"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, October 13, 2005

the dole effect

Dear Madam,

In Wednesday's (12/10/05) Irish Times Paul MacDonnell discusses the most serious challenges facing the progression of economic freedoms within the developing world. He cites the Middle East's rampant unemployment, linking this with the growth in extremism. He writes "Unemployed, uneducated young men in this region have fewer reasons to refrain from joining or supporting extremist groups than their employed and educated counterparts elsewhere."

Professer William Reville in an uncommonly astute and balanced article in May this year discussed research in the March edition of the Psychologist that suggested "that most suicide bombers are psychologically normal and the phenomenon is most readily explained as a community response set in a background of violence, aggression and revenge." Also citing the surprising fact 47 per cent of suicide bombers have a third-level education. His piece discussed how the media can contribute to reducing instances of suicide attacks in much the same way Mr. MacDonnell attempts to explain how economic freedom will curb the apparent 'dole effect' of bored and underpaid young men turning to terrorism.

These arguments unfortunately are not congruent, Professer Reville points to the violent environment extremism breeds in, Mr. MacDonnell points to the disillusionment of the 'lower tax brackets'. While we must aid economic development in the developing world we must also address the background of violence and aggression many in the developing world are familiar with. The impending war with Iran is a case in point.

Yours etc...