Here is a brief comment following the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris.
I have been reading a lot over the last days. It is apparent how people all over the world struggle with understanding what is going on; how a few lunatics can do so barbaric things. I struggle too, but I want to suggest a way to look at Daesh (that’s how everyone should call IS), which might help with the big picture.
I see Daesh and other radical terrorist groups as a phenomenon similar to global warming: As a by-product of the modern, industrialized, capitalist world.
By now, apart from a few hardline ideologists, there is a widespread international consensus and acknowledgement that the human progress of the past 150 years has come with a large cost: A rapidly changing climate which poses serious challenges to humans’ future existence. Even though counter-measures are being implemented slowly, a general agreement about the need to reduce carbon emissions exists.
I suggest to start seeing Daesh and other internationally active terrorist groups the same way: As a by-product of rapid human expansion and growth. To get a better understanding about the connection between globalization and terrorism/fundamentalism, read this piece.
If you consider this way of thinking about the rise of terrorism and radicalism, it changes the way you look at possible solutions. Suddenly, notoriously ineffective, ever-increasing surveillance and reduction of civil rights don’t seem like an intelligent response anymore. If the correct response to global warming is the reduction of carbon emissions, then the main response to Daesh should be about treating the actual cause of fundamentalism.
What carbon dioxid is to global warming, X is to fundamentalism and terrorism. Let’s find X, instead of letting too many people reach the point of total radicalization and then hoping to catch them before (or even worse: after) they commit their murders.