Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An interesting film about the IRA

The Wind That Shakes the Barley is interesting, although those with a historical perspective will probably reject seeing things from the perspective of terrorists, which is good.

To those who argue that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter I would note that there are ways of defining terrorism and terrorists as opposed to soldiers or "freedom fighters." Terrorists are like fascists in that they usually rely on notions of victimization by an Imperial power to justify any and all means of fighting at the moment while the ends for which they fight are utopian and remain in grand visions of the future. Usually if they do get in a position to govern they still maintain the same vision of a supposed future utopia that justify any means in the present, so they still govern by terrorism because even if their victimization propaganda has less and less foundation in reality they can still fall back on their notions of utopia as the end that justifies their means.

Because the Leftist mind has never met a distinction or definition that it will not attempt to blur away some on the Left have argued that the American Founders were "terrorists" because "One man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist." and so on. Nothing can ever be totally and utterly clear, so the Leftist mind usually has a point, yet on the other hand it usually takes the blurring typical to it too far. It's probably not necessary to point out some differences in this case but for those who may be feeling their way along to this type of blurring: "Say, George Washington was like a terrorist because he fought for what he believed in just like terrorists do...that's fundamentalist or somethin'. Fundamentalist, terrorist, Taliban...Christian, Christian Taliban fundamentalist, all difference is all the same, I says!" here are a few historical and philosophical distinctions.

The Founders were distinct from fascists and terrorists because the Founders had fundamentally reasonable ideas about what they were fighting for when fighting an Imperial power. They were far from justifying their means in the present based on notions of future utopia or past victimization, instead they layed out what they were fighting for based on reason in reasonable ways. In contrast, when terrorists begin a war based on past victimization then immediately a vicious cycle begins that will not end because terrorism brings down the established order upon those who practice it, thus feeding victimization propaganda and so on. Similarly, if you are supposedly fighting for some type of socialist or Islamist utopia then the methods typical to terrorism will always be justified (even after winning power to govern) because the supposed utopia never comes.

*In the case of Islamic terrorism I would argue that the cycle of violence that terrorism generates is irrelevant because radical Islamic clerics have found ways of generating victimization propaganda to feed into their culture no matter what anyone does. You can know this because all possible positions have been taken all over the world and throughout history, yet Islamic clerics whose motivation is a utopian vision of Islamic law governing the world still use victimization propaganda as a justification to work towards that end.

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