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    Brave New World

    When is a Suicide Not a Suicide?

    Brave New World
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    John Harrison
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    When an individual has been subjected to a covert chemical attack leading to paranoiac, suicidal syndromes - this program explores such a seemingly unlikely, but quite possible theme.

    Laurie Calhoun, a philosopher and author, whose latest book, a work of 'metafiction' called: 'You Can Leave' describes such an attack on an individual.

    Laurie's book describes the attack by the 'new mob', which is, Laurie says: "a shadowy organization which is modelled on the old mob but has the latest and greatest techniques of persecution, and has developed subtle techniques of eliminating its enemies, which are used; not because they are better at destroying people, but because they leave no trace of the aggressor behind…. The victim looks to be a victim of only fate. This could be suicide, this could be through a person being institutionalized. What's new about the 'new mob' is that they are using the latest and greatest techniques of surveillance, which we know about from mass surveillance NSA revelations, as well as the latest and greatest in pharmacology and chemical warfare."

    In her book, Laurie tries to examine the role of the victim from the perspective of the victim. "Because the only side of the story we ever get is that of victors, because the victors write history." Laurie indicates that there is a very real possibility that such techniques could be used against people, given the availability of such tools, especially as it takes "only one or two bad apples working in an organization which has such tools at its disposal to create a situation where they are sued". The key question is what a threat is and whether a threat is securitized or not. "Some people say that a journalist that writes subversive critiques of a government is a threat. We know that recently the US government has said that they are going to counter cyber-attacks with nuclear retaliation which is kind of unbelievable, but that just shows you that the people in power have the power to determine what constitutes a threat and what sort of means can and should be taken against those threats."

    Such a stratagem can be seen to be rather paranoid. Laurie, however, comments: "If you look at the history of the CIA and the KGB, both of them developed these kinds of chemical agents with the express intention of eliminating enemy spies and people who are considered to be traitors." Laurie suggests that governments are now capable of this kind of warfare, and this is something that we could see happening, although we will probably not know that what is happening has anything to do with this.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Tags:
    chemical attack, fear, victim, mob, suicide, threat
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