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Ten Years of Terror: Saskia Sassen

I nev­er com­pared notes with the oth­er peo­ple about what they thought, though I do remem­ber talk­ing about it maybe two days lat­er at a lunch that we usu­al­ly had at the New York Institute for the Humanities. And peo­ple like Ronald Dworkin were there, and peo­ple like that. And I remem­ber talk­ing about this, just very briefly, that it felt like I was think­ing about that build­ing rather than the peo­ple and all that had hap­pened inside. And I remem­ber a cou­ple of these peo­ple at the lunch real­ly were offend­ed. And that is when this new moral­ism began. I began to notice this new moral­ism that set in in the case of Manhattan. 

Ten Years of Terror: Todd May

One of the things that seems to be a com­mon theme, at least among some of the more think­ing jour­nal­ists, is that the US response to 9‍/‍11 over the last ten years has been a dis­mal fail­ure. The US has not suc­ceed­ed in its own pol­i­cy goals. It has­n’t suc­ceed­ed in mak­ing life bet­ter for the peo­ple upon whom its imposed its vio­lence. In short, vio­lence has­n’t worked. And so the ques­tion becomes not sim­ply how ought we to have responded—that’s one ques­tion. But the ques­tion of what ought we to do now.

Ten Years of Terror: Simon Critchley

I want to start out from the thought that vio­lence is not reducible to an act in the here and now which might or might not be jus­ti­fi­able in accor­dance with some or oth­er con­cep­tion of jus­tice. On the con­trary, vio­lence is a phe­nom­e­non that has a his­to­ry. There’s nev­er a ques­tion of a sin­gle act, one act of vio­lence, but of one’s inser­tion into a his­tor­i­cal process sat­u­rat­ed by a cycle of vio­lence and counter-violence.

Ten Years of Terror: Steven Graham

It was a spec­tac­u­lar event in terms of media impact and mas­sive scale of urban ter­ror­ism. An event that was sym­bol­ic of a whole new sort of mode of polit­i­cal vio­lence against the cen­ters of the glob­al economy—the so-called world cities, the world cen­ters of finan­cial, eco­nom­ic, and mil­i­tary pow­er. And an attack orches­trat­ed through means of elec­tron­ic finance, through appro­pri­at­ing the infra­struc­tures of the city to tar­get the city. So I’m par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in how it’s an event that has been used to under­line the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties of con­tem­po­rary urban life.

Ten Years of Terror: Ted Honderich

It’s a good day also to admit the great prob­lems that attend to think­ing about large ques­tions. Large ques­tions such as Palestine, and 9‍/‍11, and a num­ber of oth­ers. We need to try to approach these prob­lems in some sen­si­ble and ratio­nal way. We must not in the course of being ratio­nal lack all con­vic­tion while the worst are, as Yeats says, full of pas­sion­ate intensity. 

Ten Years of Terror: Samuel Weber

When I speak now about vio­lence, I feel very much as if I’m speak­ing not about vio­lence per se in a uni­ver­sal­iz­able sense, but from a large but nev­er­the­less lim­it­ed cul­tur­al and his­tor­i­cal tra­di­tion which one can sort of sum­ma­rize and it remains very vague—let’s say a Western tra­di­tion, with a very spe­cif­ic reli­gious, the­o­log­i­cal, polit­i­cal back­ground defined among oth­er things by a cer­tain bib­li­cal set of nar­ra­tives and a cer­tain polit­i­cal cul­tur­al tra­di­tion grow­ing out of that.

Ten Years of Terror: Tom McCarthy

I’ve been reread­ing Sade recent­ly, The 120 Days of Sodom, which I haven’t read since I was like 22 or some­thing. And what real­ly struck me…it was just a cou­ple of weeks ago. What real­ly struck me about it now is…well first­ly the first sen­tence could have been writ­ten by Agamben, or in fact Naomi Klein, like yes­ter­day.

Literature & Violence: Interview with Tom McCarthy

It seems to me that every polit­i­cal order has its kind of offi­cial crap art, you know. The offi­cial crap art of the Soviet regimes was social­ist real­ism. And the offi­cial crap art of neolib­er­al regimes, or orders, is sen­ti­men­tal humanism. 

Ten Years of Terror: Noam Chomsky

911, as every­one agrees, was a ter­ri­ble atroc­i­ty, maybe the worst sin­gle ter­ror­ist crime ever. Undoubtedly had major con­se­quences which we are liv­ing with. It may be use­ful to car­ry out a thought exper­i­ment and ask how bad it could’ve been. It could’ve been much worse.

Ten Years of Terror: Zygmunt Bauman

No one is in con­trol. That is the major source of con­tem­po­rary fear. The fears are scat­tered. The fears are dif­fused. We can’t pin­point the sources where­from they are com­ing. They seem to be ubiquitous.

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