Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Violent Country

America is a violent country. So much that we only notice when someone kills a half dozen or more. In all the tens of thousands of "normal" murders each year we see nothing out of the ordinary. We as a country constantly resort to violent rhetoric in politics, we believe in a "right" to own weapons and we look the other way when people kill each other. The only time Americans seem to notice is when a brown person kills good, white, Christian Americans. Then they are terrorists, and we invade a country they may or may not have some relation to.

A Sikh temple was shot up, but still the news is cautious to call it terrorism. White supremacist shoots a group often confused with Muslims, our mortal enemies, and they wait on the FBI to call him a terrorist. It isn't just racism that is an issue here, it is the fact that Americans don't see it as an attack. Unless we can otherize the violence, it is just par for the course here.

Americans don't just kill each other, either. Our response to the deaths of three thousand was to invade an entire country, and then a second one on top of that. Hundreds of thousands dead in those countries, and no one bats an eyelash. People complain about the money it costs, which is an issue, or the soldiers on our side who die, which again IS a big deal, but they fail to mention or notice the thousands of civilians we murder in the name of patriotism. Americans don't see war as bad, they just hope for "just" war and cheap wars. Everyone looks to World War 2 as a "just" war because it is easy to otherize the Nazis, it is easy to play the good guys. They ignore the atrocities we as a nation committed and romanticize the war itself. In Europe, the world wars left a bitter taste that lasts to this day, making the vast majority of European nations hesitant to commit to any violent action, whether we call it a war or peacekeeping mission. They let go of their colonies for fear of military action, they dismantled their militaries, while the US immediately looked for more wars to fight. We are involved in major actions at least twice a generation now.

We kill each other with guns, we execute those people in retaliation. We kill nations of people who are different, and we glorify weaponry itself. We allowed, even encouraged a massive military industrial complex to be built up because we sat in anticipation of another world war, secretly hoping for it. American culture is very violent. We demonize war protestors as unamerican and unpatriotic, and dismiss them as radicals, hippies, and idealists. Talking about gun laws is tantamount to treason in our culture.

American culture may be consumed by our dark side, our lust for violence, or at least our acceptance of it. We are desensitized to death, showing temporary outrage at murder only to demand more murder to "fix" it. This may be in part from cultural manipulation by those with their profits on the line, namely the military industrial complex built by the second world war and the Cold War, but we are part of it too. We have bigger issues than "control" of guns. We need to find out how to fix our culture itself.

Logic Priest

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