Another School Massacre

Updated: 14 December 2012, 20:28

Originally written: 14 December 2012

27 people were reported dead today (14 December 2012) after a shooting spree in a Newton, Connecticut, USA school. On 20 April 1999, 14 people were dead after a shooting spree in a Columbine, Colorado, USA school.

Those are certainly not the only civil massacres in the United States within recent memory. And the massacres are not confined to schools or the United States.

There will be much debate and handwringing about US gun laws.

As the US National Rifle Association (NRA) will repeat ad nauseum, in one form or another, ‘Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.’ The NRA and others will again tell us that, in effect, this is merely collateral damage, and mass gun ownership and possesssion is necessary to protect freedom.

Then, with appropriate expression of sympathy and disgust for those involved, we must accept that relatively frequent civil massacre is an unavoidable part of a free society.

But few will think about why we continue to live in a society in which people massacre each other.

Some of us think that a society in which people think they need guns to be free, is a disgusting society. Whether the NRA is right about guns misses the underlying problem. We also think that the freedoms offered by current society result in a not-very-free society, except for freedoms such as poverty, hunger, war, civil massacre, wife-beating, bullying, socially induced depression, and the myriad other such freedoms we have.

And that’s capitalism. Capitalism breeds discontent and hatred. Capitalism shows us that shooting and killing people is a good thing, as long as it somehow, no matter how obliquely, protects whatever someone thinks is freedom. When capitalism calls, many believe that working people must be willing to respond by killing any threat to capitalism in “their” country. All for the greater good, it’s said. And when a few school children are slaughtered, that’s bad, and horrible, and unthinkable, and must never be repeated. Until the next time, when the shock and horror are repeated. The shock and horror expressed after the fact will be repeated. The ‘freedom’ argument will be repeated. And then the cycle will repeat.

So, clearly, most people — in this instance people in the United States — believe that with all it’s deadly flaws, capitalism is still a satisfactory system. They won’t even consider the possibility that capitalism could be the problem.

Too bad for the 27 people who died today. As almost anyone will tell us, capitalism is still the best and only option.

But it is not.
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