In the comments section of this post a question has been raised about Derrida's concept of autoimmunity disorder that he used remarks to explore the relationship between democracy and terror after 9/11.
There is not much on this. I did find some remarks on this in a review of Giovanna Borradori (ed.), Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida (Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 2003) by Martti Koskenniemi in the German Law Journal (Vol. 4 No. 10 - 1 October 2003).
The background figure here is Immanuel Kant, who suggested that history may be moving toward the elimination of war, and that we should do everything in our power to aid this progress towards perpetual peace. This meant developing a world federation of republics, tied by international law, but not by a world government, which he saw as a tyrannical threat. Apparently both Habermas and Derrida agree in spirit with Kant; they both see something positive in globalization, despite its many negative aspects, but each sees different challenges as well.
What then was Derrida saying? In Martti Koskenniemi's review we find this paragraph:
"Derrida, too, refuses to focus on "9/11". Far from being an "event" in the philosophical sense that juxtaposes it with (mere) "being"....that signifier has now become part of a political discourse appropriated for varying purposes. Approaching it through deconstruction, Derrida's discussion of the 9/11 "event" is, like that of Habermas, ideology criticism.
Martti Koskenniemi goes on to say:
"Terrorism now becomes an "autoimmunity disorder": produced by the United States during the Cold War and after, a kind of "suicide of those who welcomed, armed and trained [the terrorists]" ... a product of that which it rejects, mirror-image of its target....The prognosis is sombre: product of the violence that seeks to suppress it, terrorism created a trauma that cannot be relieved by mourning because the heart of the trauma is not the past event but the fear for the future event whose catastrophic nature can only be guessed. Imagination is here fed by a media without which there would have been no "world-historical event" in the first place. The circle is almost unbreakable: terrorism and that which it is against are locked in a reciprocal game of destruction where causes may no longer be distinguished from consequences."
Fried makes several points. He says:
"Derrida's most striking claim is that 9-11 is the result of an autoimmune disorder. For Derrida, there are three aspects to the West's self-destruction. First, in fighting the Cold War, we trained the Islamic militants who later turned against us. Second, we now face a situation even worse than the Cold War; for then, at least, a balance of terror between two superpowers held in check the dangers of modern arms. Now apocalyptic weapons may be dispersed to suicidal enemies. And finally, in our repression of such enemies, we merely replicate and multiply them. 9-11 was a double suicide—of both attackers and their victims. We are suffering from a metaphysical AIDS."
"The second of Derrida's points is the most disturbing: the specter of terror and trauma lies not in a date in the past, 9-11, but in an incomprehensible future intimated by that event. Every technological advance in weapons systems, in medicine, in informatics--indeed in any field---may turn against us in some unpredictably devastating manner. The optimistic dream of modernity was that reason and technology would save us from all threats, both natural and human."
"9-11 evokes the nightmare of a future in which the promise of salvation has itself become the threat of annihilation. If airplanes can be turned against us, why not biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, or even more insidiously, the forces of information systems and the emerging nanotechnology, in which machines the size of molecules might be harnessed to destroy living organisms?"