Through our class studies of Socialistic China and Mao, and my own individual studies about the Shining Path Rebellion in Peru, I have spent some time contemplating why people are so attracted to the use of fear and terrorism. Abimael Guzman was the founder of The Shining Path, a Communist party in Peru. He idolized Mao and used Mao’s Cultural Revolution as a general revolutionary model for Peru. Peru, similarly to China, was facing some major economical struggles leading up to the SP (Shining Path) rebellion. Peru was heavily hit by rapid population growth, agrarian crisis, and they had become very reliant on food imports, which only perpetuated the suffering for many working farmers, who were losing business to the cheaper imports. Guzman became a strong advocate for agrarian reform and wished to end class struggle. In order to rid the country of capitalist “monsters”, Guzman, like Mao, felt that violence was necessary to obtain the goal of true social equality. Guzman began forming an army similar to Red Guards in China. Young adults often joined the Red Guards because of the attractive offers that Mao presented. The poor peasants and uneducated youth, who had only known oppression this far in life, were so ready for change that they would nearly latch on to any movement that promised equality and reform. In a desperate act, the peasants of Peru cling to the SP in hopes of improving their lifestyle. These peasants have felt so exploited that they blindly associate themselves with terrorist groups, not because they agree with their methods, but because they often view these terrorist factions as the only groups capable of progressing their lives. Leaders, like Guzman and Mao, recognize that the peasants are weak and easy to convert to their organization. This “targeting of the poor” often plays a large role in the success of terrorist groups. The peasants are like the moths to this flame of terrorism. They are inevitably attracted to the flame because of the brightness it shines, regardless of whether or not the flame was sparked from guerrilla explosives. The vulnerability of the needy stirs a deep fear in me. We are not invincible, The U.S might not be too far from a terrorist uprising. We have impoverished and upset citizens that could easily cling to the next terrorist group that advocates social liberation. What will it take to prevent the inevitable attraction of the poor to terrorism?