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Terrorism And Globalization

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Chapter Summary

This chapter relates the material circumstances of globalization to cultural trauma and the spiritual disorder of pneumopathology. Eric Voegelin asserts that the pneumopathological terrorist suffers from a disease in which evil assumes the form of spirituality. Terrorist organizations, such as Aum Shinrikyo in Japan or Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, construct an imaginative "second reality" in which the murder of innocents is seen as contributing to a magical transformation of the world. This kind of terrorism replaces pragmatically rational pursuits with pathological spiritual aspirations in which Weapons of Mass Destruction and suicide bombings are both seen as appropriate instruments in an apocalyptic struggle between Good and Evil. In 1988 the suicide-bombing campaign in Lebanon was abandoned for tactical not theological reasons, and the opportunity for success ended with the withdrawal of the troops of the Multilateral Force.

Keywords: Aum Shinrikyo; Eric Voegelin; globalization; Japan; Lebanon; Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda; suicide bombings; terrorist organizations



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