrophe in numerous disaster movies before it happened, and explores the irony that the tragedy has been used to legitimize torture. Last but not least it analyses the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events. --amazon.com
About the series: Appearing on the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, these series of books from Verso present analyses of the United States, the media, and the events surrounding September 11 by Europe's most stimulating and provocative philosophers. Probing beneath the level of TV commentary, political and cultural orthodoxies, and 'rent-a-quote' punditry, Baudrillard, Virilio, and Zizek offer three highly original and readable accounts that serve as fascinating introductions to the direction of their respective projects, and as insightful critiques of the unfolding events. This series seeks to comprehend the philosophical meaning of September 11 and will leave untouched none of the prevailing views currently propagated. --amazon.com
- The Spirit of Terrorism: And Requiem for the Twin Towers (2002) Jean Baudrillard [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In dealing all the cards to itself, the system forced the Other to change the rules of the game. And the new rules are ferocious, because the game is ferocious.
We have seen many world events, and recent years have been filled with any number of violent ones, from wars to genocides. But until September 11 we had had no symbolic event on a world scale that marked a setback for globalization itself. With the terrorist attacks we are confronted, says Baudrillard, with the pure event that concentrates in itself all the events which have never taken place. And we had all dreamt of this event because it was impossible not to dream of the destruction of American monopolistic power.
Continuing an analysis developed over many years, Baudrillard sees the power of the terrorists as lying in the symbolism of this slaughter. Not merely the reality of death, but a sacrificial death that challenges the whole system. Where the past revolutionary sought to conduct a struggle of real forces in the context of ideology and politics, the new terrorist mounts a powerful symbolic challenge, which, when combined with high-tech resources, constitutes an unprecedented assault on an over-sophisticated, vulnerable West.
'There is,' writes Baudrillard, 'no solution to this extreme situation.' As a response to it, conventional warfare is a non-starter, a non-event. It is merely 'the continuation of an absence of politics by other means.' --amazon.com
- Ground Zero (2002) Paul Virilio [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
How would it be if what we take for human advance were simply a technological progress that literally leaves us out of its equations? What if Progress is not humanity striking out bravely towards the future, but an ultimately destructive force? --amazon.com
In a remarkable tour d'horizon, Paul Virilio paints a bleak picture of current scientific, cultural, social and political values. Art has succumbed to the techniques of advertising and in politics, the battle for hearts and minds has become a mere convergence of opinion. TV ratings have triumphed over universal suffrage. The events of September 11 reflect both the manipulation of a global sub-proletariat and the delusions of an élite of rich students and technicians who resemble the 'suicidal members of the Heaven's Gate cybersect'. And, in this post-humanist dystopia, we are morally rudderless before the threat of biological manipulations as yet undreamt. --amazon.com
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