We are in the presence of a planetary insecurity without precedents.
Every morning could be the eve of the end of times.
Terrorism puts into practice a rational political tactic of conquest and conservation of power.
We publish the preface to the Italian edition of "Dostoevskij in Manhattan", the latest book by André Glucksman about the attack to the Twin Towers
A year is already passed. The ruins of Ground zero have been smoothed but still they grip to us, dark and alarming, the moral and psychological consequences of the greatest terroristic attack of all times.
"Our own future is in our hands", declared the President of the United States, Harry Truman, announcing Hiroshima.
The public opinion and intellectuals chorused: "we return to year One Thousands, every day could be the eve of the End of the times" (J. P. Sartre).
All mortals, all in the same boat, everyone responsible of the collective survival. All this will very soon be forgotten.
In the course of nearly fifty years the fate of the world has been in the hands of the governors of the little nuclear powers.
The future of the species has been played behind closed doors, in the tight circle of the great ones and the supergreat ones, while five billions of earthlings minded their own buissnesses.
The rumble of Manhattan, September 11 of 2001, changes it all. We discover that everything it takes is a knife, a minimum of madness and modest means (the price of six rooms in Rome or Paris, according to the Fbi) in order to repeat the operation.
The destiny of the planet is to the capacity of all the hands and numerous purses: it takes an airplane hijacked and crashed on a nuclear power plant and that's it, mouthful after mouthful, humankind devours itself.
Manhattan shows an Hiroshima-round-two with the power of radically democratized annihilation.
The absolute arm is not anymore safely locked into the silos, that are seemingly controlled by powerful pseudo-controllable ones.
Also our neighbour could by now being planning an unforeseeable killing operation that would leave us with our jaws hanging, like those students in Hamburg after acknowledging one of their companions deliberately crashed against the Twin Towers.
This planetary insecurity is without precedents. Emphasizing this is a short phrase of George Bush, in the famous speech on the State of the Union in which he vituperated the "axis of the evil". Nearly unnoticed by his critics and supporters alike, those little words admit what no president of the United States has never dared to say neither to conceive: "Time is not on our side", the time does not work for us.
Until that day the Americans walked in the history "with God on our side", as Bob Dylan hironically sung. Finished. It's over as Mr. Number One recognizes, perfectly impermeable to the sound of the critics.
Children in the schools will keep singing "God Bless America" and the dollar will continue to make reference the Supreme Being, but nothing to make: the divine, technological Providence or financial institution does not guarantee more, against all and all, the way of the America and the planet towards the happiness: every morning we will be to the eve of the end of the times.
Thus a great shaking of the secular certainties provokes panic reactions and desperate tries to relieve the anguish and to escape from the truth.
First delirium of negation: the one of the anti-Americans, who explain scholarly that "the Empire" is punished for its sins of pride, that it can only blame itself, that the common citizens do not have anything to fear from terrorism, it has nothing to do with them.
A second delirium, this time anti-muslim, condemns a billion and three hundred persons in block for not having benefitted of the "Christian Revelation", like if Muslim integralism did not attack Muslims before everybody else, and Afghanistan and Algeria are there to testify it. It is forgotten that Al Qaeda mobilises sons from good families recruited in the more westernized layers of Arabia and Egypt. Bin Laden deceives us, Oriana Fallaci and Samuel Huntington are wrong when they evoke a conflict of civilization or a religious war.
The integralist terrorism is not an archaism inherited from a remote past. The death angels rise to planetary level from the dark, murderous and nauseous face of our ipermodernity.
The "Muslim Brother" ready to sacrifice himself and the others is the twin of the bolscevik steel-man ", a riedition of the fascist hero crying "hail to death!".
Third delirium, that one of the statesmen who cultivate the naivety to believe that terrorism is exclusive appanage of the irregular ones without State. It means to forget what it has happened hardly yesterday, our near past, in the bloody Twentieth century with its devastating ideologies, its terrorist states.
It means not to accept the truth, the burnt lands, the exterminations, just look at the palmarès of the Russian Army in Cecenia. It means not to face that the terrorism, not limiting itself to maniac pulsions, puts into practice a rational political tactic of conquest and conservation of the power. The intention of Bin Laden is to command in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan; with or without Allah, that opens the road to many post-modern Princes that think themselves more clever than he is.
We had to wait until July 2002 for Amnesty International, usually very keen in matter of rights violations, to brand the Palestinian human bombs like criminals against humanity. The same delay (that it is worth as much as not having opportunely dealt with the Algerian murders of the Gia) shows to what point the ideological blinders risk to leave us without neither voice nor reaction in front of the galopping and borderless nihilist barbarity.
Contemporary history puts us in the precence of a swarm of religious, ethnic, national extremist terrorist, not connected to each other but similar and complementary. We ask ourselves the question of Socrates: which common horizon, which common shape (idea, eidos) unifies this variety of murderers? My answer is: nihilism. Present in all great destructive ideologies (nazism, communism, radical islamism) but from none of them reassumed in its entirety.
The axiom of "all is allowed" governs at the same time the Fsb (former Kgb) Colonel who declares "get what you want" and the Emir of the Gia who rapes and kills the girls after using them.
The nihilist easily commits evil in the name of a God that allows everything in its name or in the absence of a God, which thing is like having a do-whatever-you-want-without-consequences card - if he assumes that evil does not exist. Let me put the Italian version of this book and the conceptual revolution that it proposes under the aegis of Machiavelli, without concessions to the beautiful spirits that close their eyes in front of the cruelty and whisper that it is to bad to talk bad of evil ("he is bad to say bad of the evil ", Speeches over the first decade by Titus Livio, L. III).