One of the most powerful stories I am familiar with, which explains the destructive lust for power among people, is the story of Lucifer/Satan.
The commonly-believed story is that Lucifer, the most-favored angel, became envious of God's power and with a third of the angels attempted to overthrow Heaven so he could rule. So course he failed and is cast out of Heaven, getting the worst demotion ever, from head angel to head demon.
The story of Lucifer's fall was written up around the 4th century AD by the great Catholic theologian, St. Augustine of Hippo. In the 1600s this story was made popular by John Milton when he wrote one of the Western world's greatest pieces of literature, Paradise Lost.
However, it is one of the clearest and most succinct explanations I have ever encountered, about one of the main things wrong with the human race: the lust for power over others. The desire to be God-like.
Let's take Karl Marx, for example. I used to think Marx's problem is that he had not been born a filthy rich aristocrat (which he always wanted to be). His father wrote to him, "[You] are at odds with the world because [you] cannot own, without effort and toil, beautifully furnished palaces, vast fortunes, and elegant carriages." Erik von Keuhnelt-Leddihn wrote that the envy-ridden Marx admired "only aristocrats," and that he even wore a monocle and engaged in fox-hunts.
In reality Marx was very well-to-do (pretty good for someone who essentially never worked in his life, and was supported by rich friends). His problem was wanting complete power. Wanting to be God. The American senator Carl Schnurs wrote about Marx, "Anybody who contradicted him was treated with hardly veiled contempt...he denounced anybody who dared to contradict his views." Anyone who did disagree with him was subject to fits of towering rage and shouted threats of "I will annihilate you!" Eugene Ionesco noted that "Marx must have suffered a secret wound to his pride, as did all those who want revolutions. It is this secret wound which he hides, consciously or not." Heinrich Heine called Marx a "godless self-god," and Kuehnelt-Leddihn evaluated Marx's poetry as "consist [ing] of volcanic eruptions of hatred strewn with abounding expressions of megalomania."
Marx was a grandiose, envious, arrogant, blind, hateful, rage-filled man who wanted Godlike power over the world, and, failing that, wanted to destroy everything (and in order to destroy everything, you have to see people not as people, but as sub-human, even non-human. Cockroaches. Things.) Marx was the myth of Satan made flesh.
Hitler was the same way. Kuehnelt-Leddihn described him as "easily hurt, quickly offended, tortured by inferiority complexes," and writes that he was such a failure he was never promoted beyond private, humiliated by selling hand-colored posters in coffee houses, then rejected by art and architectural schools. When Hitler realized the war was lost, he ordered everything in Germany destroyed (fortunately, his orders were ignored). Then, not surprisingly, he destroyed himself.
In addition to Hitler, there was Stalin, Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung, Caligula (who declared himself to be a god) ...all of them exemplified the story of Lucifer incarnated in human form. And each one, in his Satanic grandiosity, saw people as things who had no right to life.
Currently we're dealing with bin Laden, who, like Marx, is a spoiled rich kid who never grew up (this puts the kabosh on the idea poverty produces these Islamic fanatics; almost all of them are well-to-do and highly educated). And in his cowardice and evilness, bin Laden had to see those he helped murder not as people, but as things.
It was a very perceptive comment of Ionesco's when he wrote about a secret wound to one's pride being the cause of revolution (I'm sure that Lucifer suffered this "secret wound" because he couldn't be God). The leftist (and libertarian) view is that the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon were caused by the U.S. government's meddling in the Islamic world. The rightist view is that they hate us for being good, and are consumed by envy.
I now believe both sides are right. Osama bin Laden and those like him apparently cannot stand the fact the Islamic world is a backward, primitive region stuck 1,000 years in the past. Wherever Islam has been rolled back, the area has gotten better. They are so militarily weak the US can conquer the whole place with contemptible ease, without any help from anyone, and hardly any casualties to us (occupying it, or changing the culture, is a whole different ball-game). If Islam is the fulfillment of religion, why have Christianity and Judaism left it in the dust? This must just stomp the pride of these Islamicists completely flat. They want power, and they'll never have it ("We're supposed to rule the world! Instead they laugh at us because we wear ragged beards, turbans and robes! And bulky, garish American watches!") They want to rule the world, and failing that, want to destroy everything. Just like Satan.
If you want to look at it strictly in a religious sense, these murderers-in-the-name-of-Allah are not following God; they're following Satan. "The urge to rebellion," writes Nancy Friday in her book, Jealousy, "so that the denial of the other's power and the assertion of one's own at any price, is in us all. We will gain primacy even if it brings the world down about our ears."
Hate, I think, comprises intolerable feelings of fear, helplessness and inferiority against "wrongs" received at the hands of a perceived superior. Envy, hate's blood brother, is a mixture of feelings of helplessness and inferiority against a perceived superior having something the envier aches for. Both envy and hate wish the destruction of the alleged superior.
That, I think, is ultimately the problem with these "terrorists" (this is a word which doesn't really explain anything, does it? I'll bet a lot of Iraqis consider the ghoulish Madeleine Albright a terrorist.) They hate us, they fear us, and they envy us. We have troops on their "holy land" in Saudia Arabia, and they can do nothing about it. The US government is committing genocide in Iraq, and they can do nothing about it. We completely support our vassal-state known as Israel (we have sent $90 billion to it since 1946), and they can do nothing about it.
Since envy is a feeling almost no one will admit to (who wants to admit you're inferior to someone else?) they cover up this feeling with grandiose, pathetic claims of Islam conquering the world. "And if you can't conquer you, we'll try and destroy you" (again, the myth of Satan made flesh). Yet their attempts to "destroy" us consist of flying airplanes into buildings, which, ultimately, are symbolic gestures, when compared to B-52s, daisy-cutters, and laser-guided "smart" missiles.
One rule I've never seen an exception to yet is, "The State is always wrong." In other words, the State is Satanic. Its nature is to be blind, grandiose, envious and thieving (which is why it takes money from the smart and productive and gives it to the stupid and lazy), and murderous. (Since "the State" is composed almost invariably composed of the worst people, the label "State" is just a convenient fiction. It's, ultimately, the Satanic in people that causes the problems.)
John Jackley, in his book, Hill Rat: Blowing the Lid Off Congress, writes about the lust for power that most politicians have. He wrote about Congressmen and their aides wandering the halls with their eyes "glazed with power."
And, ultimately, what can power do to a person? Most are familiar with what Lord Acton wrote: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Dostoevsky, in his, The House of the Dead, put it this way, "Tyranny...finally develops into a disease. The habit can...coarsen the very best man to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate...the return to human dignity, to repentance, to regeneration, becomes almost impossible" (when I saw pictures of the Taliban beating people with steel cables, horribly torturing people, enshrouding women in burkas, and executing people for insignificant offenses, I knew they were unholy monsters degraded by having complete power over others).
Because the State is Satanic, any religion that tries to use State power to advance its aims is automatically touched by evil (essentially, they're saying, "Let's use Satan to advance the cause of God"). Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, for example, can call themselves Christians and "Reverends" all they want, but they are evil men. They are literally possessed by "Satan," i.e., the lust for power over other people.
What to do? Wherever the Islamic world touches the non-Islamic world, it murders people – Israel, northern India, western China, northern Africa, southern Europe, southern Russia, the Philippines. Europe – correctly called by Thomas Jefferson "nations of eternal war" – has allowed 50 million Muslims to immigrate. This is why there will be a Third World War in Europe, when they are expelled, as Spain expelled them centuries ago.
It was not the American people who invited Muslims into this country (they like to pretend there are six million here; the reality is less than two million). It was the US government who invited them. Since the State itself is Satanic, everything it does is wrong. There should be no more immigration. None.
We should bring our troops home not only from the Islamic world, but also from the 144 countries we have them in. We're now an empire, and empires always fall. We're blindly following the path of the Romans and the English.
So what if we've conquered Afghanistan in three months? It reminds me of a story I read once: a man driving his small sports car to work was chased every morning by a dog. Finally, he stopped the car and yelled, "Okay, you've caught it; now what are you going to do with it?" We can conquer the entire Islamic world, but what are we going to do with it?
The Satanic lust for power applies to the US government, too. It's what the Greeks noticed thousands of years ago, "Hubris followed by Nemesis." It's the same as that quasi-Biblical saying, "Pride goes before a fall."
I will always be a believer in that motto on an early American coin: MIND YOUR BUSINESS. I will also always be a believer in the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Following those two sayings will save a world of trouble.