the Head Down
a violent place. But I don’t mean the much-discussed shootings
– which are both sporadic and incidental. No, the real
violence is invisible because it is all around us – routinized
and legalized to such an extent that most of us hardly take notice
of it anymore. But nonetheless, it has corroded our souls –
and some of these souls lash out in ways that differ from the acceptable
way – that is, via the ballot box – but which when you
stop to think about it express the same ugly ethics: Other people’s
lives are my playthings. And, expendable.
Are you any
less a victim if you are murdered by an Adam Lanza – or the
thug scrum sent by the government to do exactly the same thing?
If anything, Lanza’s motives were purer, more honest. He cut
to the chase without all the intermediate folderol. Such as “you
owe” letters from the county (or federal) tax thugs. In both
cases, aggressive violence against peaceful people is the common
The only difference
is the preliminaries.
will chafe in some quarters precisely because of the near-totality
of the conditioning of this country’s people to the idea of
acceptable aggressive violence. It is considered –
by most people – perfectly ok to restrict the liberty of another
human being or deprive him of his property so that it may be given
to others . . . via the ethical alchemy of the ballot box. Hey,
presto! Theft and extortion become taxes, “paying
your fair share.” Kidnapping at gunpoint becomes “arrest”
– and your execution (if you attempt to defend yourself) resisting
All nice and
violent, just the same.
does not obviate the violence – it merely masks it. Makes
it palatable by evasion – in much the way that sauces were
originally invented as a way to cover up the taste of spoiled food.
But the rot remains – and it poisons all who partake of it.
pickled in authorized, legalized violence since childhood
to not occasionally become overtly violent themselves is probably
expecting too much. The ethical line has already been thoroughly
trampled. Surely, it is no coincidence that as American society
and thus, American government, grows ever more predatory –
internally as well as externally – violent lashings out by
ordinary people become ever-more-commonplace.
– monkey do.
the rest of the article
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automotive columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2013 Eric Peters
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