Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 8, No. 2


Militarism and Terrorism: the deadly cycle

Carl Boggs


Abstract: The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, destined to strongly influence world politics well into the twenty-first century, can be understood as part of a larger dialectic linking U.S. militarism and what has become global terrorism.  This destructive cycle is likely to deepen as elements of American superpower hegemony -- economic, political, cultural, and military -- become more consolidated, and as the U.S. continues to pursue its unprecedented and ill-defined war against terrorism.  The goal of U.S. ruling elites is to make the world increasingly accessible to capital investment, free trade, and corporate domination while simultaneously closing off viable alternatives to the neoliberal New World Order.  Here terrorism in its different manifestations amounts to both a striking back at US Empire -- what might be seen as an especially virulent form of blowback -- and the unintended relegitimation of this Empire as it helps to bolster the war economy and security state.  One of the debilitating consequences of the militarism-terrorism cycle is a further closing off of political discourse in the U.S. in the midst of a resurgent national chauvinism, ideological conformism, and militarized culture.