THE HISTORY OF TERRORISM
The History of Terrorism Throughout history, power has more often than not been wielded through terror—that is, by inciting fear. All despotic societies have been founded on fear, as have so-called totalitarian regimes in the modern era.
The History of Terrorism Pdf Book
Submission to the established order and to force has been most of humankind’s sole avenue to security and, ultimately, to freedom. Without reaching all the way back to prehistory—itself ruled by terrifying insecurity vis-à-vis nature, wild beasts, and other men—the use of terror to govern began at the very birth of organized society as a means of dissuasion or punishment.
Terrace means “to make tremble” in Latin. The first Mesopotamian empire, that of Sargon of Akkad, was founded on terror. The same was later true of antiquity’s first military empire, the Assyrian, whose brutal methods of reprisal were intended to crush the spirit and break the will.
Announced with warlike violence, terror remains suspended like a sword in times of peace over the heads of all who dare to rebel. In the despotic societies that make up the major portion of history’s fabric, it has served as the tool of enslavement and guarantor of mass obedience.
State terror, whether implicit or overt, has haunted the centuries as war’s bogeyman, the specter of mass murder. Once unleashed, it can set an example to constrain behavior without the necessity of fighting. The Mongols and Tamerlane used terror in this way to reduce cities without having to resort to siege.
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