“Freedom in Christ,” by Saint Paul, Letter to the Galatians, chapter 5 verse 14, circa AD 60.
“The Cost of Following Jesus,” by Saint Matthew, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, chapter 8 verse 22, circa AD 60.
“Shiva,” by Orson Card, The Shadow of the Giant, pg 71-72, 2005.
“Defusing A Bomb,” by Eric Martin, Liberals Against Terrorism, 18 May 2005, http://www.liberalsagainstterrorism.com/drupal/?q=node/1178.
Two interesting points about a particular breed of Fourth Generation Warrior — the Salafist suicide bomber
Further, as Sageman notes in his groundbreaking psych-profiles of the Salafist terrorists, including the 9/11 crews, the issue of U.S. troop presence was not of tantamount importance in any significant way. More prevalent was a sense of alienation from society (often caused by the physical disconnect from family and culture felt by Muslims living in non-Muslim countries) and a reaching out for community at local mosques spurred on by the same.
As such, a common biographical occurrence was a recent personal reaffirmation of religiosity in the form of dedication to Salafism (given impetus by attendance at the area mosque which was, in turn, caused by feelings of isolation and lack of community).
Alienated, disconnected isolated, without community.
That is a recipe for disaster.
Salafism’s a PISRR. The goal of any 4G movement is to penetrate a society, isolate that society’s members against each other, subvert the society’s rule sets for its ends, reorient the society around the movement’s goals, and reharmonize the society so that every member internalizes the movement. But for these poor men who became suicide 4G Warriors, they were already isolated. The weed of Salafism found a garden, with healthy soil, already tilled.
Salafism reconnected these men — on Salafism’s terms. Like so many violent revolutionary movements, it spreads because of its message: “We can do it. You can help.” A song of meaning is sung to the future 4G Warriors and they are seduced.
Salafism is spreading along the same lines of the Revolutions of 1848. In nation after nation it finds the atomized, the isolated, the alienated, and reconnects them. It shouts “We can do it. You can help.” In nation after nation it will root itself and try to take over.
In the real 1848, one European state was immune. While hosting some agitators from oversees, no internal revolutionary movement was created. The United Kingdom was inoculated by its civil institutions.
Civil society — a thick web of horizontal controls — existed in the United Kingdom in 1848. Men who wished meaning could find it in local clubs, societies, and faiths in a way their Continental brothers could not. “We can do it. You can help” is the disease. “I love you” is the vaccine.
But then, what to make of a movement that combines both?
How many movements have combined an overarching political agenda with a relentless campaign of integration. I can think of one (it’s not my church and it’s quite recent). Failures include
- The Protestant Reformation focused mostly on the Great Enemy (specifically, the Holy Father as Anti-Christ and Universal Church as Whore of Babylon).
- The Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace (Taiping) likewise had its bete noire (the Machu Chi’in dynasty).
- Liberation Theology was a non-autonomous adjunct to Marxism, focused on ending capitalism
So who am I thinking of?
One last thought: Since 4G movements grow in isolating societies, they would whither in connecting cultures. In The Shadow of the Giant, Orson Scott Card dramatizes this. A revolutionary leader is condemning his compatriots for insufficient loyalty to the cause:
“You’ve resigned from the human race is what you’ve done,” said Peter. “Because you invented marriage and children, suddenly you don’t have to be part of anything.”
“Opposite,” said Petra. “We’ve joined the human race. We’re like most people. Our life together is everything. Our children are everything. The rest is — we do what we have to. But it doesn’t matter to us as much. I’m sorry that bothers you.”