We now have a final Idea for our short film, its main theme is terrorists, what terrorists will sacrifice for their cause and why. This is quite a delicate matter and one that becomes even more complicated as in our particular film contains a mother sacrificing her child, our question will be, what could drive someone to do this? What could possibly motivate someone to send their own child to their death knowingly?
To understand this we must first look at why terrorists do what they do, after some looking on the internet (which hopefully won’t get me flagged up by the CIA) I found a psychological paper on the psychology of terrorists, it was quite a long winded paper but here are some of the key points I drew from it (here is a link to it):
– Violence could simply be viewed as a instinct or human trait. Humans have the energy of life force (eros) and death force (thanatos) that sought internal balance and violence is the displacement of thanatos from yourself onto others (Freud)
-Drive theory: the link between frustration and aggression.
-Fundamental learning theory suggests that we link behaviour and its consequences. If behaviours are rewarded then they are more likely to be repeated and if they are punished not so much (basic social learning theory). In the terms of violence if we see someone being rewarded for a violent act we link the violence to the success and rewards and so repeat them.
-“The actions of terrorists are based on a subjective interpretation of the world rather than objective reality” (Crenshaw) The view of the world from a terrorists point of view of the world is based on subjective views that do not show the whole truth and without a chance to make up their own opinion of the world they lead to a twisted view.
-Narcissistic rage caused by childhood trauma, abuse and humiliation can lead to a need to kill themselves off as victims. They in turn devalue others, malignant narcissism, warping their internal voice of reason and morality.
-Martha Crenshaw suggest there are 4 main motivations to join a terrorist group, 1. the opportunity for action 2. the need to belong 3. the desire for social status and 4. the acquisition of material reward.
-Most involvement in terrorism results from gradual exposure and socialisation towards extreme behaviour.
-They believe that violence is the only way to force social change.
-The process of ideological development – 1. It’s not right 2. It’s not fair 3. Its your fault 4. You’re evil. This shows the development of extremist ideas and their justification for violence.
– Suicide attackers view their act as one of martyrdom, whether for their faith, their people, or their cause. “the primary aim of suicide terrorists is not suicide, because to the terrorist group, suicide is simply a means to an end with motivation that stems from rage and a sense of self-righteousness. They see themselves as having a higher purpose and are convinced of an eternal reward through their action” (Salib)
I have learnt a lot about the motives and psychology behind terrorism and suicide attacks from this paper. The main point that is relevant to our short film is that they don’t believe what they are doing is wrong. They see it as freedom or justified vengeance on those who have wronged them or their people. The view of the world they have been taught to believe is not a correct or a view which takes other opinions in to account, this leads to a very twisted view of the world and therefore a warped view of right and wrong.