Cheeseman and Bruce 96 (Graeme, Senior Lecturer at New South Wales, and Robert, editor, widespread author on security, Discourses of Danger & Dread Frontiers, p. 5-9)
This goal is pursued in ways which are still unconventional in the intellectual milieu of international relations in Australia, even though they are gaining influence worldwide as traditional modes of theory and practice are rendered inadequate by global trends that defy comprehension, let alone policy. The inability to give meaning to global changes reflects partly the enclosed, elitist world of professional security analysts and bureaucratic experts, where entry is gained by learning and accepting to speak a particular, exclusionary language. The contributors to this book are familiar with the discourse, but accord no privileged place to its ‘knowledge form as reality’ in debates on defence and security. Indeed, they believe that debate will be furthered only through a long overdue critical re-evaluation of elite perspectives. Pluralistic, democratically-oriented perspectives on Australia’s identity are both required and essential if Australia’s thinking on defence and security is to be invigorated. This is not a conventional policy book; nor should it be, in the sense of offering policy-makers and their academic counterparts sets of neat alternative solutions, in familiar language and format, to problems they pose. This expectation is in itself a considerable part of the problem to be analysed. It is, however, a book about policy, one that questions how problems are framed by policy-makers. It challenges the proposition that irreducible bodies of real knowledge on defence and security exist independently of their ‘context in the world’, and it demonstrates how security policy is articulated authoritatively by the elite keepers of that knowledge, experts trained to recognize enduring, universal wisdom. All others, from this perspective, must accept such wisdom or remain outside the expert domain, tainted by their inability to comply with the ‘rightness’ of the official line. But it is precisely the official line, or at least its image of the world, that needs to be problematised. If the critic responds directly to the demand for policy alternatives, without addressing this image, he or she is tacitly endorsing it. Before engaging in the policy debate the critics need to reframe the basic terms of reference. This book, then, reflects and underlines the importance of Antonio Gramsci and Edward Said’s ‘critical intellectuals’.15 The demand, tacit or otherwise, that the policy-maker’s frame of reference be accepted as the only basis for discussion and analysis ignores a three thousand year old tradition commonly associated with Socrates and purportedly integral to the Western tradition of democratic dialogue. More immediately, it ignores post-seventeenth century democratic traditions which insist that a good society must have within it some way of critically assessing its knowledge and the decisions based upon that knowledge which impact upon citizens of such a society. This is a tradition with a slightly different connotation in contemporary liberal democracies which, during the Cold War, were proclaimed different and superior to the totalitarian enemy precisely because there were institutional checks and balances upon power. In short, one of the major differences between ‘open societies’ and their (closed) counterparts behind the Iron Curtain was that the former encouraged the critical testing of the knowledge and decisions of the powerful and assessing them against liberal democratic principles. The latter tolerated criticism only on rare and limited occasions. For some, this represented the triumph of rational-scientific methods of inquiry and techniques of falsification. For others, especially since positivism and rationalism have lost much of their allure, it meant that for society to become open and liberal, sectors of the population must be independent of the state and free to question its knowledge and power. Though we do not expect this position to be accepted by every reader, contributors to this book believe that critical dialogue is long overdue in Australia and needs to be listened to. For all its liberal democratic trappings, Australia’s security community continues to invoke closed monological narratives on defence and security. This book also questions the distinctions between policy practice and academic theory that inform conventional accounts ofAustralian security. One of its major concerns, particularly in chapters 1 and 2, is to illustrate how theory is integral to the practice of security analysis and policy prescription. The book also calls on policy-makers, academics and students of defence and security to think critically about what they are reading, writing and saying; to begin to ask, of their work and study, difficult and searching questions raised in other disciplines; to recognise, no matter how uncomfortable it feels, that what is involved in theory and practice is not the ability to identify a replacement for failed models, but a realisation that terms and concepts – state sovereignty, balance of power, security, and so on – are contested and problematic, and that the world is indeterminate, always becoming what is written about it. Critical analysis which shows how particular kinds of theoretical presumptions can effectively exclude vital areas of political life from analysis has direct practical implications for policy-makers, academics and citizens who face the daunting task of steering Australia through some potentially choppy international waters over the next few years. There is also much of interest in the chapters for those struggling to give meaning to a world where so much that has long been taken for granted now demands imaginative, incisive reappraisal. The contributors, too, have struggled to find meaning, often despairing at the terrible human costs of international violence. This is why readers will find no single, fully formed panacea for the world’s ills in general, or Australia’s security in particular. There are none. Every chapter, however, in its own way, offers something more than is found in orthodox literature, often by exposing ritualistic Cold War defence and security mind-sets that are dressed up as new thinking. Chapters 7 and 9, for example, present alternative ways of engaging in security and defence practice. Others (chapters 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8) seek to alert policy-makers, academics and students to alternative theoretical possibilities which might better serve an Australian community pursuing security and prosperity in an uncertain world. All chapters confront the policy community and its counterparts in the academy with a deep awareness of the intellectual and material constraints imposed by dominant traditions of realism, but they avoid dismissive and exclusionary terms which often in the past characterized exchanges between policy-makers and their critics. This is because, as noted earlier, attention needs to be paid to the words and the thought processes of those being criticized. A close reading of this kind draws attention to underlying assumptions, showing they need to be recognized and questioned. A sense of doubt (in place of confident certainty) is a necessary prelude to a genuine search for alternative policies. First comes an awareness of the need for new perspectives, then specific policies may follow. As Jim George argues in the following chapter, we need to look not so much at contending policies as they are made for us but at challenging ‘the discursive process which gives [favoured interpretations of “reality”] their meaning and which direct [Australia’s] policy/analytical/military responses’. This process is not restricted to the small, official defence and security establishment huddled around the US-Australian War Memorial in Canberra. It also encompasses much of Australia’s academic defence and security community located primarily though not exclusively within the Australian National University and the University College of the University of New South Wales. These discursive processes are examined in detail in subsequent chapters as authors attempt to make sense of a politics of exclusion and closure which exercises disciplinary power over Australia’s security community. They also question the discourse of ‘regional security’, ‘security cooperation’, ‘peacekeeping’ and ‘alliance politics’ that are central to Australia’s official and academic security agenda in the 1990s. This is seen as an important task especially when, as is revealed, the disciplines of International Relations and Strategic Studies are under challenge from critical and theoretical debates ranging across the social sciences and humanities; debates that are nowhere to be found in Australian defence and security studies. The chapters graphically illustrate how Australia’s public policies on defence and security are informed, underpinned and legitimised by a narrowly-based intellectual enterprise which draws strength from contested concepts of realism and liberalism, which in turn seek legitimacy through policy-making processes. Contributors ask whether Australia’s policy-makers and their academic advisors are unaware of broader intellectual debates, or resistant to them, or choose not to understand them, and why?
Everyone dances to her or his own personal boomboom- dance to your boomboom!
Disyaka 13 (Ali, 2/1/13, writer for E International Relations Students, “Towards a Critical Securitization Theory: The Copenhagen and Aberystwyth Schools of Security Studies,” http://www.e-ir.info/2013/02/01/towards-a-critical-securitization-theory-the-copenhagen-and-aberystwyth-schools-of-security-studies/)//RTF
According to the Copenhagen School, security is about survival. Copenhagen School theorists argue that in international relations something becomes a security issue when it is presented as posing an existential threat to some object – a threat that needs to be dealt with immediately and with extraordinary measures. Apart from sharing this traditional military understanding of security with traditional security scholars, the conceptual apparatus of the Copenhagen School theorists – a mix of neorealist and social constructivist concepts – differs immensely from their traditional colleagues. Three conceptual tools of analysis can be distinguished here: sectors of security, regional security complex theory and securitization theory. Nevertheless, although sectors are used in this paper, it will concentrate on the innovative and influential securitization theory as well as on the under-theorised desecuritization theory. The main argument of securitization theory is that in international relations an issue becomes a security issue not because something constitutes an objective threat to the state (or another referent object), but rather because an actor has defined something as existential threat to some object’s survival. By doing so, the actor has claimed the right to handle the issue through extraordinary means to ensure the referent object’s survival. Security is thus a self-referential practice: an issue becomes a security issue only by being labelled as one. However, the fact that security is a social and intersubjective construct does not mean that everything can become easily securitized. In order to successfully securitize an issue, a securitizing actor has to perform a securitizing move (present something as an existential threat to a referent object) which has to be accepted by a targeted audience. Only by gaining acceptance from the audience, the issue can be moved above the sphere of normal politics, allowing elites to break normal procedures and rules and implement emergency measures. However, it is important to note that for the Copenhagen School, “security should be seen as a negative, as a failure to deal with issues of normal politics”. Therefore, the Copenhagen School prefers desecuritization, whereby issues are moved out of the sphere of exceptionality and into the ordinary public sphere. II. The Aberystwyth School: Critical Theory and Security/Emancipation The Aberystwyth School of security studies or Critical Security Studies (hereafter CSS) works within the tradition of Critical Theory which has its roots in Marxism. CSS is based on the pioneering work of Ken Booth and Richard Wyn Jones, which is heavily influenced by Gramscian critical theory and Frankfurt School critical social theory as well as by radical International Relations theory most recently associated with the neogramscian theorist Robert W. Cox. As diverse as these approaches might seem, they all originate in the Marxian productivist paradigm, seeking to develop a social theory orientated toward social transformation by exploring and elucidating human emancipation’s barriers and possibilities. Like other critical approaches, CSS sets out from a criticism of traditional security studies and its state-centric nature. However, Booth and Wyn Jones not only criticise traditional approaches, but also offer a very clear view of how to reconceptualise security studies – by making human emancipation their focus. Only a process of emancipation can make the prospect of ‘true’ human security more likely. For Booth and Wyn Jones, the realist understanding of security as ‘power’ and ‘order’ can never lead to ‘true’ security. For them, the sovereign state is not the main provider of security, but one of the main causes of insecurity. Indeed, during the last hundred years far more people have been killed by their own governments than by foreign armies. True security, Booth argues, “can only be achieved by people and groups if they do not deprive others of it”. In order to achieve true security, it must be understood as emancipation. For Booth, emancipation “offers a theory of progress for politics, it provides a politics of hope and gives guidance to a politics of resistance (…) Emancipation is the only permanent hope of becoming”. For Booth security and emancipation are two sides of the same coin. Furthermore, Booth rejects the claim that security is a ‘contested concept’. In order to achieve security, Booth contends, we have to define it; and “[t]he best starting point for conceptualising security lies in the real conditions of insecurity suffered by people and collectives”. What is immediately striking, Booth argues, is that biological drives for security are universal (to have food, shelter, safety etc.) as well as the fact that the lack of security is a life determining condition. Booth calls this condition survival, which he defines as the struggle of a person or a group of people in order to exist. “Survival is not synonymous with living tolerably well, and less still with having the conditions to pursue cherished political and social ambitions”; for the latter, Booth argues, “security is required, and not just survival. In this sense security is equivalent to survival-plus (the plus being some freedom from life determining threats, and therefore space to make choices)”. In short, survival is being alive; security is living.
We control uniqueness- CIR isn’t going to pass
Mark Neocleous, Prof. of Government @ Brunel, 2008 [Critique of Security, 185-6]
The only way out of such a dilemma, to escape the fetish,isperhapsto eschew the logic of security altogether - to reject it as so ideologically loaded in favour of the state that any real political thought other than the authoritarian and reactionary should be pressed to give it up. That is clearly something that can not be achieved within the limits of bourgeois thought and thus could never even begin to be imagined by the security intellectual. It is also something that the constant iteration of the refrain 'this is an insecure world' and reiteration of one fear, anxiety and insecurity after another will also make it hard to do. But it is something that the critique of security suggests we may have to consider if we want a political way out of the impasse of security. This impasse exists because security hasnowbecome so all-encompassing that itmarginalises all else, most notably the constructive conflicts, debatesand discussionsthat animate political life.The constant prioritising of a mythical security as a political end - as the political end constitutes a rejection of politics in any meaningful sense of the term. That is, as a mode of action in which differences can be articulated, in which the conflicts and struggles that arise from such differences can be fought for and negotiated, in which people might come to believe that another world is possible - that they might transform the world and in turn be transformed. Security politics simply removes this; worse, it remoeves it while purportedly addressing it. In so doing it suppresses all issues of power and turns political questions into debates about the most efficient way to achieve 'security', despite the fact that we are never quite told - never could be told - what might count as having achieved it. Security politics is, in this sense, an anti-politics,"' dominating political discourse in much the same manner as the security state tries to dominate human beings, reinforcing security fetishism and the monopolistic character of security on the political imagination. We therefore need to get beyond security politics, not add yet more 'sectors' to it in a way that simply expands the scope of the state and legitimises state intervention in yet more and more areas of our lives. Simon Dalby reports a personal communication with Michael Williams, co-editor of the important text Critical Security Studies, in which the latter asks: if you take away security, what do you put in the hole that's left behind? But I'm inclined to agree with Dalby: maybe there is no hole."' The mistake has been to think that there is a hole and that this hole needs to be filled with a new vision or revision of security in which it is re-mapped or civilised or gendered or humanised or expanded or whatever. All of these ultimately remain within the statist political imaginary, and consequently end up reaffirming the state as the terrain of modern politics, the grounds of security. Therealtask isnot to fill the supposed hole with yet another vision of security, butto fight for an alternative political language whichtakes us beyond the narrow horizon of bourgeois security and which therefore does not constantly throw us into the arms of the state.That's the point of critical politics: to develop a new political language more adequate to the kind of society we want. Thus while much of what I have said here has been of a negative order, part of the tradition of critical theory is that the negative may be as significant as the positive in setting thought on new paths. For if security really is the supreme concept of bourgeois society and the fundamental thematic of liberalism, then to keep harping on about insecurity and to keep demanding 'more security' (while meekly hoping that this increased security doesn't damage our liberty) is to blind ourselves to the possibility of building real alternativesto the authoritarian tendencies in contemporary politics. To situate ourselves against securitypolitics wouldallow us to circumvent the debilitating effect achieved through the constant securitising of social and political issues, debilitating in the sense that 'security' helps consolidate the power of the existing forms of social domination and justifies the short-circuiting of even the most democratic forms. It would alsoallow us to forge another kind of politics centred on a different conception of the good.We need a new way of thinking and talking about social being and politics that moves us beyond security. This would perhaps be emancipatory in the true sense of the word. What this might mean, precisely, must be open to debate. But it certainly requires recognising that security is an illusion that has forgotten it is an illusion; it requires recognising that security is not the same as solidarity; it requires accepting that insecurity is part of the human condition, and thus giving up the search for the certainty of security and instead learning to tolerate the uncertainties, ambiguities and 'insecurities' that come with being human; it requires accepting that 'securitizing' an issue does not mean dealing with it politically, but bracketing it out and handing it to the state; it requires us to be brave enough to return the gift."'
Also, Congress doesn’t get the blame for anything—they’re too adorable
The Onion ’13 (The Onion, America’s finest news source Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Can’t Blame Congress For The Shutdown, Not With Those Adorable Faces They Can’t
NEWS IN BRIEF • Politics • Government • Politicians • ISSUE 49•41 • Oct 7, 2013)//gingE
WASHINGTON—As the federal government shutdown enters its second week, a recent CBS News/New York Times poll revealedMondaythat an overwhelming majority ofAmericans just can’tfind it in their hearts toblame congressmenfor the ongoing impasse,especially not with those adorable little facesof theirs. “I’m obviously upsetthat our elected officials can’t work together to figure out a reasonable budget resolution, but honestly,how could you ever stay mad at those cutie pies?”said 46-year-old Silver Spring, MD resident Daniel Hadler,one of the 78 percent ofAmericanswhowant to pinch congressmen and women right on their big chubby cheeks,while a further 91 percent said they would love to put the lawmakers between two slices of bread and just eat them right up. “Have you ever seen anything so preciousin your whole life? Imean, look at them—dressed up in their little suits with their big-boy ties on, huffing and puffing around the Capitol building.You can’t be angry when your heart’s practically melting.”At press time, 94 percent of Americans were about to lash out at the legislative branch, but after taking one look at Congressman Ken Calvert’s sweet punim, decided that all they could do was pick the little guy up,squeeze him tight, and give him a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek.
I promise we’re topical! (not entirely highlighted)
Burke 07 (Anthony, 2007, Australian political theorist and international relations scholar and Associate Professor (Reader) of Politics and International Relations in the University of New South Wales, “Ontologies of War: Violence, Existence and Reason,” Project MUSE)//RTF
Two Ontologies of War This essay develops a theory about the causes of war -- and thus aims to generate lines of action and critique for peace -- that cuts beneath analyses based either on a given sequence of events, threats, insecurities and political manipulation, or the play of institutional, economic or political interests (the 'military-industrial complex'). Such factors are important to be sure, and should not be discounted, but they flow over a deeper bedrock of modern reason that has not only come to form a powerful structure of common sense but the apparently solid ground of the real itself. In this light, the two 'existential' and 'rationalist' discourses of war-making and justification mobilised in the Lebanon war are more than merely arguments, rhetorics or even discourses. Certainly they mobilise forms of knowledge and power together; providing political leaderships, media, citizens, bureaucracies and military forces with organising systems of belief, action, analysis and rationale. But they run deeper than that. They are truth-systems of the most powerful and fundamental kind that we have in modernity: ontologies, statements about truth and being which claim a rarefied privilege to state what is and how it must be maintained as it is. I am thinking of ontology in both its senses: ontology as both a statement about the nature and ideality of being (in this case political being, that of the nation-state), and as a statement of epistemological truth and certainty, of methods and processes of arriving at certainty (in this case, the development and application of strategic knowledge for the use of armed force, and the creation and maintenance of geopolitical order, security and national survival). These derive from the classical idea of ontology as a speculative or positivistic inquiry into the fundamental nature of truth, of being, or of some phenomenon; the desire for a solid metaphysical account of things inaugurated by Aristotle, an account of 'being qua being and its essential attributes'.17 In contrast, drawing on Foucauldian theorising about truth and power, I see ontology as a particularly powerful claim to truth itself: a claim to the status of an underlying systemic foundation for truth, identity, existence and action; one that is not essential or timeless, but is thoroughly historical and contingent, that is deployed and mobilised in a fraught and conflictual socio-political context of some kind. In short, ontology is the 'politics of truth'18 in its most sweeping and powerful form. I see such a drive for ontological certainty and completion as particularly problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, when it takes the form of the existential and rationalist ontologies of war, it amounts to a hard and exclusivist claim: a drive for ideational hegemony and closure that limits debate and questioning, that confines it within the boundaries of a particular, closed system of logic, one that is grounded in the truth of being, in the truth of truth as such. The second is its intimate relation with violence: the dual ontologies represent a simultaneously social and conceptual structure that generates violence. Here we are witness to an epistemology of violence (strategy) joined to an ontology of violence (the national security state). When we consider their relation to war, the two ontologies are especially dangerous because each alone (and doubly in combination) tends both to quicken the resort to war and to lead to its escalation either in scale and duration, or in unintended effects. In such a context violence is not so much a tool that can be picked up and used on occasion, at limited cost and with limited impact -- it permeates being.This essay describes firstly the ontology of the national security state (by way of the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, Carl Schmitt and G. W. F. Hegel) and secondly the rationalist ontology of strategy (by way of the geopolitical thought of Henry Kissinger), showing how they crystallise into a mutually reinforcing system of support and justification, especially in the thought of Clausewitz. This creates both a profound ethical and pragmatic problem. The ethical problem arises because of their militaristic force -- they embody and reinforce a norm of war -- and because they enact what Martin Heidegger calls an 'enframing' image of technology and being in which humans are merely utilitarian instruments for use, control and destruction, and force -- in the words of one famous Cold War strategist -- can be thought of as a 'power to hurt'.19 The pragmatic problem arises because force so often produces neither the linear system of effects imagined in strategic theory nor anything we could meaningfully call security, but rather turns in upon itself in a nihilistic spiral of pain and destruction. In the era of a 'war on terror' dominantly conceived in Schmittian and Clausewitzian terms,20 the arguments of Hannah Arendt (that violence collapses ends into means) and Emmanuel Levinas (that 'every war employs arms that turn against those that wield them') take on added significance. Neither, however, explored what occurs when war and being are made to coincide, other than Levinas' intriguing comment that in war persons 'play roles in which they no longer recognises themselves, making them betray not only commitments but their own substance'. 21 What I am trying to describe in this essay is a complex relation between, and interweaving of, epistemology and ontology. But it is not my view that these are distinct modes of knowledge or levels of truth, because in the social field named by security, statecraft and violence they are made to blur together, continually referring back on each other, like charges darting between electrodes. Rather they are related systems of knowledge with particular systemic roles and intensities of claim about truth, political being and political necessity. Positivistic or scientific claims to epistemological truth supply an air of predictability and reliability to policy and political action, which in turn support larger ontological claims to national being and purpose, drawing them into a common horizon of certainty that is one of the central features of past-Cartesian modernity. Here it may be useful to see ontology as a more totalising and metaphysical set of claims about truth, and epistemology as more pragmatic and instrumental; but while a distinction between epistemology (knowledge as technique) and ontology (knowledge as being) has analytical value, it tends to break down in action. The epistemology of violence I describe here (strategic science and foreign policy doctrine) claims positivistic clarity about techniques of military and geopolitical action which use force and coercion to achieve a desired end, an end that is supplied by the ontological claim to national existence, security, or order.However in practice, technique quickly passes into ontology. This it does in two ways. First, instrumental violence is married to an ontology of insecure national existence which itself admits no questioning. The nation and its identity are known and essential, prior to any conflict, and the resort to violence becomes an equally essential predicate of its perpetuation. In this way knowledge-as-strategy claims, in a positivistic fashion, to achieve a calculability of effects (power) for an ultimate purpose (securing being) that it must always assume. Second, strategy as a technique not merely becomes an instrument of state power but ontologises itself in a technological image of 'man' as a maker and user of things, including other humans, which have no essence or integrity outside their value as objects. In Heidegger's terms, technology becomes being; epistemology immediately becomes technique, immediately being. This combination could be seen in the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon war, whose obvious strategic failure for Israelis generated fierce attacks on the army and political leadership and forced the resignation of the IDF chief of staff. Yet in its wake neither ontology was rethought. Consider how a reserve soldier, while on brigade-sized manoeuvres in the Golan Heights in early 2007, was quoted as saying: 'we are ready for the next war'. Uri Avnery quoted Israeli commentators explaining the rationale for such a war as being to 'eradicate the shame and restore to the army the "deterrent power" that was lost on the battlefields of that unfortunate war'. In 'Israeli public discourse', he remarked, 'the next war is seen as a natural phenomenon, like tomorrow's sunrise.' 22 The danger obviously raised here is that these dual ontologies of war link being, means, events and decisions into a single, unbroken chain whose very process of construction cannot be examined. As is clear in the work of Carl Schmitt, being implies action, the action that is war. This chain is also obviously at work in the U.S. neoconservative doctrine that argues, as Bush did in his 2002 West Point speech, that 'the only path to safety is the path of action', which begs the question of whether strategic practice and theory can be detached from strong ontologies of the insecure nation-state.23 This is the direction taken by much realist analysis critical of Israel and the Bush administration's 'war on terror'.24 Reframing such concerns in Foucauldian terms, we could argue that obsessive ontological commitments have led to especially disturbing 'problematizations' of truth.25 However such rationalist critiques rely on a one-sided interpretation of Clausewitz that seeks to disentangle strategic from existential reason, and to open up choice in that way. However without interrogating more deeply how they form a conceptual harmony in Clausewitz's thought -- and thus in our dominant understandings of politics and war -- tragically violent 'choices' will continue to be made. The essay concludes by pondering a normative problem that arises out of its analysis: if the divisive ontology of the national security state and the violent and instrumental vision of 'enframing' have, as Heidegger suggests, come to define being and drive 'out every other possibility of revealing being', how can they be escaped?26 How can other choices and alternatives be found and enacted? How is there any scope for agency and resistance in the face of them? Their social and discursive power -- one that aims to take up the entire space of the political -- needs to be respected and understood. However, we are far from powerless in the face of them. The need is to critique dominant images of political being and dominant ways of securing that being at the same time, and to act and choose such that we bring into the world a more sustainable, peaceful and non-violent global rule of the political. Friend and Enemy: Violent Ontologies of the Nation-State In his Politics Among Nations Hans Morgenthau stated that 'the national interest of a peace-loving nation can only be defined in terms of national security, which is the irreducible minimum that diplomacy must defend with adequate power and without compromise'. While Morgenthau defined security relatively narrowly -- as the 'integrity of the national territory and its institutions' -- in a context where security was in practice defined expansively, as synonymous with a state's broadest geopolitical and economic 'interests', what was revealing about his formulation was not merely the ontological centrality it had, but the sense of urgency and priority he accorded to it: it must be defended 'without compromise'.27 Morgenthau was a thoughtful and complex thinker, and understood well the complexities and dangers of using armed force. However his formulation reflected an influential view about the significance of the political good termed 'security'. When this is combined with the way in which security was conceived in modern political thought as an existential condition -- a sine qua non of life and sovereign political existence -- and then married to war and instrumental action, it provides a basic underpinning for either the limitless resort to strategic violence without effective constraint, or the perseverance of limited war (with its inherent tendencies to escalation) as a permanent feature of politics. While he was no militarist, Morgenthau did say elsewhere (in, of all places, a far-reaching critique of nuclear strategy) that the 'quantitative and qualitative competition for conventional weapons is a rational instrument of international politics'.28 The conceptual template for such an image of national security state can be found in the work of Thomas Hobbes, with his influential conception of the political community as a tight unity of sovereign and people in which their bodies meld with his own to form a 'Leviathan', and which must be defended from enemies within and without. His image of effective security and sovereignty was one that was intolerant of internal difference and dissent, legitimating a strong state with coercive and exceptional powers to preserve order and sameness. This was a vision not merely of political order but of existential identity, set off against a range of existential others who were sources of threat, backwardness, instability or incongruity.29 It also, in a way set out with frightening clarity by the theorist Carl Schmitt and the philosopher Georg Hegel, exchanged internal unity, identity and harmony for permanent alienation from other such communities (states). Hegel presaged Schmitt's thought with his argument that individuality and the state are single moments of 'mind in its freedom' which 'has an infinitely negative relation to itself, and hence its essential character from its own point of view is its singleness': Individuality is awareness of one's existence as a unit in sharp distinction from others. It manifests itself here in the state as a relation to other states, each of which is autonomous vis-a-vis the others...this negative relation of the state to itself is embodied in the world as the relation of one state to another and as if the negative were something external.30 Schmitt is important both for understanding the way in which such alienation is seen as a definitive way of imagining and limiting political communities, and for understanding how such a rigid delineation is linked to the inevitability and perpetuation of war. Schmitt argued that the existence of a state 'presupposes the political', which must be understood through 'the specific political distinction...between friend and enemy'. The enemy is 'the other, the stranger; and it sufficient for his nature that he is, in a specially intense way, existentially something different and alien, so that in an extreme case conflicts with him are possible'.31 The figure of the enemy is constitutive of the state as 'the specific entity of a people'.32 Without it society is not political and a people cannot be said to exist: Only the actual participants can correctly recognise, understand and judge the concrete situation and settle the extreme case of conflict...to judge whether the adversary intends to negate his opponent's way of life and therefore must be repulsed or fought in order to preserve one's own form of existence.33 Schmitt links this stark ontology to war when he states that the political is only authentic 'when a fighting collectivity of people confronts a similar collectivity. The enemy is solely the public enemy, because everything that has a relationship to such a collectivity of men, particularly to the whole nation, becomes public by virtue of such a relationship...in its entirety the state as an organised political entity decides for itself the friend-enemy distinction'.34 War, in short, is an existential condition: the entire life of a human being is a struggle and every human being is symbolically a combatant. The friend, enemy and combat concepts receive their real meaning precisely because they refer to the real possibility of physical killing. War follows from enmity. War is the existential negation of the enemy.35 Schmitt claims that his theory is not biased towards war as a choice ('It is by no means as though the political signifies nothing but devastating war and every political deed a military action...it neither favours war nor militarism, neither imperialism nor pacifism') but it is hard to accept his caveat at face value.36 When such a theory takes the form of a social discourse (which it does in a general form) such an ontology can only support, as a kind of originary ground, the basic Clausewitzian assumption that war can be a rational way of resolving political conflicts -- because the import of Schmitt's argument is that such 'political' conflicts are ultimately expressed through the possibility of war. As he says: 'to the enemy concept belongs the ever-present possibility of combat'.37 Where Schmitt meets Clausewitz, as I explain further below, the existential and rationalistic ontologies of war join into a closed circle of mutual support and justification. This closed circle of existential and strategic reason generates a number of dangers. Firstly, the emergence of conflict can generate military action almost automatically simply because the world is conceived in terms of the distinction between friend and enemy; because the very existence of the other constitutes an unacceptable threat, rather than a chain of actions, judgements and decisions. (As the Israelis insisted of Hezbollah, they 'deny our right to exist'.) This effaces agency, causality and responsibility from policy and political discourse: our actions can be conceived as independent of the conflict or quarantined from critical enquiry, as necessities that achieve an instrumental purpose but do not contribute to a new and unpredictable causal chain. Similarly the Clausewitzian idea of force -- which, by transporting a Newtonian category from the natural into the social sciences, assumes the very effect it seeks -- further encourages the resort to military violence. We ignore the complex history of a conflict,and thus the alternative paths to its resolution that such historical analysis might provide, by portraying conflict as fundamental and existential in nature; as possibly containable or exploitable, but always irresolvable. Dominant portrayals of the war on terror, and the Israeli-Arab conflict, are arguably examples of such ontologies in action. Secondly, the militaristic force of such an ontology is visible, in Schmitt, in the absolute sense of vulnerability whereby a people can judge whether their 'adversary intends to negate his opponent's way of life'.38 Evoking the kind of thinking that would become controversial in the Bush doctrine, Hegel similarly argues that: ...a state may regard its infinity and honour as at stake in each of its concerns, however minute, and it is all the more inclined to susceptibility to injury the more its strong individuality is impelled as a result of long domestic peace to seek and create a sphere of activity abroad. ....the state is in essence mind and therefore cannot be prepared to stop at just taking notice of an injury after it has actually occurred. On the contrary, there arises in addition as a cause of strife the idea of such an injury...39 Identity, even more than physical security or autonomy, is put at stake in such thinking and can be defended and redeemed through warfare (or, when taken to a further extreme of an absolute demonisation and dehumanisation of the other, by mass killing, 'ethnic cleansing' or genocide). However anathema to a classical realist like Morgenthau, for whom prudence was a core political virtue, these have been influential ways of defining national security and defence during the twentieth century and persists into the twenty-first. They infused Cold War strategy in the United States (with the key policy document NSC68 stating that 'the Soviet-led assault on free institutions is worldwide now, and ... a defeat of free institutions anywhere is a defeat everywhere')40 and frames dominant Western responses to the threat posed by Al Qaeda and like groups (as Tony Blair admitted in 2006, 'We could have chosen security as the battleground. But we didn't. We chose values.')41 It has also become influential, in a particularly tragic and destructive way, in Israel, where memories of the Holocaust and (all too common) statements by Muslim and Arab leaders rejecting Israel's existence are mobilised by conservatives to justify military adventurism and a rejectionist policy towards the Palestinians. On the reverse side of such ontologies of national insecurity we find pride and hubris, the belief that martial preparedness and action are vital or healthy for the existence of a people. Clausewitz's thought is thoroughly imbued with this conviction. For example, his definition of war as an act of policy does not refer merely to the policy of cabinets, but expresses the objectives and will of peoples: When whole communities go to war -- whole peoples, and especially civilized peoples -- the reason always lies in some political situation and the occasion is always due to some political object. War, therefore, is an act of policy.42 Such a perspective prefigures Schmitt's definition of the 'political' (an earlier translation reads 'war, therefore, is a political act'), and thus creates an inherent tension between its tendency to fuel the escalation of conflict and Clausewitz's declared aim, in defining war as policy, to prevent war becoming 'a complete, untrammelled, absolute manifestation of violence'.43 Likewise his argument that war is a 'trinity' of people (the source of 'primordial violence, hatred and enmity'), the military (who manage the 'play of chance and probability') and government (which achieve war's 'subordination as an instrument of policy, which makes it subject to reason alone') merges the existential and rationalistic conceptions of war into a theoretical unity.44 The idea that national identities could be built and redeemed through war derived from the 'romantic counter-revolution' in philosophy which opposed the cosmopolitanism of Kant with an emphasis on the absolute state -- as expressed by Hegel's Philosophy of Right, Bismarkian Realpolitik and politicians like Wilhelm Von Humbolt. Humbolt, a Prussian minister of Education, wrote that war 'is one of the most wholesome manifestations that plays a role in the education of the human race', and urged the formation of a national army 'to inspire the citizen with the spirit of true war'. He stated that war 'alone gives the total structure the strength and the diversity without which facility would be weakness and unity would be void'.45 In the Phenomenology of Mind Hegel made similar arguments that to for individuals to find their essence 'Government has from time to time to shake them to the very centre by war'.46 The historian Azar Gat points to the similarity of Clausewitz's arguments that 'a people and a nation can hope for a strong position in the world only if national character and familiarity with war fortify each other by continual interaction' to Hegel's vision of the ethical good of war in his Philosophy of Right.47 Likewise Michael Shapiro sees Clausewitz and Hegel as alike in seeing war 'as an ontological investment in both individual and national completion...Clausewitz figures war as passionate ontological commitment rather than cool political reason...war is a major aspect of being.'48 Hegel's text argues that war is 'a work of freedom' in which 'the individual's substantive duty' merges with the 'independence and sovereignty of the state'.49 Through war, he argues, the ethical health of peoples is preserved in their indifference to the stabilization of finite institutions; just as the blowing of the winds preserves the sea from the foulness which would be the result of a prolonged calm, so the corruption in nations would be the product of a prolonged, let alone 'perpetual' peace.50 Hegel indeed argues that 'sacrifice on behalf of the individuality of the state is a substantial tie between the state and all its members and so is a universal duty...if the state as such, if its autonomy, is in jeopardy, all its citizens are duty bound to answer the summons to its defence'.51 Furthermore, this is not simply a duty, but a form of self-realisation in which the individual dissolves into the higher unity of the state: The intrinsic worth of courage as a disposition of mind is to be found in the genuine, absolute, final end, the sovereignty of the state. The work of courage is to actualise this end, and the means to this end is the sacrifice of personal actuality. This form of experience thus contains the harshness of extreme contradictions: a self-sacrifice which yet is the real existence of one's freedom; the maximum self-subsistence of individuality, yet only a cog playing its part in the mechanism of an external organisation; absolute obedience, renunciation of personal opinions and reasonings, in fact complete absence of mind, coupled with the most intense and comprehensive presence of mind and decision in the moment of acting; the most hostile and so most personal action against individuals, coupled with an attitude of complete indifference or even liking towards them as individuals.52 A more frank statement of the potentially lethal consequences of patriotism -- and its simultaneously physical and conceptual annihilation of the individual human being -- is rarely to be found, one that is repeated today in countless national discourses and the strategic world-view in general. (In contrast, one of Kant's fundamental objections to war was that it involved using men 'as mere machines or instruments'.53) Yet however bizarre and contradictory Hegel's argument, it constitutes a powerful social ontology: an apparently irrefutable discourse of being. It actualises the convergence of war and the social contract in the form of the national security state. Strategic Reason and Scientific Truth By itself, such an account of the nationalist ontology of war and security provides only a general insight into the perseverance of military violence as a core element of politics. It does not explain why so many policymakers think military violence works. As I argued earlier, such an ontology is married to a more rationalistic form of strategic thought that claims to link violent means to political ends predictably and controllably, and which, by doing so, combines military action and national purposes into a common -- and thoroughly modern -- horizon of certainty. Given Hegel's desire to decisively distil and control the dynamic potentials of modernity in thought, it is helpful to focus on the modernity of this ontology -- one that is modern in its adherence to modern scientific models of truth, reality and technological progress, and in its insistence on imposing images of scientific truth from the physical sciences (such as mathematics and physics) onto human behaviour, politics and society. For example, the military theorist and historian Martin van Creveld has argued that one of the reasons Clausewitz was so influential was that his 'ideas seemed to have chimed in with the rationalistic, scientific, and technological outlook associated with the industrial revolution'.54 Set into this epistemological matrix, modern politics and government engages in a sweeping project of mastery and control in which all of the world's resources -- mineral, animal, physical, human -- are made part of a machinic process of which war and violence are viewed as normal features. These are the deeper claims and implications of Clausewitzian strategic reason. One of the most revealing contemporary examples comes from the writings (and actions) of Henry Kissinger, a Harvard professor and later U.S. National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. He wrote during the Vietnam war that after 1945 U.S. foreign policy was based 'on the assumption that technology plus managerial skills gave us the ability to reshape the international system and to bring about domestic transformations in emerging countries'. This 'scientific revolution' had 'for all practical purposes, removed technical limits from the exercise of power in foreign policy'.55 Kissinger's conviction was based not merely in his pride in the vast military and bureaucratic apparatus of the United States, but in a particular epistemology (theory of knowledge). Kissinger asserted that the West is 'deeply committed to the notion that the real world is external to the observer, that knowledge consists of recording and classifying data -- the more accurately the better'. This, he claimed, has since the Renaissance set the West apart from an 'undeveloped' world that contains 'cultures that have escaped the early impact of Newtonian thinking' and remain wedded to the 'essentially pre-Newtonian view that the real world is almost entirely internal to the observer'.56 At the same time, Kissinger's hubris and hunger for control was beset by a corrosive anxiety: that, in an era of nuclear weapons proliferation and constant military modernisation, of geopolitical stalemate in Vietnam, and the emergence and militancy of new post-colonial states, order and mastery were harder to define and impose. He worried over the way 'military bipolarity' between the superpowers had 'encouraged political multipolarity', which 'does not guarantee stability. Rigidity is diminished, but so is manageability...equilibrium is difficult to achieve among states widely divergent in values, goals, expectations and previous experience' (emphasis added). He mourned that 'the greatest need of the contemporary international system is an agreed concept of order'.57 Here were the driving obsessions of the modern rational statesman based around a hunger for stasis and certainty that would entrench U.S. hegemony: For the two decades after 1945, our international activities were based on the assumption that technology plus managerial skills gave us the ability to reshape the international system and to bring about domestic transformations in "emerging countries". This direct "operational" concept of international order has proved too simple. Political multipolarity makes it impossible to impose an American design. Our deepest challenge will be to evoke the creativity of a pluralistic world, to base order on political multipolarity even though overwhelming military strength will remain with the two superpowers.58 Kissinger's statement revealed that such cravings for order and certainty continually confront chaos, resistance and uncertainty: clay that won't be worked, flesh that will not yield, enemies that refuse to surrender. This is one of the most powerful lessons of the Indochina wars, which were to continue in a phenomenally destructive fashion for six years after Kissinger wrote these words. Yet as his sinister, Orwellian exhortation to 'evoke the creativity of a pluralistic world' demonstrated, Kissinger's hubris was undiminished. This is a vicious, historic irony: a desire to control nature, technology, society and human beings that is continually frustrated, but never abandoned or rethought. By 1968 U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the rationalist policymaker par excellence, had already decided that U.S. power and technology could not prevail in Vietnam; Nixon and Kissinger's refusal to accept this conclusion, to abandon their Cartesian illusions, was to condemn hundreds of thousands more to die in Indochina and the people of Cambodia to two more decades of horror and misery.59 In 2003 there would be a powerful sense of déja vu as another Republican Administration crowned more than decade of failed and destructive policy on Iraq with a deeply controversial and divisive war to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In this struggle with the lessons of Vietnam, revolutionary resistance, and rapid geopolitical transformation, we are witness to an enduring political and cultural theme: of a craving for order, control and certainty in the face of continual uncertainty. Closely related to this anxiety was the way that Kissinger's thinking -- and that of McNamara and earlier imperialists like the British Governor of Egypt Cromer -- was embedded in instrumental images of technology and the machine: the machine as both a tool of power and an image of social and political order. In his essay 'The Government of Subject Races' Cromer envisaged effective imperial rule -- over numerous societies and billions of human beings -- as best achieved by a central authority working 'to ensure the harmonious working of the different parts of the machine'.60 Kissinger analogously invoked the virtues of 'equilibrium', 'manageability' and 'stability' yet, writing some six decades later, was anxious that technological progress no longer brought untroubled control: the Westernising 'spread of technology and its associated rationality...does not inevitably produce a similar concept of reality'.61 We sense the rational policymaker's frustrated desire: the world is supposed to work like a machine, ordered by a form of power and governmental reason which deploys machines and whose desires and processes are meant to run along ordered, rational lines like a machine. Kissinger's desire was little different from that of Cromer who, wrote Edward Said: ...envisions a seat of power in the West and radiating out from it towards the East a great embracing machine, sustaining the central authority yet commanded by it. What the machine's branches feed into it from the East -- human material, material wealth, knowledge, what have you -- is processed by the machine, then converted into more power...the immediate translation of mere Oriental matter into useful substance.62 This desire for order in the shadow of chaos and uncertainty -- the constant war with an intractable and volatile matter -- has deep roots in modern thought, and was a major impetus to the development of technological reason and its supporting theories of knowledge. As Kissinger's claims about the West's Newtonian desire for the 'accurate' gathering and classification of 'data' suggest, modern strategy, foreign policy and Realpolitik have been thrust deep into the apparently stable soil of natural science, in the hope of finding immovable and unchallengeable roots there. While this process has origins in ancient Judaic and Greek thought, it crystallised in philosophical terms most powerfully during and after the Renaissance. The key figures in this process were Francis Bacon, Galileo, Isaac Newton, and René Descartes, who all combined a hunger for political and ontological certainty, a positivist epistemology and a naïve faith in the goodness of invention. Bacon sought to create certainty and order, and with it a new human power over the world, through a new empirical methodology based on a harmonious combination of experiment, the senses and the understanding. With this method, he argued, we can 'derive hope from a purer alliance of the faculties (the experimental and rational) than has yet been attempted'.63 In a similar move, Descartes sought to conjure certainty from uncertainty through the application of a new method that moved progressively out from a few basic certainties (the existence of God, the certitude of individual consciousness and a divinely granted faculty of judgement) in a search for pure fixed truths. Mathematics formed the ideal image of this method, with its strict logical reasoning, its quantifiable results and its uncanny insights into the hidden structure of the cosmos.64 Earlier, Galileo had argued that scientists should privilege 'objective', quantifiable qualities over 'merely perceptible' ones; that 'only by means of an exclusively quantitative analysis could science attain certain knowledge of the world'.65 Such doctrines of mathematically verifiable truth were to have powerful echoes in the 20th Century, in the ascendancy of systems analysis, game theory, cybernetics and computing in defense policy and strategic decisions, and in the awesome scientific breakthroughs of nuclear physics, which unlocked the innermost secrets of matter and energy and applied the most advanced applications of mathematics and computing to create the atomic bomb. Yet this new scientific power was marked by a terrible irony: as even Morgenthau understood, the control over matter afforded by the science could never be translated into the control of the weapons themselves, into political utility and rational strategy.66 Bacon thought of the new scientific method not merely as way of achieving a purer access to truth and epistemological certainty, but as liberating a new power that would enable the creation of a new kind of Man. He opened the Novum Organum with the statement that 'knowledge and human power are synonymous', and later wrote of his 'determination...to lay a firmer foundation, and extend to a greater distance the boundaries of human power and dignity'.67 In a revealing and highly negative comparison between 'men's lives in the most polished countries of Europe and in any wild and barbarous region of the new Indies' -- one that echoes in advance Kissinger's distinction between post-and pre-Newtonian cultures -- Bacon set out what was at stake in the advancement of empirical science: anyone making this comparison, he remarked, 'will think it so great, that man may be said to be a god unto man'.68 We may be forgiven for blinking, but in Bacon's thought 'man' was indeed in the process of stealing a new fire from the heavens and seizing God's power over the world for itself. Not only would the new empirical science lead to 'an improvement of mankind's estate, and an increase in their power over nature', but would reverse the primordial humiliation of the Fall of Adam: For man, by the fall, lost at once his state of innocence, and his empire over creation, both of which can be partially recovered even in this life, the first by religion and faith, the second by the arts and sciences. For creation did not become entirely and utterly rebellious by the curse, but in consequence of the Divine decree, 'in the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat bread'; she is now compelled by our labours (not assuredly by our disputes or magical ceremonies) at length to afford mankind in some degree his bread...69 There is a breathtaking, world-creating hubris in this statement -- one that, in many ways, came to characterise western modernity itself, and which is easily recognisable in a generation of modern technocrats like Kissinger. The Fall of Adam was the Judeo-Christian West's primal creation myth, one that marked humankind as flawed and humbled before God, condemned to hardship and ambivalence. Bacon forecast here a return to Eden, but one of man's own making. This truly was the death of God, of putting man into God's place, and no pious appeals to the continuity or guidance of faith could disguise the awesome epistemological violence which now subordinated creation to man. Bacon indeed argued that inventions are 'new creations and imitations of divine works'. As such, there is nothing but good in science: 'the introduction of great inventions is the most distinguished of human actions...inventions are a blessing and a benefit without injuring or afflicting any'.70 And what would be mankind's 'bread', the rewards of its new 'empire over creation'? If the new method and invention brought modern medicine, social welfare, sanitation, communications, education and comfort, it also enabled the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust and two world wars; napalm, the B52, the hydrogen bomb, the Kalashnikov rifle and military strategy. Indeed some of the 20th Century's most far-reaching inventions -- radar, television, rocketry, computing, communications, jet aircraft, the Internet -- would be the product of drives for national security and militarisation. Even the inventions Bacon thought so marvellous and transformative -- printing, gunpowder and the compass -- brought in their wake upheaval and tragedy: printing, dogma and bureaucracy; gunpowder, the rifle and the artillery battery; navigation, slavery and the genocide of indigenous peoples. In short, the legacy of the new empirical science would be ambivalence as much as certainty; degradation as much as enlightenment; the destruction of nature as much as its utilisation.