Re: Nanotech Restrictions (was: RE: Transparency Debate)

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Tue Apr 11 2000 - 16:48:30 MDT


On Sun, 9 Apr 2000 10:17:02 EDT,
From:, writes:

>At a Foresight-sponsored meeting on security and safety issues last year, I
>had occasion to speak at length with a very senior US defense establishment
>figure about this question of why we haven't seen more technology-based
>terrorist attacks against large population groups. Apparently, it is
>considered somewhat of a mystery in these circles

It is standard practice in the establishment media to demonize so-called
"terrorists". This demonization, which should be understood as a form of
propaganda, is so consistent and so thorough that it comes to be accepted
as established fact--the common truth. People in the power establishment,
and particularly those in the military, have so internalized these "truths"
that their logic no longer deals with the actual facts, and is therefor
stymied. Thus, the mystery.

The truth is easy: they are real people, with a real point of view, with a
real agenda, who are involved in a political relationship with a sovereign
power far more powerful than they are. The relationship is adversarial and
belligerent, and in that mode, violence is an instrument of policy.
Violence has such an amplifying--though dangerous--effect, that a small
group gets "big" influence from its application. A clear fact, though not
a nice one.
  Though demonization might lead the average media consumer to believe that
"terrorist madmen" are inclined to indiscriminate mass-murder, the truth is
far less dramatic: like any entity exercising that large independence of
action ordinarily the province only of sovereignty, a group in rebellion
against an established regime will take whatever action, violent or
non-violent, they believe will advance their agenda.

Consider the practice of demonization. Like the japs and the krauts, and,
before them, G Washington--founding father to Americans of today, terrorist
traitor in the British press of the time--the "enemy" must never be allowed
their humanity, their point of view must never be given a fair hearing.
Else they might be seen by the larger population as real people, with a
point of view possessed of some merit. That would lead to political
fractiousness, and cramp the freedom of action of the regime in power.

Greg continues:

>I believe that an empirical
>study should be undertaken in which members of likely groups that have been
>captured and imprisoned should be interviewed about the subject.

Of course, people in prison, and therefor under special conditions of
duress and distress, are likely to be sources of distorted "data". One
could seek out rebellious factions "in the wild", in their redoubts, but
there again, they would be presumed to speak "carefully", with an eye
to--and here we see the consistency and logic of their actions--advancing
their agenda.

I have done some reading on terrorism, and the material I have read falls
into two main categories. The largest is mainstream demonization posing as
neutral analysis, and the much smaller group is a generally dispassionate
treatment of rebellion, unconventional warfare, regicide, coups de tat, the
decapitation strategy, the psychology of guerilla warfare, etc.

I expect that there are some non-politicized scholarly treatments of the
subject "out there", perhaps even some recent ones--it's been awhile since
I read up on the subject--but you're not likely to find them in the
mainstream press. In fact, the absence of them in the mainstream press
could be interpreted as a sign of what such studies find--ie, something
inconsistent with the mainstream message.

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:13 MDT