A Terrible Blogger is Born!

October 8, 2009

Terrorists and Pharoahs

Filed under: Uncategorized — rmangum @ 4:47 am
Tags: , , ,

There have been two recent podcasts, each devoted to a figure that has held a peculiar hold on my imagination for a long time. The first is an episode of the BBC radio show In Our Time, discussing the mysterious Egyptian Pharoah Akhenaten, and the second is an Entitled Opinions episode on Theodore Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber. What interests me about these people? I think it is that each attempted, unsuccessfully, to completely revolutionize the society they lived in, the former from a position of absolute power by revamping the state religion (converting it to monotheism) of one of the most severely traditional societies in history, and the latter from a position of no power (a voice crying in the wilderness if there ever was one) by trying to stop the engine of the most dynamically unstable society yet created. The motivation and personality of each is inscrutable, and this holds an attraction for me (which is not at all to imply ideological sympathy in either case).

Akhenaten has been called “history’s first individual”. If Kaczynski (and Nietzsche) was right, he is certainly the last.

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