The roots of terror
Some form of terror lies at the origin of most political states, writes Terry Eagleton, but this fact is cast into the political unconscious. Only by confronting it, rather than repressing it, can we hope to get beyond it
A lot of what we imagine as traditional – the Scottish kilt for example – is fairly new-fangled, and this is true of terrorism. Of course, human beings have been at each other’s throats since the dawn of time. But terrorism is also a political idea, which is not quite the same as blowing up your neighbour because his TV set is too loud. And this idea is surprisingly recent.