The thinking of most people has become thoroughly politicized, which is to say has become dominated by the use of organized coercion as the most effective means of accomplishing one’s ends. Whoever was responsible for yesterday’s mass-murders in Paris expressed this mindset. But their modus operandi was not a strategy dreamed up on their own. The attraction to violence has so permeated human thinking and behavior that we almost don’t notice it. It even reaches into what we like to think of as the field of entertainment. Being so pervasive, we should not be surprised to find its expression elsewhere as well. Computer games provide a means for children to learn to operate a joy-stick to kill off the “bad guys.” Does this skill prepare young men and women to become military drone-operators to bomb innocent people in foreign countries? College football teams dress in black uniforms (black being the color of death) to which American flags have been attached, and with games played while uniformed troops stand on the sidelines in battle-dress. Motion pictures and TV movies have become heavily influenced by death themes of vultures and zombies; while so much popular music – particularly rock bands – is performed by people in deathly costumes, accompanied by special effects of fire and explosions. As I asked in my earlier blog, would young people have been as attracted to a concert performed by a band called “Spirit of Life” as they were to one named “Eagles of Death Metal”?
I have received a few responses from readers who took issue with my earlier blog concerning the slaughter that took place in Paris last night. For some reason, they thought I was blaming the rock band – which different news media sources had named “Eagles of Death,” but whose full name is “Eagles of Death Metal” – for the violence that resulted in the deaths of scores of young people in attendance at the concert hall where this band was performing. Either the readers missed my point, or I failed to make it more clearly than I did. What I was saying – and what I have been saying for many decades – is that Western Civilization should be spoken of in the past tense; that its life-affirming conditions have been destroyed by the content of our thinking. I have written elsewhere that civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives.