Day By Day

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Anarchists and Jihadis

Austin Bay, writing at Strategy Page, notes the similarities between today's jihadis and the international anarchists of a century ago. He expects that today's terrorists will meet the same fate as their predecessors, but notes that Western liberalism must start showing some backbone if that is to happen.

The Islamo-fascists aren't the first international mass murder movement to deserve the moniker of "death cult." In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, trans-national anarchists touted "politics of the bomb" and "propaganda by deed."

The anarchists spilled blood -- over a seven-year period (1894-1901) they killed a French president, a Spanish prime minister, an Italian king and a U.S. president (William McKinley). However, they failed to ignite a global revolution that they claimed would produce an earthly paradise of justice once the ancien regimes disappeared in flames. The anarchists believed their own propaganda, and by doing so misjudged the enormous strengths of liberal capitalist democracies. They totally underestimated the United States.

Read it here.

Would it be impolite to suggest that the situations are not really all that similar and to note that assassination touched off the Great War that brought an end to the liberal order throughout the West? Probably, but I'll do it anyway.

No comments: