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Motivations of Terrorists

            Dostoyevsky described his work The Possessed as follows: "the main question, which is pursued in all the parts, is the same one I have been tormented by consciously and unconsciously my whole life ¯the existence of God."" The search for the existence of God tortured Dostoyevsky and thus allowed him to incorporate this search into the personal and existential crises of his characters in The Possessed. Dostoyevsky saw revolutionary ideology and politically-inspired violence as directly linked to a perceived crisis in religious faith. Not surprising Conrad in "The Secret Agent- and Malraux in "Man's Fate- also made the link between private character and political ideology and behavior. All three of these authors had varying viewpoints on what kinds of people became revolutionaries. There works intended to bring their views of private character and its impact on political causes to the forefront.
             Dostoyevsky attributes the increase of reactionaries to the decline of the impact the divine had on society. Dostoyevsky believes that the elder Verkhovenksy's generation is to blame for the degradation of the essential source of existential and political order, the divine. The recklessness of Verkhovenksy's generation with its abandonment of any religious guidance is passed down the next generation which ultimately lives their life absent of proper political direction. The void in the lives of the next generation eventually creates a boredom that is resolved many different ways. Many people find alternate means to fill the void that is present from the lack of the essential source of political order. Many people turn to money or maybe even women. Unfortunately, there are radicals in the world that find unacceptable alternate means for relieving their boredom. Kirilov, presents us with the most ridiculous plan for escaping boredom, Kirilov creates a plan that will make him a god thus filling that void in his life.

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