Terrorism and Forces of Change
For millennia, the globe has throbbed with human loss due to acts and motivations of terrorism. Today, in the front hall of Buntrock Commons, a mural hangs above the door. Within the last 20 years, international terrorism has escalated to fantastically catastrophic proportions. Today, we look with wider eyes upon the replica of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. One year ago, terrorists pulled our country into the reality of the world with a horrific act of violence. Grim and gripping, Guernica is now before us. What forces have changed in our world to bring this 75-year-old Spanish mural to hang in our hall with renewed significance?
We have finally recognized international terrorism as part of our country’s reality. We are now forced to account for desperate acts of terrorism in real, personal terms. According to Hughes, there exist roughly nine forces of change in the political world today. As outlined in Continuity and Change in World Politics: Competing Perspectives, each force offers some inference into the reality of intercontinental dynamics. Yet this framework of forces cannot be of use without establishing a simple understanding: Where there is dissatisfaction with life prompted by greed, injustice or other source within a minority, and a specific and ruthless will among the dissatisfied to seek violence as a means of change, there will be terrorism. Modern threats to our governments today are simply the escalation of this violent will across continental boarders. In accounting for terrorism, the truly relevant and crucial questions at hand are thus: how do we prevent horrific acts of violence motivated by social unrest and how do we administer and alleviate the unrest?
Hughes does not offer a response, but does seek to describe our political world of today. The dynamics of political demographics, food sufficiency, the transition of our energy uses, and the reactions to human choices in our environment are forces that contribute to our current global system. No number of individual inquiries into singular forces will produce a profound understanding of international terrorism. It is only when these forces are viewed in conjunction with Hughes’ forces of Global Economic Reconstructing and the Rise and fall of the Global position that a context for international terrorism emerges. The rise to power of one country through the strengthening of its economy and the profitable produce of its population can hinder or even cripple another country, thus creating turbulence among groups of people.