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Extremism and Fundamentalism
This page updates the status of the Taliban and by implication, what may be going on with bin Laden and what is left of al Qa'ida. We report original quotes from the front page article of the 17-23 April 2009 edition of The Guardian Weekly."

Individual Quote

Yousaf Gilani
Prime Minister

[The new law] "has the support of the nation."

Javed Almed
"As long as there is peace, it doesn't matter what the law is; if sharia law can do that, that's just fine."

Ayesha Khan,
Women's right activist

"The government has officially accepted Taliban rule in Swat. How can this regulation bring peace, hope, and real justice if you don't have even your basic rights? People may be happy today, but they are going to regret it."

Headline: "Shocking revelation: Santa Clara University professor mirrors famous torture study"

Editor's Forward:

Many think Stanley Milgram was denied tenure at Yale because of his controversial studies into human nature. He found most ordinary people will inflict severe electric shocks to another person in response to an authority figure having no more "real authority" than a white coat in a formal setting. Jerry M. Burger of Santa Clara University has replicated the essential features of Milgram's classic work with essentially identical results.

Excerpts from Mercury News - 12/21/2008

By Lisa M. Krieger

    "Replicating" [reproducing] "one of the most controversial behavioral experiments in history, a Santa Clara University psychologist has found that people will follow orders from an authority figure to administer what they believe are painful electric shocks.
Joe Conason,
Book Review With Commentary

Insights upon insights are among the offerings of this gifted writer. In this, his fourth major book on contemporary American politics, Conason essentially indicts the Bush/Cheney Administration of fascism; the very kind predicted by Sinclair Lewis in "It Can't Happen Here" 1935:

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross."
Republican Party Hijacked Without Rank-And-File Consent.

Resources: Conservatives Without Conscience, by John Dean, and The Authoritarian Specter, by Bob Altemeyer and information each references.
Unique Experiments that Illuminated Our True Human Natures.
Stanley Milgram
Book Review With Commentary

Reviewed by Harry Rosenberg.

If there is a kernel to the story of violence in American culture, this book is that kernel. Milgram adds magnificently to the pioneering work of Adorno et al on the Authoritarian Personality. Milgram details his many rigorous experiments, and interprets them relentlessly.
The following excerpt is from Lawrence W Britt: Free Inquiry magazine, vol 23 No 2.

Britt nicely summarizes 14 distinguishing features of Fascist regimes. Some are all too familiar in 21st century democracies.
Updated: 01 Jan 2009

John Dean of the Nixon Administration and Watergate fame
Book Review with commentary

We quote from Publisher's Weekly

"Few critics have as effectively put the disparate pieces together, linking them to what Dean says is a broader pattern of secrecy from an administration that does its best to control the flow of information on every subject ... and uses executive privilege to circumvent congressional scrutiny."

See also: John Dean's own remarks on this.
Updated 7 April 2010

Identifying the Psychological Traits
Published 1996 Bob Altemeyer
Book Review with commentary: Updated 15 Jan 2008

Bob Altemeyer, is both daring and credible. He is an Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Manitoba. His professional focus is the social psychology of authoritarian personalities; it is his specialty. Unlike the Freudians and political pundits, his calling is to understand and define the personality itself in scientific terms. Toward that end he finds that three basic traits explain the behaviors authoritarians exhibit: Submission, Aggression, and Conventionalism. Readers should carefully note his definitions of each before drawing conclusions of their own.
How the Religious Right Destroys Christianity and Promotes Prejudice and Hate.
Dan Wakefield
Book Review with commentary

This book might also carry the title "WAKE UP AMERICA" as it reveals the hidden-in-plain-sight right-wing strategy to dominate the world.
Kris Rosenberg

[Once Again Kris Rosenberg paints vivid pictures illustrative of something wrong in the world. Her anecdotes took life in America, but the personality features she draws can occur in any culture. Where America differs from other cultures lies in the degrees by which extremism is fostered. In two situations, Kris shows how extremism can take over in family units. It is not that different in societies at large. Her rendering is from the female point of view, but the basic problems exhibited by males appear in their female counterparts in varying degrees. Ed.]
Its the intent, not the content.

Hitler developed propaganda into a fine art. That is not to say he did not have instruction; he did in the battlefields of WWI. And now we are going him one better.
In forcing the Russians to withdraw in 1989, the Afghans became the heroes of many in Islam. The subsequent civil war saw the fundamentalist (Deobandi) Taliban emerge and take power.
Abomination seems a word not strong enough to describe Racism, the practice of discrimination, segregation, persecution, or dominance based on race.
If you have bought into the claim that pacifists are identical to passivists, you are not alone.
Until American society seriously addresses the roots of violence, we can be sure our authoritarian natures will reflect poorly on our society. We are not different in such expressions, others can be worse, as the African and Asian genocides prove. But as the only superpower, we have some responsibility to lead the world in peace, not in violence. Yet we allow Lucifer to guide our destiny.
"Philosophers and theologians have yet to learn that a physical fact is as sacred as a moral principle" -- J. Louis Agassiz

Agassiz was a famous 19th century geologist who helped found earth science.
How Extreme Authoritarian Personalities Contribute to Terrorism.

Updated 22 Jan 2009

The basic causes of violence and war seem to arise from our genes. Most species will fight other species when threatened. They also fight among themselves over territory, food supplies, mates. Humans are not different in these tendencies. Civilization arose because humans finally figured out better ways to grow and store food, how to domesticate plants and animals. The rise of civilization carried with it all the genetic armor developed in the jungles and savannas. And this gave us a problem.

Our intellectual mastery over nature, was not accompanied by an equivalent mastery over ourselves.
Causes of Terrorism

As ghastly as terrorists have been and still are, we will err in our strategy against them if we do not account for their humanity and how they develop their inhumanity. Books detailed enough to understand something of the psychology of practicing terrorists are all too few.
"We're never going to be able to solve the problem of terrorism unless we understand and try to deal with some of the reasons that turn particularly young, impressionable people to support extremist organizations."
Dame Stella Rimington -- Director-General: M15
Also Known as Special Interests or Welfare for the Rich-American Style
See also: Plutocracy

How it works is this:

  • Forget job creation or job security.
  • Forget capital formation.
Causes of Terrorism

The contents of this page have been Moved.
A Basic Cause of Terrorism
[Jungle/Savanna Heritage Roots]

"When the nations on this planet fight for existence-when the question of destiny, 'to be or not to be,' cries out for a solution-then all considerations of humanitarianism or aesthetics crumble into nothingness; for all these concepts do not float about in the ether, they arise from man's imagination and are bound up with man." Adolph Hitler
Jessica Stern
Book Review With Commentary
By Harry Rosenberg

Terror in the Name of God by Jessica Stern is a must read by anyone who cares about the future of humanity. Any scholar of terrorism will find new information from the terrorists themselves.
Fundamentals of Extremism -- The Christian Right in America
Editor: Kimberly Blaker
Book Review

This collaborative review misses hardly a descriptive trick. It is an excellent review of events spawned by extremist behavior.
The Authoritarian Personality
Theodor Adorno et al 1950
Book Review With Commentary

Theodor Adorno, along with Else Frenkel-Brunswick, Daniel Levinson, and R. Nevitt Sanford, produced a monumental work that illustrated why ordinary Germans were so caught up in Nazi anti-semitism and racism during WWII.
Extremism is the real enemy of our times, and it is the enemy of all peoples.