This is from a piece by The New Yorker's Jon Lee Anderson about the killing of James Foley:
Yesterday's guerrillas have given way to terrorists, and now terrorists have given way to this new band, who are something like serial killers. ISIS, an organization of thugs, is the Middle East's answer to the psycho-killer narco gang Los Zetas, trying to out-bad their enemies, to frighten them into submission, and to somehow draw themselves into an ugly cartoon of evil.Anderson juxtaposes ISIS and brutal drug gangs -- which interests me because I've been thinking that jihadism and narcoterrorism are the only alternatives to capitalism left for anyone who chafes under the established order in a post-communist world. Capitalism triumphed a generation ago, communism is dead, but what remains is deeply unsatisfactory to much of the world, especially after the 2007-2008 economic collapse -- yet there appears to be no alternative.
No alternative, that is, except jihadism in parts of the world, and narcoterrorism in others. They're the only forces that create pockets wherein the Masters of the Universe, and the governments they own, aren't completely the masters.
Anderson goes on to write:
Last week, I met with Faisal Ali Waraabe, a politician in the Justice and Welfare Party, from Somaliland. He is a candidate in next year's Presidential elections. As a younger man, he was a socialist and a devotee of Che Guevara. Last year, he lost his twenty-two-year-old son Sayid, who was born and raised in Finland, to the dark enticements of ISIS.... I asked Faisal what he thought of ISIS, and about what his son is doing. He shook his head sadly, raised his hands helplessly in the air, and said, "They are the new barbarians."Yes -- but if you're young and thoroughly unsatisfied with the status quo, they're pretty much all that's left. You're certainly not going to get very far in 2014 as a socialist devotee of Che Guevara.
The old bromide says that when nonviolent revolution is impossible, violent revolution become inevitable. Here's a variant: When economic revolt is impossible, nihilist revolution is inevitable. And it's going to be extremely violent nihilism, because that's the only thing that scares the crap out of the universe's Masters enough to hold them at bay.