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Monday, July 23, 2012

Routinized, depersonalized killing executed by government, justified by media has tragic consequences

Environment of violence breathed with the air of morning and the setting sun
Excerpt, editing, bracket, italics comment by Carolyn Bennett

Since his adolescence, he has breathed “a society in which political leaders encourage and promote a form of social paranoia,” a population “called upon to be ‘on the alert’ for ‘suspicious’ individuals and unknown threats,” writes author and lecturer David North.

The people are told that “danger lurks everywhere” and “the sole defense against this unknown but supposedly ever-present threat is violence”— violence “practiced on a gigantic scale by the country’s leaders.” In one part of the world or another, every day, North observes, “America is killing ‘enemies.’”

Depersonalized, unknown to the assassin (Aurora)

This is the environment of violence compounded by the social pressures of years of economic crisis that acted on the mind of James Holmes,” North writes, and “the most striking feature is the randomness of the killings.”
The massively armed killer enters a darkened cinema of theatergoers and begins firing.
The killer does not know the people he is shooting.
He can hardly see their faces.
For him, they exist only as targets of his weapons.

Depersonalized, unknown to the assassin (drones hitting Afghans, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Somalis)

“This form of depersonalized killing appears as a reproduction of methods used by the United States in its deployment of drones.”

Officials have admitted that many people hit by missiles “have been killed solely because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The “technicians” manipulating the drones from thousands of miles away do not know the identities of those they are killing. 
In the “technicians’” minds, they are merely eliminating the depersonalized representatives of some abstract threat. 
Under orders of the U.S. president, such actions “are based on carefully developed plans and calculations.…

The State’s “‘rational’ killings,” North concludes, “trigger irrationality within society. 

The routinizing and depersonalizing of killing carried out on a mass scale by the government and justified by mass media must have tragic consequences for American society” [and indeed for society far beyond the United States of America]. One can make a legitimate argument, he says, that one of those tragic consequences surfaced Friday in Aurora, Colorado.

Sources and notes

“The Aurora Massacre: Once again, evasions rather than explanations” (David North), July 23, 2012, http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jul2012/pers-j23.shtml

David North

Among the most recent works of U.S. writer and lecturer David North are The Crisis of American Democracy (2004), lectures delivered at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, an analysis of the 2000 and 2004 U.S. presidential elections; Marxism, History & Socialist Consciousness (2007) ; Leon Trotsky and the Post-Soviet School of Historical Falsification (2007); and In Defense of Leon Trotsky (2010). In the past quarter century, he has authored several books and articles on the history of the Socialist movement. North is chair of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and national chair of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States (SEP), formerly the Workers League.

David North was national secretary of the SEP until the party’s congress in 2008 and was principal political and theoretical leader of the International Committee of the Fourth International during the organization's split with the Workers Revolutionary Party. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_North_(Socialist)


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