When Killing Is Fun and Virtuous
Islamists deserve praise for a tireless effort to serve their Allah. As a result, we get murder to save mankind from God and other bad habits. The killings are said to serve the salvation of those that survive the cleansing imposed upon their society. This amounts to carnage to create paradise on earth depicted by the butchers as a moral act. With the demise of the National Socialists and the Communists, we have wrongly assumed that the era of mass murder in the service of a noble cause might be over.
Movements exist — presently they are Islamist fraternities — that proceed from the rescue of mankind from its faults, to the large-scale slaughter of those that do not fit into the ideal society they pursue.
There is something natural and, in a distorted way, logical about such endeavors. That is so even if, at first, the brutality appears to contradict some postulates of the faith and what we believe are universal human values. Thus, light must be shed on the phenomenon.
Let us begin with an assumption: Some persons come to adhere to a pleasing theory of politics, society and economics. Driven by a moral impulse, this can become a force that makes the pursuit of the planned ideal society a dogmatic article of faith.
With the passage of time, detached outsiders might express critical disbelief. They might discover that in terms of experience, economic facts, logic, and the preference of those to-be-saved, the theory to create a perfect world flies like a led balloon. Once that happens, the True Believer faces two choices.
The first approach is rare. It is to review the theory and its premises. Corrections can follow until the credo ceases to move on a trajectory of a head on crash with reality. More frequently, the undressed little emperors invoke PC as a “Wunderwaffe”/miracle weapon. Thus, those that call them naked are declared immoral insensitive fascist fogies. The reader himself might have experienced such damning curses.
Here is what happens in the mind of those that are rejected saviors. As you peruse the matter, you should remind yourself of a fundamental truth.
Most ideas generated by man prove to be duds. Deservedly, their remnants do not even gather dust in the “Museum of Oddities.” Some ideas, they can be good ones, foolish ones, self-destructive ones, and evil ones, will be successful. This means that a movement will crystallize around them; the resulting party will mobilize masses. In the light of that, we need to state the obvious that we like to ignore. It is: “ideas have consequences.”
Once a theory attracted a following, it is enabled to inject itself into our affairs through its political weight. When that happens, the “thought” mutates into a force that organizes communities according to its postulates. With that, the “thought” attains the power to create “facts.” In the course of that process, the original idea gets control over an existing state to become a “state of the new type” — such as that of the Bolsheviks and the National Socialist, and the IS today. With that, what had once been a theory to be tested intellectually will possess a bureaucracy, an economy, and, chiefly, an army and a state security force (political police).
That achievement changes the function of what had once been a mere theory. Converting an idea into practice endows it with new dimensions. Initially, the propagated theory of salvation had a recruiting function. Some ideologies with a party committed to them will resist the temptation of total power. In this case, its protagonists will remain de-electable and allow the people to withdraw its mandate. Our interest, however, is the other, bloodier response to critical doubters.
Society misfortune and humanism’s tragedy is set on track when those that gain power have an ideologically inspired blueprint for all aspects of their perfect society. This element will be convinced that “there is no alternative” to this order as it is predestined to mold mankind’s future. Hence the claim “we are the future” which implies that the system cannot be removed as it has a mandate. It comes, if not from those that live in the present, then from future generations. In practical terms, this logic implies a right to control all activities, which makes the system totalitarian. Unlike democracy, totalitarian power erases the distinction between the private sphere and the public, the “political” area of life. Ergo, in such a system, the power of the governors is unlimited in its extent and the areas it regulates.
Fanatical elites who assume their infallibility exercise totalitarian power. As representatives of “history’s logic” or of “Allah’s will” they appear as messiahs with guns. Repression will be used without moral restraint or hesitation. No wonder: The system is mankind’s destiny and salvation, thus the only force of good. In this case, all forms of resistance or even “neutrality” are expressions of evil. It must be destroyed by the virtuous to save the fallible crowd.
This logic has implications. As the system’s power consolidates, it will intrude into the areas that used to be private — determined by society’s spontaneous self-organization. The governing system’s resulting failures to replace the “market” will erode its attraction. Services and institutions that worked autonomously will fail. In time, toilet paper and soap, as well as the sand in the Sahara, will run out. As this happens, the discontent of the subjugated will rise.
At that juncture, a further assumption of ideology-empowered elites enters the picture. The armed redeemers that appear to society as its kidnappers regard themselves as the executors of destiny in the name of a future majority. Additionally, they also believe that history is a struggle in which a participant must be liquidated.
“Satan” had dominated the past from which their subjects are to be liberated. The unbelieving critics of their rule are enemies (not opponents) that resist their deserved fate. The deficiencies unveiled during the march into the future are not systemic failures. These need to be ascribed to the “faithless,” to “the enemy’s hand,” which is everywhere and is to be unmasked by exercising “revolutionary alertness.” Totalitarians see themselves as involved in a perennial war.
This call to violence is a call to apply virtue. Jihadi John or Che Guevara — as t-shirts with his picture demonstrate — are not only slayers but also, due to that, cult figures. The recruiting effect of their brutality is knowingly exploited and its efficacy cannot be denied. Sadly, murder has a magnetic pull. To join a force that claims to be irresistible and empowered by providence, will give otherwise insecure individuals a sense of security and a stake in the invincible. The marches that Nazis and various Communists like(d) to organize served to demonstrate that opposition equals suicide. The “march” cannot be halted and its energy will crush every hindrance.
By accepting that message, the timid average person will endeavor to stay in the movement. To do that the values and inhibitions of individuals who would normally have led decent lives, are suspended and then reprogrammed with the system’s values. Consequently, since the system conducts a “jihad” against the world ruled by unbelievers, he will be required to participate unconditionally in that struggle. The mass murder inflicted by totalitarians on infidels would never find the needed manpower if it would be limited to those that would be criminals in a normal society.
To be able to resort to killing, a system that claims infallibility (“the Party never errs”) discovers that its control of society is threatened due to its doctrine-derived mismanagement. The widening gap between the perfect theory and an inferior reality must be bridged. That is done by resorting to institutionalized violence. At that stage, the ideology that justified total dictatorial power (“dictatorship of the proletariat”) is amended. Evil must be drafted into the service of a higher good. Transforming immorality into a virtue is not difficult. However, it is necessary, as the essential violence upon which the system depends requires “normal” people.
To become a murderer, a person must overcome his culture’s limiting “prejudices.” (Note: cultures erect barriers of different heights.) Not accidentally, a Nazi leader stated: “when I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun.” Once a person begins to kill, he finds that killing is a normal trade — if it is legalized as an act of decency by a faith or a secular ideology. And as murder demonstrates personal power, it becomes fulfilling while “struggling” brings promotion or ascendancy into a rooftop region of heaven. The commitment through participation will be self-perpetuating. Once on that path there is no way back. Therefore, there is a specific conclusion for our time. It is that Islam will continue to produce Islamists and that, unless they are routed completely, the number of the recruits to kill will grow.