Tag Archives: Carl Schmitt

The Drone War Is Not Happening

In the following post,1)Originally part of a research paper that I have since revised and made web-friendly. I will utilize the works of Jean Baudrillard (Baudrillard 1994; Baudrillard 1995), Nasser Hussain (Hussain 2013), and others (Dorrian 2014; Introna 2002; Meijer 2013) to make the case that the United States’ strategy of dealing with terrorists in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East via the usage of unoccupied aerial vehicles (drones)2)Drones are officially called “unmanned aerial vehicles,” but I have opted to change the gendered language and use the term “unoccupied” as opposed to “unmanned.” represents a profound shift in the way that war is, and is not conducted. Specifically, I will be arguing that the usage of drones has transformed war for all parties involved in a few ways. First, the usage of surveillance and weaponized drones has abstracted warfare far beyond what could be predicted after the First Gulf War by shifting conflict and conflict zones from the Real to the Hyperreal via the mediation of images from the drone. And second, conflict has become touted as “clean” and “surgical” while iconographies of war have been removed leading to not only a desensitization of war, but also a lack of ethical engagement with the Other (Baudrillard 1995, 32, 40, 62; Introna 2002)

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1. Originally part of a research paper that I have since revised and made web-friendly.
2. Drones are officially called “unmanned aerial vehicles,” but I have opted to change the gendered language and use the term “unoccupied” as opposed to “unmanned.”

Part 4: The Races of Humanity or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Socially Constructed Divisions – Part 2

In part 2 of my [IDEOLOGY IN PROGRESS] series, I argued that the concept of race is not a social construction like the left claims, but rather is a biological reality due to genotypical and phenotypical differences amongst populations.

Those who claim X as being a social construction assume the negativity of social constructionism. – Unknown

While I still think that is the case, I ended part 2 with the following statement: “Finally, stay tuned for part two of this post (it will come sometime in the “Ideology in Progress” series) where I ignore everything I wrote above and assume race is a social construct and then explain why division is good! *Basically an “even if it’s a social construct that creates division, that division is good and not discriminatory” argument*”.

And that brings us to this post. I am going to ignore everything I said in the previous post and jump on the liberal bandwagon yelling “race is a social construct!”. However, as the opening quotation points out, even if race (or anything) is a social construct, that doesn’t inherently mean that it’s a bad thing. Rather, just that it might create divisions amongst people. I shall argue after the jump that even if the concept of race is a purely social construction, it, and the divisions amongst people that it creates, are a good thing.

So, let’s begin.

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‘Hostis’ vs. ‘Inimicus’ – An Etymological Analysis

This post will be of a little different flavor than my usual posts because here, I won’t strictly be advocating anything, rather I will be tracing the history of two words and their Latin equivalents as used in Schmittian theory and misused in post-Schmittian theory.

The two words are “enemy” and “foe”, or “hostis” and “inimicus”.

To spare any of my blog’s casual readers, the etymological analysis will be after the jump.

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Part 3: The State of Nature – The Individual, The Environment, and The Rise of the State

This is a post I’ve been putting of writing for a while now because I didn’t really know how to start it and, although I’m not confident, I’ll give you what I have.

“Liberal” theorists from Mencius to Augustine to Locke have argued, in some form or another, that humans are innately good – that is, humans are born pure and clean and are corrupted and/or succumb to evil desires due to extraneous circumstances. John Locke, for example, popularized the idea of tabula rasa, or “blank slate”, which states that all humans are born empty, arguably without any intrinsic behaviors, and learn how to act (thus becoming “good” or “evil”) based on interactions with other humans.

Conversely, theorists such as Hobbes, Machiavelli, and Schmitt have argued that humans are innately bad and have a tendency to act selfishly and in ways that harm greater society and, more often than not, degenerate in pure hedonism and personal expansion.

It is my view, and the view that will be advanced after the jump, that humans are fundamentally irrational and, when unrestrained, resort to violence, environmental degradation, and societal destruction to further their self interests. The result of the above is not “spontaneous order”, which anarchists like to argue, but rather chaos.

Albeit cliché, I believe the statement made in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, “Absolute freedom is no better than chaos”, is fundamentally correct and is a good tool for analyzing governmental institutions.

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Part 2: The Races of Humanity or: In Defense of the Biological Reality of Race and Towards a New Understanding of Diversity – Part 1

There’s been an interesting trend in critical theory as of late, saying the concept of race is a “social construct”. Critical theorists and writers posting from The Atlantic to St. Catherine University to other accredited institutions all seem to be writing about how race amongst humans is not something that is biologically rooted, rather it is created based upon social contexts under which people live.

Writer and theorist for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates, explains this view best when he says:

Our notion of what constitutes “white” and what constitutes “black” is a product of social context. It is utterly impossible to look at the delineation of a “Southern race” and not see the Civil War, the creation of an “Irish race” and not think of Cromwell’s ethnic cleansing, the creation of a “Jewish race” and not see anti-Semitism. There is no fixed sense of “whiteness” or “blackness,” not even today…When the liberal says “race is a social construct,” he is not being a soft-headed dolt; he is speaking an historical truth (Coates).

While there is a lot of truth in the argument that humans construct views of people around us based on the context we’re in, claiming that race is solely a social construction or, as Mr. Coates says, “is no more dependent on skin color today than it was on “Frankishness” in Emerson’s day [he’s referencing Ralph Wald Emerson talking about Race]”(Coates), denies fundamental genetic differences amongst humans.

In what follows, I will lay out my argument that race is not merely a social construct, but rather the claim that race has biological roots and that there are clear and demonstratable genetic differences amongst different races.

Now all that being said, I feel like I must include this note: I do not believe any race is inherently superior, rather that there are differences in abilities between races and these differences, coupled with social context (here is where the social construction comes in), breeds feelings of superiority.

So, join me after the jump and all will be explained in depth!

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