THE MEDIA AND FICTION: POSTMODERNIST DISCOURSE OF CONTEMPORARY TERRORISM IN THE CONTEXT OF APOCALYPTIC RHETORIC
Elena ERMAKOVA, Mayra JILKISHEVA, Guzel FAYZULLINA, Irina KARABULATOVA, Khabiba SHAGBANOVA
Elena Ermakova, D.Sc. (Philol.), Professor, Tyumen State University (Tobolsk, Russian Federation)
Mayra Jilkisheva, D.Sc. (Pedagogy), Professor, Taraz State Educational Institute (Taraz, Republic of Kazakhstan)
Guzel Fayzullina, Ph.D. (Philol.), Assistant Professor, Tyumen State University (Tobolsk, Russian Federation)
Irina Karabulatova, D.Sc. (Philol.), Professor, Institute of Socio-Political Research, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Khabiba Shagbanova, D.Sc. (Philol.), Professor, Tyumen State Oil and Gas University (Tobolsk, Russian Federation)
The semantic outlines of the “terror” and “terrorism” concepts in the social and political space suggest that, first, their moral assessment is highly specified and, second, their meaningful and logical content is extremely vague. This means that these concepts can be abused in all sorts of ideological constructs, the pragmatic logic of which is non-transparent and the moral validity of which is doubtful. The first decade of the twenty-first century demonstrated that the “counterterrorist” discourse that reached its highest point as global solidarity in the assessments of 9/11 disavowed terror and terrorism. No longer justified by the revolutionary paradigm, they have become what they really are—unjustified crime in both the legal and moral contexts. The decline in leftist radical activity deprived the “terrorism” concept of its previous reference to the revolutionary discourse. This term and the terrorist rhetoric in general have experienced all sorts of semantic shifts. Today, ultra-right fighters, or religious extremists operating outside the political field, have begun referring to themselves as “revolutionary armies,” or units of “people’s militia.” Fragments of the revolutionary leftist ideologies, which have lost their historical context, have shifted to the new contexts. This means that the revolutionary-terrorist paradigm is disintegrating and is being replaced by an internally eclectic “post-modernist” terrorist discourse. Today the concept of terrorism has become internally illogical and semantically heterogeneous; this patchwork of mutually exclusive meanings is, in fact, the concept’s constructive feature. The phenomenon of terror/terrorism is complemented by its concept in the context of its understanding and interpretation, as well as a sociopolitical discussion of its meanings and a set of emotional responses and discursive opinions. This intellectual layer is highly contradictory and so far remains practically unknown. The “counterterrorist” discourse tends to ignore the anthropological side of violence: so far antiterrorist operations are clothed in the ideological garbs of “acts of retribution” that stir up associations with “witch trials,” etc. in the collective memory. So far, the “atonement” rhetoric, which describes the terrorist as a sacrifice and the terrorist act as a sacrificial offering, is accepted, while a combination of incompatibles is still prominent in the discourse. This speaks of desemantization and devaluation of the terrorist discourse and the corresponding concept that is moving away from revolutionary terrorism as its historical source.
Keywords: discourse, postmodernism, terror, terrorism, Apocalypse, rhetoric.