Greedy Goblin

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Islamic State miracle

The Islamic State seems to find the holy grail of terrorism. There always were extremists who were ready to kill random people for "the great cause", but IS managed to turn into a mass movement. Thousands of people from around the World flock to their flag and join them either by moving to IS controlled territory or committing mass killings at home. They don't seem to run out of new terrorists, they can't just be beheaded by killing leaders, they aren't an organization but a movement, an idea.

Tobold got me thinking about them who - obviously - blames it on capitalism: too many poor people with no future. This might be true for Iraqi and Syrian members, but in Europe middle class kids join them, sometimes without Islamic background. Also, poor kids always turned to crime, not to terrorism. They lack money, so they steal, sell drugs or get into prostitution. But killing random people? Why?!

I believe that the miracle of the IS is that they are the first terrorist organization in history with a positive career path. All terrorists, rebels and freedom fighters did what they did "for the people", "for the future of our children", "for the Nation", "for the Faith" or other selfless goal. The IS says "be a terrorist and be famous, rich and successful in this life". The IS offers (and pretty often delivers) slave girls and fame to their members. Not the usual "70 harem girls in the afterlife" but a captured girl sold on their marketplace in this very life. Not the usual "you'll be remembered as a martyr after our final victory" but 1M hits on your beheading video today.

The thing is that the IS offers the "American dream" better than America itself. Look at any blockbuster movie and you see a hero fighting against impossible odds for a noble cause. But can you actually achieve it in the US or EU? Not really. Most career opportunities lead to money and more money and even more money, but young people don't want to be Jordan Belford, they want to be Batman, and there is no hiring for Batman in the US and the EU. Even if you join some fighting force, you'll be outnumbering and outgunning the enemy and no one will consider you a hero for driving a drone over Syria and bombing people by pressing buttons in your air base. IS offers nothing but Batman positions: you'll be surrounded by "infidels" and you'll be killing dozens or even hundreds of them before going down with guns blazing.

The solution is taking away the "coolness" of IS. Flat out censor the hype around terrorist acts. Sure, you can't censor the fact that an IS terrorist killed 84 people in Nice. But you can and should limit this to a dry and factual report and censor out the sensational pictures and videos, especially the one with the image of the terrorist. He shall have no name, he shall die as "an IS terrorist". Of course, most of the censorship needs to be done in social media. I'm sure that unless it's done, IS won't be defeated, even if they lose their land.

Finally, the slave girls. They are such an attractive force to IS because of sexism. Just check out the chat in a video game and you'll see that many players would do many bad things if they would be paid in slave girls. Every time you tolerate "let's rape those cunts" in a piece of media, you reinforce the belief that girls are trophies that the winners will claim. IS will always have girls to offer while Western countries can't do the same. The goal is to make young men be disgusted by the idea of a girl being their property instead of (not so) secretly dreaming about it.


Anonymous said...

Steel H. said...

I'm surprised to see so much talk of social engineering from you, ban this and censor that - I though you were some ultra Ayn Rand classical-liberal? Have you been mugged enough by reality to become an authoritarian now? Who exactly would be doing all the censoring?

Gevlon said...

@Steel: I always advocated autocracy over morons and slackers:

Freedom is for those who are smart enough to make their living. Censoring can be done quite automatically, as content types and not content itself must be censored. You can talk about terrorist attacks, just can't show sensational pictures or mention the name of the terrorist.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, such censorship campaign would never happen. All (six) major news corporations are tied with groups that receive funding directly from Saudi Arabia. A Saudi prince and his company own a larger share of Twitter than the founder himself. To them, dollars are worth more than lives, so the IS attacks won't end unless they're eradicated or they run out of common people to kill and start affecting the rich directly.

Tobold is so far left that no explanations will reach him. They all see Trump as "crazy racist" and won't even look up what his actual policies are, let alone think about them.

maxim said...

First, a "miracle" is an inherently positive and good thing. ISIS is not a "miracle".
The genesis of ISIS had exactly nothing to do with miracles, as it has received all sorts of support from everyone looking for leverage against the national states of the Middle East (PRed as "horrible dictatorships" by the same sources PRing ISIS now).

In that light, i'd be all for a complete shutdown on spreading propaganda about terrorism, but that would require an executive order from the state, carried out with totalitarian ruthlessness. This process won't just destroy all the warm and fuzzy concepts of freedom of speech and press, but will also run against the core interests (business and otherwise) of all the people and organisations, who gave ISIS the support it received up until now.

Oddly enough, i'd still be all for it. We talk a lot about freedom of speech, but we don't talk at all about responsibilities that come with that freedom.

But i digress.

The notion of attacking ISIS ideologically is a strong notion. However, turning all males into people who are afraid of their own libido is definitely not the answer. To begin with, the very process of attacking the basic biological nature of half of population like that will cause more and more people to choose rebellion against the western way of life (manifesting in both ISIS and ultra-right conservative movements at home).

Reframing the male libido in some other way can be done. In fact, this is precisely what was done in USSR ("new human" and all). This, however, resulted in a country that simply chose to stop existing within the span of less than a century. Apparently, society is powered by energy of base desires and if you put too much of a lid on them, the society simply fizzles out.

I'm afraid, ISIS is very much a "State" right now. With all the power and resilience a state possesses. It will need to be dealt with like all criminal states in history were dealt with.

By men going out there and spilling blood in order to make sure their women don't get killed or taken away.

Riful said...

the only link connecting most of the home terrorism with the IS is a twitter post of the IS claiming that the person was 'a warrior for us', the same as the military classified everyone that was male and of certain age as a terrorist when they bombed a civilian gathering.
just because it sounds better for propaganda doesn't make it true.

Kevan Smith said...

I am afraid that you got it exactly right.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head. That's exactly what the media (and people on social media) should be doing: denying them the attention they crave.

Unfortunately that's not how the world works. Instead, not a day goes by without some expert going into detail on one of the bombings/shootings. Why? Because terrible acts this close to home cause a big spike in viewers so the media will greedily jump on the opportunity and try to be the first one to broadcast new information.

And it's probably only going to get worse.

Gevlon said...

@all: Freedom of speech refers to the ability to state your opinions. I believe (I know that the US supreme court disagrees) that sensationalism, provocation and pornography should not be included. I mean "I disagree with the policy of X because of Y" should always be free to be told. But "X is a goatraping pig" should be not, nor the drawing of X with the goat (or Muhammad with bombs). Ergo, I'm against limiting opinions but I am for limiting bad manners.

@maxim: where did I wanted to fight against libido. Having sex with women has nothing to do with owning women as properties or looking at them as trophies or tools.

@Riful: IS doesn't just claim credit for random shootings. I've yet to see a single shooting where they claimed credit and were disproved. While I understand that the Nice terrorist probably never talked with a "true" IS member in his life, he read their propaganda, believed it and acted upon it. He WAS an IS member, the same sense as I'm big part Randian despite never met with Rand, nor I am a formal member of any Randian party.

Anonymous said...

I disagree about the Nice terrorist being a part of IS. If I went about reading some KKK propaganda, then go on a killing spree targeting black people exclusively, that still doesn't mean I'm part of the KKK and neither should the KKK claim credit for the shooting.

IS will take credit for any act even remotely resembling terrorism even if it's just a person with a mental disorder that happens to be a muslim.

Tithian said...


However, turning all males into people who are afraid of their own libido is definitely not the answer

Ehh? If a young man's libido is telling him to rape and own slave girls, then he is a deviant and a criminal, and definitely not your typical male.

I'm afraid, ISIS is very much a "State" right now. With all the power and resilience a state possesses. It will need to be dealt with like all criminal states in history were dealt with.

By men going out there and spilling blood in order to make sure their women don't get killed or taken away

And this is what created the IS in the first place, but instead of protecting women troops went in to 'liberate' the oil fields. Please tell me what is better, IS or the old Iraq governed by Saddam Hussein? You can destroy a state, but you cannot control what will rise from its ashes. Even if you occupy the region, the moment you will be forced to pull out the new IS will emerge and it will be even worse.

maxim said...

It is easy to draw the line between sexuality and property-possessive instinct intellectually.

It is, however, pretty hard to do it on an emotional level. And that's what all organisations like ISIS capitalise on.

Basically, you need to do much more than just tell people "stop being lewd sexists". You need to give them an actual positive emotionally charged reason to not be that (and therefore be something else).

Esteban said...

Good theory, and it does actually account for Daesh/ISIS's original success. The organisation was run by professional people from the disbanded Iraqi military mixed with Zarqawi's old cadres, not soft Saudi ideologues, and it was actually somewhat organised.

The problem is that the part of Daesh that offers the 'career path' is very easily taken out by conventional warfare - Western-special-forces-assisted local troops, bombardment and drone assassination. As we speak, Daesh is losing much of the territory of its Caliphate (which incidentally was very important for ideological reasons - one cannot claim to be Caliph without land) very rapidly. No static infrastructure, no career, no Yazidi slave girls.

They're shifting back to the traditional 'inspire disturbed, alienated young Muslims abroad' idea pretty rapidly. The innovation you described has failed.

Hanura H'arasch said...

There is just no way in which you could censor such an event in social media. You're likely just going to encounter the Streisand Effect and draw even more attention to it.

You could censor news broadcasts and the like on television of course, but it's doubtful if that would suffice.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: after a random guy who liked to pose with confederate flags killed random black people the flag was removed. So you are wrong, you would be pretty much considered a KKK terrorist.

@maxim: the positive emotional reward is funnily a relationship with a woman. Being sexist is the best way to be alone as no sane woman would be with someone who bosses her around and threats her as crap.

@Esteban: the recent European terrorists never lived in the Caliphate so they have no reason to care if it's gone. They do it because "it's cool", aka it gets them what our society worships: fame.

@Hanura: automatic filters make miracles, like the nudity filters pretty effectively removed porn from social media. Most people just accept that they can't do that and go on with their lives.

Gustavo said...

"Tobold is so far left that no explanations will reach him. They all see Trump as "crazy racist" and won't even look up what his actual policies are, let alone think about them."

Sorry but Trump is a "crazy racist", so please censor yourself your comment. I don't care his policies because he IS a "crazy racist" and I won't support or endorse a "crazy racist" whatever are his policies. For example, Chavez came to Venezuela with the best intentions. We all know now the consequences of ignore his past and the essence of his speeches.

Anonymous said...

The church shooting you are talking about that instigated a ban on the confederate flag had nothing to do with the KKK. Not even the media claimed they were involved.

I fail to see why an equally mentally unstable muslim who copycats recent terror attacks would be considered a member of Islamic State.

NuTroll said...

" The goal is to make young men be disgusted by the idea of a girl being their property instead of (not so) secretly dreaming about it."

Lots of pictures of the ugly slave girls, emphasis on ugly.

Alternative is to up the dosage , no other way to wipe out 100k years (or whatever) of modern homosapien evolution.

Gevlon said...

@Notroll: humans were hairy in various places for hundreds of thousands of years. Yet in the last centuries started to shave and now a not properly shaved human is considered ugly. Hell, women started to shave their armpits only in the last decades, yet an unshaved woman looks disgusting. Socials are pretty easy to reprogram.

@Gustavo: "crazy racist" is a pretty blanket statement. What exactly he did to be "crazy racist"?

@Anon: no, the shooting had nothing to do with KKK. But it had nothing to do with the FLAG either, besides the guy identifying with it. And yet they were connected and the FLAG was banned, because it indeed represents a racist ideology (it was the flag of slavekeepers).

daniel said...

"I believe that the miracle of the IS is that they are the first terrorist organization in history with a positive career path."

I'm fairly sure that that also counted e.g. for the NSDAP and it's members, followers and imitators. I mean, think of it, there's even neonazis in russia.

Anonymous said...


>What exactly he did to be "crazy racist"?

What he actually said:
Here's just one example: part of his immigration reform policy is to actually enforce the laws that are ALREADY IN PLACE. He wants CONVICTED, ILLEGAL FELONY ALIENS THAT DEFY DEPORTATION to actually serve jail time and be deported. He wants to put sanctions on "sanctuary cities": cities that are DEFYING FEDERAL LAW by housing ILLEGAL, CRIMINAL ALIENS. He wants to pass Kate's Law: a law that requires CONVICTED ILLEGAL FELONS that HAVE BEEN DEPORTED, THEN RE-ENTER THE COUNTRY ILLEGALY to serve a minimum of five years in prison. It is named after Kate Steinle, a woman who was murdered by an illegal felon who GOT DEPORTED FIVE TIMES AND RE-ENTERED A SIXTH TIME. The democrats held up the courts so no action could be made.

What they hear:

As you can see, it's extremely infuriating, for many people. You can't reason with the unreasonable.

maxim said...

You are greatly simplifying matters.

Sure, if a person is sexist ALL the time, then he will never get a healthy relationship. However, always being a pure nonsexist is an almost 100% proof way to end up in the friend zone. Sure, you will have relationships with women, just not necessarily of the kind you'd like :D

Which, over time, only amplifies the attractiveness of simpler, more brutal, solutions.

As all things, both sexism and its opposite are good in moderation. Even the sanest and most perfect of women do occasionally need some bossing around and getting called out on their crap.

And, more to the point, a man who occasionally gets to be masculine in his everyday life is less likely to be enticed by promises of masculine dream fulfillment that ISIS propaganda deals in.

Anonymous said...

>They are such an attractive force to IS because of sexism.

Slave girls can be attractive even if you aren't sexist. Guys want sex and for many, attracting them consensually is hard.

Obviously, you have to be a terrible person to rape and kidnap women, but you can terrible to men too.

Gustavo said...

>> @Gustavo: "crazy racist" is a pretty blanket statement. What exactly he did to be "crazy racist"?

I'm not sure if we going to agree what is a "racist" so let talk about the "crazy" part. No, sorry, let him to talk about the "crazy" part:

"I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy," he said. "I was gonna hit this guy so hard his head would spin and he wouldn't know what the hell happened."

I rest my case

NuTroll said...


Yes you can maybe re-program what a social finds attractive (if its not a key thing hardwired like hip/waist ratio or youth), but what you can't do is make a positive correlation with ugly. If Isis is ugly, Isis is bad, precisely because socials are programmable.

What you definitely wont be able to reprogram is males wanting easy access to sex (but exclusively for them), especially the kind that would get it from a slave girl.

Shalcker said...


Here is alternative list on why Trump is definitely not racist (by both his actions and words):

Phrases can be often taken out of context; 60+ years of life show much better where the heart actually lies.

Anonymous said...

I think this might have less to do with "sexism" and more with just "slavery".
When people hear sexism they mostly think gender inequality, the assumption that women are always inferior to men, men holding all of power, etc.
The concept of a slavegirl is different: it's not that "she is inherently inferior due to being a woman and thus has to serve men", it's that "there's a gun pointing in the general direction of her head".
In fact, girls are used because the army is comprised of men; the only reason why slaveboys don't exist is because homosexuality is forbidden by Islam.
Sure, in regular muslim countries men are still more or less entitled to an obedient wife, which is pretty much the flavor of sexism we're used to, but I don't recall there being a trend of people moving to Islamic countries for that reason.

Anyway, I think if we are to fight this phenomena via social engineering, it's the idea of slavery that we have to target.
Now this might sound a bit silly, but I believe some of Tarantino's recent works manage to highlight just how repugnant slavery practices really are, and maybe that's the type of content we need more of.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: traditionally most slaves were men who did (non-sexual) work. The IS could surely use some slaves to dig trenches or as human shield. Yet they only enslave women.