They would not listen, they´re not listening still,
Perhaps they never will.
-- Don McLean, "Vincent" --
The boom in the number of visitors to this site following the ISIS attacks on Paris exactly one month ago demonstrates two things:
(i) a large and mounting dissatisfaction with the conventional explanation of terrorism offered by Washington and the mainstream media.
(ii) The search for original, practical insights is becoming urgent.
Understandably, France leads the way. It is followed closely by the United States and Germany.
I spent over three decades researching and writing The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion with the goal of forming new perspectives and practical solutions. I quickly discovered that a revolution, i.e., a change of, not in, the way the West sees and fights terrorism, was required -- that what Washington and Europe are saying and doing is not only wrong, it creates and maintains the very thing it purports to combat.
To a man, the experts advised me not to put a skull on the cover of Source; it would turn away prospective readers, diminish sales. They were right. However, my goal was to express in a single image the essence of terrorism, not to sell books. 130 cadavers in Paris confirm our central premise. More are on the way.
As for the 75% solution:
Decades of experience taught me it is a waste of time to present remedies which you, dear reader, are unable to imagine -- much less accept. That inability is due to the fact that your basic assumptions about terrorism are wrong. An ideology has placed blinders on you. Middle class in nature, it is the same ideology that produces and maintains terrorism.
We analyzed that ideology in The Source of Terrorism, and will present some major findings here. Our reason for doing so: The ideology that moves from the unconscious to consciousness is the ideology that dies.
In this post we first present the conventional analysis and solutions to terrorism offered by the White House, CIA, Pentagon, Washington Post et al. Our purpose is to turn down Washington´s volume -- always unchecked, sometimes hysterical -- so that other things can be heard.
We will then present a new, fully operational strategy that will eliminate 75% of the source of terrorism. Maybe more.
Washington´s Analysis and Solutions
CNN´s national security expert and best-selling author on terrorism, Peter Bergen, gave the American establishment analysis here.
We say establishment because Bergen is a lot more than a mild-mannered reporter. If you Google search "Peter Bergen and The Rand Corporation," numerous articles will appear. Rand Corporation = CIA.
(i) Bergen correctly notes that most terrorists do not come from poverty-stricken backgrounds; rather, they are socioeconomically middle class.
So far, so good. Indeed, the middle class nature of terrorism is the core assumption of The Source of Terrorism.
Case study: Abdellhamid Abaaoud ("A.A."), 27, ISIS leader of the Paris attacks.
A.A.´s father came to Belgium from Morocco 40 years ago. He worked up and out of the mines to become a shopkeeper. The family lives in the Molenbeek municipality of Brussels which has the reputation of being a hotbed for jihadists. We will return to Molenbeek; it is rightfully receiving a lot of attention, but not for the right reason.
Despite living on the wrong side of the tracks, A.A.´s family was relatively prosperous. His father declared, "We have climbed the ladder." Not only did he have his own clothing store, he sent A.A. to a fancy private school; he even bought a second store for A.A. "We had a nice life, yes, even a fantastic life here. Abdelhamid was not a difficult child and had become a good trader.”
The Paris attack totally baffles A.A.´s father. “I asked myself every day why he was radicalized to the point.” He has no answer.
A.A.´s father is evincing the standard, post-terror attack syndrome found around the world. What were once personal and private feelings of dismay and disbelief have been transformed into a full-fledged rite of society.*
We touched on it in 2009:
"Every time a middle class person becomes a terrorist, the same question arises: Why? Each time, only mystery and silence remain. Until now. The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion breaks the code of an otherwise inexplicable, deadly phenomenon."
I will now dump a bucket of ice water on A.A.´s father´s fantastic life:
A.A.´s nice-nice middle class existence was the problem -- not the solution.
(i) I know that most people -- certainly A.A.´s father -- will reject out of hand our cold observation. Again, their basic assumptions do not allow them to imagine it, much less listen to it, much less accept it. The most I can do, therefore, is to ask them to suspend judgement for the next five minutes.
(ii) There is nothing new whatsoever in our observation.
Over 50 years ago, Albert Camus wrote of the middle class rebel, surrealist art movement: "But these frenetics wanted ´any sort of revolution,´ no matter what as long as it rescued them from the world of shopkeepers and compromise in which they were forced to live. In that they could not have the best, they still preferred the worst. In that respect they were nihilists."**
Contrary to everything the White House, CIA, Congress, Harvard professors, CNN, teachers and preachers, your friends and family are telling you, it is the life of shopkeepers and accountants, of compromise and reconciliation, which sows the seeds of terrorism. That life also holds the secret to preventing them from germinating. Unless you see the former, you will never find the latter.
Speaking of secrets, did you see the secret 75% solution? I already gave it in one word. If you missed it:
Hint #1. The secret solution is no secret at all. It is as common as it is overlooked. You experienced one numerous times.
To conclude this discussion of Bergen´s first point: the quantitative and qualitative evidence that most terrorists come from the socioeconomic middle class is overwhelming. Nobody disputes it.
Let´s move on.
(ii) After Bergen notes that most terrorists are middle class, he makes a crucial, one-step digression: Why?
The first word out of his mouth: ideology.
Once more, Bergen and I entirely agree. An ideology is indispensable to the formation of terrorists.
Here, however, we come to a crossroads. Bergen/the establishment and I viscerally disagree and go separate ways.
Regular readers of this blog have seen Bergen´s position before. We noted on March 3, 2015 ("Jihadi John: The Seal Is Broken"):
"Peter Bergen correctly takes note of the major component -- the socioeconomic middle class origin of most terrorists. However, he fails to get the picture, i.e., make the cause/effect relationship. Instead, Bergen abruptly switches channels and finds the major cause of terrorism to be the Muslim religion; he thus falls back on The Official Explanation (see below). For a fuller presentation of Bergen´s argument, click here."
There it is -- the ideology Bergen says causes/fuels terrorism: Islam. His frankness is appreciated; he openly enunciates what is on its way to becoming a taboo, i.e., something seen in thought alone.
Source analyzed the Islam assumption -- or rather, presumption -- in depth; we dubbed it The Official Explanation. It is ascribed to and propagated by all Western nations, some more covertly than others.
The most covert practitioner is the White House.
Barack Obama knows that as president he cannot openly espouse The Official Explanation without igniting a firestorm (see below). So, he sneaks it in through the backdoor.
(i) Obama stated in his December 6, 2015 national address that a corrupted version of the Muslim religion, not the Muslim religion per se, causes terrorism -- that ISIS "account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world ... "
The fact of the matter is any fraction, no matter how tiny, is always part of the whole from which it was derived. The Muslim religion -- that is the whole. In denying The Official Explanation, Obama reaffirmed it.
There is a way out of The Obama Dilemma. We will present it in a moment.
(ii) In his address Obama gave the establishment´s ultimate solution. Bergen also presented it.
Obama: "[I]t is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization ... " There it is again -- The Official Explanation. It lives on in the denials and denunciations of it; it won´t go away. To wit: if those "misguided ideas" come from outside the Muslim world then it makes no sense to ask Muslims to root them out. Therefore, ... Obama leaves it to you to string the beads.
The Official Explanation is rapidly becoming an open secret. More and more, it exists by innuendo and insinuation. By being latent, covert, its power grows exponentially; it insulates itself by becoming taboo.
The firestorm sparked by Donald Trump´s comment that Muslims should be barred entry to the United States shows that the covert status of The Official Explanation is highly advanced. All the ranting and raving against Trump by the Washington establishment and self-righteous chest-thumping by the mainstream media are standard indicators that psychological repression has occurred. The essential dynamic: what is repressed always resurfaces in increasingly puerile and violent forms.***
Trump want on to say that the prohibition against Muslims should be temporary, "until our representatives can figure out what is going on."
Let me help you out with that one, General ...
The "misguided ideas" Obama mentioned are not religious in origin. If we are correct -- see below -- that intermediate, transitional and/or marginal conditions ("ITMs") are the source of terrorism, then The Official Explanation is a form of pathology, i.e., Ganser syndrome, also known as balderdash syndrome.
To illustrate the syndrome in action:
Question: "What causes terrorism?" Answer: "the Muslim religion" is the equivalent of: Question: "What time is it?" Answer: "Thursday."
A dissociative disorder, Ganser syndrome is caused by trauma, also dementia. Bergen, Obama, Trump: whenever the subject of terrorism is on the table, each evinces Ganser syndrome in his own way.
The Official Explanation is not only pathological, it also violates simple common sense. Because most terrorists are middle class, the place to start looking for the explanation of terrorism is in the middle class, not elsewhere, i.e., Islam, poverty, tribal disputes, the trauma of modernization.
To sum up the Bergen/establishment analysis and solutions:
Bergen identified two crucial elements, class and ideology, in the creation of terrorism, but failed to connect them. If both middle class and an ideology are elements in the creation of terrorism, it is logical to assume the ideology in question is middle class.
Bergen cannot make that connection. Simply put, he cannot go hunting where the ducks are because it is off limits to him. To say pointblank, as does Source, what must be said but is not, viz., middle class ideology causes terrorism, would cost Bergen his lucrative livelihood as an establishment spokesman. Always keep in mind first and foremost when dealing with such people, they have house payments to make.
* * *
We will now show and tell how
(A) the establishment is ideologically indoctrinating you, i.e., training you, not to see the true source of terrorism and its solution.
(B) That ideology aids and abets what is claims to fight: terrorism.
Before proceeding, did you figure out the 75% solution to terrorism? If not:
Hint #2. That solution is not electing Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Hillary Clinton, Mariano Rajoy, or any other politician.
A. "Brandon": The Poem/Indoctrination Coin of The Realm.
Discussion after discussion taught me it accomplishes nothing to simply tell people (especially Americans) that many of their thoughts and feelings are created and controlled by an ideology. They will instantly and emphatically disagree. All I can say to them is: your heartfelt protest is entirely predictable, for it is programmed by the very ideology you claim does not exist.
You are living a prefabricated individualism.
Rather than words, what is needed is a sense-experience demonstration of ideological manipulation. The purpose of the following brief presentation is to make you see and feel the ideological blinders that have been placed on you.
First, please watch here the video referenced at the top of this post. "Paris Attacks Through The Eyes of A Child." The video is more than a video: it is a phenomenon. It has been visited over 15 million times.
The Paris video went viral in more ways than one. You know you are in big trouble when mainstream American media megastars like Anderson Cooper, son of oligarch Gloria Vanderbilt, hop on a plane and jump into the act.
I assume you watched "Eyes." Among your thoughts and feelings were:
I wish my dad were like that. Gentle, patient. So understanding, caring. Kind. As for the little boy, Brandon: what a darling child. Sweet, cute, pure. Innocent. Polite. Bright. A true role model. If only my kid were like Brandon.
How could anybody possibly find fault with the wonderful Paris video?
Answer: it´s easy. Freedom of choice is denied you because you are unaware of the end to which your thoughts and emotions are being stirred up, mobilized. Make that, herded.
Here is what the video is doing ...
Jules Henry, an anthropologist, observed children in an American elementary school music class. They were not only being taught to ignore their instincts and sing off-key but also, and simultaneously, were being ideologically indoctrinated, viz., instructed how to compete with classmates to gain recognition and power.
Jules Henry correctly saw the music as pretext; the ideological background noise was what really mattered. The class was creating for the children the personality to which the school -- as well as the greater society -- would administer.
Under the cover of music, the children were being taken for an ideological ride.
Exactly as with the "music class" label, the title of the Paris video, "Father Helps Young Son Understand Terrorism," has little or nothing to do with what is actually happening:
I know of a prominent French thinker who would have taken a meat-ax to the video. In 1957, Roland Barthes analyzed the adventures of Bichon who accompanied his mom and dad to Africa. Blonde, smiling, curly haired, Bichon was the opposite of everything around him: hideous masks, scarred bodies, man-eaters. "Of course, the white man´s gentleness is victorious; he conquers the cannibals and becomes their idol ... Bichon is the good little Frenchman; two years old, he already works for his country just like his dad."
"Paris Match," which published the story of Bichon, came up with the gimmick of seeing Africa through a white toddler´s eyes. Those eyes end up being the only thing they can be when shaped by an adult: those of a guignol, a puppet. Unseen editors and producers let baby guile carry the audience the rest of the way.
Barthes nailed what was actually being transmitted: the same old myth of "character." Dressage. Training.****
The physical positioning of father and son in the Paris video tell the real story. What for Barthes was figurative -- a puppet show -- today, over 50 years later, has become literal, material: a ventriloquist act. That the act is an act -- it was in whole or in part rehearsed -- is revealed when little boy Brandon flashes his wide/wider/widest smile at the end. He knows he played his role well. The reporter is in on it.
Brandon is simply a Bichon retread. Good little Frenchmen. The violent disapproval by many readers of what I just said shows that Brandon was not the only good child trained by the Paris video and others like it.
Here are two reasons why this blog strongly opposes what 15 million people ardently support:
First, the nice-nice Paris video indirectly encourages more terrorist attacks.
The idea that flowers and candles will stop ISIS is psychologically poetic, that is to say, you wish it were true. But it isn´t true. Flowers and candles blossomed and flickered after the Charlie Hebdo attack in January. If they didn´t defeat ISIS then, why will they defeat ISIS now?
I lived for 20 years in France: Paris, Alsace, Burgundy, Avignon, Nice, La Rochelle. The fatal flaw, error -- the hamartia -- of France is that it mistakes any form of discipline for authoritarianism. The two are of course not synonymous. Real freedom is impossible without discipline.
Flowers, candles and the nice-nice videos are France´s new Maginot Line. Terrorists spot it for what it is. No binoculars needed. They shake their heads in disbelief; smile. Easy pickings.
What makes the video work:
15 million views show unequivocally that Gentle Daddy and Good Child Brandon are telling people what they want to hear. You just saw the successful formula for selling commodities. Tragically, in this case, the formula is lobotomized from truth ...
The video tosses aside listening and learning, and puts in their place syrupy sweet poetry. The resulting manufactured innocence -- strange, there´s that word again -- a la Bichon serves to keep in place middle class ideology and everything that goes with it, including terrorism. More on that point below.
And so, get ready, France -- en garde. Look for a third attack. Jamais deux sans trois.
Summing up our first objection to the nice-nice Paris video: it is dressage of -- here comes the term that oligarchs like the Vanderbilts use behind closed doors -- The Great Unwashed. We are about to see for what purpose.
In case you still haven´t detected the 75% solution to the source of terrorism:
Hint #3. You already know what that solution is. You knew it before you visited this post. However, you are not aware of it.
We come to our second objection to the Paris video. In addition to indirectly encouraging terrorist attacks, it is directly participating in the formation of terrorists. Here is how that works:
B. The Good Child/Terrorist Coin.
The possessed of Dostoevsky
have stronger ties to the
Babbitts of Sinclair Lewis
than normally meets the eye.
-- "The Source of Terrorism," p. 252 --
When his father said A.A. was not a difficult child, he was not lying. On the contrary, A.A. was, if anything, too much never a difficult child.
Our post "Peter Kassig and Beyond: New Perspectives" (November 28, 2014) discussed another man who was never a difficult child:
Frenchman Maxime Hauchard, a 22-year-old terrorist, stood alongside Jihadi John in a beheading video. Like A.A., Hauchard´s socioeconomic background is solidly middle class.
"Hauchard´s uncle said he was aware that his nephew had travelled to Syria but was puzzled as to his motives. ´I don’t get this. My nephew would never chop off a head, it’s not possible. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.´ In the same vein, neighbors described Hauchard´s behavior as ´having nothing extremist about it. He was friendly and completely normal.´
The mayor summed up: ´He was never rebellious.´
Is the town a ghetto crammed with alienated youth? Au contraire. The mayor answered there is ´basketball, karate, judo, dance ... We even refurbished the skate park!´ What more could anybody possibly ask for -- a refurbished skate park?
Our regular readers have seen all that before. The ISIS terrorist Hauchard was ´completely normal´ -- all too normal, we add..
A hallmark of the middle class rebel is that he is, in certain stages of his development, extremely normal. It sounds counter-intuitive but the extremism with which the rebel embraces the normal, the banal, the non-extreme, identifies him as a rebel. The Source of Terrorism, (p. 213): ´the middle class rebels by conforming, i.e., conformism in extremis shows that class has overshot the mark ...´ In his non-rebellion -- often, anti-rebellion --- phase, all the dynamics that characterize rebellion as we commonly know it are present, albeit latently. Only the manifestations vary.
Never rebellious. Those two words sum up Maxime Hauchard and thousands like him. Since all parents want their children to be good little boys and girls -- the more so, the better -- , the rebel within does not merely go unrecognized, it is actively cultivated. Which is to say: Mom and Dad had a problem long before they had children.
Actively cultivated -- how?
One extreme always testifies to the presence of its opposite. The latter is usually in a latent condition. It is that presence which makes the first extreme an extreme in the first place ...
Beware the good child -- the polite and well-mannered kid, the altar boy, the youngest-ever Eagle Scout, the engineering student, the exemplary marine, the accomplished pianist, the officious bank teller and bill collector. He, not the teenager caught drinking beer or smoking a joint, is the one who climbs up into the tower at the University of Texas and shoots 48 people."
Having shown how the Paris video is dressage that is openly disguised -- e.g., wearing dark glasses indoors -- we now take the next step:
Gentle Daddy is preparing a middle class rebel. Whether or not 20 years from now the rebel Brandon will turn terrorist remains to be seen.
Brandon, sweet Brandon -- blow the place up? If you´re real quiet you can hear 15 million gasps. What a terrible thing to say! Sacrilegious!
Astounding? Unbelievable? Not really. If Brandon later goes to extremes, it is only because he was raised as one. Too good to be true. A dummy.*****
One thing and one thing only makes l´Affaire Brandon in any way new:
You were told.
The 75% Solution to The Source of Terrorism
If you truly want to know what causes terrorism, stop paying attention to self-serving explanations by congressional blowhards, CIA bureaucrats, and neurotic political candidates; to puff pieces cooked up by short-order Ivy League professors and CNN talking heads; to silly-priced private consultants, e.g., psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen who raked in $81 million from the CIA for developing "nonstandard" interrogation techniques that did not work (see our Peter Kassig posts of November 28, 2014 and December 14, 2014).
Stop wasting time on time-wasters. On that point you need less convincing than you may think; the fact you have read this far proves you are already off the beaten track -- beaten is the right word -- and want new, real answers.
Stop paying honest money you don´t have to dishonest people who are wrong. Start listening to Belgium soccer star, Vincent Kompany.
Like A.A., Kompany grew up in Molenbeek; they are of the same generation. Watch and listen to Kompany´s post-Paris attack interview in which he touched on the 75% solution.
Hint #4. That solution is in Kompany´s word: "Distance."
Here, a brief digression is in order:
I know that most readers cannot hear our explanation that terrorism is caused by middle class ideology, much less hear the 75% solution that goes with that explanation. You cannot hear it because one of the central tenets of middle class ideology is that socioeconomic class does not matter. After all, if class is truly meaningless then the notion of class ideology can only be nonsense.
You are blocked at the starting gate.
In reality, the tenet that socioeconomic class does not matter is the signpost of middle class ideology. There are numerous ways to demonstrate that conclusion is valid. Here is one:
On numerous polls we asked the following question: "Do you believe that somebody´s socioeconomic class says anything important about them?" Moments later we asked: "With what socioeconomic class do you identify yourself: upper, middle, or lower?" Cross tabulations always showed a highly significant correlation between "No" to the first question and "middle" to the second. I challenge anyone to conduct the same survey questions and get different results.
Confronted by your ironclad tenet, dear reader, in order to avoid an impasse I will redefine the term "middle class." We will consider it in its broader, generic sense, i.e., as anything that is intermediate, transitional or marginal (ITM).
The broader meaning is that of a phylum in which the socioeconomic middle class is only one of countless other classes, orders, families, genera, species. If you crossed a street, you were middle class until you arrived at the other side.
What does it mean to be "middle class" in that wider context?
Our November 28, 2014 post:
"The anthropologist Mary Douglas poignantly identified the inherent link between an intermediary/transitional/marginal position and violence/extremism/terrorism:
´Danger lies in transitional states, simply because transition is neither one state nor the next, it is indefinable. The person who must pass from one to another is himself in danger and emanates danger to others.´ ******
Understanding intermediary/transitional/marginal situations and the ambivalent emotions they create, is ultimately the secret to defeating terrorism."
By the way, did you hear Kompany´s second, one-word reference to the 75% solution?
If not, Hint #5: "Include." (Note: we disagree with the view that ITMs such as Molenbeek are socioeconomically "outside" the system, viz., "Third Word." They are and always have been 100% part of that system. By claiming they are outside it, one disclaims any and all responsibility for their impoverished condition. By "inclusion" we mean simply the completion of certain specific processes).
Every middle class per se -- every member of the middle phylum -- is manifestly or latently a carrier of impurity and danger, contagion and corruption, transgression and power -- a forbidden zone laden with taboos. You just saw the heart of our new perspective on terrorism. You also just saw where to look for the 75% solution.
To show in a dramatic way that danger, transgression, etc., are endemic to the middle phylum, I will cite a short article that predated last month´s Paris attacks by 10 years. The article describes to a tee what I saw and heard in 1992 while living in a Paris suburb:
"In the northern housing project of La Courneuve, a menacing place littered with burned-out cars and small groups of youths lingering in entrances, the frustration is palpable …
They have spent their whole life in France, but for their whole life they have felt trapped in a cultural no man’s land: their experience in 21st-century France clashes with the traditions and history of their parents’ countries -- mostly former French colonies in Africa. Formal citizenship in France aside, they feel their North African names and their skin color still firmly set them apart …
´We are French, but we also feel like foreigners compared to the real French,´ said Mamadou, whose father came to France from Mali decades ago and married his mother, a French woman.
Who, according to him, are the ´real´ French?
The answer comes without hesitation and to vigorous nodding by a group of his friends: ´Those with white skin and blue eyes.´…
Leaving the afternoon prayer at a makeshift outdoor mosque, Hocine, 23, a soft-spoken young man of Algerian descent in religious attire, said he was resigned to never having his culture and his religion truly accepted in France.
´How many times have I gone into Paris and have been shouted at "Go home!"’ he said. ´Home is here,´ he added. ´But it doesn’t really feel like home.´…
´We are all janitors here,´ said one young man, who appeared to be the leader of the group. ´It’s our destiny.´”*******
The 75% solution is to complete and close ITMs which are the source of terrorism.
So-called primitive societies******** are highly sensitive to the need to finish ITMs, e.g., the transitions from childhood to adulthood, from life to death. Those societies complete ITMs by rituals/rites.
What makes rituals demonstrably effective?
As our Dec. 29, 2014-post noted, humans have an ambivalent attitude toward disorder. Mary Douglas:
"[T]hough we seek to create order, we do not simply condemn disorder. We recognise that it is destructive to existing patterns; also that it has potentiality. It symbolises both danger and power.
Ritual recognises the potency of disorder. In the disorder of the mind, in dreams, faints and frenzies, ritual expects to find powers and truths which cannot be reached by conscious effort."
Besides primitive societies, somebody else recognizes the essential importance of rituals in finishing -- hence, eliminating -- ITMs: terrorists. Unlike Washington and Brussels, terrorists take middle class rebels like A.A. the rest of the way. They go the distance.
Potency of disorder is right. Vincent Kompany observed that terrorists from Movenbeek "fall off the grid and not come in contact with anything else but the people who indoctrinate them." Terrorists offer rites galore, e.g., committing a criminal act, often murder. So crucial are such rites of passage, they constitute a major part of our definition of terrorism.*********
For obvious reasons, I will not elaborate certain things here, e.g., ISIS´ use of the Internet to separate young men from their old status, isolate them for a period, and subsequently create a new status for them. (For a graphic explanation by an ex-terrorist recruiter of how "lost souls" are included in a "brotherhood" via videos and emails, click here). However, I will refer to one ritual that ends a very significant ITM:
Naturalization ceremonies in Europe are becoming more elaborate, ritualistic. Going...going...almost gone are the days of simply sending the new citizen a piece of paper in the mail.
In practicing more formal naturalization rituals, Europeans are emulating the United States. Ask any naturalized American; they will tell you the ceremony is among the most impressive things they ever experienced. Here, the U.S. got it right.
You don´t have to be a naturalized citizen to go through such rituals. As our clues mentioned, they are performed all the time. You, dear reader, underwent one if you were baptized.
Which particular rituals are appropriate depends on circumstances in a given country and community. Not mosques alone (as Obama thinks) but also schools, families, governments, organizations, workplaces -- everybody must participate.
Kompany has a warning: beware of ribbon-cutting politicians. Rites such as refurbished skate parks and I-can´t-believe-he-did-it testimonials complete no transition, abolish no margin.
Many rituals in fact are designed merely to maintain the status quo which is the source of the problem. For that reason, any proposed rite of passage to terminate the source of terrorism should be forced to face this firm but fair question:
Passage to where?
* * *
In recommending meaningful rituals to end terrorist-creating ITMs, are we violating our long-standing policy?
"This blog does not give advice; it offers opinion. The line between them is not always clear. Please keep in mind three considerations:
An opinion may consist of advice which is (i) deliberately offered too late to be actionable; (ii) knowingly impossible to implement due to circumstances prevailing at the moment; and/or (iii) offered with the foreknowledge that the simple fact of its publication will render its practical value null and void."
Our recommendation to institute meaningful rituals to complete ITMs is opinion under item (ii): those rituals cannot be implemented under prevailing circumstances.
No oligarchic system will allow them.
What oligarchs can and will offer are rituals that pose as solutions and prevent real ones from arising. Let´s call such rituals by their real name: "Brandonization."
Another illusory fix: these days, opiate is the opiate of the people. Marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs are chock full of rituals from here to...here, i.e., to nowhere. The increasing polarization of wealth, terrorism, racism: because they cannot provide real answers to such problems, the Vanderbilts of this world are forever engaged in fudging, dodging, shifting, slipping.
Their motive is not hard to find:
The reigning oligarchies in the U.S. and Western Europe are dependent on marginal zones such as Movenbeek to supply, among other things, surplus laborers to keep wages low. It follows that genuine rituals to close off sources of terrorism require first a revolution -- a change of, not in -- the ruling oligarchic system.
Because it advocates that revolution, this blog is censored. What you are about to read is found nowhere else:
"The First American Revolution, 1776-1789, transformed the political system from a monarchy not into a democracy but a ´политей´ or polity, i.e., a middle class-moderated, oligarchy/democracy hybrid inclined toward democracy. The Second American Revolution, 2008-2009, changed the polity into an oligarchy with democratic residues, accessories. That change was normal, predictable; Aristotle analyzed it 2000 years ago. The Third American Revolution will resurrect the polity but with greater power for democracy, less for the oligarchy." (The Big Movida: The Third American Revolution).
Plainly speaking: The Third American Revolution is required before the 75% solution can be realized.
Oligarchs cannot go the distance because they oppose inclusion. That leaves them with only one type of solution to places like Movenbeek: Brandonization, aka Dr. Feelgood. They shed real tears in church and wring their hands in high-flying cocktail parties over the millions of people murdered and maimed, destroyed and displaced by terrorists. In their heart of hearts, oligarchs truly view terrorism as "bad;" please, don´t waste your time asking about such things. However, terrorism for them is ultimately a necessary evil, another cost of doing business, comparable to paying bribes or having hundreds of women sexually assaulted and robbed by surplus labor pool lumpens in Cologne, Germany on New Year´s Eve (note added January 8).
We come to the solution to The Obama Dilemma, i.e., that because terrorism is a corrupt form of Islam, it is part of Islam. Vincent Kompany showed the way out:
A criminal holding a Koran is ... a criminal holding a Koran. Nothing more. Simple, no?
The end of the road is already in sight. James Foley, Peter Kassig, Alan Henning: the line of cadavers is long, getting longer. Not one of them will ever tell you, dear public, what you want to hear.
But all of them are telling you right now what you need to know.
* * *
The Third American Revolution required to institute authentic rituals for closure of ITMs which create terrorism does not mean nothing constructive can be accomplished in the meantime.
One existing, post-terrorist attack ritual needs to be abolished, and quickly ...
The nice-nice Paris video ends with a reporter´s question to the good child Brandon:
"Do you feel better?"
Brandon, of course, knows his lines, answers yes.
Along with Brandon, millions of viewers were thereby reconciled. Not just reconciled: infantilized. Good boys and girls. Prettification is the solution offered by the European and American oligarchies to the crisis they will not solve.
Reconciliation with terrorist attacks is totally out of whack. What is needed is not feeling good but feeling bad.
If feeling better is what truly matters, click here. If that isn´t your thing, click here.
The point is simple. Pavarotti and Kool & The Gang made people feel better without hurting anybody.
Quite an achievement.
Update: December 29. "Babes in The Woods."
A growing number of Americans are adopting this blog´s viewpoint that the conventional analysis (The Official Explanation) and solution to terrorism are bankrupt.
The latest CNN poll released yesterday shows that 40% of Americans believe the terrorists are winning the war on terrorism, up from 9% in 2011. 74% are dissatisfied with how the war is going for the U.S., up from 52% in 2008. 60% disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the war. Finally, 50% have little or no confidence in the ability of the Obama administration to protect Americans from terrorism, up from 36% in 2009.
Two incidents this month underscored the doubts of Americans:
1. Shortly after the Paris attacks the Belgium police stopped Salah Abdeslam, a petty criminal and the only known terrorist in the Paris attack who is still alive, and two friends on their way back to Belgium. The police knew that one of the men had a criminal record, but let them pass because there was nothing to link the man to the attack.
Sorry, law enforcement authorities: the criminal record was the link. Let me explain.
The connection between middle class rebels, particularly those who become terrorists, and petty criminals (lumpen proletariat) is well-known. The Source of Terrorism (p. 272):
"The combination of middle class rebels with lumpenproletariat 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, ibid., 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 analysed; Dostoevsky’s The Possessed comes the closest."
For an account of the petty criminals involved in the Paris attacks, click here.
Employing our analysis, ALL petty criminals caught out and about after a terrorist attack should be automatically brought in for questioning. Had our new perspective been employed instead of the old conventional one, Salah Abdeslam would no longer be out and about.
2. On December 3 President Obama assured Americans that the U.S. is safe from an ISIS attack. He was seeking to shore up his sagging poll numbers regarding homeland security (see above).
There is only one problem with what Obama did -- and it is a major one.
If Washington knew the first thing about middle class rebels who are terrorist leaders, it would know that first thing is the cult of contradiction. Obama´s self-assured statement now requires the ISIS leadership to attempt an attack on America. Why?
Obama made a prediction. ISIS now is forced to disprove it, thereby making their prediction of more attacks prevail. After all, he who can predict the future is omniscient. Terrorists do not merely want, they need to be omniscient; it is the only way they can prove they have found what they were looking for: the absolute truth. Of course, only one thing is truly omniscient: god. That need for omniscience is a defining characteristic of terrorists (see pour definition below).
In Obama´s we-are-safe statement, we are looking at a non-self-fulfilling prophecy; that is to say, by being rendered, his statement renders itself wrong.
We can only hope that Washington will get lucky and stop the future attack/s Obama unwittingly encouraged. Lucky, because when it comes to understanding terrorists, the White House, CIA, FBI, NSA and their European colleagues are not only not on first base, they are not even in the state that has the city containing the ballpark where the game is being played.
Some readers will no doubt find that conclusion to be over the top. My response: it all depends where the top is. We are inflexible toward Washington because its naive and clumsy analysis of terrorism is resulting in millions of refugees, needless deaths and mutilations, pointless devastation.
Exaggerated behavior requires exaggerated words to describe it accurately.
*Latest case: San Bernardino, California. 14 people were killed, 21 wounded. The BBC:
"As is so often the case in these shocking incidents, those who knew or came into contact with the suspect were surprised that something like this could possibly happen.
´What kind of neighbourhood is this?´ Mr Tejeda continues. ´It's peaceful. Nothing really bad happens.
It's a bunch of innocent people.´...
´That's crazy stuff to think they're living right next door to you,´ Mr Tejeda says ...
Debate about what the shootings will mean for America's continued soul-searching on violence has already started here."
Crazy stuff. Innocent people. They bear not-so-silent testimony to an ideologically-induced inability to imagine, much less hear, much less listen.
**The Rebel, p. 50.
***All of us have experienced puerile, violent emanations of psychological repression where we live and work.
Example: while talking with a child she cocked her head, asked me "What was that you said?" I immediately went to her mother, a registered nurse, and told her the child was hard of hearing. The mother pounded on the desk, foamed at the mouth; how dare I accuse her of being a bad mother; how could I so shamelessly insult her daughter; she cussed me out; never darken my doorway again; etc.
Six months later, her daughter heard perfectly after simple out-patient surgery.
****"Le jeune Bichon, lui, joue les Parsifal, il oppose sa blondeur, son innocence, ses boucles et son sourire, au monde infernal des peaux noires et rouges aux scarifications et aux masques hideux. Naturellement, c'est la douceur blanche qui est victorieuse : Bichon soumet ´les mangeurs d'hommes´ et devient leur idole (les Blancs sont décidément faits pour être des dieux). Bichon est un bon petit Français, il adoucit et soumet sans coup férir les sauvages : à deux ans, au lieu d'aller au bois de Boulogne, il travaille déjà pour sa patrie, tout comme son papa, qui, on ne sait trop pourquoi, partage la vie d'un peloton de méharistes et traque « les pillards » dans le maquis." Roland Barthes, "Bichon chez les nègres," Mythologies, pp. 61-2.
*****"There is no personality without definiteness, wholeness, and ripeness. These three qualities cannot and should not be expected of the child, as they would rob it of childhood. It would be nothing but an abortion, a premature pseudo-adult; yet our modern education has already given birth to such monsters, particularly in those cases where parents set themselves the fanatical task of always ´doing their best´ for the children and ´living only for them.´ This clamant ideal effectively prevents the parents from doing anything about their own development and allows them to thrust their ´best´ down their children's throats. This so-called ´best´ turns out to be the very things the parents have most badly neglected in themselves. In this way the children are goaded on to achieve their parents' most dismal failures, and are loaded with ambitions that are never fulfilled. Such methods and ideals only engender educational monstrosities." Carl Jung, Collected Works, Volume17 ¶ 288.
******Douglas made an enlightening elaboration on the danger/middle class connection in her discussion of the pioneering ethnologist Arnold van Gennep who
"saw society as a house with rooms and corridors in which passage from one to another is dangerous. Danger lies in transitional states, simply because transition is neither one state nor the next, it is indefinable. The person who must pass from one to another is himself in danger and emanates danger to others. The danger is controlled by ritual which precisely separates him from his old status, segregates him for a time and then publicly declares his entry to his new status. Not only is transition itself dangerous, but also the rituals of segregation are the most dangerous phase of the rites … The whole repertoire of ideas concerning pollution and purification are used to mark the gravity of the event and the power of ritual to remake a man -- this is straightforward."
*******Katrin Bennhold, “‘We’re French,’ but not ‘real´ French," International Herald Tribune, November 5/6, 2005.
********C.G. Jung summarized "the well-known initiation rites or puberty rites of primitive tribes. When they approach puberty, the boys are called away suddenly. In the night they hear the voice of the spirits, the bull-roarers, and no woman is allowed to appear out of the house, or she is killed instantly. Then the boys are brought out to the bush-house, where they are put through all sorts of gruesome performances. They are not allowed to speak; they are told that they are dead, and then they are told that they are now reborn. They are given new names in order to prove that they are no more the same personalities as before, and so they are no longer the children of their parents. " Collected Works 18, paragraph 363.
*********"A terrorist is usually a middle class rebel (1) experiencing magnified marginal or transitional conditions, who (2) voluntarily (3) goes through certain rites of passage, among which are (4) clique membership and (5) a deliberate decision to commit a criminal act that is almost always (6) violent and usually (7) murder, in (8) the name of higher intentions or convictions without (9) retaining consciously the ambiguity of his criminal act and his higher intentions/convictions. He expresses powerful, unconscious, ambivalent emotions in two ways: (10) converting his intentions/-convictions into idées fixes or absolute truths, the opposite extreme from ambiguity, and (11) wielding uncertainty as a weapon. That uncertainty is total, as shown by the fact that (12) everyone — allies, non-combatants, even himself — is a potential victim.
A note: it is the syndrome, the running together of components, which counts — not specific components taken in isolation.
By not admitting what he cannot admit, the terrorist guards his secret, even from himself.
By not admitting what he is, the terrorist shows the gravity that admission holds for him. To my knowledge, no terrorist or other middle class rebel has ever said what he is.
What he is, is the secret he keeps: he is a middle class rebel."