Terrorism is the application of threats and violence to coerce or intimidate civilians, especially with the purpose of attaining ideological, religious, or political goals (Dyson, 2011). Left-wing terrorism refers to the set of tactic meant to overthrow the capitalist governments as well as to replace the capitalist governments with socialist or Marxist-Leninist regimes (Yungher, 2008). The left-wing terrorists view the capitalist governments as authoritarian, corrupt, and exploitative. Therefore, left-wing terrorism emphasizes idealism, anti-imperialism, and pacifism. The right-wing terrorism is the terrorism that draws its motivation from various beliefs and ideologies which include neo-fascism, racism, neo-Nazism; right-wing terrorism is also against to immigration and foreigners (Yungher, 2008). In the right-wing terrorism, terrorists inflict violence on the progressive, socialist, or liberal groups of people including journalists, students, lawyers, or intellectuals. This discussion will consider the rise and fall of left-wing terrorism as well as the rise and current status of right-wing terrorism.
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The modern left-wing terrorism started in Europe during the political fermentation of 1968 (Yungher, 2008). Notable groups during this time included the Red Brigades of Italy, Red Army Faction of West Germany, Communist Combatant Cells of Belgium, and Direct Action of France. Other groups of left-wing terrorists were formed in Asia, Latin America, the United States, and other countries across the world because of various reasons (Yungher, 2008). The outrageous social injustice led to the emergence of left-wing terrorism after the World War II when many people were extremely poor. Diseases and famine were common phenomena, because many parents were unable to cater for the needs of their children (Yungher, 2008). Therefore, the left-wing terrorism emerged to produce social justice among all people in the society. It advocated for a just future during which working individuals will contribute to economic growth; women and men will perform tasks according to their abilities, and workers will get benefits that can meet their needs sufficiently.
The modern left-wing terrorism lost its attraction in Europe after about two decades since its appearance (Yungher, 2008). This happened because the Berlin Wall fell, Soviet Union collapsed, and the newly emancipated people of the previous Yugoslavia emerged. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, which led to the unification of Germany. This contributed to the diffusion of the left-wing terrorism’s appeal. The left-wing energies underwent diversion from Marxist targets to the ethnic conflicts after the emancipation of the people of Yugoslavia (Yungher, 2008). After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the logistical support was eliminated as well as the the Marxist ideology’s bankruptcy was revealed. The leaders of left-wing terrorism tried to avoid absolute collapse. Currently, left-wing terrorist groups exit in various parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America despite of the failures, brutality, and shortcomings they face (Yungher, 2008). The left-wing terrorist groups will rise again, because there are powerful hopes for a bright future. Left-wing terrorism will be present in different parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America for more than five years.
In Europe, the right-wing terrorism started in 1987 when a number of right-wing terrorist groups emerged (Yungher, 2008). The right-wing terrorist groups became significantly organized as they started looking for dandier mainstream recognition and political legitimacy. The reunification process of Germany during the 1990s as well as the rise of right-wing terrorist groups significantly favored right-wing terrorism. The emergence of the right-wing terrorism in 1987 was caused by fervent nationalism, anti-Semitism, general hate of non-Germany, the need for Germany to be free from foreigners (Yungher, 2008). In addition, the fall of Berlin Wall supported the rise of right-wing terrorism. Germany reunified when the Berlin Wall fell, and the young people from the previous East Germany joined the right-wing terrorist groups as new recruits. Consequently, the right-wing terrorist groups became extremely strong, and co-ordination between the groups increased significantly (Yungher, 2008).
It is evident that some conditions that led to the decline of left-wing terrorism at the same time resulted in the rise of right-wing terrorism. Therefore, the factors that led to the emergence of right-wing terrorism are not the same factors that led to the emergence of left-wing terrorism. The terrorists of right-wing terrorist groups emerged from street corners. This is contrary to the case with left-wing terrorist groups that emerged from German universities. The right-wing terrorists of Germany do not depend on studying theoretical works, having intellectual debates, or conducting ideological discourse. For the right-wing terrorists, sophisticated guidelines and elaborate theories are useless.
The right-wing terrorism continued to grow stronger as the size of terrorist groups continued to expand (Yungher, 2008). The young members of the right-wing terrorist groups dominated the streets by violence with the purpose of frightening away ideological opponents. However, the terrorist activities of the right-wing are of low-level because the terrorists’ use crude methods of fighting due to low educational qualifications (Yungher, 2008). The hooligans of the right-wing terrorist groups participate in random terrorist acts, which involve hurting foreigners, marching provocatively, and setting the houses of immigrants ablaze. The religious right-wing terrorists of America fit in the right-wing terrorism across the world (Aubrey, 2004). This is because they do not disavow the connection with clerics, theology or religion. Despite the low-level terrorist activities of the right-wing terrorists, the right-wing terrorist groups enjoy lasting success because they are large and co-operative.
In conclusion, the emergence of the right-wing terrorism was a result of the fall of the left-wing terrorism. Currently, the left-wing terrorist groups exist in some parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America. The right-wing terrorism will become a significant danger in the future in case the terrorist movements improve the recruitment technique (Yungher, 2008).