Thoughts on the Latest Insane American Tragedy

So apparently, some man shot up a community college in Oregon, killing ten and wounding seven others. It just depresses me to no end that the good ol’ USA is the site of so many tragedies like these. I left a long comment elaborating on my thoughts over at Robert Lindsay’s blog, which I’ll repost here (Apologies for not providing a link. WordPress for some reason isn’t allowing me to do so):

Here’s the thing. There have always been men who haven’t gotten any, and there are many men around the world who live sexless lives. Shit, I once read somewhere that 60% of young Japanese men don’t even have a friend of the opposite sex, much less a girlfriend.

And yet it’s only in the US – and to a smaller extent other Anglosphere countries – where these types of killings take place.

(I confess, I haven’t thoroughly researched this issue in other countries, so correct me if I’m wrong)

I think this country’s rabid individualism and Protestant Work Ethic ethos play a role. When you’re taught that you are completely on your own and that failure always marks you as a pathetic, worthless loser, then that’s bound to rankle people – especially men, since expectations for them are much higher.

(come to think of it, I have never heard a woman referred to as a “loser”)

Unfortunately, I already know how this is going to play out. Mainstream liberals will clamor for gun control; feminists will denounce the killer’s “aggrieved entitlement” and use this tragedy to denounce general misogyny; manosphere/pua types will push their “game saves lives” line; you’ll also probably get a few pro-gun/NRA types who will insist that if only the victims had guns, they could have defended themselves.

But something tells me that very few people will actually recognize that American culture as a whole is utterly toxic. When you live in an adversarial society where Ayn Randism and anomie are the norm, then you can’t act too shocked and horrified when certain maladjusted individuals go apeshit and demonstrate little regard for the lives of their fellow denizens.

And frankly, most Americans could care less about people being killed. I highly doubt that most lose any sleep – or even think about – the myriad victims of American drone attacks. I’m also pretty certain that they could care less about the millions of people in the Middle East who live lives characterized by violence and instability courtesy of Uncle Sam’s meddling. They’re just horrified when the violence hits too close to home.

Until Americans (especially white Americans) wake up and recognize that the US is utterly sick and in dire need of moral and cultural reform, expect more of these types of killings to occur.

So, what do you think accounts for the fact that so many rampage murders afflict the land of the free?

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16 Responses to Thoughts on the Latest Insane American Tragedy

  1. Ezra Pound's Ghost says:

    TradYouth has an article up today called “#ChristianLivesMatter: Against Dehumanization and Diversity” that echoes these exact sentiments. Here’s the comment on I left on that story in response to “shocking” line that occurred in it: ” ‘Many of you think “Death to America” is an extreme position, but it’s less extreme than keeping the ride going.’ – Especially when you consider that “America” is more than anything else an ideological construct. “America” does not exist in any type of “real”, material conception of the world. Appalachia exists. Texas exists. California exists. The UNITED STATES exists. But “America” does not. Not really. “America” is an idea – a vicious, hateful idea – and the time to bury it has come.”

    • Janus says:

      Matt Parrott at TradYouth equates the concept of “America” to multiculturalism and egalitarianism. These concepts can only be held together in the long run by sheer force because they conflict with reality. I don’t think anyone will have to decide to abandon them because they will fall apart on their own. Already a growing number of people don’t think of “America” in terms of the whole, but of their little segment of it.

      The concept of “America” has gradually changed over time from individual liberty and responsibility, to the rise of anyone from poverty to wealth through hard work and ingenuity, to a place where everyone is taken care of and treated equally by force if necessary.

      Is it possible to change the concept of “America” again into something that fits reality and where people once again place a value on one another’s humanity? Sure. But it’s not likely. More likely is a bloody, nasty purge of one or more elements in order to make a cohesive whole. And the odds don’t favor our side.

  2. Janus says:

    You pointed out the toxic nature of our culture, and this is the key factor in most of these shootings. Society has lost its bearings, and many people live their lives without a strong social/psychological framework or moral/philosophical foundation that helps them to cope with reality when it hits them.

    What is the purpose of life in the U.S. if your only social structure is the possession of wealth, fame, status, and pleasure? Materialism not only makes people shallow, it makes people regard other people as objects. Such shallowness often leads to depression and unrealistic expectations. And when someone’s weak social structure starts to collapse, it is time to make people pay.

    Individualism has evolved from individual responsibility to individual solipsism. A large group of people believe that they are the stars in their own personal movie, and other people are bit players at best or movie-set-crashers at worst. The solipsist’s only responsibility is to his own satisfaction, but he expects others to satisfy him as well. And the solipsist grows irritated when reality fails to conform to his fantasies. The star of a movie doesn’t just sit back and let things happen to him; he is the one who makes things happen. Why not make those set-crashers pay for their arrogance?

    The opulent wealth of this country has disconnected many people from reality. People live in little bubbles, driving in their soundproof, insulated cars; watching the world through their rose-colored screens. From the time of childhood, we have no connection to the basis of our survival, and it’s very easy to believe that nothing should hurt us or stand in the way of our desires. When pain does come, physical or psychological, people have never learned how to deal with it, and they overreact. No one else’s pain can compare to theirs. Sometimes they try to mask the pain with drugs that only make them numb. When the pain does come, they strike out at whom they perceive to be the source with disproportionate force.

    When corrupted guardians alternately neglect and indulge their children, this only contributes to the feral quality of life for people growing up. These children lack structure both outward and inward, and they grow up both spoiled and impoverished. When this kind of child-rearing environment is combined with narcissistic individualism, opulent materialism in a culture that worships fame, and a near total disconnection from reality thanks to technology, antipsychotic drugs, and social isolation, we are going to see more of these rampage killings in the United States whether guns are banned or not.

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      Excellent comment, Janus, especially the part at the end.

      The reflexive anti-gun reaction that most liberals have to rampage murders demonstrates their almost childish faith in the “rule of law.” In their minds, the US could be as peaceful as Iceland, if only we had stricter gun control. Never mind that Switzerland has high rates of gun ownership, and yet they don’t go around offing people.

      The difference is that Switzerland is a far more peaceful and sane society than the US. It’s almost as if people don’t want to admit that America is so tense and dysfunctional that growing numbers of people are motivated to commit these types of horrific deeds.

      I do agree that guns give these killers more means to kill people, but what really needs to be tackled is the motive. Short of turning the US into a police state – which it’s already kind of becoming – no amount of laws can remedy the fundamental malaise of American society.

      • euroglory says:

        If you have such a sick, dysfunctional society as you claim, I imagine the last thing you need is lots of guns lying around!! (Twice as many as In Switzerland, per 100 people.)

  3. I can’t really comment on whether or not American culture is toxic but an equivalent person in England just wouldn’t have any firearms.

    I’ve never even seen a handgun in Britain* and I wouldn’t know where to begin if I wanted to get hold of one. I believe if you have the right connections its easy enough but the ‘incel’ type of guys don’t usually have criminal social contacts.

    * farmers and hunters have shotguns and maybe rifles but that’s in the countryside.

  4. euroglory says:

    British culture could be just as toxic as American culture but you can’t shoot people if you don’t have a gun.

    However, I doubt gun control in America would be restrictive enough to stop a lot of these people from getting hold of guns. Presumably, a lot of those guys don’t have criminal records or diagnosed mental problems before they go apeshit. And there are so many guns around already.

    • Janus says:

      Good point, euroglory. If the government were to try to ban the ownership of guns outright, or even ban new purchases or ammunition purchases, they would immediately spark a civil war when they tried to enforce it. Even ‘common sense’ laws that require mental health screenings would face fierce resistance, as they would deny gun/ammo access to an enormous subset of the population. Americans have somehow gotten the crazy notion that the U.S. government doesn’t have their best interests at heart!

      But, as you say, the only way to prevent loonies from getting guns is the severe infringement of gun rights, and self-protection, for the vast majority who aren’t likely to murder anyone. It’s a lose-lose situation.

      Do you think compulsory military service, like that in Switzerland, helps to keep the peace?

      • euroglory says:

        The idea of gun rights doesn’t exist in the British psyche and in Europe generally (Switzerland being the exception). That is something specific to American history.

        While it may very well be the case that anti gun legislation is impractical in America, I think Britain is probably better off for the dearth of firearms. If burglars breaking into houses with guns becomes a common occurrence (I’ve never heard of it once), then I might change my mind.

        I don’t know if it is relevant but you might be interested to know that the black homicide rate in the UK is lower than the white homicide rate in America (though the black homicide rate is several times higher than the white homicide rate in both countries). Would there be more murders if we had more guns around? You can argue not but my guess is yes there would be, that it is one of the factors, among others.

        As for military service, it has its virtues and I think it might be a good way to instil discipline, initiative and some personal pride in young men, especially of the underclass.

      • euroglory says:

        ..and by initiative, I mean motivation.

      • euroglory says:

        …although going to war should always be for voluntary regiments.

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        I don’t know, I’m kinda mixed on guns. On the one hand, I think that America has way too many guns; even with all the anger and anomie, the scale of these killings could be reduced if guns were removed from the occasion. That would certainly be a positive.

        At the same time, there is something to be said for civilians owning guns. Especially in an oligarchical society like the US, the thought of the state (or corporations) having a monopoly on violence does not sit well with me.

        If the US were a more sane and healthy democracy – which by extension would lead to a higher trust society – then I would wholeheartedly favor gun control. For now, I’m more interested in tackling the social malaise that’s the real factor behind these shootings.

      • euroglory says:

        This is a bit facetious but at least the gun culture in America makes for brilliant tv shows like Justified.

  5. Pingback: Robert Stark interviews Robert Lindsay about the Oregon Shooter « Attack the System

  6. Pingback: Robert Stark Interviews Robert Lindsay about the Oregon Shooter | Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

  7. Pingback: Robert Stark interviews Bay Area Guy about the Radical Center | Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

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