Skip to comments.Lessons from the Red Terror About Islamist Organizations: an Interview with Prof. Anna Geifman
Posted on 08/02/2012 10:11:53 AM PDT by Nachum
Prof. Anna Geifmans 2010 book Death Orders examines mass political terrorism in pre-revolutionary Russia as a precedent for todays Islamist terrorism. Geifmans study of the Russian communist terror that prepared the 1917 revolution has enormous value for students of contemporary Islamist organizations.
A common sociology links the Russian terrorists and the Islamists: Russias urban populace swelled from around 9 million people in the mid-19th century to about 25 million in 1913, with inhabitants of most major Russian cities increasing four- or five-fold, leading to a breakdown of social values. All of Europe experienced political upheaval associated with urbanization; but, Less prepared for the advent of modernization, the Russians were vulnerable to an even greater degree, according to Geifman, increasingly prone to take an opportunity to release the bottled-up rage, especially when external circumstances stimulated the expression of distress.
I interviewed Prof. Geifman for PJ Media this week by email. The transcript of our discussion follows. Advertisement
PJM: In Death Orders, you document the worst epidemic of terrorism in modern history, namely the Red terror in the dozen years that preceded the Bolshevik revolution. Few people are aware of its scope: can you cite a few key facts to set this terror wave in context?
Geifman: Late imperial Russia was one of the birthplaces of modern terrorism, which is a new type of political violence. Subversives and insurrectionists had killed their adversaries as far back as 11th century , of course, but the terror campaign to which I am referring was essentially different from assassinations that had occurred elsewhere. A hallmark of this new kind of terror, which has escalated over the past 100 years, is that its objectives have shifted from the punishment of individual adversaries and the privileged, to indiscriminate cruelty carried out en masse.
(Excerpt) Read more at pjmedia.com ...
Thank you for posting this; a very interesting read.
To those who routinely bash liberal arts studies and degrees, I would say it’s not the academic pursuit or the degree that is what should be condemned or looked down at, it’s the way the discipline is being used. Prof. Greifman’s research is quite valuable in taking historical studies and trends and applying them to the modern context. It brings home certain unchangeable facts about human nature that we should never forget. If not, history will indeed repeat itself.
This is exactly what history, psychology, sociology and political science professors SHOULD be researching, and teaching.
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