Johann Most on Terrorism

Johann Most’s Philosophy of the Bomb rests on a number of connected propositions:

  1. Outrageous violence will seize the public imagination;
  2. Its audience can thus be awakened to political issues;
  3. Violence is inherently empowering, and ‘a cleansing force’ (as the later anticolonial writer Frantz Fanon put it);
  4. Systematic violence can threaten the state and impel it into delegitimizing reactions;
  5. Violence can destabilize the social order and threaten social breakdown (the ‘spiral of terror’ and counterterror);
  6. 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.

For more see here.


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