Terrorism and the Global Societal Conflict
By Roy D. Follendore
Copyright (c) 2003 By RDFollendoreIII
January 7, 2003
terror and societal conflicts threaten the existence of us all. Technology and
knowledge put the ability to create weapons of mass destruction into the hands
of anyone willing to manufacture them. It is impossible to absolutely
limit technology and knowledge without placing restrictions that also have the
potential of limiting future survival. Ultimately it is also impossible to
significantly limit the potential of technology and knowledge of doing harm
without describing a totalitarian world society. If this is the solution
that we choose for mankind then so be it. But there are alternative
possibilities that are not being considered.
are negative and positive ways to deal with the creation and growth of global
terrorism. The negative way is to search out, punish and destroy the
terrorists. The positive way is to understand and then eliminate the means
by which terrorism as global societal conflicts come into being. This is
analogous in medical research to defeating cancer by redefining the bodies
immunity system rather than implementing an invasive surgical procedure.
Our American national agenda should be to intelligently define a preemptive
first line of solutions that detect and defeat the implementation of terrorist
organizations before they come into existence. We can start to achieve this
through the recognition of the importance of sociological value systems in
context with the technical means through which values are exchanged. Our second
line of solutions to terrorism must be to establish economic and political
alternatives in such a way that they undercut the base values of terrorist
organizations and societal conflicts that spontaneously arise. Both of
these lines of defense can be achieved with the degree of honor and honesty that
cannot be accomplished through propaganda. Most importantly, we must use these
mechanisms to assure that when society may be required to use punishing and
destructive force, it is using it appropriately and most effectively.
"war" that we Americans are attempting to fight with fleets of ships
and B-52 bombers is not a "war on terrorism" so much as it is a world
wide societal conflict of concepts and values. What our leaders must keep
in mind is that terrorism is an event. As such, it is also a despicable means to
an end. This "thing" we are seeing is a new kind of international
warfare of the classes. It is a natural but unethical extension of the
commercial war of persuasion where no real ethnic boundaries exist. This
thing doesn't really have a well centered religious basis containing a true
majority. There is no major religion that supports the doctrine of terrorism. It
represents an expansion of radical ideas that are more representative of cult
than culture. Such leaders purchase their right to lead by founding and
providing economic support for their following. Their followers represent an
impressionable faction that is taught that the enemies of perfection are the
powers that be. They are then "given" the unique
opportunity to "be something more" than what they would otherwise be.
In a way, the followers of terrorist leaders are like children being lead to the
slaughter. Once they discover this, it is too late. They feel they
must reinvest in their actions or face the consequences.
identify a positive approach we must begin to recognize the quandary in which
terrorist leaders find themselves. Terrorist leaders are not children, but
neither are they recognizable as legitimate civilized world leaders. By
definition they cannot be. They become stuck in a transparent state of factional
parity through the very means which they achieve organized leadership. Like
adolescents doomed to adolescence forever, they may have once been capable of
anything but are unable to extend their leadership skills beyond their limited
threshold for destruction. Like adolescence their effectiveness is ill defined
and to them justifiable. Like adolescents who rebel against the foundations of
society, the followers of terrorism are unable or unwilling to recognize the
difficulties of achieving justice within complexity; followers of terrorism
expect their struggle to force a shortcut to their leaders utopia. But like
adolescent gangs, what the grass roots members really require is to be listened
and included. In the case of the global terrorist, they desire to be more than
participants in a globalized system that they do not and cannot understand.
What terrorists’ share with rebellious adolescence is the conflicting
conviction that they do not want to be dominated as an ideal, though they need
to be dominated as individuals.
are not pointless sociological observations for they are the potential means by
which strategies can be created to engage and then defuse potential situations
without having to constantly resort to the destructive and expensive concept of
war. The enabling mechanism for the global terrorism we are seeing is
technology. The means by which we as a civilized society choose our
strategies for the development of technology affects the ways in which we are
able to deal with global societal conflict. We need to look at those enabling
causes and effects. Society desperately needs to better understand
the sociological differences. For instance, with modern global terrorism comes
the observation that "globally diffused" independent
self-determination has been communicated across what were once economic and
as radio once required a specific frequency in order to operate, so too
organizations required a specific location in which to organize. That is
no longer the case. The dissemination of communication technology has
changed organizations in much the same way that spread spectrum technology
changed radio. The fact that an organized political will of a terrorist
organization no longer requires any specific geopolitical border as a base is a
social change that has been largely brought on through the establishment of
ubiquitous international communications. Technology created the basis by
which they are able to organize.
utopian ideal of the Internet began by the idea that through simply opening
channels of communication, ideas and concepts can be exchanged and solutions to
problems discovered. We did not then and we still do not allow
communications and sociology experts to have a say in such experiments.
What we are constantly discovering is that communication is a two edged sword.
It is by definition both a good and a bad thing. We have found solutions
through new forms of communication technology. But the complexity and
difficulty of sociological problems we face has increased through communication.
It has essentially stirred the soup of world society. Technology has
increased cultural interaction faster than the traditional organizational means
to deal with those problems that arise.
response that organized societies have to this social change and relating social
change with respect to communication technologies will make the difference in
the way that we all are able to coexist in the future. If the United
States attempts to continue to play the role of the superpower who bullies
political, economic and military correctness, then it is inevitable that we will
be principally involved in conflicts that will not be in our national interest.
We simply do not have the means nor the wherewithal to achieve the kinds of
military results that are required across sovereign boundaries without severe
implications to our political and economic welfare. We must look for
technological solutions that help us solve some of these societal conflicts
before they begin. If we do not then as a nation we shall remain forever
stuck in the imperial role that is not of our choosing.
is unrealistic to assume that the United States can continue to operate both
fairly and unilaterally as the World Police without risk of conflict and the
potential of grave danger to our national security. Our internal interests and
ideals are far too narrow for so many diverse cultures. It is a fair statement
to say that just because we Americans may be considered as the
"melting-pot" does not mean that the American culture fits all. It
can't. What is happening since 911 is not merely the surface face of acts of
"terrorism," it is the slow recognition that the American national
image is becoming loathed, feared and often hated by a cross section of people
whose opinions are not necessarily represented by governments.
bottom line is that if we do not step up to the technological imperative of
preventing terrorism and the global societal conflicts that bring about
terrorism then we will not succeed. The doctrine to accomplish this
represents a new and modern approach for society. The United States Government
must be willing to establish and lead an academic research panel that can
research, implement and deploy the technological means through which this
doctrine can be accomplished. Furthermore we must invite positive
participation of other countries. America is not alone in this.
Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved