In today's 'Times', John Gray comments on the threads connecting the terror of yesteryear with the current terror du jour.
One can take issue with some of his points - as Islam is, as we all know, a 'religion of peace', it must be incapable of provoking those who claim to confess it to violence; European state-sponsored massacres such 'The Reign of Terror' or the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' have all had their roots in the secular religion of the Scottish Enlightenment - but for the most part he's quite sound.
Indeed, given that Islamic terrorists share the ferocity of those Frenchmen who sent their countrymen to the guillotine with such panache, one wonders whether or not the correct name for Islamic terrorists should be 'Islamojacobins'.
The life of Maximilien Robespierre should provide the serious student of history with at least two useful lessons.
The first is that no political leader should ever place their willingness to lay down their life for their cause at the core of their agenda; one day, inevitably, somebody will call your bluff.
And the second is - well...
Never underestimate country solicitors.