The Obama administration’s revealing comment that terror groups such as ISIS would be stymied if their members had jobs is not only naive, though it is that. It betrays a blinkered, materialistic perspective common in the West today–that people really care only about and are motivated by material things.
This very Marxist interpretation of human behavior not only fails to do justice to the motives and worldview of the Islamic State. At a more basic level it fails to grasp the incurable religious impulse at the heart of most of human history. Perhaps one reason the president is so loath to name the religious motives of ISIS is because, as a basically secular man, he has lost the ability to comprehend them.