Weizman – military metaphysics

Much of “Lethal Theory” seemed to me like a lot of needlessly philosophical ways of describing blowing holes in walls, but it did make me think about how philosophy and theory could help us wrap our heads around technologies that give us increasingly godlike powers. Having the power to rearrange urban spaces at will or detect and eliminate targets through solid surfaces turns lots of conventional military strategy on its head. How will the battlefield change when weapons can strike virtually anywhere from virtually anywhere and landscape-altering technology can, as Weizman puts it, render city spaces “as navigable as an ocean?”

Another bit that maybe seemed a little exaggerated but still interesting was the part that linked the integrity of physical structures to the upholding of law and order. Weizman claims that the ability to override the wall through penetrative or destructive means breaks down the legal and social order and collapses the literal and figurative boundaries between private and public and legal and illegal – “The very order of the city relies on the fantasy of a wall as stable, solid… The un-walling of the wall invariably becomes the undoing of the law” (75).


How useful is it to think of warfare in terms of such an abstract philosophy of concepts like boundaries and space? How will future advancements in military technology affect the answer to that question?

-Travis P.

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