Samstag, 31. Januar 2009

risk aversion is a serious problem

A very short extract from the concluding chapter of Coker, Christopher (2009). War in an age of risk. Cambridge, Polity Press.

(...) risk aversion was becoming a serious problem. In an attempt to eliminate risk, government bodies, local goverment authorities and public services were adopting measures that were out of all proportion to the potential damage the risks themselves posed (...).

(...) philosopher Alain Badiou, who is wary of an age which is so fearful of 'events'. He has coined his revolutionary manifesto

The Idea against Reality.
Freedom against Nature.
The Event against the State of Affairs.

It is the 'state of affairs' to which the risk age is so wedded, a state that cannot be changed because it is change itself which is considered to put us at unacceptable risk. Few are likely to be inspired by the manifesto; we live, after all, in a post-revolutionary age. No man, Hegel told us, is a hero to his valet and when heroes are out of fashion it is the valet's point of view that tends to prevail.
Will we continue to live life not as a 'project' but as a predicament, to be experienced as a perpetual present not a movement towards a historical goal?
We await the future in the knowledge that much will change, and that when it does war will be governed by a new set of rules and a very different 'cultural grammar'.


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