Planes as symbols of modernity

In: Uncategorized

14 Aug 2006

Do jihadis attack planes precisely because they are symbols of modernity? That is the argument of Michael Clarke, professor of defence studies at King’s College, London, in an article in Saturday’s Times (London):

“Commercial aircraft represent globalism and high technology — they shrink the world and threaten cultural conservatism. The Boeing 747 was the last of the “great machines” that characterised the 20th century: it opened up air travel to the mass market.”

His argument puts the common environmentalist dislike of air travel into perspective (see August 5 dispatch). Few environmentalists would blow up aircraft but they share a similar aversion to air travel as a symbol of modernity.

Then again other symbols of modernity, such as skyscrapers and cars, are also under attack in different ways.