How Globalization Spurs Terrorism: The Lopsided Benefits of "One World" and Why That Fuels Violence

By Fathali M. Moghaddam | Go to book overview

PART ONE
The Global Context of Terrorism

Turning and turning in the windening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer

—William Buttler Yeats1

“Now and then it is possible to observe the moral life in process of
revising itself … The news of such an event is often received with
a degree of irony or some other sign of resistance.”

—Lionel Trilling2

Fractured globalization is associated with major shifts in the global moral order, as the cultures and value systems of some societies spread and gain influence, and the cultures and value systems of other societies decline and lose influence. These changes reflect global transformations, the passing away of the old order, and the emergence of a new order. The poet William Butler Yeats conjures up the image of a falcon that has lost touch with the falconer, indicative of a loss of control at the center. Somewhere, a new center or, more likely multiple new centers are emerging.3

The global shifts we are experiencing, and particularly the decline of traditional moral orders, are giving rise to counter movements and reactions, some of them radical and even violent. Terrorism is just one example of these counter movements, as violent extremists react to enormous changes they sense, changes that seriously threaten the continuation of lifestyles they support. In an important sense, Islamic terrorists are fighting for survival, the survival of their moral order.

-19-

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