The Rebel - Study Guide Part 3, Sections 4 and 5 Summary & Analysis

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"Historical Rebellion - State Terrorism and Irrational Terror"

The author begins this section with the suggestion that while early 20th Century dictators like Hitler and Mussolini (see "Important People") used the writings of Hegel and Nietzsche (among others) to justify their actions and philosophies, their programs celebrated and promoted the irrational, rather than the reasoned. The consequences, the author suggests, were an increasing, over-reaching belief in violence and in the unquestioned power of the state - in short, conquest itself (the pursuit of control through creating irrational terror in the victimized) became the end, rather than the means. This, the author suggests, is the reason the movement ultimately failed - its aims were ultimately empty. He also suggests, however, that Hitlerian principles and processes influenced a state in which terrorism became founded in rationality and, therefore, achieved a degree of success...

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