“Great Shot!” – Domesticating Terror

Posted: April 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

“The horrible features of imperialistic warfare are attributable to the discrepancy between the tremendous means of production and their inadequate utilization in the process of production – in other words, to unemployment and the lack of markets. Imperialistic war is a rebellion of technology which collects, in the form of “human material,” the claims to which society has denied its natural material. Instead of draining rivers, society directs a human stream into a bed of trenches; instead of dropping seeds from airplanes, it drops incendiary bombs over cities; and through gas warfare the aura is abolished in a new way.”

–Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in The Age of Its Mechanical Reproduction (1936)

Virtual Futures presents Anna Feigenbaum in conversation on her new book, Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of WWI to the Streets of Today.


Anna Feigenbaum shares the story of how a chemical weapon went from the battlefield to the streets. Originally designed to force people out from behind barricades and trenches, tear gas causes burning of the eyes and skin, tearing, and gagging. Chemical weapons are now banned from war zones. But today, tear gas has become the most commonly used form of “less-lethal” police force.

“In addition to looking at entanglement of colonialism and the history of capitalism we also have to look at the rise of Public Relations. And it’s not a coincidence in the 1920s during the Edward Bernays rise of Public Relations. The first marketing of tear gas is happening this kind of Bernays-style PR stunts.”

–Ana Feigenbaum

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/11/26/mexico-tear-gas-investigation-trump-border-protection-miguel-marquez-dnt-ebof-vpx.cnn

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