How Do You Root Out Thoughts via Global Policy?
There were a number of interesting ideas aired in the Democratic Presidential Debate last night (11/14/15), but to me the most interesting statement of the debate came from former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “We need to have a resolve that will bring the world together to root out the kind of radical jihadist ideology that motivates organizations like ISIS, a barbaric, ruthless, violent jihadist terrorist group.”
I can understand an effort to root out a barbaric, ruthless, violent jihadist terrorist group like ISIS. But how do you go about rooting out an ideology? To root something out is to dig all around it and only then yank it out, so as to be sure that one has removed it completely, eradicated it, removed all traces of it, ending the possibility that it will grow again from a remnant. How can the nations of the world possibly do that to a set of ideas? To root out an ideology, you must pull out not just the elements of the ideology itself, but of all the ideas, notions, values, preferences and beliefs that support such an ideology and prevent it from being pulled out.
What exactly will transpire if Hillary Clinton enacts an ideological root-out? Will screenwriters, authors, reporters and public intellectuals be brought before government officials to answer for utterances that contain or support radical jihadist ideas, and to identify others who have been promulgating such ideas? Will the First Amendment be cancelled? Will the nations of the world find all books and documents related to the kind of ideology that motivates ISIS, then burn them? Will INTERPOL monitor conversations over social media, in newspapers, and at street cafes and interrupt them when they begin to veer into the kind of ideology that motivates ISIS?
What precisely does Hillary Clinton really have in mind when she says she wants the world to be brought together to “root out” an entire ideology from the face of the planet? What is the policy to accomplish this? Or are Hillary Clinton’s words empty of any coherent, organized meaning… which is to say, ideology?