« Wall St. email urges class warfare, class Warfare urges irony | Main | If only beauty were regulated. »




"Nemesis" is a bitch, and if any country deserves Nemesis, it is ours, especially since 1945.

jake brodsky

The problem, Ms. Essig, is that religiously fueled hatred, when armed to the teeth, isn't going to care about your good intentions. I don't know if there are alternatives to conflict once things have gotten that far along.

Furthermore, we can't mainstream everyone. There will always be people on the fringes of society. Some of these fringes will aggregate and form hate groups. So the question is whether there is anything we can do to pacify them without compromising who we are and what we stand for. I don't think there is.

When you get right in to it, and you study what they're saying, there really isn't much room to wiggle around. They want you to submit to their version of religion.

I won't stand for that. I am amazed that you would stand for that. We have a long bloody history of struggle toward equal rights for women, religious freedoms, racial equality, an end to slavery, and even GLBT rights. I do not want my children to grow up in anything less.

Are you really willing to throw all that away just to avoid a fight?


The religions you mention are not fundamentalist religions. I think it was Piaget (as recounted in Scott Peck's The Road Less Travelled) who figured out that there are really just four religions, really states of psycho-spiritual development. In the 1st stage the mental organization is chaotic and the social behavior is anti-social/all children and perhaps 10% of American adults. In the 2nd stage, fundamentalism, the mental organization is authoritarian and the social behavior is rule-following/a plurality of American adults. In the third stage, the mental organization is skeptical and the social behavior is democratic/science types. In the 4th stage the mental organization is mystical and the social behavior is communal/very few. A couple of examples of (mostly) fourth stage Abrahamic sects are Sufi-ism and Quakerism. Most Quakers, or Friends as they are also known, would agree absolutely with your analysis of the roots of violence and utterly support your solutions, as I do. They/we generally "worship" Jesus as a human being who fully manifested God-in-human. Yes, indeed, lessons as old as Isaiah. Amen. America resolved the Cold War only to put ourselves into a New Crusade. No suprise there.

Jose F Martinez DiazdeRivera

Could not agree more with your article. It is such a widespread misconception that people act upon a hate of "freedom". The policies and actions that you state are the best recruiting tool for extremists.


Pr. Essig,

Religion has nothing to with this situation. Religion is just the clothing that some terrorists wear. The original "Terrorist", a faction of the left-wing group called "The People's Will" (Narodnaya Volya) sought to overthrow the Tsarist government so that the peasants could take possession of land. The “Terrorist Faction” (as they were called and called themselves) believed that the peasants themselves could never achieve that end and a conspiratorial cadre of heroic martyrs could terrorize to the Russian government into either collapse or yielding to will of the people (hence the name of the group). They were able to assassinate Tsar Alexander II and attempted to assassinate Alexander III. One of the leaders of this second plot was Aleksandr Ulyanov, older brother of Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin). The Terrorist Faction was totally non-religious and motivated by completely secular political interests.

However your main point is entirely correct, so long as there is severe injustice, people will raise up to challenge that injustice. If tomorrow every al Qaeda operative and associate vanished, some new organization would eventually arise to take its place, just as al Qaeda arose because of the collapse of secular organizations who sought justice for the people of south-west Asia.


You do not even know who the bombers are, or what their grievances are. But you know what the proper response that is needed to end the threat. It is a solution that is apparently 100% congruent with your political beliefs. What a coincidence! Your clairvoyance is uncanny.
I don't see anything in your remedies that would have stopped the bloodthirsty monster Timothy McVeigh.

Laurie Essig

I think the real issue is Empire, not trying to force their religion on me. In fact, I am willing to bet that they could care less about Sweden and the women's rights, civil rights, or lgbt rights of that country. Except for the Westboro Baptist Church- they hate feminists, gays, and Swedes.

Laurie Essig

You're right- it could have been some person acting for reasons that dismantling Empire wouldn't directly help -like let's say someone suffering with schizophrenia who thinks the space aliens told him/her to do it/

BUT if we dismantle Empire and spend our wealth on taking care of one another, perhaps that person would have gotten some help before this?

So yes, I guess I do think dismantle Empire is always the answer whether it's to clean up the environment, educate our children, stop car bombs in highly populated areas, or how to balance your check book.

jake brodsky

...And if we all were nice to one another, there would be no mental illness, right?

This is pure dreamland. I wish it could be true as well. But the fact remains that terrible and evil people exist in this world. These are people outside our reach because they live in countries so remote that we can't render aid to them. Even when we have tried to render aid, we often see warlords do their best to keep us at bay. Remember Somalia?

Even if the world were all one nation, there would still be pockets of hatred, dysfunction, and abuse. That is the reality. If there were some way we could change it, I think it would have happened by now.

Oh, and another thing: you might want to try a fact check on your earlier statements of countries such as Sweden.


Your points are well taken. I studied Timothy McVeigh. I really believe this about him: He was no damn good from the day he entered this world. I also believe that other such people are born to this world hell bent on inflicting paint to others regardless of the environment they grow up in(Empire or not).


One other thing, Laurie, is that Marxism, which very simply deconstructs (I hope I'm using that term properly) to mandatory Christianity, was/is consistently practiced as an authoritarian religion. It even has a vision of afterlife (and a metaphysically solid one at that). I think the answer is not so much the destruction of capitalism as the democratization of it. And we should endeavor to give equal seats at the table to the impoverished as well as to unborn generations of humans and mute species. Plutocracy is no more inevitable in capitalism as dictatorship is inevitable in Marxism as fundamentalism is inevitable in (Abrahamic) religion. But the tendency toward materialism in all its manifestations is very strong.


Hello jake brodsky,

I think a good model for this is both Algeria and Northern Ireland. In the 1950's the French overseas department of Algeria (91) was plagued by terrorists but the French no longer have the problem, they decamped from Algeria. It was not that long ago that the UK had pretty bad problem with terrorism from the IRA. Having negotiated with the Sinn Fein / IRA, addressed their concerns, that problem has largely gone away.

Terrorism is not a mental health issue, it is a political problem. It is possible to address the root cause of terrorism and thus eliminate or at least minimize terrorism. Exactly how to do that will of course but specific to particular conditions that gave rise to the terrorism.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Blog powered by Typepad