Never kill innocent civilians

Anyone who reads Sun Tzu or “Unrestricted Warfare” by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui will know that a war can in principle be more or less won through non-violent means, making military action unnecessary. Consequently, when I write that war against Big Tech can be morally justified, depending on your perspective, it means that I recommend that critics of mass surveillance should first explore all nonviolent means of resistance. The ethically best option is civil disobedience, in the tradition of Gandhi and Gene Sharp. The second best strategy, from a moral viewpoint, is nonviolent sabotage.

This website discusses terrorism only because this evil method can on rare occasions actually be effective, from a purely heartless utilitarian perspective, and it’s therefore a real chance that sociopaths or fanatics will use this strategy, which demands an academic discussion about the pros and cons of terrorism, since that might get militant activists to think twice before choosing to become terrorists.

Terrorism can be defined as 1) an operation planned to deliberately kill at least one innocent civilian in the hope of thereby achieving an idealistic objective, or 2) recklessly and knowingly exposing innocent civilians to great lethal danger caused directly by an idealistically motivated operation, not a riot, that undoubtably violates a) the basic Western doctrine of just war, or b) the judicial rules of necessity and self-defense as described in the penal codes of constitutional democracies like Norway for example.

The concept “innocent civilian” should be defined to cover 1) individuals who are not involved in any way as armed participants in a violent conflict, 2) persons who are not key to developing new weapon systems, 3) civilians who don’t clearly and undoubtably incite violence, cf the radio channel RTLM in Rwanda, or 4) people who are not central in causing and/or maintaining a lethal situation where innocents will predictably lose their lives or suffer great bodily harm.

The above definition of “innocent civilians” implies that a person supports terrorism if arguing that simply being a tax payer in a hostile country is a good enough reason to justify a violent attack on him or her.

A terrorist is basically in the same category as killers of children, because if you place a bomb in a public place, without sufficiently warning people to get away from the explosive, then you are willing to kill children who may randomly be in the vicinity of the bomb.

Unfortunately, terrorists appear to lack the cognitive ability to distinguish between 1) the collateral damage caused by a fighter pilot respecting the doctrine of just war, and 2) deliberately targeting innocent civilians in the ethically misguided belief that killing them will make it possible to achieve a political or religious objective.

When this website presents not only the moral horror of terrorism but also the rare situations where terrorism can be coldly effective, if you accept the unethical logic that “the ends justify any means”, the latter should not be interpreted as we morally defending terrorism.

If anybody tells you that he or she is planning a terrorist operation you have a moral duty to call the police, so that they can arrest him or her and thereby save innocent lives.

Professional terrorists (sponsored and trained by rogue states) will never tell an amateur activist, or a group of amateur militants, that they are planning an act of terrorism. Consequently, if anybody tells you that he or she is planning a terrorist operation, suspect that (s)he might be an undercover officer, an informant, or an agent provocateur.

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