While an exhaustive study of the root causes of terrorism is beyond the remit of this essay, a strategy of counter-terrorism that both appreciates the social-political context of terrorism and focuses upon undermining the support that terrorists derive from local communities may act as a more effective source of deterrence. Ross and Gurr’s counter-terrorism equation of pre-emption, deterrence, burnout and backlash is of particular importance: ‘Preemption and deterrence are counterterrorist policies which can reduce or eliminate the terrorist’s coercive capabilities. Burnout and backlash are general conditions which reduce the political capabilities of groups using terrorism.’  While the former strategy of repression has dominated counter-terrorism following 11 September 2001, the targeting of the political capabilities of terrorist organizations presents an effective and longer-lasting approach to undermining the social-political context which terrorism depends upon to survive.  Such counter-terrorism strategies must focus on fostering both burnout, meaning member’s declining commitment to the group and its purposes,’ and backlash, which refers to the ‘declining political support for the terrorists’ acts and objectives’  According to Stohl, burnout can be facilitated by providing alternatives and economic incentives to members of organizations not based on family, clan or other strong ties, whereas backlash can be furthered through ‘actions that antagonize and alienate the terrorist organization from the larger socio-political context in which they are embedded.’  The decline of the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ), a left-wing nationalist terrorist group intent on gaining independence of Quebec from Canada, can be directly attributed to the lessening of its political capabilities to drawn upon wider social support. The 5 October 1970 crisis witnessed the movement’s loss of public support when an FLQ cell kidnapped both James Cross, the British Trade Commissioner, and Pierre Laporte, Minister of Labour and Vice-Premier of Quebec, later murdered Laporte after Canada invoked the War Measures Act.  Laporte’s murder ‘helped swing public opinion among Québecois away from the FLQ and toward more conventional forms of political participation,’ including the nascent Parti Québecois (PQ) which rejected political violence.  The rapid alienation of the FLQ fostered increasing burnout from its members who moved to the more moderate and politically viable PQ – in 1971, the intellectual leader of the FLQ, Pierre Vallieres, defected and ultimately joined the political party.  With the failure of the Québecois referendum on political autonomy in 1980 and the notable absence of terrorism by dissatisfied former FLQ members, the successful removal of the terrorist organization’s political capabilities, namely its support in society, proved key in fostering the decline and disappearance of the terrorist movement. Similarly, the decline in the popularity of Marxist-Leninist terrorist organizations, such as Action Directe in France and the Red Brigades of Germany and Italy, highlighted a successful counter-terrorism policy that sought to delegitimize the groups and decrease their popularity in society. As the resiliency of ETA, Hamas and various Palestinian organizations, and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam highlight their ability to ‘maintain their reservoir of support within the communities they attempt to represent,’  counter-terrorism strategies must not therefore involve heavily repressive methods, which serve to refill these reservoirs of support very easily, and should instead focus upon decoupling the terrorist movement from the life-giving support of the local community.
In 1921, the famous American journalist Walter Lippmann said that the art of democracy requires what he called the manufacture of consent. This phrase is an Orwellian euphemism for thought control. The idea is that in a state such as the . where the government can’t control the people by force, it had better control what they think. The Soviet Union is at the opposite end of the spectrum from us in its domestic freedoms. It’s essentially a country run by the bludgeon. It’s very easy to determine what propaganda is in the USSR: what the state produces is propaganda.