A Quote by Michael Jackson on war, violence, hannah arendt, terrorism, sierra leone, and west africa

Unless one has been caught up in a war and experienced the terror that comes of knowing that thousands of heavily armed individuals are bent on one's annihilation, it is hard to realize that most violence is not primarily motivated by evil, greed, lust, ideology, or agresssion. Stranges as it may seem, most violence is defensive. it is notivated by the fear that if one does not kill one ill be killed. Either by the enemy or by one's own superiors. Against this constant anxiety, and the acute sense of fear and vulnerabilty that accompanies it, one conjures an illusion of power-- torching buildings, shooting unarmed civilians, firing rocket grentades, smoking cannabis, shouting ordrs, changing slogans, seeing oneself as Rambo, taunting, torturing, and abusing the individuals one has taken captive. But all this display of might-- this weaponry, thse medicines and amulets, this noise, these incantations, both political and magical, these Hollywood images, these drug-induced fuges, these rituals of brotherhood and solidarity -- simply reveal the depth of oen's own impotence and fear. This is Hannah Arendt's great insight-- that while military power consolidates itself in numbers, and in coordinated, automatic forms of mass movement, terrorism seeks power in implements, and is driven not by might but by its absence. And so it is that in the auto-da-fe, with explosions and bomb blasts, fire, noise, and mayhem, that the terrorist, like a child, finds his apotheosis, achieving the recognition, presence, voice and potency he has been denied in the real world.

Michael Jackson

Source: In Sierra Leone, Pages: 39

Contributed by: jess