Three Mass Movements, 60 years

Islamic Terrorists – 60’s Radicals – Neo-conservative fundamentalists

These three great mass movements, as strangely different as they are, each multiplied from almost nothing to represent huge open communities of interest only because they struck some true chord in human experience.

It’s an obvious fact.  Actual fraud by an evil wizard wouldn’t have the success each of these have had, because huge cross sections of people are just not that stupid.

Islamic Terrorists – death to America, fundamentalist Muslim, jihad, martyr, Sharia law, straight to heaven

60’s Radicals – peace, civil & women’s rights, soft tech, sex drugs rock & roll, communes, love & harmony

Neo-conservatives – anti communist, government & liberal, pro-military, family & life, anti-gay, born again

What’s quite interesting, of course, is that the basic validity of each is extremely hard to see from each other’s point of view. Trying to force your mind to do it tends to leave you blank and angry.


To me it’s apparent that each of these great mass movements represents a separate reality, not just a different style or group of opinions, but a profoundly self-validating world view that places the others outside its experience, alien and unwanted. Ask yourself, do they act like they’re off living in a bubble???

If the answer is yes, and you start with a list of others… well then it’s time to discuss what to do about it. Aliens are here and now, and all over history. For centuries we’ve mostly denigrated, repressed and murdered them, and that’s not good enough. A friend reminds me, look at the 600 year repression of the Irish, for just one of a million examples. We all deserve better.

I’m not proposing a ‘freedom of reality’ any different from religious freedom, but mainly pointing out that there’s a need for improved strategies for dealing with it. Hate speech and its use for dehumanizing mind-control, by power hungry leaders, manipulating us with their war chants and fevers, are fairly easy to spot if you look for them. On the other side, since there’s something to be learned from other realities, we could try making a point of listening, perhaps most intently to their small voices.

The main cause for this discussion now is what seems like a new openness, following the recent London bombings, to discussing what to do about Islamic terrorism. The problem seems to be with a fringe of a fringe, but when you look closer the roots are really with a very widespread community.

There’s no doubt that effective police work, perhaps focusing on terrorist recruiters and schools, strong leadership from Muslim teachers world wide, better investigative reporting by the press, government security measures & constructive world engagement, bridge building people-to-people contact and church & community leadership, etc. will all have their good effect.

The main thing though, as I see it, is asking, why do they say “death to America”. That this is a central structure of their distorted reality makes it a wide open invitation to interfere with their rigid iconic image of us by acting in a way that does not fit. All we’d need to do is come to understand some of our ‘great crimes’, deep insults to others that we’ll probably be very glad to get rid of, if only someone would kindly help us and point them out.

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