TERRORISM, JUSTICE AND ABSOLUTE WAR. HOW MANY HORSEMEN OF APOCALYPSE?
The article contains the critique of the orthodox conceptions oт terrorism, which tend to make a category mistake by defining terrorism as a free standing institute alongside war or an objective method of massive violence as the opposite to the principles of a just war in the just war theory. The mistake derives, in particular, from the popular definition of terrorism as a form of an unjust war, as an attack of the illegitimate combatants on the innocent people with the purpose to exert pressure on the government. In reality “terrorism” may be no less ‘just’ than war itself and the self-assured persistence on one’s own justice proves to be one of the main sources and goals, of what is commonly called “terrorism”. I outline three subject matters, which stand behind our normative qualifications of the object as terrorism. These are the seeming irrationality of motives, presupposed depersonalization of the opponent and the unrealizable nature of the absolute goals of the violent agenda of those whom we qualify as terrorists. Terrorism does exist not as an objective institute alongside war, genocide or revolutionary violence, and not as their objective method, but as an external and always subjective normative evaluation, which renders senselessly the very idea of the war on terror. At the same time the nature of the changing character of the contemporary war invariably drives it towards what we are prone to access as terrorism. “Terrorism” arises not despite and not beyond a ‘just’ war but as a result of the subjective teleology of the principles of the contemporary just war.