I believe to understand the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army, you have to understand the 1970s especially the early and mid 1970s. I don't want to sound overdramatic but America was at a breaking point at this point with a whole generation of Baby Boomers who were pissed off at America and the American system and wanted something different as far as our culture, way of life, and even form of government.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s you had this Marxist-Socialist terrorist group called The Weather Underground and Students For a Democratic Society. They go out of business by the early 1970s and this new far left-wing group of Communists emerges in California called the Symbionese Liberation Army. Who believed wealthy people especially wealthy Caucasians and wealthy Caucasian men and wealthy corporations owned and managed by these men, were keeping poor Americans of all backgrounds, as well as minorities down. And they decided they would fight back and use violence to accomplish these political objectives. Which was to force wealthy Caucasian people to give money to the poor and feed the poor.
Patty Hearst the daughter of Randolph Hearst who owned a media empire in San Francisco, California which included the San Francisco Examiner newspaper and some TV stations, was the first major target and capture of this Marxist-Communist revolutionary group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. ( Or SLA ) The SLA kidnaps Patty Hearst in February, 1974 in order to get her father to give up 10s of millions of dollars and spend that money feeding the poor in Berkeley, California and other parts of Northern California. Kidnapping especially depending on how you treat your hostages, is about as radical and in some cases violent of a terrorist action that you can commit against anyone. But the SLA was as radical and violent of a political terrorist organization that we've seen in America.
The late 1960s and the 1970s back then, doesn't look much different from the radical left-wing groups that we see today with the so-called ANTIFA movement and these political correctness groups. Back then you had a very large generation of Americans who were pissed off at society and the government and wanted something radically different. With the so-called ANTIFA group now who also use terrorism to accomplish their Far-Left political objectives, you have a generation of Millennial's who are also pissed off at America and hate our form of government. What has changed is the media and the ability for radical groups to get their message out there and to get noticed.