Militarization is effective generally through its ability to mobilize not just thinking but also feelings. But any investigation of militarization, whether focused on thinking or feeling, will remain abstract if it does not also consider the forms in which violence occurs in the societies in question. In liberal-democratic societies, violence is often present in sublimated forms, not involving direct physical damage. That such situations of invisible violence often become the source of further violence requires an analysis of the militaristic manipulation of feelings of anxiety, rage, longing, and so on. In the second part of this essay, I attempt one such analysis of a fictional text, Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, in which militarization plays a role both as a form of representation and as a quality of writing itself. Insofar as the novel demonstrates how militarization can flourish in the absence of overt physical violence, it remains relevant to an age marked by ever-expanding drone warfare.
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Samuel Weber; Militarizing Feeling: What Does It Mean to Fight a “War on Terror”?. boundary 2 1 November 2017; 44 (4): 33–55. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-4206301
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