Terrorism is almost unequivocally associated with violence; be it the urban guerrillas of the late 60s and 70s, the perpetrators of 9/11, other martyr suicide bombers, ISIS or simply anyone who uses violence, albeit psychological, inflammatory oratory or basic physical brutality, to undermine fragile democracies in this world, and/or entrench their totalitarian power over others who dissent. Using fear as a weapon of mass destruction, both terrorists and governments, albeit by an inverse, often subconscious rationale, are complicit in perpetuating fear, oft springing from their own innate fear and self-loathing projected onto others as a legitimate, even legally sanctioned, means of control. Indeed, to quote from a 1977 book ‘Terror or Love: The Personal Account of a West German Urban Guerrilla’, Bommi Baumann, he writes “ Today I can see that- for myself- it was only fear of love, from which one flees into absolute violence. If I had checked out the dimension of love for myself beforehand, I wouldn’t have done it.’ He asserts that it is sexual oppression or repressed sexuality, which he calls love, that’s the force connected with terrorism.
Baumann’s idea that it’s a ‘fear of love’ could just as well be interpreted as a self-loathing pathology, denying the sanctity and beauty of love for himself and others, manifesting instead as a hatred of others that masked his inner self-hatred. He used violence as a projection of his ‘fear of love’ fear and self-hatred onto others as justification for that violence. In 1975, Baumann was one of the 14 most wanted terrorists in West Germany. In the introduction to Baumann’s account as an urban guerrilla, 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, writer Heinrich Boll says ‘the issue here is definitely violence; who uses it, who should be allowed to use it and should the state have a monopoly on its use. These are political and legal questions.’
My life experience has made me both fearful of various authorities in different countries for different reasons and in different contexts, locked up in ‘prison’ only two years ago, but I understood these people, both male and female, were projecting onto me their subconscious self-loathing and at the same time were frightened by me because of what I’ve written and spoken. I have been, and still am, in some ways, ‘a social terrorist’, defying the conservative, conformist and conventional norms of behaviour as a female, threatening the status quo and some authorities totalitarian abuse of power. I use the ‘word’ terrorist as an absolute antithesis to Baumann and even Boll’s understanding of it. I do ‘terrorise’ some people, but it’s without violence, either psychologically or physically, emanating from a strong sense of self, engendered by inner peace and love magnified by reason and logic, and a great delight in critical thinking and analysis. Maybe ‘dissident’ is more appropriate? This ‘fear’ of me says more about these frightened people than it does about me; they are indeed ‘fearful’ of me not because I’ve ever been violent against another human being, but as a projection of their own self-loathing and fear of what I’m confronting them about, albeit verbally, without violence of any kind. It is as if my ideas, thoughts and beliefs strike ‘terror’ in their hearts and minds, and rather than ‘think’ (indeed, mostly they haven’t listened anyway) about what I’m saying, I’m ignored or drugged into oblivion. After all, a passionate vehement female, who uses a loud and angry voice at others’ humiliating and inequitable practices is clearly ‘lunatic’, she ‘could be violent and dangerous’, to self and others. I was locked up for it so many times, even when I’m speaking moderately and quietly. Indeed, I can be ‘dangerous’ in espousing thoughts, written or oral, that question the basic tenets of our Judaic-Christian morality, ethics and reason; shut me up quick before I pick up a knife to slash your throat. In expressing some of my thoughts and ideas, I’m obviously ‘out of control’, a madwoman to sedate to shut the fuck up! A strong, sexual, independent, confident and capable female (dare I say woman, even lady) is a contradiction in terms!
Maybe I should even add the word ‘powerful’ to my repertoire, powerful of myself, for myself and by myself; my own democratic sense of self, so that I don’t have to ‘power’ it over anyone who may disagree with me. I allow them the same right to dissent as I permit myself, when appropriate, to exercise. I learned decades ago to shut up when others weren’t even listening, albeit frightened because I was ‘out of THEIR’ control as they unconsciously regarded me; a threat to them, not by my actions (except walking away) but with words. Controlling others is but a masquerade for failing to control themselves, symptomatic of an innate fear of themselves certainly on the inside and in their subconscious, revealing their inadequacies with their frightened pathological projections (psychological violence as I wrote months ago) or even more tragically perhaps, or by using physical violence against those they deem ‘out of control’.
It is not just a feeling of personal threat they countenance, but to the social order of our hierarchical, monied elites who try to dictate our behaviour and our feelings, our words, spoken or written, just too frightening to contemplate beyond their own innate fears and paranoia. Sexual repression is part of it, as Baumann believes, but pervasive gender assumptions about how females should quintessentially be, albeit by their biology or environment imbues these assumptions with a destructive and sadistic element, for other females as much as males. It is oppression of all kinds, and this ‘understanding’ can also be just as frightening to men about men, too, men don’t conform to the stereotypes that bedevil human existence; be they sexual and/or professional or just involving a beautiful sensitivity rather than a cold and calculated modus operandi. ‘Aberrations’ to the stereotypes, be they male or female, can be perceived as ‘social terrorism’, as I define it, abandoning the traditional norms of behaviour and belief for more unconventional patterns that threaten and undermine the status quo. I recognised in my twenties how ‘alarming’ I could be; not just sexually, but professionally, too, as I challenged those female norms in my own way with my own script. Too many people thought I was the one that was frightened; tragically for them, it was their own unconscious fear of me that they projected that I understood as their own obsession with power and control, as well as a total lack of respect for me who dared to disagree with them.
At nearly 16-years-old, I wrote something in my diary: ‘if we don’t conform to any ideas or society, we are of course branded as being an outcast, a loner, a rebel to our society. Surely, society is cruel in placing such strict labels on us, for it does in some cases destroy our individualism. Thus, where do we stand? We should conform, but then conformity only destroys us. Thus, what is the answer? …..A sad case of affairs when our own society destroys us. Our society is what we create, and then it destroys us. It doesn’t seem to make sense.’ It was just a few years later that it all made sense to me; that threatening the implicit assumptions of being female; albeit an individual of sorts, is akin to social terrorism; our society ‘frightened’ by the rebels (and I’m certainly not the only one) who defy their power and control. I’m unsure as to what I really meant in writing’ we should conform’, but it is non-conformity that is branded as ‘social terrorism’, be we males or females. Now, fifty years later, I can only pity those who used ‘violence’, both psychologically and physically against me, recognising them for the pathetic creatures they are and as the ‘real’ terrorists who instil fear in too many of us non-conformists, and they too, are both male and female. C’est La Vie!