When Michel Foucault claimed that “knowledge is power”, he aimed at expressing that words not only have meanings, they also hold values. They reflect in themselves the relations of power that operate in this world.
Democracy, Terrorism, Freedom or Civilisation are not neutral terms. Depending on the context, these words have sometimes been abused and corrupted, to justify domination, legitimate illegal interventions, and prevent real freedom and equity to establish themselves.
The West often attempted to ‘export democracy’, which most of the times meant acting in its own interests. In comparison, when Mohammad Mosaddegh came to power in Iran in 1951 through democratic means and mentioned regaining control of the British-owned oil industry, he got dismissed as a traitor by the West, a fool.
Why do we talk about a terrorist attack when Islamist radicals hit Western countries, whereas a few civilians murdered by a drone attack in Central Asia get easily dismissed as collateral damage?
Are we as free as we claim to be in western capitalist societies? Or are we self-governed through common sense and normative structures that ensure that we do not deviate from what society expects from us, ending up as docile productivist elements of the economic order?
Part of colonisation was sustained on the ground of civilising indigenes, even if this ‘Mission Civilisatrice’ implied barbaric practices…
One of my goal through writing is to reveal some of these double standards in mainstream discourse, to deconstruct and unsettle the logics embedded in these notions that we take for granted.