It seems reasonably clear that any lunatic can appropriate a cause or provide a name as his inspiration, and that, when he does, we should neither regard that lunatic’s behavior as indicative of the whole nor worry too much about repeat attacks. As I have written before — in defense of Right and Left — words do not pull triggers.
Related comment (mine) From the Awesome Conversation (FTAC):
I worry about recognizing, modifying, and filtering a psychological type. The large label “malignant narcissist” (Putin-Assad-Khamenei) goes after the bad example setting leaders; the color code “Red Brown Green” signals the post-Soviet / neo-feudal and new nationalist and Islamist content leveraged against large constituencies.
My basis for some large boundaries: ethnolinguistic integrity. The Baloch, Hebrews, and Kurds have a strong legitimate basis and interest in cultural survival, the same that movements associated with Red Brown Green fascism seeks to annihilate.
Bad intellectual programs or poisoned ones — or poisoning programs — yield evil results, and today that’s on display in the regions of Daesh and Hamas and others like them. It’s a bad end for the greater humanity involved: however, the leaders (“different talk — same walk”) have made out like the bandits — piratical dictators — they they really are.
But is that why they do it? Is that what motivates men in hoods to publicly decapitate an individual with a knife, or pose smiling with the severed head of a woman, or put bullets into the heads of hundreds of captives and toss them into the river, or most recently throw a prisoner into a cage and light him on fire? Berman addresses the ideological part of the problem, but buried deeper is the psychological pull of sadomasochism—the thrill of violence, power, and control that comes from inflicting pain on others.
Related on BackChannels: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2013/10/01/jisadists-an-update-on-westgate-mall-barbarity/ – 10/1/2013.
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