Philosophy begins in wonder.
-- Socrates* --
Here are the top four contenders for the baddest terrorist.
First, though, did you ever wonder what made such men the way they are?
The CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service, Pentagon and NSA don´t wonder about it at all -- not for a single second."**
No wonder the U.S. Government does not understand terrorists.
Incompetence? Stupidity? Or is the lack of curiosity due to something else?
1. Ayman al-Zawahiri. Today´s leader of al-Qaeda was bin Laden´s right-hand man. We wrote of Ayman in our May 2, 2011 post ("Finally"):
"He is a middle class rebel par excellence: Daddy was a university professor of pharmacology; al-Zawahiri is a medical doctor. He is believed to have been the actual chief of terrorist operations for many years, whereas bin Laden's role was more symbolic. For that reason, it remains to be seen if bin Laden's death will mean any significant change in al-Qaeda's strategy and tactics."
I spent 40 years researching and writing The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion, the only book that analyzes the syndrome Ayman manifests. It drives and dominates him where it matters: his unconscious. Even when he sleeps he does not escape it; even in his dreams he lies to himself.
As we shall see, Ayman is not the only person under the spell of an ideology.
Unless you understand middle class rebellion you will never understand terrorism. Never. Humanitarian concerns aside, the dollars and cents implications of ignorance are staggering. To start with:
The State Department is offering $25 million for information leading to Ayman´s capture. If the U.S. Government had the remotest understanding of middle class rebellion and its relationship to terrorism, no reward would be offered for a very simple reason: Ayman al-Zawahiri would have put himself out of business years ago.**
The same holds for
2. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the head of Isis in Iraq, an organization so extreme even Ayman al-Zawahiri and al-Qaeda disowned it. The divorce is one of countless examples of the innate tendency just alluded to: middle class rebels rift, rupture.
The State Department is offering $10 million for Abu Bakr. The U.S. held him prisoner in Camp Bucca (Iraq) for four years. So, why was he let go?
The U.S. Government had no idea whom it had sitting in a cell because it has no idea what makes terrorists tick, much less what to do with them. As we will show, it is no exaggeration to say that American law enforcement officers cannot recognize a terrorist two feet in front of them.
At this very moment Abu Bakr is grabbing headlines almost as fast as he is grabbing territory. Isis is on the march in northern Iraq; it has taken control of Mosul and other cities. Isis is headed toward Baghdad, commiting unspeakable atrocities along the way.
What will the U.S. do to prevent an Isis takeover? Invade? Bomb? Whatever the response, one thing is certain: if you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
Little is known of Abu Bakr´s background. What little has surfaced indicates he is another middle class rebel turned terrorist. A translation of a Jihadi biography:
"Sheikh Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is a former teacher and educator and a well-known preacher, and a graduate from the Islamic University in Baghdad and he studied in it the academic levels (Bachelor, Masters and PhD) he was known as a preacher and erudite in Islamic culture, and Sharia knowledge and Fiqh, and an expert in the sciences of history and noble lineage...
His brothers and uncles include preachers and professors of Arabic language, rhetoric and logic."
To see Abu Baker´s Isis up close and personal -- don´t say I didn´t warn you -- watch their video. What you will see with your own eyes: the CIA isn´t the only one to let Hollywood do its thinking for it. (See our post of May 15, 2014 "R.I.P. Michael C. Ruppert. The Brontosaurus Factor.")
3. Abubaker Shekau, head of Nigeria´s Boko Haram ("Western Education is Forbidden"). He made international headlines in April by kidnapping 276 girls whom, in his infamous laughing video, Abubaker claimed he was going to sell. The State Department is offering $7 million for information leading to his arrest.
Abubaker Shekau proudly broadcasts to the world his murderous ambitions. He seeks to
"soak the ground of Nigeria with Christian blood and so-called Muslims contradicting Islam. After we have killed, killed, killed, and get fatigued and wonder what to do with smelling of their corpses — smelling of Obama, Bush and [Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan] — then we will open prisons and imprison the rest. Infidels have no value."****
The biography of this extremist is extremely sketchy. Until more information is forthcoming I will venture a guess:
Abubaker comes from the lumpen proletariat: beggars, pimps, contrabandistas, con men, pickpockets, drug dealers, muggers. His kidnapping of schoolgirls rings certain bells; don`t be surprised if his mother was a prostitute.
Killed, killed, killed and get fatigued... Where on earth -- or elsewhere -- did Abubaker Shekau get his ideas?
Abubaker was an acolyte and lieutenant of Mohammad Yusuf, the founder and leader of Boko Haram. Yusuf was killed in 2009 after his arrest by Nigerian government security agents. According to a BBC report, Yusuf was no lumpen:
"Analysts say he was extremely wealthy and highly educated.
´He is graduate educated and very proficient in English,´ says Nigerian academic Hussain Zakaria.
´He lives lavishly - people say he drives a Mercedes Benz. And he is very well-educated in a Western context.´ ...
Boko Haram's members are largely drawn from disaffected youth - university students and jobless graduates among them. "
The above report aside, little is known of Mohammad Yusuf´s background. If he was from the socio-economic middle class, ipso facto he fit the middle class rebel syndrome. But what if he was from the oligarchy?
If Mohammad was rich he was far from being the first wealthy individual to play a major role in middle class rebellion. Mikhail Bakunin, stepfather of anarchism, came from the Russian landed gentry. Francis Picabia, Dadaist painter, was the offspring of the Spanish aristocracy and French bourgeoisie. More recently, the Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (see our post of February 11, 2011 "Terrorists: Why?") is from a prominent Nigerian banking family. For an understanding of such men, see The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion. What it boils down to: although not members of the socio-economic middle class, they were solidly middle class in the larger sense of the term, i.e., people in an intermediary/transitional/marginal status or condition. More on this subject shortly; it is the doorway to understanding middle class rebels turned terrorists.
University students, jobless graduates. We reiterate what the BBC suggests: there is a significant middle class rebel contingent in Boko Haram. The toxic mixture of middle class rebels with lumpens fuels the extreme violence that is Boko Haram´s trademark.
That mixture was concocted long before Boko Haram was born. We observed in Source:
"The combination of middle class rebels with lumpen proletariat elements can have consequences as spectacular as they are lethal. According to investigators, the attacks in Madrid in March 2004, were the work of a ´collaboration of educated, middle-class and ideologically radical Muslims with drug dealers and petty criminals.´ Elaine Sciolino, ´More Madrid suspects at large,´ International Herald Tribune, April 12, 2004.
Two other notable cases: (i) the Symbionese Liberation Army whose members in 1974 kidnapped the heiress Patti Hearst; (ii) the Baader-Meinhof gang in Germany. Andreas Baader was a high school dropout and petty criminal. Ulrike Meinhof was the daughter of a prominent art historian.
The relationships between middle class rebels and petty criminals that generate hyper-violence have never been adequately portrayed, much less analyzed; Dostoevsky’s The Possessed comes closest. Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood explores how, acting together, two petty criminals were capable of committing a heinous crime that neither could have committed alone."***** (Source, p. 272)
In the absence of more information we will speculate that the same rebel/lumpen mixture forms the explosive core of Abu Bakr and Isis. For a case study -- British citizen and Isis soldier Nasser Muthana was a promising medical student and son of an electronics engineer -- click here.
* * *
4. Our fourth and final contender for baddest terrorist merits a section unto himself.
Make that itself. This contender is not a person but a phenomenon: Terrorism American-Style.
All things considered, it can be said that the individual domestic American terrorist is as meaningless and anonymous to the phenomenon he incarnates as his dead victims are to him.
99.9% of Americans cannot identify Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Abubaker Shekau. To the contrary, after last month´s rampage in Santa Barbara, Elliot Rodger, 22, is a household name. He made our top terrorists list because he is the latest representative of the on-going phenomenon which, when considered in terms of the trauma it causes Americans, is far greater than that made by the other three terrorists combined.
Elliot Rodger was a classic United States middle class rebel turned terrorist. Source looked at other well-documented cases: Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, Santana High School´s Charles Andrew Williams, Kirkwood Council killer Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton and Northern Illinois University shooter Steven Kazmierczak.
We have stayed current with Terrorism American-Style via posts to this blog: January 9, 2013 "Sandy Hook Killer Adam Lanza: The Other Tragedy"; July 26, 2012 on Batman killer "James Holmes: Clueless"; and January 2011, three separate posts on Tucson killer Jared Lee Loughner.
Regarding Elliot Rodger´s social-economic background, the evidence is incontestable he was middle class. Equally incontestable is the connection between the socio-economic middle class and Terrorism American-Style.
James Garbarino, psychology professor and author of the forthcoming book I Listen to Killers: Lessons Learned from 20 Years as a Psychological Expert Witness in Murder Cases, offered insights into that connection.
Dr. Garbarino observed that
"culture plays a role in how one acts out violently...You might do something different if you were in the same mental state as [Rodger] if you lived in Pakistan or if you lived in Nairobi or if you lived in Sweden. There's always that element of cultural script or scenario that's important and why one crazy 22-year-old does this and why another does something else.´...
´These are very highly, highly vulnerable individual kids. When they live in middle-class, upper middle class educated families, families have the resources and the capacity to sort of buffer them from the world. And provide them a high level of support,´ Garbarino said.
´If a kid like this was born in a poor black or Hispanic gang-ridden neighborhood, he wouldn’t get this far before his vulnerability translated into violence,´ he said. ´You would see it in first grade or second grade because the mismatch between their vulnerability and the level of stress and oppression and lack of resources would bring it out.´"
Equally if not more importantly, Elliot Rodger was also "middle class" in its broader, anthropological sense, i.e., he was in an intermediate/transitional/marginal condition or status. The video Elliot made in his car is a textbook example of a marginalized person:
"I have been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires...It´s an injustice, a crime...I will punish you all for it...I will be god exacting my retribution...It´s only fair...Humanity is disgusting. If I had it in my power I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls, rivers of blood."
The domestic trauma created by Terrorism American-Style has no more forceful spokesman than Richard Martinez, father of Chris Martinez who while entering a grocery store was randomly shot to death by Elliot Rodger.
"When will this insanity stop?," the outraged and enraged Martinez asked: "Too many have died. We should say to ourselves 'Not one more!´" Later, in a CNN interview, he chastised the "rudderless bunch of idiots in congress...My kid died because nobody responded to what happened in Sandy Hook."
I would like to address you directly, Richard Martinez. Someone else, too...
You said you wanted your son´s death "to mean something. That´s all we got." So too does Elliot´s father, film director Peter Rodger. He stated via his lawyer: "'We are experiencing the most inconceivable pain, and our hearts go out to everybody involved.'...My clients´ mission in life will be to try and prevent any such tragedies from ever happening again."
Mean something; prevent such tragedies. Mr. Martinez and Mr. Rodger, yours is a noble cause. To pursue it, I hope you will do the unprecedented: work together. I certainly do not wish to discourage you; however, your quest faces a colossal obstacle which makes me highly pessimistic about its prospects for success...
Mr. Martinez, you mentioned the Sandy Hook massacre in which on December 14, 2012, another upper middle class youth, Adam Lanza, killed 27 people. We will return to that tragedy -- it should be unforgettable but is not -- in a moment.
Five months prior to Sandy Hook there was a mass shooting in Colorado. On July 20, during a Batman movie in the city of Aurora, 26-year-old James Holmes killed 12 people. This blog´s post on Holmes (July 26, 2012) concluded:
"I would like now to address Americans only -- in particular the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and other anti-terrorist professionals:
You do not understand what happened in Aurora for the same reason I do not understand Chinese. As a group (not as individuals) you do not have the formal education, cultural background or life experience required to make sense of James Holmes in particular, middle class rebel terrorists in general. Furthermore, in your case, there is an additional barrier:
You are overpowered by an ideology; it is blinding you to realities two feet in front of you...
The Source of Terrorism identifies and removes the ideological blinders so that you can see -- finally -- what James Holmes and other middle class rebel terrorists think and feel. What happened in Aurora deeply disturbs you because it forces you to choose between keeping the blinders on or taking them off. To remove them would allow you to know, but it would also discard an incredible number of time-honored and comfortable thoughts, feelings, sensations, intuitions.
In the end, then, you do not want to know because the answer is something you do not want to hear.
As for Aurora, when all is said and done, you will decide exactly what you decided after the massacres at the University of Texas, Columbine and Northern Illinois University, after Ft. Hood and Santana High School. You will go on preferring not to know, for the price of knowledge is too high; it would upset you. You will go on paying yourself in the counterfeit money of your dreams -- in this case, Batman.
Because you will continue being clueless, you are condemned to make the same mistakes over and over again. Aurora could have, but will not, live up to its name."
Fast-forward five months. Our post on Sandy Hook focused on the by-now ritualistic behavior****** that follows domestic terrorist massacres. That behavior replaces the search for knowledge. Simply put, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Rodger, rituals are how in America the preference not to know is concretely manifested.
U.S. post-mortem rituals attached to domestic terrorist attacks include (1) the claim to want to know why the terrorist did it, however, a conviction -- actually, more of a feeling-tone -- that the reason is ultimately "unknowable," unfathomable; (2) the terrorist was a nice guy, however, (3) he was crazy; (4) calls for gun control that politicians answer with puerile pea and shell-games.
What is at the end of the trail of terrorism rituals, Mr. Martinez, is the drift and paralysis (Source referred to active inactivity) you noted and chastised. You decried the idiots in congress; we concluded in our post on Sandy Hook that politicians were not alone in America´s appalling and complete irresponsibility:
"Dear Reader, after much soul-searching as prescribed as it is shallow; after a phony bill to ´control´ assault weapons; after concluding Adam Lanza was, well, just crazy, you will go on your way. You will file ´Hook, Sandy´ away, immediately behind ´Holmes, James.´ You will shut the drawer, eat a hamburger."
Not one more! What you are demanding, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Rodger, requires nothing short of a revolution -- a change of, not in -- public and governmental perceptions of the middle class, of rebellion, of terrorism. The principal barrier to what you seek is the overpowering ideology referred to above -- the one that blinds Americans "to realities two feet in front of you." Anti-wonder is its hallmark; incompetence, its consequence.
Sidebar: the painful but necessary revolution you seek will not take place by electing some guy with a mouth or lending your names to yet another association that converts the outraged feelings of distressed citizens into cold hard cash.
If you wonder what that overpowering ideology is and how it operates: it took over 400 pages in Source to spell it out. Sorry, I refuse to condense it to a made for TV 10 second sound bite. And no, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Rodger, I am not trying to sell you my book; I do not want you to read it.
The reason is simple. I do not know if the truth will make you free; I do know it will make you angry. For the time being, you gentlemen have all the anger you can handle -- and then some.
What I will do is furnish a tantalizing bit of uncontestable evidence.
Once you see though the prevailing ideology and understand middle class rebellion you will find that there is nothing new or unexplainable in what U.S. domestic terrorists are thinking, feeling, saying, doing.
The starting place for comprehending what happened in Santa Barbara in 2014, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Rodger, is to wonder about what was written in Paris in 1930. André Breton, headmaster of French surrealists:
"The simplest surrealist act consists of going down into the street, pistol clenched, and firing randomly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd. Anyone who, at least once in his life, has not wanted to so put an end to the petty system of debasement and cretinisation in power has a well-marked place in that crowd, with his belly at barrel level."******* (My translation. Cited in Source, p. 180)
There you have it -- Elliot´s exact sentiments expressed more than 80 years before he recorded his Day of Reckoning video.
André Breton´s remark takes us to a crucial juncture.
It appears that mental health professionals caring for Elliot made the classic mistake of confining his problems to the personal unconsciousness. The reality is those problems had another dimension which Dr. Garbarino mentioned: they existed within a wider, social context. I would add that context has been more rigorously analyzed in anthropology than psychology. To wit:
Elliot´s video made obvious he was caught in an intermediary/transitional/marginal condition. As if to underscore that point, he recorded the video in a car, a transitional vehicle. Because mental health workers were focused elsewhere, no effort was made to help him finish the transition until it was too late...
Distressed by Eliot´s violent ravings on the Internet, his parents felt they had nowhere to turn but to the police who visited Elliot shortly before the massacre. Talk about being blinded by an ideology -- the police literally couldn´t recognize a terrorist two feet away; they left quietly. The bill for their ignorance came due promptly and in its usual form: random murders.
Sensation-mongering mainstream media such as CNN are featuring Elliot´s sexual hang-up -- he was a 22-year-old virgin -- with the insinuation that it caused his rampage. In reality, his sexual dilemma was more emblematic than substantive, a symptom and not a disease -- a consequence rather than a cause:
In all societies the loss of virginity is a major rite of passage -- a transition -- from childhood to adulthood. If Elliot´s virginity were truly the cause of his psychological problems, all it would have taken to solve them was a trip to Tijuana. Of course nobody, not even CNN, really believes the solution was so simple or lite ´n lively.
Let´s move on and go to the heart of the matter:
Any intermediate/transitional/marginal condition is, first and foremost, ambiguous; it is ambiguity incarnate. Ambiguity necessarily gives rise to ambivalent feelings, thoughts, even intuitions.
Unconscious ambivalence is the hidden key to the middle class rebel; if inserted incorrectly or turned the wrong way, it can transform the rebel into a terrorist. We noted in our post on Batman killer James Holmes:
"As Source discusses, the middle class rebel is torn asunder by unconscious, ambivalent feelings. He seeks relief once and for all by attaching himself to unambiguous absolutes. Marc Sageman, a CIA psychiatrist who studied a large sample of terrorists, observed that the reason why so many terrorists are attracted to Islam is exactly the same reason they are drawn to the hard sciences in college:
´The elegance and simplicity of [Islam´s] interpretations attract many who seek a single solution devoid of ambiguity [sic]. Very often these persons have already chosen such unambiguous technical fields as engineering, architecture, computer science, or medicine. Students of the humanities and social sciences were few and far between in my sample.´
Holmes´ quest for an absolute in massacre is detectable in the fact that his violence was completely wanton, random. An eye witness: `He had no specific target,´ said Trey Freeman. `He was just letting loose, letting bullets fly.´ Here, perfect strangers make the perfect targets. If Holmes let Neighbor Mary or Classmate Bill off the hook, it would mean his violence had a limit. And if it had a limit, it would not be absolute...
Having found [an absolute] in the absolute violence of an absolute massacre, Holmes is now at rest. The sudden convulsion of the globe, the Great Assault, came and went. The pressure is off. No more tension of opposites, of ambivalent feelings -- at least for now. It is a new world for Holmes. No wonder in court he appears dazed, confused."
It all comes down to this, Elliot proclaimed in his video. The end of ambiguity. His designated Day of Reckoning came and went.
For the middle class rebel, the act is what matters, the "Deed … -- the Act as an absolute truth, beyond all criticism and outside any judgment. Just Do it! Go for it! Practice with a capital 'P.'" (Source, p. 178) In the logic of ambivalent emotions tearing middle class rebels asunder -- emotions which (they believe) only an absolute can allay -- the absolutely random violence Elliot perpetrated made perfect sense.
With gun in hand he finished the transition others did not see or understand, much less help him complete nonviolently. We don´t like the way Elliot did it -- but it worked.
* * *
The zero curiosity about terrorists exhibited by the United States Government needs to be explained. Anti-wonder will lead us to the essence of the problem, to where the solution lies.
There are two plausible explanations of Washington´s total lack of wonder:
(1) As noted, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Rodger, we anticipate your quest to stop domestic terrorism -- to make Chris´ death mean something -- will be blocked. The reason is that, ultimately, an ideology, viz., a logic of feelings, ideas and perceptions, is causing the incompetency, stupidity -- idiocy, your word, Mr. Martinez -- characterizing Washington as well as the American public. No wonder, indeed.
(2) If explanation 2 of Washington´s anti-wonder about terrorists is correct, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Rodger, your goal of Not One More! is doomed for the foreseeable future.
This post alluded to the second explanation with an adjective: sinister.
Our post on Michael C. Ruppert (cited above) noted that in his investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Ruppert considered but rejected the possibility of "collective, contagious, and continuing stupidity" on the part of the United States Government. Ineptness -- ideoIogically-induced -- is our explanation 1.
Al-Qaeda and other terrorists, Ruppert concluded, are convenient dupes wound up by Washington, trotted out and slaughtered whenever the occasion calls for it. That reality would explain Washington´s lack of curiosity: people don´t wonder about a stooge because they know. For Ruppert, 9/11 supplied the Pearl Harbor II necessary to terrify and mobilize the reticent American public into supporting a hugely-enhanced military and simultaneously into tolerating the de-activation of potentially-troublesome democratic elements in America´s political system and culture.
Why the enhanced militarism?
The American way of life depends on petroleum. To control world oil reserves and infrastructure (refineries, shipping lanes, pipelines), the United States must have an international military presence. With every passing day, that need becomes more desperate because oil production peaked on a world per capita basis and is now in decline.
Such is the Michael Ruppert thesis. It needs a brief extrapolation...
History shows time and again that no nation cannot colonize another without colonizing itself. Aiding and abetting terrorists abroad cannot occur without fostering terrorism at home. Washington´s conclusion: given what is at stake -- control of world oil reserves and infrastructure -- six dead, thirteen wounded in Santa Barbara is a small price to pay. Chicken feed.
If the Ruppert position is right, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Rodger, congressmen et al are not idiots. Rather, they are supporting -- be it ever so unwittingly and indirectly -- the very phenomenon that killed your sons. Diabolical, indeed.
We come to the proverbial bottom line. Incompetence or collusion?
We do not exclude collusion. However, for the present we are working with the hypothesis of incompetence created and maintained by an ideology.
A major purpose of this blog and of The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion is to provide a judicious and responsible alternative to the supercilious******** and dysfunctional explanations of terrorism which the U.S. Government, universities and media offer. I felt a professional and personal obligation to assure that alternative explanation exists, that it is existentially out there. If facts eventually prove it wrong, collusion is what will likely remain. The process of elimination may well end there.
There is no doubt that the U.S. Government/terrorist collusion thesis has momentum. CBS/New York Times polls show the percentage of people who think the Bush Administration was "mostly lying" about what it knew prior to the 9/11 attacks rose from only 8% in 2002 to 28% in 2006.
In other words, CIA, FBI, NSA, Secret Service, Pentagon, Homeland Security, White House: you are losing your audience.
Socrates, curiously, had no such problem. Over 2,000 years since his death, his observation about wonder remains true, vibrant.
Maybe, it is because "curiosity" and "cure" have the same root.
Update: June 19, 2014. Yesterday´s request by Iraq for U.S. air power and the continuing march of Isis toward Baghdad provide an up-to-the-moment test for the incompetence versus collusion theses.
Disturbing reports are circulating that the United States trained Isis soldiers (baddest terrorist contender number two) at a secret base in Jordan. America´s purported purpose at the time was to overthrow the Syrian Government of Bashar al-Assad.
Let us assume for a moment the reports are correct.
(i) The incompetence thesis. Although Isis members trained by the U.S. were supposedly veted for links with terrorist groups, as has been shown time and again Washington has no effective methodology for identifying terrorists. For that matter, we showed conclusively that United States Government definitions of terrorism are so full of holes a typical teenager can play them like a flute.
(ii) The collusion thesis. Fully aware that Isis commanders and fighters were terrorists, Washington clandestinely aided and abetted them in order to have a terrorist-pretext to justify and secure a continuing American military presence in the Middle East. Thus, the mayhem and massacres committed by Isis this very moment are being secretly welcomed in Washington as Pearl Harbor III.
To readers who believe Washington would never support political leaders and movements that commit atrocities, I have a two-word response: Pol Pot.
*Plato, Theaetetus, section 155d.
**Scott Weber, former Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and today a Patton Boggs partner, made a vintage display of anti-wonder.
Shortly after bin Laden´s death, Weber concluded of terrorists in a Fox News program, "We are not dealing with angels; we´re dealing with the exact opposite...ugly psychotic people that don´t respond to ordinary stimuli..." No need to think any further, folks -- ballgame over; case closed; over and out.
Devils... Encouragement of anti-democratic measures, e.g., waterboarding prisoners, is explicit in Weber´s fire and brimstone exhortation. For an in-depth analysis of his presentation, see our post of April 23, 2012, "Lobbyists (III): Patton Boggs and Torture."
***For the innate tendency of middle class rebels to split, split, and split again, see The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion, pp. 226-234.
****Readers of Source immediately recognized as old hat Abubaker´s craving for mass extermination:
(i) The life and work of French poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) remain the living standard of middle class rebellion.
Give over everything to war, vengeance, terror...
Europe, Asia, America -- disappear!
Our avenging march has occupied everywhere,
all cities, countrysides! We will be overcome!
Volcanoes will blow up; the ocean will be hit....
[Tout à la guerre, à la vengeance, à la /terreur….
Europe, Asie, Amérique, disparaissez.
Notre marche vengeresse a tout occupé,
Cités et campagnes ! -- Nous serons /écrasés !
Les volcans sauteront ! et l’océan /frappé...]
« Qu’est-ce pour nous, mon cœur ». In Arthur Rimbaud, Œuvres complètes, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Gallimard, Paris, 1994, p. 71. (My translation. Cited in Source, p. 182)
Boys and girls of the CIA, I know you never heard of Arthur Rimbaud. You either, FBI agents, Secret Service, Homeland Security, Pentagon, White House. Your ignorance explains why, when it comes to understanding terrorists like Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, not only have you not made it to first base, you are not even in the state that has the city containing the ball park where the game is being played.
(ii) Karl Marx, whose plate overflowed with middle class rebels, wrote of the exile Karl Heinsen: “He began a trade in pamphlets which…preached immediate revolution and death to the rulers from whom all evils of the world stem...He called for two million heads so that he could be a dictator and wade up to the ankles in blood...” (Karl Marx, Heroes of The Exile, in Rodney Livingstone, Editor and Translator, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Cologne Communist Trial, International Publishers, New York, 1971, pp. 185-6.
Cited in Source, p. 178)
(iii) Source noted that the anarchist Bakunin
"hailed the ´brigand´ as a ´hero, a protector, a people’s avenger, the irreconcilable enemy of the State,…a fighter to the death against the whole civilisation of the civil servants, the nobles, the priests and the crown….´ The brigand in Russia ´is the true and only revolutionary -- the revolutionary without phrases, without rhetoric culled from books,…irreconcilable and irresistible in action….´ Accordingly, Bakunin counseled, ´Poison, dagger, noose, etc. The revolution sanctifies all without distinction. The field lies open!´” (Source, Ibid.)
(iv) French poet Comte de Lautréamont (1846-1870):
“Stupid and idiotic race! You will regret having behaved so poorly...My poetry consists entirely of attacking, by every means, man, that wild beast, and the Creator, who would do well to never create any similar vermin...
If the world were covered in fleas, like grains of sand on the seashore, the human race would be wiped out, prey to terrible pains. What a spectacle! Me, with angel wings, immobile in the air, in order to watch it."
[« Race stupide et idiote ! ...Ma poésie ne consistera qu’à attaquer, par tous les moyens, l’homme, cette bête fauve, et le Créateur, qui n’aurait pas dû engendrer une pareille vermine... Si la terre était couverte de poux, comme de grains de sable le rivage de la mer, la race humaine serait anéantie, en proie à des douleurs terribles. Quel spectacle ! Moi, avec des ailes d’ange, immobile dans les airs, pour le contempler. »] Comte de Lautréamont, Les Chants de Maldoror, in Comte de Lautréamont, Œuvres complètes : Les Chants de Maldoror, lettres, poésies I et II, Gallimard, Paris, 1991, pp. 68, 89. (My translation. Cited in Source, p. 182)
*****Remembered mainly for their kidnapping of Patty Hearst, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army included convicts (one an escapee), a former Marine, the son of a wealthy anesthesiologist, and college-educated daughters of a pharmacist, minister, college art department head, high school English teacher and engineer. Six SLA members died in a fiery shoot-out with police. Others "gravitated back to where we began, which was middle class."
In Dostoyevsky´s novel The Possessed the ex-surf and wandering criminal Fedka interacts with a political conspiratorial group composed of middle and upper class members with colliding ideologies and values. If you find 768 pages daunting, Albert Camus´ three-act play "Les possédés" is an adaptation that goes to and stays with the heart of the matter. Camus discussed his play in an interview on YouTube (English subtitles).
******The term ritual is subject to various interpretations, e.g., Victor Turner defined it as "prescribed formal behavior for occasions not given over to technological routine, having reference to beliefs in mystical beings and powers."
Scholars seem to agree that rituals are prescribed repetitive acts involving symbols and/or religious references. Rituals serve manifold positive purposes -- from strengthening group bonds to relieving stress and anxiety. The primary function of rituals, however, is not to seek truth.
*******« L’acte surréaliste le plus simple consiste, revolvers aux poings, à descendre dans la rue et à tirer au hasard, tant qu’on peut, dans la foule. Qui n’a pas eu, au moins une fois, envie d’en finir de la sorte avec le petit système d’avilissement et de crétinisation en vigueur a sa place toute marquée dans cette foule, ventre à hauteur de canon. ». André Breton, Second manifeste du surréalisme, in André Breton, Œuvres complètes, Volume I, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Gallimard, Paris, 1988, pp. 782-3.
********No doubt claims will be forthcoming that you, Mr. Rodger, are to blame for Terrorism American-Style in general, for your son´s killing spree in particular. Your accusers´ reasoning: Hollywood movies -- the industry that employs you -- are gorged with and glorify violence. Reap what you sow.
Movies, along with music and TV, no doubt encourage and constellate middle class rebellion´s nihilistic tendencies; however, Hollywood did not create them. Rimbaud, Bakunin, Lautréamont, Breton -- all existed long before Hollywood cranked out the formulaic Harder, Faster, Louder, Dumber movies prevailing today. For the steely economic reasons behind tinsel town´s present offerings, see our post "Stupid Movies Explained: One Cylinder Hollywood" of June 17, 2013. That article continues to receive numerous visitors from around the world. Gabrovo, Bulgaria is the latest: welcome.