Globalization, Terrorism, and Morality: A Critique of Jean Baudrillard
This paper challenges the claim, made by French sociologist and
philosopher, Jean Baudrillard in The Spirit of Terrorism, that contemporary
“Islamic” terrorism as exemplified by the 9/11 attacks in the United States is
a phenomenon that defies morality. By considering alternative explanations
and applying a thought experiment, we find that Baudrillard’s claim should
be rejected because it is based on invalid premises and inconsistencies.
The problematic premises include Baudrillard’s statements that terror is an
effective strategy and the only means available to marginalized group seeking
to oppose Western globalization. We argue that contemporary terrorism cannot
lie beyond the limits of morality, and we suggest that the main cause of the
upsurge in terrorist incidents today lies in the logic of Western globalization, or
the consumption system, that has given rise to simulation.