In Verbal Defense & Influence (VDI), we speak about the importance of the social contract of a group of people, whether this group is a family, an organization, or even a nation. When I study social contracts, what becomes evident is that, in nations, social contracts are overturned, sometimes by necessity, to save lives and to improve the quality of everyone’s life.
ISIS is now forcibly changing the social contract of the nations which it seeks to invade and/or terrorize. Part of fighting terror, according to me, is to not only to stop it (i.e., physically, with force), but to create more long-term conditions whereby the conditions which led to it are not repeated. Force, alone, will not stop ISIS. There must be more, internal, social, change.
In reference to ISIS (but not limited to ISIS), there are parts of the world (yes, including the United States) which need revivified social contracts. See this article which does an appropriate job at showing how ISIS will likely not be defeated by military force alone. Indeed, I don’t think it will at all. Internal social reforms must occur. But how to effect these reforms? This article speaks to one major pathway to do this.
Here in the west, as a backlash to the Islamic extremism of ISIS, there are extremist reactions such as “Close all borders!” or, even worse, “All Moslems are terrorists!”
These extreme reactions, due solely to fear, will do nothing but slow us down and retard our appropriate responses to fighting terror wherever it manifests. Human decency and psychological resilience aside for a moment (but just for a moment), these reactions are simply not implementable or sustainable in terms of living on this planet for long periods of time, in harmony, with all other human beings, this last point being what it is for which we all wish (yes?).
So…to fight ISIS (or any other threat, including so-called domestic terrorism), we have law enforcement responses, military responses, responsible international, geo-political responses (which directly connect to the first two responses), and a revivifying of the internal, social mechanisms of a group, organization, or nation…the social contract.
Let’s address all fronts. We have the means for effective responses in most cases. Let us hope, however, and do something to make this hope actionable, by getting to know, by befriending, and by assisting (effectively!), the good guys/gals who are behind enemy lines (so to speak)…the Sufis, the ones referenced in this article.
Sufis are the ones (this is where westerners, outside of cultures not their own, are ill-fit to respond) who have the know-how and the will to reform the social contracts of their societies. Those who adhere to the philosophy of ISIS are destroying the ethical goodness found in social contracts. Sufis are protectors of ethical goodness.
I don’t know about you, but wherever I go, I look for the good guys, regardless of race, creed, religion, anything. I know they make things safer for me and everyone else. My back will be against the wall, shoulder to shoulder, with the Sufis. I know they live the creed of this blog, the words of Mr. Robert L. Humphrey, which sit atop every post here.
Explore this article for food for thought. Please don’t, though, stop there, for thought without action is without value.
Are you allying yourself with the good guys (and gals) in all lands?
Toward what kind of global social contract are you working?