I’m reminded of two things in light of the recent Charlottesville murder(s).
- Dan Carlin’s observation that this is what happens when pressure builds up in a society – the weak parts just start popping. He was originally talking about the stabbing murders in Portland and the congressional shooting in Virginia. To wit – political violence in America is rarely planned, and often carried out by short term thinkers, the highly anxious, the failed artists, the “frustrated” (in Hoffer’s sense)
- I heard a debate after the Newtown murders about video games. One person rightfully said that there are no studies directly linking the two. The other rightfully said that there is no way to have a control group, and raised the question – if you were going to train someone to commit horrible crimes like that (a Manchurian candidate for our modern times I suppose) wouldn’t you want to find some mentally or socially aberrant (pick your dysfunction, anxiety, addiction, neurotic or any bad thing that comes from a horrible childhood) person and have them virtually shoot things for 8 hours a day? Substitute our modern wealth of outrage media, sleep deprivation, drugs (pick any really), and I think you get the same result.
Sadly Eric Hoffer gets more relevant every day.