The British Empire - A Lesson In State Terrorism

For most people in Western nations today, terrorism has become synonymous with large scale spectacular acts of violence by small groups against a civilian population and, within the last 15 years, primarily in the name of one religion in particular - Islam. Historically speaking (and I mean up until the present day) there is no justification for this perception, and it can only have come about through a massive and prolonged public propaganda offensive on the part of those with a vested interest in creating and perpetuating it.

The historical record shows quite clearly that states, or those acting on behalf of the state, have been responsible for the vast majority of large-scale terrorist acts against civilians. If we pause to think about it for a moment, it seems natural that this would be the case. The ruling class in any nation, be it a monarchy, democracy or dictatorship, are naturally in opposition to the people over whom they rule because the ruling class enjoy privileges that the people do not. Indeed, the ruling class only enjoy these privileges because of this manufactured divide, that is to say, the 'haves' have because the 'have nots' 'have not'.

While the division between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' in terms of wealth and privilege is clear to most, many people still fail to realise that the very existence of a corrupt wealthy elite presumes the existence of two very different definitions and applications of morality and even the law.

Citizens live their lives by a moral code and expect their leaders to hold to the same standards, both in their own lives and in their dealings on the international stage as the representatives of the people. But this basic sense of morality or conscience adhered to by the people is, more often than not, an impediment to the selfish objectives of the elite. Basically, in our modern world, the elite would not be the elite if they held to the same moral code as a majority of the population. This is another reason why the civilian population are viewed as a threat to the established order and why the elite must not only lie to the population about their true intentions, but must also attempt to corrupt the general understanding of 'morality' (and reality) so that it more closely resembles the deviant world view of the elite.

This assessment of our modern social and political structures may be unsavory to many, but a quick look around the world today, or a brief glance over the past few thousands years, shows that sadly, it is the truth.

This imbalance often leads to corruption (of many kinds) among the ruling elite and it is hard to find examples where the people have not suffered as a result. When this corruption is taken to extremes (as has often been the case) some form of popular revolt is inevitable. When such insurrections have occurred, the established order have responded by attacking the civilians that pose a threat to their ascendancy. History is littered with examples of this. Since terrorism is most often defined today as an attack on a civilian population, it is reasonable then to state that it is the state that has historically had both the motive and opportunity to carry out most major terrorist acts.

State actors, however, have been careful to recognise that subversive movements very often represent the voice of the 'silent majority' of ordinary people and, as a result, can quickly garner wide-spread popular support. If an entire nation were to erupt against the elite, the game would be over. At the same time, the state cannot simply destroy such movements by 'decapitating' the leadership, because that would risk making popular heroes of the slain and perpetuate among the population the anti-establishment ideals for which the insurgents stood. This is particularly true in nations that are nominally democracies and whose leaders wish to maintain the 'democratic' facade both domestically and internationally.

The aim of state-sponsored counter-rebellion or 'counter-insurgency' is to subvert the rebels and the ideals for which they stand (most often social justice and equality, land rights etc.) and successfully portray the rebels and their ideology to the wider population (and world) as self-interested, fundamentally lawless, and immoral miscreants who must be dealt with severely. In pursuit of this aim, otherwise benign ideological divisions that exist within most populations can be stirred up and exacerbated in an effort to split the grass-roots support for any rebellion and align a significant percentage of the population with the state and against the rebels. If successful in this effort, the terroristic state policies that provoked the rebels to form in the first place can be increased and spun as lawful defence against the 'terrorism' of the rebels. Winning the public information battle - defining the nature of and reasons for the conflict - is therefore a key element in deciding the outcome. With the resources of the state on its side however, the ruling class or state usually have a distinct advantage in this respect...


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