The Western nation-state as exemplified by the United States is not merely the source of authority for free men, it is also the product of that authority.
When the radical Islamists attack the US as the Great Satan, they do so to undermine the free citizen's claim to act with authority in his life. It is an assault on the very notion of autonomy as it has matured into a basic predicate of modern-day life.
The radical Islamists are trying to dismantle the foundations of Western society by destroying the privileged position in which individual autonomy is held by the general public. That autonomy has two components:
- control over the means of production in their creative lives, and
- the power to direct others in their political lives.