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Varvin, S. (2002). Den Tunna Hinnan Mellan Omsorg Och Grymhet. (The thin line between care and malice.): Ludvig Igra. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur, 2001. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 25(2):156-159.

(2002). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 25(2):156-159

Den Tunna Hinnan Mellan Omsorg Och Grymhet. (The thin line between care and malice.): Ludvig Igra. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur, 2001

Review by:
Sverre Varvin

This book was written before September 11th, and had this reviewer have complied with the timeschedule, it should also have been reviewed prior to this event that some claim has profoundly changed our perspective on life and death. Reading the book again after this date, which has come to stand as a demarcation for a new area of terror in modern history, it is obvious that the book has gained new actuality, but it is equally clear for me that almost nothing is new, if not for the fact that 11th September was the day when the super-power USA was hit on its own territory for the first time since Pearl Harbour, and that this country thus experienced one of its biggest atrocities since the aboriginals were exterminated some hundred years ago. In the case of September 11th, it was of importance that the media played its role quite in accordance with the logic of terrorism. As the German terror-researcher Waldmann (2002) points out, terrorism is first and foremost a communicative strategy. It is a special kind of violence which aims not so much to kill as many as possible or to gain territory or power, but, in a self-defeating and as a rule self-destructive way, to appear in the media and thus in peoples' consciousnesses as a signal of terror and fear — “Destroying the world in order to save it”, as Lifton named his book on the fanatic Aum Shinriyko sect in Japan which killed innocent passengers in the Tokyo underground with the nerve gas Sarin (Lifton, 2000).

We now have a new situation in the world where the “war against terror” is on the agenda and where USA as the only super-power demands compliance, stating that those who are not with us, are against us — a statement against which Ludvig Igra would surely have several objections.

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