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Not exactly specific to apocalyptic rhetoric, but zizek wrote a book called "violence" where criticizes focus on "subjective violence" as a strategy to prevent us from criticizing structural forces which produce much more insidious forms of systemic violence - good link to war reps/util 



Focus on easily identifiable flashpoints of conflict misses the boat – only focusing on the background can solve the root cause – they cannot be viewed from the same stand point – the call to act will be strong but responding creates a stop-gap which prevents engaging in criticisms of capital 

Zizek ‘8 [slavoj Violence p 1-4]

If there is a unifying thesis that runs through the bric-a-brac of reflections on violence that follow, it is that a similar paradox holds true for violence. At the forefront of our minds, the obvious signals of violence are acts of crime and terror, civil unrest, international conflict. But we should learn to step back, to disentangle ourselves from the fascinating lure of this directly visible “subjective†violence, violence performed by a clearly identifiable agent. We need to perceive the contours of the background which generates such outbursts. A step back enables us to identify a violence that sustains our very efforts to fight violence and to promote tolerance.  This is the starting point, perhaps even the axiom, of the present book: subjective violence is just the most visible portion of a triumvirate that also includes two objective kinds of violence. First, there is a “symbolic†violence embodied in language and its forms, what Heidegger would call “our house of being.†As we shall see later, this violence is not only at work in the obvious—and extensively studied—cases of incitement and of the relations of social domination reproduced in our habitual speech forms: there is a more fundamental form of violence still that pertains to language as such, to its imposition of a certain universe of meaning. Second, there is what I call “systemic†violence, or the often catastrophic consequences of the smooth functioning of our economic and political systems.  The catch is that subjective and objective violence cannot be perceived from the same standpoint: subjective violence is experienced as such against the background of a non-violent zero level. It is seen as a perturbation of the “normal,†peaceful state of things. However, objective violence is precisely the violence inherent to this “normal†state of things. Objective violence is invisible since it sustains the very zero-level standard against which we perceive something as subjectively violent. Systemic violence is thus something like the notorious “dark matter†of physics, the counterpart to an all-too- visible subjective violence. It may be invisible, but it has to be taken into account if one is to make sense of what otherwise seem to be “irrational†explosions of subjective violence.  When the media bombard us with those “humanitarian crises†which seem constantly to pop up all over the world, one should always bear in mind that a particular crisis only explodes into media visibility as the result of a complex struggle. Properly humanitarian considerations as a rule play a less important role here than cultural, ideologico-political, and economic considerations. The cover story of Time magazine on 5 June 2006, for example, was “The Deadliest War in the World.†This offered detailed documentation on how around 4 million people died in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the result of political violence over the last decade. None of the usual humanitarian uproar followed, just a couple of readers’ letters—as if some kind of filtering mechanism blocked this news from achieving its full impact in our symbolic space. To put it cynically, Time picked the wrong victim in the struggle for hegemony in suffering. It should have stuck to the list of usual suspects: Muslim women and their plight, or the families of 9/11 victims and how they have coped with their losses. The Congo today has effectively re-emerged as a Conradean “heart of darkness.†No one dares to confront it head on. The death of a West Bank Palestinian child, not to mention an Israeli or an American, is mediatically worth thousands of times more than the death of a nameless Congolese.  Do we need further proof that the humanitarian sense of urgency is mediated, indeed overdetermined, by clear political considerations? And what are these considerations? To answer this, we need to step back and take a look from a different position. When the U.S. media reproached the public in foreign countries for not displaying enough sympathy for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, one was tempted to answer them in the words Robespierre addressed to those who complained about the innocent victims of revolutionary terror: “Stop shaking the tyrant’s bloody robe in my face, or I will believe that you wish to put Rome in chains.â€1  Instead of confronting violence directly, the present book casts six sideways glances. There are reasons for looking at the problem of violence awry. My underlying premise is that there is something inherently mystifying in a direct confrontation with it: the overpowering horror of violent acts and empathy with the victims inexorably function as a lure which prevents us from thinking. A dispassionate conceptual development of the typology of violence must by definition ignore its traumatic impact. Yet there is a sense in which a cold analysis of violence somehow reproduces and participates in its horror. A distinction needs to be made, as well, between (factual) truth and truthfulness: what renders a report of a raped woman (or any other narrative of a trauma) truthful is its very factual unreliability, its confusion, its inconsistency. If the victim were able to report on her painful and humiliating experience in a clear manner, with all the data arranged in a consistent order, this very quality would make us suspicious of its truth. The problem here is part of the solution: the very factual deficiencies of the traumatised subject’s report on her experience bear witness to the truthfulness of her report, since they signal that the reported content “contaminated†the manner of reporting it. The same holds, of course, for the so-called unreliability of the verbal reports of Holocaust survivors: the witness able to offer a clear narrative of his camp experience would disqualify himself by virtue of that clarity.2 The only appropriate approach to my subject thus seems to be one which permits variations on violence kept at a distance out of respect towards its victims.


Capital is the root cause of all of their impacts – you should denounce their simply relationship with violence because the system of capital produces the material reality which makes violence inevitable

Zizek ‘8 Slavoj Violence p 11-12

There is an old joke about a husband who returns home earlier than usual from work and finds his wife in bed with another man. The surprised wife exclaims: “Why have you come back early?†The husband furiously snaps back: “What are you doing in bed with another man?†The wife calmly replies: “I asked you a question first—don’t try to squeeze out of it by changing the topic!†The same goes for violence: the task is precisely to change the topic, to move from the desperate humanitarian SOS call to stop violence to the analysis of that other SOS, the complex interaction of the three modes of violence: subjective, objective, and symbolic. The lesson is thus that one should resist the fascination of subjective violence, of violence enacted by social agents, evil individuals, disciplined repressive apparatuses, fanatical crowds: subjective violence is just the most visible of the three.  The notion of objective violence needs to be thoroughly historicised: it took on a new shape with capitalism. Marx described the mad, self-enhancing circulation of capital, whose solipsistic path of parthenogenesis reaches its apogee in today’s meta-reflexive speculations on futures. It is far too simplistic to claim that the spectre of this self-engendering monster that pursues its path disregarding any human or environmental concern is an ideological abstraction and that behind this abstraction there are real people and natural objects on whose productive capacities and resources capital’s circulation is based and on which it feeds like a gigantic parasite. The problem is that this “abstraction†is not only in our financial speculators’ misperception of social reality, but that it is “real†in the precise sense of determining the structure of the material social processes: the fate of whole strata of the population and sometimes of whole countries can be decided by the “solipsistic†speculative dance of capital, which pursues its goal of profitability in blessed indifference to how its movement will affect social reality. So Marx’s point is not primarily to reduce this second dimension to the first one, that is, to demonstrate how the theological mad dance of commodities arises out of the antagonisms of “real life.†Rather his point is that one cannot properly grasp the first (the social reality of material production and social interaction) without the second: it is the self-propelling metaphysical dance of capital that runs the show, that provides the key to real-life developments and catastrophes. Therein resides the fundamental systemic violence of capitalism, much more uncanny than any direct pre capitalist socio-ideological violence: this violence is no longer attributable to concrete individuals and their “evil†intentions, but is purely “objective,†systemic, anonymous. Here we encounter the Lacanian difference between reality and the Real: “reality†is the social reality of the actual people involved in interaction and in the productive processes, while the Real is the inexorable “abstract,†spectral logic of capital that determines what goes on in social reality. One can experience this gap in a palpable way when one visits a country where life is obviously in shambles. We see a lot of ecological decay and human misery. However, the economist’s report that one reads afterwards informs us that the country’s economic situation is “financially soundâ€â€”reality doesn’t matter, what matters is the situation of capital... 

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Three big options:


Santos.  Santos + biopower + neoliberalism on Google I think.  (also just "biopower" plus "neoliberalism")  


Isn't the Risk Society about this.  I don't exactly what the impact is....I think its modernity, but it might be capital.

Emory ran this argument semi-recently on the neg.


Check out a Hardt and Negri file.  I would stay away from this as an option....unless you get their whole take on the multitude & how that operates in terms of your argument.  You don't want an unpredictable H & N indict showing up and not knowing how to answer it.....if you can avoid it.

The book Empire is all online.  Also, there are old files on this.


Any idea on how you answer reps of nukes good?  Those cards are pretty good.  (ie the anti-nuclear movement ones)

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