Do you value liberty? Are you suspicious of an expansive federal power? Do you believe people are working together to undermine national sovereignty?
Well, then you fit the definition of a terrorist.
According to the Department of Homeland Security , terrorism among the “Extreme Right Wing” may be defined as
“groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent … and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism. Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.“
While this is appalling, it becomes even more so when we compare it to other groups that fit the definition. Here are the rest:
“Extreme Left-Wing: groups that want to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political processes. This category also includes secular left-wing groups that rely heavily on terrorism to overthrow the capitalist system and either establish “a dictatorship of the proletariat” (Marxist-Leninists) or, much more rarely, a decentralized, non-hierarchical political system (anarchists).”
Obviously, accomplishing political objectives through “violent revolution” is dangerous, and I can see any state (even 18th-century Great Britain) being leery of such groups.
“Religious: groups that seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers, impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists), forcibly insert religion into the political sphere (e.g., those who seek to politicize religion, such as Christian Reconstructionists and Islamists), and/or bring about Armageddon…”
While I disagree that Christian Reconstructionists in general either seek to “impose” or “force” their views on others — i.e., through forcible coercion — I can understand why people might think that. I know several theonomists who hold that God’s law is sovereign and that the state should enforce it as commanded, but I don’t know any who would break God’s  law  to actually accomplish this. (I don’t know enough about “Islamism” to defend it from the same charge.) The point here is that there are religious groups who will use force and violence to accomplish their goals, and a state can understandably call them terrorists.
“Ethno-Nationalist/Separatist: regionally concentrated groups with a history of organized political autonomy with their own state, traditional ruler, or regional government, who are committed to gaining or regaining political independence through any means and who have supported political movements for autonomy at some time since 1945.”
I can understand this definition, too. The operative here is “through any means,” which must include violence and terror toward the state. Though isn’t it interesting that only those groups who have sought autonomy “at some time since 1945” are identified? <*cough, cough* UN!  *cough, cough*>
“Single Issue: groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-nuclear, anti-Castro). This category includes groups from all sides of the political spectrum.”
This is absurd, for the same reasons the definition of “Right Wing” terrorism is absurd.
Left-Wing Terrorists: Seek political change through “violent revolution.” Check.
Religious Terrorists: Seek political change through “smiting,” or through “imposition” and “force.” Check.
Ethno-Nationalist Terrorism: Seek political change or separation by “any means necessary.” Check.
These are all understandable, because they all pose a direct threat to the preservation of the state and a civil society socially contracted with its citizens.
But the problem with the “Extreme Right Wing” terrorism is this: When did belief become a menace to society?
- “Extreme Right Wing: groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent … and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism.”
When did passive patriotism become considered rebellion?
- “Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global.”
When did suspicion, reverence, or belief become considered an intermination toward the government? When did le tournoi des civilisations (in which undermining sovereignty is necessarily a perpetual goal) become relegated to the same category as alien invasions?
- “[Groups may be] suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”
And finally, when does “focusing on a narrowly-defined cause” make one a terror to the nation?
- “Single Issue: groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes.”
They could have defined “Right Wing Terrorism” as paramilitary organizations seeking the overthrow of the government, but they didn’t. Why?
Why is the “right wing” singled out only for its thoughts, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and argument, while the other ideologies are identified by their actions? Or is asking these questions just another conspiracy theory involving a grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty?
Oh. Happy Independence Day….