School Shootings

There’s a lot of confusion on this subject, and I wanted to see if I could throw some light on it.

Education has been undermined for a long time. History taught in most schools, public and private, is not correct. Competition is extolled as the centerpost of social organization, and mythologized into an enormous public delusion. It is supposed to bring out the “best” in us; it does no such thing, especially when the competition is for subsistence, or perceived subsistence, it drives us into violence and betrayal. Technology and competition together isolate us from each other, so that next door neighbors no longer know each other, and we grow suspicious and cynical rather than empathic. Competition, while necessary, must be balanced with an equal enshrinement of cooperation in order to achieve a functional society. Instead, cooperation is vilified as communism or socialism, or a tyranny of the collective, and a myth of absolute human independence militates against embrasure of our natural interdependence, again exacerbating our isolation and loneliness, shaming us about who we really are. The emphases on individuality and competition also tend to encourage a desire to repress the less fortunate if we happen to be wealthy.

The first thing capitalists do is identify, seize and withhold vital resources. This leaves most people in poverty, while at the same time the narratives described above that outline expected behavior leave us feeling shamed of the violence and anger that rises within us naturally when confronted with this poverty and the delusions of hyperindividualism that teach us our poverty is our own fault. When hopelessness arises, the latches burst that would restrain the worst antisocial behavior. Some drive their violence inward with drug abuse or self-starvation in anorexia and bulimia. Others explode outward, as has happened at Columbine and elsewhere.

School shootings are an outcome of all the untended, ungoverned impulses that arise under conditions of cultivated ignorance.

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