Thursday, March 11, 2004


As if the world needed reminding of the cowardice of terrorists and their addiction to headlines, the Thursday afternoon rush hour in Madrid is the latest page in the character study of the modern day ideologue. By unleashing explosives in Spanish commuter trains, the group precipitating this horror identified itself as narcissistic, amoral, pathological and in possession of no grievances worthy of consideration. No political, economic or religious cause with the slightest merit relies on attacking civilian populations as an impetus to change. Killing innocents by the dozen is the handiwork of the self absorbed, the self righteous, the sanctimonious whose only cause is to impose their warped will on society while luxuraiting in the rush of death. Whatever grand idealism they broadcast as the basis for their deeds, it is only a convenient smokescreen for the gnawing psychosis that zealously seeks an outlet in murder.

Globalization has altered the planet's institutional dynamic and ideologies no longer appeal as means to utopian ends. 20th century fascism and communism went a long way to curing the world of its fascination with ideology as the cure for what ails the state. In the 21st Century we are faced with a wave of cults and their gurus who instead of preaching Marx and Mao as the paths to spiritual enlightenment have indoctrinated their initiates with the self actualizing mantra of mass murder and bloodshed. Where we once watched the deranged despot invoking ideology to unify his country, today we experience the demented demanding their id be recognized as omnipotent. Our post-modern world of celebrity no longer requires a long and torturous career path from local party hack to dictator; not when a couple of bombs and the judicious use of the train schedule can make you page one material.

Anarchists of the late 19th and early 20th century bombed and shot their way about Europe and America to satiate their nihilistic cravings. Today's Luigi Galleanis and Leon Czolgoszs come armed with more powerful weapons, greater opportunities for mass destruction and via mass media, the means of instilling terror over a wider population. But what remains the same is that their cause is their own self promotion and grandiosity. Unfortunately, there is not enough human blood on the planet to quench that thirst.

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