Waging terror: The geopolitics of the real
- ISSN: 09626298
- DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2005.12.009
Against the background of the broad intellectual response to the events of 9/11, the paper examines the complicity of the media in the Wests so-called War on Terror. Rejecting erroneous conceptions of a conspiratorial state control of the media (and consequent distortion of the picture of a given reality), the paper focuses primarily on the form of the media: its role in distorting the nature of reality itself. By elucidating problems with the kind of media analysis that portrays the media as a propaganda machine, the significance of the mediasphere itself is highlighted. The paper considers the medias role in promulgating the myth of antagonistic collective identities (Us vs. Them); in promoting a desire that subjugates the individual to the social formations that feed off it; in sustaining a range of fundamentalisms; and in characterizing terrorism as Evil incarnate. The paper thus offers a sympathetic reassessment of Baudrillards consistent attempt to engage with the geopolitics of the real, measured against a contrasting range of responses from Badiou, Latour, Z? i zek, and others.