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Barbarians to Savages: Liberal War Inside and Out

Evans, B and Hardt, M (2010) Barbarians to Savages: Liberal War Inside and Out. Theory & Event, 13 (3). ISSN 1092-311X


One of the most important aspects of your work has been to argue why the original sentiment which provoked Deleuze and Guattari’s Nomadology narrative needed to be challenged. With the onset of a global war machine which showed absolutely no respect for state boundaries, matched by the rise of many local fires of resistance which had no interest in capturing state power, the sentiment that “History is always written from the victory of States” could now be brought firmly into question. On a theoretical level alone, the need to bring the Nomadology Treatise up to date was an important move. However, there was something clearly more at stake for you than simply attempting to canonise Deleuze and Guattari. One gets the impression from your works that you were deeply troubled by what was taking place with this new found humanitarianism. Indeed, as you suggest, if we accept that this changing political terrain demanded a rewriting of war itself—away from geo-political territorial struggles which once monopolised the strategic field, towards bio-political life struggles whose unrelenting wars were now to be consciously fought for the politics of all life itself, then it could be argued that the political stakes could not be higher. For not only does a bio-political ascendency force a re-conceptualisation of the war effort—to include those forces which are less militaristic and more developmental (one can see this best reflected today in the now familiar security mantra “War by Other Means”), but through this process a new paradigm appears which makes it possible to envisage for the first time in human history a Global State of War or a Civil War on a planetary scale.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2011 10:49
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:30
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/tae.2010.0013
Status: Published
Publisher: The John Hopkins University Press
Identification Number: 10.1353/tae.2010.0013
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/42840

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