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Fear and Loathing Unto Death: Extreme Individualism, Shredding the Social Fabric, and the Sandy Hook Massacre

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Dennis Loo     Permalink
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This is not some random, solitary bad apple speaking. This is the Director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. This is a U. S. leader. This is their view of the Afghan people. This is an example of their mindset.

Aggressive war. Unjust and immoral occupation in which U.S. soldiers are routinely instructed by their superiors to "shoot first and ask questions later." Free fire zones. Torture of innocents. Indefinite detention. Drone attacks. Breaking down Afghan civilians' homes' doors in the dead of the night and then one by one, gunning down the families inside - men, women, and children - then covering their bodies with blankets and setting them afire.

These are not the actions of lone, mad, pathological individuals; this is U.S. policy. This is how empires behave and think.

Here is U.S. style liberation. Here is yet another fine example of the exceptional character of the U.S. military and U.S. government.

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Obama, after the Aurora Massacre, issued a statement saying, "Such violence, such evil is senseless; it's beyond reason." Mitt Romney called it "a few moments of evil."

It's not senseless. It's not a "few moments" of evil.

It is the acting out by individuals and groups of individuals who are following the example set by their leaders who are engaged in implementing and justifying malignant and frankly evil policies into the indefinite future.

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When governmental policies justify raining death on wedding parties and innocents coming to the aid of those targeted, subjecting them to more drone attacks, because state terror offers our government the only conceivable way to "win" these unjust, illegal, and immoral wars;

When they institutionalize express violations of due process and continue the use of torture, sloughing off of jobs or homes for people, tossing people into the streets like so much rubbish because they are no longer as young or because companies can squeeze ever more profits off of fewer people;

When medicines or treatments that could save peoples' lives are withheld because they are not as profitable as treating these individuals as mere ciphers and numbers on their accounting sheets, allowed to waste away, suffer excruciatingly, and die;

When countries' leaders tell everyone in their nation that "our" nation's lives are more precious than the lives of non-citizens, justifying killing others in the name of protecting (e.g., American) lives, then what's the difference morally when an individual such as James Holmes decides that his life is more important than the lives of others in a theatre? How is our leaders' ultranationalism different in kind from Holmes' narcissism?

When individuals lose their connection to others, those isolated individuals are liable to lash out at others to establish their own lost presence, to affirm their "importance," and to prove their existence by anti-social, belligerent, and even violent means.

When nations are led by those who falsely claim that the nation is separate, apart, and superior, with no necessary inter-connection between nations, that this great nation may rape and plunder because that proves its Darwinian fitness, and when these authorities further ignorantly assert that those even within their nation-states are not all of a common fabric, where all rise and fall together, but instead winners and losers, with the winners entitled to treat the losers as objects to be exploited and discarded, and that this callousness even proves the virtue of this greatest of all nations, this freedom to be free of the inextricably intertwined, then the levees are breached and the floodwaters will follow.

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It is, therefore, not an exaggeration to say that James Holmes's actions in Aurora are a domestic, non-governmental figure's individual enactment of the same policies of terror that authorities have been using abroad. It's shock and awe brought home.

(Even Holmes' rigging his apartment with trip wires and explosives are not just the actions of a lone paranoid; his apartment was also a microcosm of Fortress America: taking Herman Cain's suggestion seriously to electrify the border fences, adopting fully Arizona's seige mentality, and taking Obama's deporting more immigrants than Bush did and killing those who he has personally decided are enemies of the state to their logical conclusion.)

As I wrote in Globalization and the Demolition of Society,

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Cal Poly Pomona Sociology Professor. Author of "Globalization and the Demolition of Society," co-editor/author (with Peter Phillips) of "Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney." National Steering Committee Member of the World Can't (more...)

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