The Psychology of Terrorism: Clinical Aspects and Responses - Vol. 2

By Chris E. Stout | Go to book overview

10

Us & Them: Reducing the Risk of Terrorism

Stephen D. Fabick

“We must live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.”

Martin Luther King

As the world gets smaller—with CNN, the Internet, and transportation advances—different cultural groups have more contact with each other. With this comes the opportunity for greater understanding, but also greater conflict. Our enhanced technology requires an enhanced psychology. Our world no longer has the luxury of easy answers such as blind tribal loyalty, ingroup aggrandizement, and outgroup dismissal and disdain.

In a more interdependent world, collaboration trumps competition in the long run, even for the powerful. Wise leaders of powerful groups realize the transitory nature of such a power imbalance. And in a world in which terrorism 1 is the seductive equalizer, the powerful have no other choice ultimately. The asymmetrical warfare of terrorism requires a reassessment of the ways to deal with such threats. Transformative thinking is needed in a world where survival depends more on cooperation than on competition.

Such thinking starts on a personal level with the appreciation that the disenfranchised poor are no less important than others. And it continues with the realization that countries with the highest disparity in wealth have the greatest incidence of stress, violence, and crime (Albee, 2000). Such transformative vision then extends to the powerful fully understanding the sense of threat that others can feel is posed by their greater power, and the privileged having sensitivity to the envy fostered by

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