Monday, March 19, 2007

Inactivity

In a post entitled J.D. Salinger and al Qaeda's "Chinese Democracy" Rodger raises a question about the apparent lack of al Qaeda activity on American soil since 9/11. He compares this with the rare artistic output of perfectionists like J.D. Salinger and Axl Rose.

Rodger describes this inactivity as a lack of productivity on al Qaeda's part. But given the enormous financial and psychological cost that America and other countries continue to incur for fear of al Qaeda, there seems little need for unnecessary activity. If al Qaeda can now achieve a very large effect from an unsubstantiated rumour or half-baked plot, this suggests they have attained an extremely efficient state.

It is a well-known phenomenon that inactivity can trigger activity. (See previous posts Nothing Causes Action, Negative Thinking.) In the case of fear, this phenomenon may be amplified - nameless dread being more powerful than any specific threat.

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