Who are the Terrorists?

“Who are the Terrorists?”
by Alain Badiou and Eric Hazan

from Politis 1032-1033, December 24 2008

“Individual or collective enterprise intended to severely disturb law and public order by intimidation or terror”: this is the definition of terrorism in the penal code. Such an enterprise, concerted and of great scale, has been running before our eyes for months. As regards intimidation, the means are numerous and varied: faces are controlled on the streets, menacing patrols of transit cops with their guard dogs, police cordons around the banlieue, surveillance from the sky by night-vision military devices. Not to mention the intimidation of journalists, threatened with losing their jobs by a simple telephone call from above.

As regards terror, the recent outbreak by special overarmed police forces wearing balaclavas at dawn in a small village in Corrèze was filmed. Photos were also taken so that the whole country could imagine the kids’ dreadful experience when those aliens suddenly appeared. We remember the death of Chulan Zhang Liu, the little Chinese girl who killed herself jumping out of the window last year because she was terrified by the police hunt for illegal immigrants. We remember the teenagers who pushed their insubordination to the point where they hung themselves in their prison cells. We remember the little girls from Marciac school terrorised by sniffer dogs. Not to mention the terror endured by mentally ill people who populate prisons and public benches in sub-zero temperatures, to whom the president promised techno-drugged measures appropriate to the menace they represent.

The fight against terrorism along with its younger sisters, namely the fight against illegal immigration and the fight against drugs, has got nothing to do with what they claim fighting against. They are method of governance, of controlling the population by intimidation and terror. Those who hold the state in their hands are conscious of the unprecedented unpopularity of their so-called reforms. They know that a single spark can set the whole forrest on fire. They put in place a terrorist system to prevent and treat the dangerous unrest they anticipate. The recent events in Greece are reinforcing their fears, of which one can think that they are relatively justifiable. For, as clause 35 in the Constitution of 1793 states: “when the government violates the people’s rights, insurrection is for the people and for each section of the people, the most sacred right and the most essential duty.”


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