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Was the Sandy Hook Massacre a Failed Rebellion?

stuartbramhall's picture
Going Postal by Mark Ames

Going Postal by Mark Ames

The best analysis I’ve read about the root cause of the rage massacre in Connecticut last week comes from Michael Rechenwald, founder of Citizens for Legitimate Government in Seeking Definitive Causes and Solution for Rage Massacres. Rechenwald agrees with Mark Ames’ premise in Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion — From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond. Ames argues that rage massacres are committed by self-identified rebels seriously disenchanted by some aspect of American life who are lacking both support and a viable plan for change. As Rechenwald and Ames point out, they are not psychotic because they have a clear rationale and a clear set of targets for their rage, which is largely reality based. Schools are often a target because, as Rechenwald points out, this is where Americans are fed most of the crap ideology that induces them to buy into a political and economic system that exploits and oppresses them.

Borrowing from political scientist Benjamin Barber (in Jihad vs McWorld), Rechenwald describes them as jihadists (in tending to embrace tradition, nationalism and religious extremism) who terrorize and kill those they view as responsible for their failure to achieve the American dream they were promised.

Rechenwald argues that neither gun control nor any other short term measures will end these horrible tragedies: “Nothing short of changing everything — the capitalist system, the imperialist agenda, the poor to (for many) non-existent health care system, the greater incidences of mental illness and their aggravation in an agonistic social order, the ideological basis of capitalist triumphalism — will suffice.”

I agree.

Cross posted at The Most Revolutionary Act

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mtngun's picture
Submitted by mtngun on

I partly agree with Ames and Rechenald.

Both James Holmes and Adam Lanza were at a stressful point in a young man's life -- the point where he is supposed to strike out on his own, start a career, and find a mate.

Both struck out.   No career, no future, which means no self respecting woman would want to be their mate.    Failure.

But wait, you say, they were from well-to-do families.   They were white.  Why should these spoiled suburban brats have a nuclear meltdown while dirt poor black kids don't ?   

Because the American dream says that children should have careers that are at least as successful as their parents.     The more successful your parents are, the more you are expected to achieve.     Both Holmes and Lanza had high achieving fathers, hence society expects Holmes and Lanza to achieve a lot, too.   No one expects the poor black kid to have a great career.     So in that sense, the suburban white might be under more pressure than the poor black.

Our competitive, capitalist society set these young men up.    If they had been living in a communist society, the pressure would not have been there, and these men might not have snapped.    I honestly believe that.

Mind you, I'm not discounting their mental problems.    Just saying that capitalism puts stress on us, particularly when we are starting out on our own and things are not going well.

Columbine and other high school shootings are  bit different in the sense that they were about adolescents who didn't "fit in"  at school.   It made sense for the Columbine shooters to mow down the peers who had snubbed them -- it was personal.

Shooting 6 year olds or strangers at a movie theater is not personal, it's cowardly.   It's the kind of target a very insecure person would select.     When's the last time a spree shooter attacked his local gun club, or the police station ?