5 February 2004
Don't blame anybody
In fact, the connection between any of these and any single violent act is tenuous at best. We make these assumptions because we can't handle the idea that some people, indifferent to the tenets of a civilized society and irrespective of circumstances, are going to do Bad Things; surely there's some way we can reach them, make them see the error of their ways.
Andrea Harris knows better:
[T]here is a point where we say human beings should be considered knowledgeable of right and wrong, and at the very least we could stop pretending that adults who choose criminal violence are doing so due to pressures beyond their control instead of consciously choosing the path of evil.
The thing the appeasers donít want to accept (because it threatens their own sense of power and their view of how the world works) is the fact that violent people are not so because we treat them inhumanly, but because they have already decided that we are not human at best we are obstacles to their desires. Confronting them and calling them on their behavior calling it what it is shocks them into at least realizing that they are dealing with another human being like themselves; and paradoxically gives them the respect they supposedly crave. For example, for decades we in the West or at least, the intellectual elite treated Muslim fanatics like little children stamping their feet whenever they spouted threats. Far from allaying the hatred that they felt for us, this attitude merely fed the flames, and the results we saw on September 11th, 2001 (among other dates).
I don't believe anyone is entirely beyond redemption, at least in the Scriptural sense, but until Ludovico arrives with his technique, we're going to have to deal with sociopaths in the time-honored fashion: isolate them, put them where they can't do any further damage. Obviously there are degrees of depravity the Palestinian suicide bomber is more of a menace to society than the suburban shoplifter but neither is entitled to a free pass, and I don't much care which theory about extenuating circumstances gets trotted out.