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Commenting on terrorist groups like ETA, Stephen Read comments:
"It is difficult to judge the degree of calculated hooliganism/sociopathy in these "fringe" type groups and to what degree the violence is driven by provocations. It seems to have become too frequent that the "provocation" is historical--long unrevenged reversals, rather than real time events. I am concerned about the cultivation of "tradition" and "culture" as well as "ethnicity" to the degree that these constructs support and justify the violence."
My comment: I agree entirely, and the cultivation of tradition and culture has negative effects, even without violence. In Valencia a sharp argument is going on between those who say that Valencian is the same as Catalan (which it is) and those who shout that it is different and demand the creation of a Valencian academy, etc. Quite apart from the ill-will generated, this distracts attention from the real job of developing the area.
Violent men are almost incurable. There have been mass protests against terrorist killings in Spain and Colombia, but the killers pay no attention. Incidentally, I wonder how much attention our gun maniacs will pay the million mothers demonstrating against them.
Ronald Hilton - 5/15/00