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Suicide Bombers and Mass Shooters: Different Symptoms, Same Disease

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posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 05:05 PM
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School shooters. Mall massacres. Extremists who strap on a vest of explosives and detonate themselves in a crowded square. We try to face these things and come up against a horror that seems entirely beyond our grasp: how can this happen? How does a human being become a monster?

In our search for answers, we look to many causes; from gun laws to psychopathy, from poverty to video games, from media hype to religious ideology. We call them crazy, put their mental and emotional processes beyond our comprehension, label their actions ineffable. We do this because our revulsion, grief and rage run so deep that we don't really want to understand. But perhaps we need to broaden our vision: there are common threads, they aren't what the media would have us believe, and they can't be legislated away.

Although it's an escalating phenomena, mass killing is nothing new; manifesting in many cultures over the centuries. For instance, Malaysia coined a word later adopted into English, "mengamuk", or "amuk". Malaysians who "run amok" are generally young, male, and have no history of mental illness. They strike suddenly, kill indiscriminately with a variety of weapons, and immediately attempt suicide afterward. Those who fail in their attempt claim to have amnesia. This may sound familiar, as mass killers in the West manifest the same post-atrocity behavior, and fit the same profile (contrary to popular belief, the majority of mass killers are not psychotic, and most are entirely neurotypical).

A study of the young men revealed more parallels than differences between them and their Western counterparts: between the ages of 19-24, low social capital, recent loss, and narcissism. This is the basic profile, but there are other characteristics that mass killers in the West display. They are the product of middle to upper-middle class homes. They are described as intelligent and well educated, but socially isolated. They perceive themselves to be the victim of injustice at the hands of parents and peers, or larger institutions. They are unable to establish a sexual relationship, and may even harbor deeply misogynistic views.

Most importantly, at least for our purposes, they display a sense of wounded entitlement.

Switching tracks, when we look at Islamic extremism, we find some more surprising intersects. Once again, contrary to popular perception, there is no tie between poverty and extremism. In fact, the bulk of suicide bombers are from upper-middle to middle class families, and are well-educated. They are single, between the ages of 15-24. Most have suffered a recent loss and feel a deep sense of injustice. Though some may argue otherwise, there is a strong strain of misogyny in the ideology they adhere to. And, of course, there is an ingrained sense of wounded entitlement.

We have established the overlaps, and may with some assurance draw the following conclusion: mass killings occur when privileged young men perceive a threat to their entitlement, whether that means fewer reproductive opportunities or lessened status. This can happen for many reasons: military occupation, increased equality and social mobility among other demographics, shifting cultural norms. The more prevalent those conditions are, the more often mass killings occur. Although there are certainly unrelated factors that exacerbate the problem, that is the master pattern.

If the above holds true, what can we do to mitigate the trend here in the West? At the very least, we must reckon that mass shooters are the extreme outliers of a larger group of young men who share their sense of isolation and disenfranchisement. There is one solution: they must be understood and reincorporated. We can approach this in a number of ways, but here's where I'd tackle it:

1. Stop romanticizing maniacs, and start giving our young men some better templates to work with. Create heroes worthy of admiration, but also render them accessible and realistic. Fewer Jokers, more Peter Parkers. As it stands, we've got nothing but tortured anti-heroes and morally ambiguous misfits to offer young men as behavioral models. One may argue that the popularity of those archetypes merely reflects the zeitgeist, but I say it's flat out irresponsible and short-sighted to pipe that poison into the collective consciousness just because it sells.

2. We want to be good people, and even the worst among us will make a concerted attempt to see themselves as justified in their actions. Yet, virtue isn't cool these days. Civic duty, honor, bravery and integrity are simply not being transmitted or valued, neither in the home nor in the larger social sphere. The only virtues being extolled are non-violence and tolerance, but "don't harm" and "be nice" are insufficient to provide the moral scaffolding some young men need to grow into good people.

3. There is a deep dissonance in the way women are viewed in the West, and it's the young men who are soaking up the most toxicity from the commodification of women. Either women are equals (the surface message, which is socially expedient) or women are useful objects (the deeper signal, which is an economic engine). We can't have it both ways, and the cracks are really starting to show.

4. Absent a legitimate life-path, these young men gravitate toward a "warrior mentality". This suggests (to me, at least) that if we have "born warriors" and their only means of self-actualization consists of video games and devalued military enlistment, we are gonna be having problems. Wholesome martial ideologies that emphasize self-control and service, that foster a sense of oneself as a vital part of a greater whole should be emphasized.

5. Less meds, more action: more counselling, more outreach, more awareness.

Finally, a little aside to the MSM: you guys have seen the data that correlates sensationalizing these events with copycat murders, right? Your treatment of these events accomplishes nothing but the reinforcement of a powerfully negative template. Please stop doing that, or at the very least adjust your coverage so that we focus less on the killers and more on the victims.

Related reading:
Hegemonic Masculinity and Mass Murderers in the United States
Psychological Profiles of School Shooters
A History of Mass Shooting in the US Since Columbine
The Overwhelming Maleness of Mass Homicide
Dying to Win
The Rationality of Suicide Bombing
Mass Murders Are On the Rise




posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 06:11 PM
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Revenge, entitlement, and lack of appropriate outlets.

When this behaviour is generalized it would pay to look - as you have - at the common factors not just in the subjects involved but in the cultures that beget them. China would seem like an unusual choice to fit the profile, yet China has had some terrible problems with this behaviour and that is what we hear through the information wall that the Chinese government puts up to control this sort of information from spreading.

All of these cultures, even the US, hate women and put children low on the totem pole. (and yes I'd be happy to argue with anyone about hidden hate for women that isn't so hidden, just so prevalent and indulged in that the hate is seen as nice) When they do enact changes that are seemingly to address this problem, they consistently appeal to giving more control by demanding more compliance from victims. In other words, for people to live in fear and under constant normalized threat that if you do not comply you are asking for it.

China uses the most egregious forms of threat based conformity enforcement. Islam uses a different set of the most egregious forms of threat based conformity enforcement and promises of domination. Some Christian sects use spiritual warfare, and promises of domination to those to comply. In non-religion based cultures - like the US - the externalization of violence towards others will be recognized as a tool used by the culture and therefore can be used internally as well as externally.

It is my opinion that self-mastery is the only real solution, and the one least appealing to any form of hierarchical society based in imposition and acceptance of lack of self-awareness as a means for control. In other words, self-aware people could choose to enjoin their efforts based on wide understanding of a system of hierarchy, but that system then is in itself self-aware. In the event that they don't, the lack of self-awareness along with lack of self-mastery is a recipe for disaster. To control that further, a system must become more brutal to control the uncontrolled elements or pander those same elements, or usually....both. Pander to the out of control, threatening to become out of control, and by offering control rewards that appeal (you get to control your very own set of vaginas as societal capital being the usual system) and then by allowing that group to enact brutal system of punishment to those who do not comply with the reward system thereby further rewarding them for compliance.

Okay, my heart now feels like it is going to melt through my rib cage now so I think that's enough for today. Nice work Eid.
edit on 2012/12/16 by Aeons because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by Aeons
 


My heart aches with yours.

The Chinese epidemic indicates that the deepest roots of the problem lie in reduced opportunity for reproduction. Between the one-child policy and the long-standing tradition of female infanticide, there are a lot of young Chinese men who will never be fathers.

Perhaps that takes a deeper toll than was anticipated.

Some of the conditions that lead to reduced reproductive opportunity are in turn a by-product of societal practices that secure the male a protected line. Ultimately, things like foot binding and burquas may exist solely to ensure that the other guy doesn't knock your partner up. You can't stem the demand, but you sure can control the supply.

edit on 16-12-2012 by Eidolon23 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 08:04 PM
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Redacted.

edit on 16-12-2012 by Eidolon23 because:




posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by Eidolon23
 

Interesting threads you always have E23, fewer Jokers and more Peter Parkers you say, and it may just be the thing needed, but like all things it will not stand on its own you know. Its hard to argue with what you said, not saying it cant be done. But I wont be the one to do it, even though something tells me to do it, if just for the lolz.
Fortunately for me I was never a good listener, but then again.. then again...again. But NO! totally being series now.
They should add a serious emoticon, you know to tell people when your being serious. Drat ATS always said we need more emoticons up in here.
I hope you don't actually expect me to read all those links, as you know I rarely actually read any or all links in any thread, most times I usually just skim over them.

You my friend may be to smart and turtle for your own good, and by turtle I mean that you steadily just keep on plodding along and eventually you may win the race, not that there actually is a race going on, things just sort of are and people just sort of make a bunch of big deals out of it all. But ya, I think I will make like a tree and get out of here, I have a bad habit of killing threads sometimes, and more people need to read what you write and are talking about. Ignorance may be bliss, but it will not always stay blissfully so. Don't mind me, Like totally carry on.
edit on 16-12-2012 by galadofwarthethird because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 11:23 PM
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Originally posted by galadofwarthethird
reply to post by Eidolon23
[ But I wont be the one to do it, even though something tells me to do it, if just for the lolz.:


If not you, then who?


not that there actually is a race going on


There is a race, but only one runner.



posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 02:15 AM
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reply to post by Eidolon23
 


Eidolon, you stole the words right out of my mouth, twisted them up, added a whole bunch of better ones, and dropped them in to this awesome post!!!


Thanks



posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 03:13 AM
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s & f

that's not a stretch at all to infer, reasonably.

now, how's about cause & effect, and whats ur prognosis?



posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 05:14 AM
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reply to post by Eidolon23
 


I still think that the following article is by far the most definitive overview of why we, and other mammals, express violence...

www.deconnection.org...

It is almost as old as I am, and though many professionals understand that the basis of violence is associated with a lack of physical, and as importantly, social intimacy, that understanding is not filtering through. If anything, some, seem to be going backwards and taking the opposing view.

Social intimacy is often rejected because it may imply an invitation to sexual intimacy or carries with it a fear of being judged as being sexual. We farm our children out to nannies, nurseries and the such like, at a very young age, and thereby deprive them of physical contact, because those professionals are not allowed to touch the children in their care for fear of being labelled.

The very same reason why some children and young people act out violently, is also the same reason why some engage in sexual activity too early, they need physical contact and have not been taught the proper social parametres of social intimacy, other than gaining it through sexual intercourse. If one does not engage in or is excluded by status from sexual intercourse then they will feel excluded from society, both in the micro (familial unit) and the macro (the wider social group, such as school), unless they are receiving intimacy in other forms, such as cuddles from parents and hugs from their buddies.

If one does not feel attached to society, then it is a very short step towards developing resentment and hostility to that environment. In the case of Sandy Hook, the shooter lived within spitting distance of many of his victims. He saw them on a daily basis, and possibly developed resentment towards those that did have physically intimate relationships with their parents. He probably did not entirely realise or rationalise that as the source of his resentment, but his social disassociation was such that when selecting a victim, he chose those who were immediate to him, as well as perceptually weaker than him.

Suicide bombers on the other hand commit their acts as a means of strengthening social acceptance, it is a clear signal to their peers that they are willing to make the ultimate commitment for the group, in opposition to another group perceived as a threat to the suicide bombers communal way of life. They seek to strengthen their society, rather than, like the 'shooters' destroy what they perceive to be denied to them, or excluded from. So, while they are both lone activists, they operate from opposing positions. The suicide bomber is choosing to exclude himself from the group for the sake of the group (even though it is at the expense of others), whereas the shooter is using his exclusion as the justification for destroying his group.



posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 07:02 AM
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Originally posted by MidnightSunshine
reply to post by Eidolon23
 


Eidolon, you stole the words right out of my mouth, twisted them up, added a whole bunch of better ones, and dropped them in to this awesome post!!!


Thanks


Thank you.

It's very hard to look at this, and I'm glad I'm not having to do it alone.



posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by minnow
s & f

that's not a stretch at all to infer, reasonably.

now, how's about cause & effect, and whats ur prognosis?


Good chance of recovery, but only if we change the culture. Legislation and regulation are important, but they're not the cause and they are not the cure.



posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 07:05 AM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 


Yes, KilgoreTrout, I completely agree.

It would be interesting to know if physical affection is less frequent overall in upper-middle class families.

Just getting into that paper. Wow.
edit on 17-12-2012 by Eidolon23 because: Wow.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by Eidolon23
 



If not you, then who?


It's funny what you miss and what you do not see that is right in front of you, to which even the smartest and brightest are blind, deaf and dumb. Who? Who? Who? Time has a habit of making us all fools, in time we may all even end up as liars. So like I said not me, I am just waiting for my chance to make like I ninja and disappear, you know throw a smoke bomb and run like hell.



There is a race, but only one runner.

Ah trying to go all yoda on me. You know it could just be that the reason why there is only one runner is because that runner go left so far behind that even the dust and the foot prints of the others has since disappeared as they long since went past the horizon. But hey there is only one runner in a race then the chances that the runner will win are great, after all how can you lose in a race were your the only runner?

But yes mass shooters, and suicide bombers, who knows maybe they did not get hugged enough, or maybe they got hugged to much. You know I heard that if you get hugged to much you turn into some sort of mushy touchy hugs, snugly, machine, incapable of anything else, but somehow I doubt your bound to go out on shooting sprees because you got hugged a lot. Besides I think your conclusion is wrong it could be same symptoms, different disease. Or it could all just be semantics.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 

Ah so you were born back when Fred Flintstones had to peddle his car to work, the dark ages knows as the 60s. Rocking.


I don't know about that whole study thing, I suppose everybody just needs to get laid more often and to get hugged more often. But then again it all can turn into a bonobo type society, in fact seems to be were its heading, but then again what works for bonobos is just as likely to work for humans.
But then again its all kind of been done before many times before.

Violence however is a primal thing, in fact physical violence is one of the least things anybody may have to worry about, of all the forms and ways anybody can do violence I would say physical violence is kind of the last or the end product of a long chain of events on things, mental violence or the traps our society always sets in the guise of "good" are much worse and usually what lead people to that physical violent end aspect of it.

And things in this world are kind of turned inside out and upside down, we life in a very complex illusory existence, and the things that really trap people are usually the things that they least expect, or even the things they are attracted to, or even the things that they have been conditioned to. In a way violence is kind of the nature of the universe even particles collide and when they do, there usually insures a boom and that energy changes form or expands, but that to is just practical aspect of it all, and no matter what you do it will always be like that, and usually when you switch things up, or paradigms or even those in power you are merely switching the way those triggers are brought on.... Anyways interesting link.



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 04:40 AM
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Originally posted by galadofwarthethird
Ah so you were born back when Fred Flintstones had to peddle his car to work, the dark ages knows as the 60s. Rocking.


Make that Glam Rocking. The article was written in '75, I think, and I was born a couple or three years prior to that, so no, not the '60s. Ta very much!


Originally posted by galadofwarthethird
I don't know about that whole study thing, I suppose everybody just needs to get laid more often and to get hugged more often. But then again it all can turn into a bonobo type society, in fact seems to be were its heading, but then again what works for bonobos is just as likely to work for humans.
But then again its all kind of been done before many times before.


I think we are more like Chimpanzees who trade sex for food and status, Bonobos are perhaps more along the lines of what we should aspire to. But then again no. Sexual intercourse is only a small part of what physical intimacy is about, and I certainly wouldn't advocate us engaging in sexual behaviour with our children, in our species, that has proven to be harmful and violates most groups norms and values.

If you had read the article, which clearly you didn't, you would appreciate that the key is breaking down social taboos towards none-sexual physical intimacy, not to increasing sexual expression. We as a species, via Westernisation, have become ashamed of our bodies, and in many cases, have allowed the objectification of the body as only a sexual thing. This is what distances us from each other, stops us, touching, stroking and cuddling each other as a means of expressing none sexual expression. As sensual creatures, we need that stimulation. Unlike the Bonobos, our pleasure centres are not only centred in our genitalia, they run throughout our skin, which is why the simple act of holding another's hand can provide so much comfort to another.


Originally posted by galadofwarthethird
Violence however is a primal thing, in fact physical violence is one of the least things anybody may have to worry about, of all the forms and ways anybody can do violence I would say physical violence is kind of the last or the end product of a long chain of events on things, mental violence or the traps our society always sets in the guise of "good" are much worse and usually what lead people to that physical violent end aspect of it.


Violence is a reaction, yes, but how we have that reaction is dependent upon the coping mechanisms that we develop during infancy and adolescence. Many people do not react violently to others, but may do so towards things, or towards themselves. Self-harming is a primary example of the wish to 'feel'. We take many developed characteristics for granted, empathy which is essential to our ability to relate to others, is not a given, it is developed in the very first few weeks of life, via the interaction with our primary carer. Infants who's mother suffers from Post-partum depression, for example, can be at risk of not developing empathy. Without empathy, that child will never be able to relate properly to those around them, and it is a simple thing, imparted simply by being held close enough to be able to feel the carers heartbeat and feel their breath on their face. We have developed this way for a reason, it serves an important purpose, and the more we understand that we are sensual creatures the greater our ability to function better as a cohesive society.


Originally posted by galadofwarthethird
And things in this world are kind of turned inside out and upside down, we life in a very complex illusory existence, and the things that really trap people are usually the things that they least expect, or even the things they are attracted to, or even the things that they have been conditioned to. In a way violence is kind of the nature of the universe even particles collide and when they do, there usually insures a boom and that energy changes form or expands, but that to is just practical aspect of it all, and no matter what you do it will always be like that, and usually when you switch things up, or paradigms or even those in power you are merely switching the way those triggers are brought on.... Anyways interesting link.


I disagree in part. What we do is fail to perceive the world, and our existence within it with all of our senses. Something is not real just because we can kick it, and vice versa. There is so much more to perception than that. Energy as you describe it, is not destructive, it transmutates and transforms through collision, it does not simply set out destroy, that intent, which we as humans express through violence, the need to destroy that which we feel is denied to us and our possession, is not natural. Not in the least.



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by galadofwarthethird
reply to post by Eidolon23

Ah trying to go all yoda on me.


Yeah, you got me.



Violence however is a primal thing, in fact physical violence is one of the least things anybody may have to worry about, of all the forms and ways anybody can do violence I would say physical violence is kind of the last or the end product of a long chain of events on things, mental violence or the traps our society always sets in the guise of "good" are much worse and usually what lead people to that physical violent end aspect of it.


#ing bravo, man. That was really well put.
edit on 19-12-2012 by Eidolon23 because:




posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 02:05 PM
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Talked this subject over with a friend of mine. He agreed with the idea that the lack of a calling, the feeling that your labor holds no value, the imbalance of producers:consumers in our culture was one of the root causes.

And then he pretty much tore me a new rhetorical orifice over the same argument when I applied it to cultural templates (imbalance of anti-heroes to actual heroes). He pointed out that for most people (himself included) good character = boring. That if you abide by the social contract, and watch people who don't get the things you feel entitled to, one of the ways you will cope is by identifying with an anti-hero. That it is a form of release rather than pumping poison into an abscessed wound (as I would have it). I don't entirely agree, but it's worth presenting.

And here's a sharper version of the same argument:


But at some point in the breakdown of capitalist society-- it says it right on the cover of his book-- that moral superiority isn't enough. Are you not a person who works hard and plays by the rules? You still want to have nice things, you still want to get nice women, you still want to feel some power, which in a normally functioning society you would be able to get in your own natural way. But when there's unemployment and debt and your wife leaves you, and it looks like these are happening because the social contract has failed, because jerks are taking from you, those real losses aren't sufficiently compensated by "at least I'm not a jerk." Extend that to Wall Street stealing your savings and feeling no shame, having no punishment, and all we can do is pretend that our moral superiority is enough compensation, and of course it isn't.

thelastpsychiatrist.com...
edit on 19-12-2012 by Eidolon23 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 



Make that Glam Rocking. The article was written in '75, I think, and I was born a couple or three years prior to that, so no, not the '60s. Ta very much!

Well judging from your taste in music, books and just random stuff on this site of yours I ran into. I just sort of you know assumed you were somewhere around from the 60ish 50ish era probably around my grandmas age and probably needed a cane to get around with....My bad, sry see what assumptions lead to. That and I just am not a very good listener. I suppose I mustn't egg on my elders.



I think we are more like Chimpanzees who trade sex for food and status, Bonobos are perhaps more along the lines of what we should aspire to. But then again no.

Yes one can only hope to aspire to such great heights that is the chimp and bobobo society. But then again no.



If you had read the article, which clearly you didn't, you would appreciate that the key is breaking down social taboos towards none-sexual physical intimacy, not to increasing sexual expression. We as a species, via Westernisation, have become ashamed of our bodies, and in many cases, have allowed the objectification of the body as only a sexual thing. This is what distances us from each other, stops us, touching, stroking and cuddling each other as a means of expressing none sexual expression. As sensual creatures, we need that stimulation. Unlike the Bonobos, our pleasure centres are not only centred in our genitalia, they run throughout our skin, which is why the simple act of holding another's hand can provide so much comfort to another.

Oh I read the article, I did not read it very well as I don't have the time or energy for such things as I used to. But I read it, and get the message. Maybe we all just need to be hugged more often, don't know if that will solve our problems but I suppose one can only try and see. However I think I am allergic to hugs and cuddles, but then again I really cant knock something I never really tried....See totally read that link, OK I skimmed a lot of it, and a lot of it I only read what I wanted to read, and not what was said.


We have developed this way for a reason, it serves an important purpose, and the more we understand that we are sensual creatures the greater our ability to function better as a cohesive society.

Ditto, why make things worse then they have to be I suppose.


I disagree in part. What we do is fail to perceive the world, and our existence within it with all of our senses. Something is not real just because we can kick it, and vice versa. There is so much more to perception than that. Energy as you describe it, is not destructive, it transmutates and transforms through collision, it does not simply set out destroy, that intent, which we as humans express through violence, the need to destroy that which we feel is denied to us and our possession, is not natural. Not in the least.

Oh you would be surprised what ghosts are just hiding around from way back when somebody transgressed on somebody else and it's just bidding its time to do likewise, a lot of that stuff not only transgresses human whims and believes, but it also transgresses space and time. It to is energy focused on its intent. But as you know its not that any one thing is natural its more along the lines that any thing can be considered natural. Maybe looking at things like that is the wrong way to look at them because humans like all other animals can become accustomed to anything if it is so pressed or conditioned, over time anything can be considered natural. Which I think is what you were getting at to begin with. We have not been conditioned to what is not natural, we have been conditioned to what is not all that good for us. Even if at some point in time it was, that point seems to have long since passed and it did not inform us of its passing.



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 08:19 PM
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reply to post by Eidolon23
 




They are the product of middle to upper-middle class homes. They are described as intelligent and well educated, but socially isolated. They perceive themselves to be the victim of injustice at the hands of parents and peers, or larger institutions. They are unable to establish a sexual relationship, and may even harbor deeply misogynistic views


How people forget history and human society evolution and vilify the middle class that has always been the source of social improvement is beyond me. Society is always been corrupt and wrong there is no way to put it plainly, the issue is that we can't devise (or refuse to agree in) a better system.

To be a revolutionary one must grow above the toil of living to address the needs and have the spare time to perceive and the education to understand. There is a similar study about engineers, that they are easier to radicalize into taking drastic system changing actions. Of course that anyone can be instrumentalized but those behind that instrumentalization are often of a higher class, upper middle class or above, they need only to be capable of the vision but to have the resources to instigate the changes...

One can clearly see that selfish purpose and motivations are the key factor in lone wolf actions and that most actions that seem made in insulation are probably not the result of a single individual. Imagine if a significant percentage of persons that get notified of a terminal illness took upon their hands to tweak the system out by violent action, the compound effect would be certainly more effective than for instance the large number of people that decide to self immolate themselves, but there is rarely, if any at all, examples of the first and the effects of the second beyond getting a few headlines do not work.

Sadly destructive or penalizing action (strikes, sabotage, disruption) to those in control seems to be the model that has the best probability of obtaining results, by historical evidence and we will probably see an increase in them and with better distributed coordination, it will exceed the riots in England or France. But even then this discontent can be said to have been planed. For instance the recent pain Western nations are experiencing is a direct result of the unstructured and extremely fast uplifting of the population in China, to me a failed process since most of the benefits are being funneled to multinationals and the Chinese government, and will probable result in the unraveling of Western societies that as always will lead to extremisms and war.



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 04:35 AM
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Originally posted by Eidolon23
And then he pretty much tore me a new rhetorical orifice over the same argument when I applied it to cultural templates (imbalance of anti-heroes to actual heroes). He pointed out that for most people (himself included) good character = boring. That if you abide by the social contract, and watch people who don't get the things you feel entitled to, one of the ways you will cope is by identifying with an anti-hero. That it is a form of release rather than pumping poison into an abscessed wound (as I would have it). I don't entirely agree, but it's worth presenting.



I think perhaps that I fall somewhere between you and your friend. I am not sure I equate 'character' in the same way you and your friend do, to me that is something that is gained by accepting and overcoming hard ship with good grace, and not something that can be instilled through moral character, and I do wonder if half of the problem is the lack of boundaries, coupled with liberal parenting, that forces children, and adults, to rebel in the most extreme ways. There is a need, for all children, to express their seperation from their parents. In a world where the old do not want to be perceived as such, and cling desperately to a notion of being 'young at heart' and embrace cosmetic surgery in order to maintain a 'tight' veneer, it is increasingly difficult for children to forge their own tribal identity without the grown-ups instantly emulating them. Mothers who want to be mistaken for sisters, fathers who want to cop off with your girlfriends, no one wants to act their age, so there are no role models providing guidance and wisdom.

From another perspective, considering moral relativity versus good character, the film King Rat...


Corporal King is an anomaly in the Japanese prison camp; not only is he one of only a handful of Americans amongst the mainly British and Australian inmates, he is actually thriving through his conniving and black market enterprises while others (nearly all of higher rank) struggle to survive the sickness and starvation, while retaining as much of their civilised nature as they can.

In the course of his activities, King recruits upper class British RAF officer, Flight Lieutenant Peter Marlowe (James Fox) to act as a translator. As they become better acquainted, Marlowe comes to like the man and appreciate his cunning. For his part, King respects Marlowe, but his attitude is otherwise ambiguous. When Marlowe accidentally injures his arm, King obtains expensive medicines to save the gangrenous limb from amputation, but it is unclear whether he does so out of genuine friendship or because Marlowe is the only one who knows where the proceeds from King's latest and most profitable venture are hidden.

King has an entirely different relationship with the lower class, seemingly-incorruptible British Provost, Lieutenant Grey (Tom Courtenay). Grey has only contempt for the American and does his best to bring him down, with little success.

Meanwhile, Grey has another dilemma to deal with. When he accidentally discovers that the high-ranking officer in charge of the meager food rations has been siphoning off part of it, he rejects a bribe and zealously takes the matter to Colonel George Smedley-Taylor (John Mills). To his dismay however, Smedley-Taylor tells him that the corrupt officer and his assistant have been relieved of their duties, but orders him to forget all about it. Grey accuses him of being in on the scheme, but the tampered weight he presented to the colonel has been replaced, and he no longer has any proof of the misdeeds. Smedley-Taylor offers to promote him to captain; when a troubled Grey does not respond, Smedley-Taylor takes his silence as agreement.


en.wikipedia.org...

The final scene of the film (which I really wish I could find a clip for
), the camp has been liberated, and as King is placed under arrest while Grey watches in triumph, Marlowe turns to him and tells him that he should be thanking King because without him, Grey would never have survived. Grey of course reiterates that he never took a thing that wasn't entitled to all, or more than his share. To which Marlowe counters (and I paraphrase), no, but hating him gave you a reason to live.

There is something very profound in that observation. We are told that there is a fine line between love and hate, and perhaps that is what we are looking at with some of these shooters, they cannot be loved, so perhaps they choose to be hated instead. They want to be noticed.









 
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