Violence as a Tool of Order and Change: The War on Terrorism and the Antiglobalization Movement


  • Leo Panitch





September 11, it is said, has changed everything. However true or not this may be—and I tend to think that it is not very true at all—one thing it certainly should have changed is the loose manner in which the adjective "violent" has been appended to recent antiglobalization protests. Especially for a conference such as this one—conceived in the wake of the Quebec City events of last year and designed to shed light on the nature of the challenge posed to capitalist democracies by the new antiglobalization movement—the horrific and deadly terrorist attack on New York and Washington, D.C., and the scale of state violence unleashed—literally from on high—by the war on terrorism, certainly put this loose usage in stark perspective. This should give us pause about the way the word "violent" has been invoked in the media, and the way in which massive police and even military forces of containment have been mobilized every time there has been a large-scale protest at gatherings of corporate and political elites to further the globalization agenda.

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