Understanding the Fight against Terrorism in the light of Deleuze’s Theory of Capitalism

Zulfiqar Ali


The issue of the fight against terrorism dominates the world politics. Most of the research and dialogue when focusing upon the empirical side of the issue overlooks the importance of theory. This paper endeavors to understand the fight against terrorism in the light of the Deleuzian theory of capitalism. Deleuze gives an excellent account of capitalism as an immanent axiomatic system. It explains how a capitalist state, such as the US, understands the threat, i.e. terrorism, and deals with it. The capitalist state’s obsession with money makes it vulnerable to what Deleuze calls molecular forces, such as Al Qaeda, Taliban and schizoid. These forces become catastrophic to the capitalist state when they start operating on supple segmentarity. Islam, being an element of war machine in the Deleuzian analysis, pushes the extremist groups to wage a total war, the absolute destruction of both economy and society as a whole. The factors dragging the state or the groups towards total war are closer to capitalism than to these extremist groups. So if these groups, if at any stage, unfortunately become successful in disrupting the axiomatic functioning of capitalism they will undoubtedly push the US to total war of which the signs are getting visible. It may lead to absolute destruction.

Key Words: Capitalism, Terrorism, Axioms, Codes, Rigid and Supple Segmentarity, Molar and Molecular Entity

Full Paper