Posted by: Johan Normark | December 12, 2010

The suicidal suicide War Machine

Yesterday Stockholm and Sweden had its first case of suicidal bombing. In an email, believed to be sent by the bomber himself, he sees the Swedish participation in the war in Afghanistan and the artist Lars Vilks caricatures of Mohammed as justifications for his act(s). He seems to have been fed by a desire to erase the Other.

People will blame each others for who is responsible beyond the singular bomber and what the ultimate cause is (if it turns out to be a organized terrorist attack).  People of far right affiliation will blame Islam, immigration, etc. People on the far left will see the current government, Sverigedemokraterna, Vilks, etc. as scapegoats. Muslim fundamentalists will justify the act. Most people will actualize their standpoints somewhere in-between these extreme positions. I doubt that Swedish politicians will fall into George W Bush’s black and white rhetoric but I suspect that primarily dichotomized perspectives will appear in the following “hen or the egg” discussion (this is a Swedish saying which means that it is impossible to know if it is the hen who lay the egg first or if the hen emerge from the egg first).

The roots for fundamentalism of any kind are found in microfascism (to use a Deleuzeoguattarian terminology). This is a construction of monomanias in “little neighborhood policemen” that emerges from a desire for codes that “fix subjects to rigid boundaries of thought and action and fix bodies to pre-established patterns of flow” (Bonta & Protevi 2004:86). This “molecular” microfascism spreads like a virus before it becomes captured by the “centralizing resonance [the War Machine] that create the molar apparatus of the State [and macrofascism]” (ibid). Sweden has not yet become a fascist State though. However, this virus grows when it is criticized since the desire for a strong leader, purity and the Other’s extinction exists everywhere, on all levels and in all neighborhoods. It fills all voids. Other War Machines also appear and spread like a virus but they may not be captured by the State, particularly if it emerges from other expressions and in opposition to other War Machines and the State. The possible suicidal bomber is such a War Machine that fights the State but also other War Machines (such as islamophobia, xenophobia, etc). The main effect this will have in Sweden is that microfascist tendencies against Islam will increase in intensity (even if the act was not a terrorist attack). This only produces new desire to erase the Other.

In the long run all microfascist tendencies are suicidal in themselves once they reach the macrofascist assemblage (as is amply testified in history). The irony is that a suicidal bomber commits two suicides, his or her own instant suicide and the long-term suicide of the War Machine that he or she once actualized.

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