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Sun May 25, 2014, 04:00 PM

On Human Destructiveness

“The killer awoke before dawn,
He put his boots on.
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hal ….”
-- Jim Morrison; The End

I try not to learn the names of the ever-growing list of shit-heads that, for one reason or another, decide it’s time for them to go murder a group of people, in order to express themselves. That it has happened again, at this time of year, reminds me that no matter who you are, there is a chance -- small, but highly disturbing -- that the lives of you, your family and friends, neighbors and co-workers, can be altered, or ended, by some freak that wants to make a statement of hatred. This type of violence damages the social fabric, at a time when we can least afford it.

The media and internet discussion sites have had a wide range of information on this terrible event. Some of the coverage and attention has been of high quality, educational, and insightful. And, of course, some has been from the gutters of human potential.

Who is to blame? Let’s keep it this simple: the killer was 100% responsible for his actions. Not his parents, the police, social workers, school, or anyone else. He, and he alone, owns all of the blame. That he wanted -- no, demanded -- recognition for what he mistook for “power,” yet was cowardly enough to assign all blame to others, makes him repulsive to even consider. No one failed him, except himself.

I’ve read some interesting thoughts on what specific diagnosis he may carry. This includes here, on DU, by some folks who have the background required to build a foundation for their beliefs. There are also a splattering of uninformed guesses, that have no basis in the reality of mental illnesses. But that’s to be expected, when people attempt to understand and make sense of such a tragic, violent outburst.

Perhaps equally important, I believe, are the attempts to identify this within the context of sociological explanations, rather than the psychology of an individual. For this jackass, who was convinced that he was superior to mere humans, placed himself smack-dab in the middle of a cluster of societies’ worst losers. A few of these have been people suffering from the axis one mental illness most closely associated with violence -- paranoid schizophrenia. But far, far more are people, usually white males, who have personality disorders.

I tend to believe statistics that indicate that, nation-wide, violence crime is on the decrease. But it is evident that more unstable people are acting out in this type of very public hate crime. The fact that they will get their 15 minutes of fame may be one factor, yet for all of its weaknesses, I do not blame the media.

The smug, bratty manifesto this turd left behind separates him, to an extent, from the others who kill to be heard. Although extreme, his whiney rant probably reminds most folks of other toxic people we have met in life. It is semi-well organized, when compared to the few similar records left by his ilk. From early childhood on, he was as innocent as the lamb of Christianity, he needs to assure the audience. But society as a whole began to crucify him by the time he became aware of sexual passions. Indeed, vaginas seem to scare this poor child.

At the same time, his resentment that females did not find him irresistible grew into a rage against all women, especially blond-haired college students. His writings reveal an extreme case of the divide that Erich Fromm discusses in his 1976 classic, “To Have or To Be?” His entire sense of entitlement is rooted in what he has: the financial wealth of his family, along with what he wrongly assumes is a superior intellect -- which again is defined as a possession. His intelligence is a marketing tool, good for determining what employment opportunities and women he is entitled to.

Of greater importance, in the larger sense, would be Fromm’s 1955 classic, “The Sane Society,” which details why certain cultures produce higher numbers of social illnesses, such as mass-murderers. And, of course, Fromm’s 1973 “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness,” which addresses the issues involved when people enjoy torturing others. And while this dick-dripping shot his victims, he made sure that their families and friends would be tortured by his actions.

None of us is likely to have the opportunity to step in and stop someone with moral rabies from killing an innocent victim. But the way we live our lives can have an impact. In part, it can be by who we elect to office; this influences the socio-economic policies of our day. And the way we elect to live our lives, and how we interact with others -- family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and “strangers” -- can play a role in defining the society we live in. Even though we can’t prevent every act of hate and violence, we can reduce the frequency of them. And that’s worth our best efforts,

H2O Mam

9 replies, 1336 views

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply On Human Destructiveness (Original post)
H2O Man May 2014 OP
H2O Man May 2014 #1
brer cat May 2014 #2
phil89 May 2014 #3
H2O Man May 2014 #6
bigtree May 2014 #4
H2O Man May 2014 #7
Zorra May 2014 #5
H2O Man May 2014 #8
Ichingcarpenter May 2014 #9

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 04:24 PM

1. This weekend

brings back some bad memories for me.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #1)

Sun May 25, 2014, 05:07 PM

2. ...


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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 05:59 PM

3. Or maybe he has no diagnosis or mental illness.


Murdering people is not a symptom of mental illness.

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Response to phil89 (Reply #3)

Mon May 26, 2014, 06:32 AM

6. He has a diagnosis,

as he had been in treatment off and on for many years. But you are correct in that this does not mean that he has a mental illness. And, as I've pointed out numerous times over the years on DU, those with serious and persistent mental illness are far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime, than the perp.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 06:27 PM

4. you put the responsibility where it belongs, with the shooter

. . . however you chose to characterize him.

I've read the commentary that says a black man would have just been labeled a thug and this fellow is already being given the benefit of a conveniently diverting discussion about society's responsibility for his state of mind. I don't know why, but there does seem to be a divergent attitude toward the shooter, in that regard, according to their race. I'm more comfortable, though, in the understanding that these shooters, black and white, or whatever ethnicity, are not mentally well. That understanding can help create an atmosphere of awareness and, hopefully, foster earlier and aggressive interventions.

There's scant coverage of the state of mind of his victims. More focus on that aspect of the violence could, possibly, go a long way in countering all of the romanticism and justifications these shooters sometimes find in the actions of the killers preceding them. Blunt talk is certainly welcome.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #4)

Mon May 26, 2014, 06:43 AM

7. One of the curious

aspects of the larger group of individuals who commit this general type of crime is that the vast majority are young white males. There are, of course, a few exceptions .... the DC snipers, the fellow on the college campus.

Most are not suffering from major mental illnesses. Again, there are a few exceptions, almost exclusively paranoid schizophrenics. But most carry, at most, axis 2 diagnoses.

Still, just as a family system with a violent thug is "dysfunctional" by definition, a society that produces such a high number of violent thugs is sick. Or, to borrow Fromm's description, it surely ain't a sane society.

As always, I enjoyed reading your response. I respect all that you contribute to this forum.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 06:42 PM

5. K&R nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 09:23 AM

8. I'm reading this

guy's manifesto. He is histrionic, to the highest degree. And his sense of entitlement is just amazing: as a young adult, he tells his mother that she should sacrifice her well-being, in order to allow him access to money. His hatred of females is glaring, but is almost matched by his hatred of males.

The manner in which he processes information is tortured. If he had not engaged in the cowardly, vicious actions that ended his life, one would suspect that he was writing a script for Will Farrell or Woody Allen. For example, he wanted to become a dictator, and to outlaw sex. The fact that he was serious is just unreal.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #8)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:28 AM

9. I read it too which is why I did a word cloud

on it..... to help find some patterns.

I didn't think it was very coherent at least not to me.... the unabomber was more coherent in his manifesto....but he was an unwitting, non voluntary participate in the CIA's MKUltra experiment.

Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, was among the twenty-two Harvard undergraduates used as a guinea pig in ethically questionable experiments conducted at Harvard by Henry Murray. In the experiment each student received a code name. Theodore John Kaczynski, who later became known as Unabomber, was given the code name "Lawful". Among other purposes, Murray's experiments were focused on measuring people's reaction under extreme stress.

The unwitting undergraduates were submitted to what Murray himself called "vehement, sweeping and personally abusive" attacks. Assaults to their egos, cherished ideas and beliefs were the vehicle used to cause high levels of stress and distress to Murray's unwitting guinea pigs.[76]

These experiments were conducted at Harvard University from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1962.[77] and were part of the CIA-sponsored MKUltra experiments.


The Unabomber is not relevant to this case of course and the only comparison is that they both had manifestos. But

I also love to dump on the CIA whenever I can
and inform just how evil they are.

I always enjoy your wise writings and calm demeanor.

Anyway here's the Unabombers word cloud
and the killers word cloud from their
'manifestos' just to add to your wonderfully insightful observations.


Santa Barbara killer

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