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Kingdom Come: Millenarianism’s Deadly Allure, from Lenin to ISIS – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

2017 was the one hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and the year in which ISIS was decisively defeated and its caliphate dismantled. While both movements may seem safely behind us, and are separated by a century and almost three thousand kilometers, they are connected by a thread of significance that we would be rash to consider mere history.
Pace Marx, history does not always repeat itself as a farce. Sometimes, perhaps more often than not, it returns as yet another tragedy. Much like the Bolshevik revolution, this initially minuscule extremist movement accomplished the improbable feat of rapidly attracting tens of thousands of followers from all over the world, conquering major cities and vast tracts of land, and creating a new state. ISIS “set a new standard for extremist groups,” wrote Shadi Hamid, an authority on Islamism, “proving it possible to capture and hold large swaths of territory… without the benefit of

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