Johann Most’s Philosophy of the Bomb rests on a number of connected propositions:
- Outrageous violence will seize the public imagination;
- Its audience can thus be awakened to political issues;
- Violence is inherently empowering, and ‘a cleansing force’ (as the later anticolonial writer Frantz Fanon put it);
- Systematic violence can threaten the state and impel it into delegitimizing reactions;
- Violence can destabilize the social order and threaten social breakdown (the ‘spiral of terror’ and counterterror);
- Ultimately the people will reject the government and turn to the ‘terrorists’.
Reference: Townshend, Charles. Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Kindle Locations 379-386). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
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