Det moderna krigets janusansikte

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: The aim of this essay is to understand the War on Terror, specifically Obama’s drone war and the torture at Abu Ghraib, through the lens of The Second Discourse (1754) by Jean Jacque Rousseau. In the process I shed new light on Rousseau’s work. Throughout the text, I argue that the War on Terror is characterised by temporal ambiguities and, furthermore, that these ambiguities can be traced to the modern understanding of sovereignty per se. Obama’s high-tech warfare, like Rousseau’s ideal civilization, can thus be regarded as rational progression towards the future. Meanwhile, the torture at Abu Ghraib, read through The Second Discourse, becomes an irrational hope of returning to the ontological origins of humanity and a pre-modern temporality of the bodily grotesque. Understood this way, both paths presented by Rousseau lead to a politics devoid of humanity. While Obama’s professional high-tech warfare results in instrumentality devoid of substance the torture at Abu Ghraib becomes “power for the sake of power.”

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