James Der Derian 1998, "The Value of Security: Hobbes, Marx, Nietzsche, and Baudrillard,"
What if we leave the desire for mastery to the insecure and instead imagine a new dialogue of security, not in the pursuit of a utopian
end but in recognition of the world as it is, other than us
? What might such a dialogue sound like? Any attempt at an answer requires
a genealogy: to understand the discursive power of the concept, to remember its forgotten meanings, to assess its economy of use in
the present, to reinterpret--and possibly construct through the reinterpretation--a late modern security comfortable with a plurality of
centers, multiple meanings, and fluid identities.
The steps I take here in this direction are tentative and preliminary. I first undertake a
brief history of the concept itself. Second, I present the "originary" form of security that has so dominated our conception of
international relations, the Hobbesian episteme of realism. Third, I consider the impact of two major challenges to the Hobbesian
episteme, that of Marx and Nietzsche. And finally, I suggest that Baudrillard provides the best, if most nullifying, analysis of security
in late modernity. In short, I retell the story of realism as an historic encounter of fear and danger with power and order that produced
four realist forms of security: epistemic, social, interpretive, and hyperreal. To preempt a predictable criticism, I wish to make it clear
that I am not in search of an "alternative security." An easy defense is to invoke Heidegger, who declared that "questioning is the piety
Foucault, however, gives the more powerful reason for a genealogy of security:
I am not looking for an alternative; you
can't find the solution of a problem in the solution of another problem raised at another moment by other people. You see, what I want
to do is not the history of solutions, and that's the reason why I don't accept the word alternative
. My point is not that everything is
bad, but that everything is dangerous, then we always have something to do.
The hope is that in the interpretation of the most
pressing dangers of late modernity we might be able to construct a form of security based on the appreciation and articulation rather
than the normalization or extirpation of difference.
True vs different, to accept that there is a truth is not to affirm life.