‘We begin bombing in 5 minutes.’ – A joke by Ronald Reagan, off the record audio recording, 1984.
“A new poster had suddenly appeared all over London. It had no caption, and represented simply the monstrous figure of a Eurasian soldier, three or four metres high, striding forward with expressionless Mongolian face and enormous boots, a submachine gun pointed from his hip. From whatever angle you looked at the poster, the muzzle of the gun, magnified by the foreshortening, seemed to be pointed straight at you. The thing had been plastered on every blank space on every wall, even outnumbering the portraits of Big Brother. The proles, normally apathetic about the war, were being lashed into one of their periodical frenzies of patriotism. As though to harmonize with the general mood, the rocket bombs had been killing larger numbers of people than usual. One fell on a crowded film theatre in Stepney, burying several hundred victims among the ruins. The whole population of the neighbourhood turned out for a long, trailing funeral which went on for hours and was in effect an indignation meeting. Another bomb fell on a piece of waste ground which was used as a playground and several dozen children were blown to pieces. There were further angry demonstrations, Goldstein was burned in effigy, hundreds of copies of the poster of the Eurasian soldier were torn down and added to the flames, and a number of shops were looted in the turmoil; then a rumour flew round that spies were directing the rocket bombs by means of wireless waves, and an old couple who were suspected of being of foreign extraction had their house set on fire and perished of suffocation.” – 1984, chapter 5.
“The deadliest underground attack of the decade, in fact, killed all of four people, in the January 1975 bombing of a Wall Street restaurant. News accounts rarely carried any expression or indication of public outrage.
Consider what happened when another Puerto Rican group detonated a small bomb in a Bronx cinema while a rapt crowd watched a movie called The Liberation of L.B. Jones. When police ordered everyone to leave, an NYPD spokesman complained, the audience angry refused, demanding to see the rest of the movie. When police insisted, They about tore the place apart.” The Bombings Across America That We’ve Forgotten, Time.com.
While undoubtedly, there did indeed exist many radical groups stemming from even my own socialism in decades past, not only was their application of violence entirely distinct from hate-based religious radicalism’s violence. Such as that invoked by radical Islam today. But one should also remember as we enter deeper into an era where information available to the public is deemed just as viable a weapon as any bomb, in an era of deep-fakes and impersonation facilitated by technology, that control and creation of such information through scare campaigns has already been a tool when it concerns The War on Drugs and the creation of a scapegoat scandal through propaganda of illicit substances and their effects, to obfuscate from the public their real detriments, and few positives, to health and lead them blindly into yet another war.
And upon doing so, and taking the path of a skeptic, one must tread carefully, so that the constant doubt does not degrade into paranoid delusion.