Nationalisme, démence et terrorisme

BOSTON – Si nous voulons comprendre ce qui a poussé les suspects de l’attentat à la bombe du marathon de Boston, Tamerlan et Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, dans la spirale du terrorisme, la réponse ne réside pas forcément au Daghestan, où les deux frères habitaient avant de s’installer aux États-Unis, ni dans les deux guerres menées en Tchétchénie au cours des dernières vingt années. La clé du comportement des Tsarnaev se trouve probablement dans des développements qui se sont déroulés dans l’Angleterre d’il y a 500 ans.

De nombreux nouveaux phénomènes apparus dans la société anglaise du XVIe siècle ont bouleversé la condition humaine. Une société anglaise qui, redéfinie en tant que « nation », c’est-à-dire une communauté souveraine constituée de citoyens égaux, a fini par engendrer une ère de nationalisme où la mobilité sociale était maintenant acceptée.

Simultanément, une panoplie distincte de maladies mentales a d’abord été observée, qu’on étiquettera plus tard par la schizophrénie et les troubles dépressifs. Ces maux étaient différents de la multitude de maladies mentales déjà recensées à l’époque. Elle a donné naissance à un nouveau terme « la démence », à une première spécialisation médicale (qui deviendra éventuellement la « psychiatrie ») et à une législation spéciale destinée aux « déments ».

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