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It is a threat which is in many ways more serious than the risk of nuclear war, or the population explosion, or global pollution or the supposed exhaustion of the earth's resources. These dangers to our civilization can be, have been or are being contained. The threat of terrorism is not being contained; it is, on the contrary, increasing steadily.


Indeed, one central reason why it is such a formidable threat is that very few people in the civilized world-governments and parliaments, TV and newspapers, and the public generally-take terrorism seriously enough. Most people, I fear, tend to underestimate the sheer fragility of a civilization. They do not appreciate that civilizations fall as well as rise.

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  • The Seven Deadly Sins of Terrorism (Paul Johnson)!

To say that terrorism is a war against civilization may provoke the objection that terrorists are often idealists pursuing worthy ultimate aims-national or regional independence, and so forth. I do not accept this argument. I cannot agree that a terrorist can ever be an idealist, or that the objects sought can ever justify terrorism.

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The impact of terrorism, not merely on individual nations, but on humanity as a whole, is intrinsically evil, necessarily evil, and wholly evil. It is so for a number of demonstrable reasons: let us consider the Seven Deadly Sins of Terrorism. First , Terrorism is the deliberate and cold-blooded exaltation of violence over other forms of public activity. The modern terrorist does not employ violence as a necessary evil, but as a desireable form of activity. There is a definite intellectual background to the present wave of terrorism.

It springs not only from the Leninist and Trotskyist justification of violence, but from the post-war philosophy of violence derived from Nietzche through Heidegger, and enormously popularized by Satre and his disciples. It is precisely this line of thought, that violence is positive and creative, which helps the terrorists to perform the horrifying acts for which they are responsible.

Of course, the same argument, almost word for word, was used by Hitler, who repeated endlessly: 'Virtue lies in blood. The second is the deliberate suppression of the moral instincts of man. Terrorist organizers have found it is not enough to give their recruits intellectual justification for murder: the instinctive humanity in us all has to be systematically blunted, or else it rejects such sophistry The theory is based on the assumption that neither man nor woman can be an effective terrorist as long as he or she retains the moral elements of a human personality.

One might say, then, that the second deadly sin of terrorism is a threat not merely to our civilization, but to our very humaniy itself. The third , following directly from the first two, is the rejection of politics as the normal means by which communities resolve conflicts. To terrorists, violence is not a political weapon to be used in in extremis ; it is a substitute for the entire political process. Terrorism, however, is not neutral in the political battle.

It does not, in the long run, tend towards anarchy: it tends towards totalitarianism.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Terrorism (Paul Johnson)

The fourth deadly sin of terrorism is that it actively, systematically and necessarily assists the spread of the totalitarian state. The countries which finance and maintain the international infrastructure of terrorism, which give terrorists refuge and havens, training camps and bases, money, arms and diplomatic support-all as a matter of deliberate state policy-are, without exception, totalitarian states. The governments of all these states rule by military and police force. The notion, then, that terrorism is opposed to the 'oppressive forces' in society is false; indeed, it is the reverse of the truth.

International terrorism, and the various local terrorist movements it services, are entirely dependent on the continuing good will and active support of the police states. The terrorist is sustained by the totalitarian tank, the torture chamber, the lash and the secret policeman. The terrorist is the beneficiary of the Gulag Archipelago and all it stands for.

So to the fifth deadly sin. Terrorism poses no threat to the totalitarian state. That kind of state can always sustain itself by judicial murder, preventative arrest, torture of prisoners and suspects, and complete censorship of terrorist activities. Hence, the fifth deadly sin is that terrorism distinguishes between lawful and totalitarian states in favor of the latter. It can destroy a democracy, as it destroyed the Lebanon, but it cannot destroy a totalitarian state. All it can do is to transform a nation struggling towards progress and legality into a nightmare of oppression and violence.

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This leads us to another significant conclusion about terrorism. Its ultimate base is in the totalitarian world: that is where its money, training, arms and protection come from. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Freedom to Love , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters.

Sort order. Sep 18, Nick Giangreco rated it it was amazing. Eye opening Awesome book. Quick read. Somethings are truly black and white BUT not as apparent as we may think. I've come to learn that a "virtue" is the middle ground between two vices.

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About Emmerich Vogt. Emmerich Vogt.