Bowling For Virginia Tech: Who Made Him Do This?
Did you notice how the trigger-happy "progressive" pundits have hastily assigned guilt for the Virginia Tech shooting to the American trigger-happy gun culture? How they use hateful epithets to project hatefulness on their fellow citizens? How they violently accuse Americans of violence, both physical and verbal? One has to wonder if the "progressives" possess the intellectual capacity to notice how ridiculous their method of psychological projection appears to an objective observer.
I can't help but deduce that the ugly picture they paint of America is something they see every morning in the proverbial mirror - a brainless, spineless, useless creature with an ego so huge that it obscures the horizon. It's the image they love to loathe, and they project this loathing on the rest of us with all the energy of their "progressive" synapses. "Take this, America! You made me do this!"
"Progressive" opinions about the Virginia Tech massacre differ in range, caliber, and precision - from gloating at Virginians over lax gun laws to such nightmarish mind-trips as giving semi-automatic weapons with plenty of ammunition to every thug, homeless guy, and crazy in the ghetto -- throwing in some money for bus fare to the white suburbs -- with the hope that then white America might finally wake up to its own immorality. To be a "progressive" you must also believe that everything is America's fault. No matter what happens, there can only be one culprit: rich white America. This country has become the formulaic murderous butler in just about every "who-done-it" Hollywood movie issued since the censure of Joe McCarthy.
Last week on Good Morning America Terry Moran famously advised, "Don't feel too sorry for the victims. They were probably all white, rich, and privileged." Referring to the falsely accused Duke University students, he unwittingly betrayed a moral stratagem that the "progressive" groupthink has been using to dissect any calamity that befell their fellow Americans, framing it in terms of politically correct class struggle.
In the days of "Beltway Sniper" shootings five years ago I debated a group of "progressive humanists" who "weren't too sorry for the victims" either, calling them exactly that - "white, rich, and privileged" - even though it wasn't always the case. The way these "humanists" could dehumanize their fellow humans by wrapping them into Marxist labels was confounding. Even more confounding was their compulsive need to look for redeeming signs of class strife in any sociopathic murder case.
"It seems that Cho Seung-Hui
and the "progressive" authors who try to explain him
share the same blistering class envy."
Today the same "progressives" ritualistically claim high moral ground by deriding the mainstream media for hyping the murder of some 33 rich white kids at Virginia Tech when many more of our soldiers have died in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been murdered in the "illegal war" launched by this country. Without digressing into an argument about moral relativism and the evil force behind the murders of both the soldiers and the innocent Iraqis, let's take a look at the "rich kids" part of the formula. It's important because Virginia Tech's psychotic murderer didn't like "rich kids" either. The killer spoke about his hate at length in his final message. It seems that Cho Seung-Hui and the "progressive" authors who try to explain him share the same blistering class envy. Is it a coincidence - or is it something more profound? Is it perhaps a common denominator?
Considering their own privileged positions and mostly middle class backgrounds, the "progressives" loathing of "rich kids" can hardly be traced to meaningful personal grievances. They seem to be deeply infected by something else, something I like to call "second-hand envy" and "phantom grievances." This is similar to the Marxist concept of false consciousness, only not as far-fetched. Let's see what this means.
There's little doubt that Cho, a mentally disturbed kid, had been exposed to the "social justice" and "class strife" rhetoric in school. These teachings are a near mandatory supplement served to most American kids, explicitly or implicitly, courtesy of public education. Once in college the intake of the "progressive" formula only tends to increase, involving heavy doses of every grievance man, woman, or beast has ever had from the beginning of time, factual or imaginary. All this is served up under the generic label of "social sciences." So when a young student's budding paranoia begins to torment him with phantoms of horrific social injustice, prompting him to shoot indiscriminately at the dehumanized mass of "rich kids" while imagining himself a heroic avenger of the oppressed victims, is it really the fault of the National Rifle Association?
Was Cho a true victim of oppression? Not quite, unless you count junior high school putdowns as social injustice. Like many immigrants in this country, his parents quickly moved up economically after starting a dry cleaning business in Washington suburbs. This officially makes Cho a middle class kid.
"In another time and place this might be hailed
as a moving manifesto of an idealistic revolutionary hero
fighting for social causes."
Was Cho denied privileges? Being a senior at one of the most prestigious engineering universities in the US and living on campus is a privilege by most standards. Yet his suicidal message contained a long diatribe about his hatred of the wealthy and the privileged:
You had everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats. Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust fund wasn't enough. Your vodka and Cognac weren't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything.
For my children, for my brothers and sisters that you f---, I did it for them.
In another time and place this passage might be hailed as a moving manifesto of an idealistic revolutionary hero fighting for social causes. Che Guevara, anybody? Who knows how many revolutionary "heroes" of the past who are lionized on today's campuses had been tormented by the same mental disorder that turned Cho into a mass murderer?
Che Guevara also believed that "a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate." Che had killed many more "rich kids" than Cho - yet his deeds are glorified by Hollywood, his writings are published worldwide, and his pictures are plastered over the t-shirts of a new generation of "rich kids" - the faceless class enemy whom Che would not hesitate to shoot given the chance. Both Che's and Cho's speeches are equally delusional - so why does Che get a pass and Cho doesn't? Because Cho had only killed 33 "rich kids" instead of 33,000? Or because Cho's mental disorder was documented by a professional psychiatrist?
Depression and paranoia do terrible things to the mind regardless of ideology, turning the individual into a loose cannon. Throw a radical ideology into the mix and it quickly removes the safety lock and points the weapon in a certain direction.
"Progressive ideology dehumanizes people
more effectively than any violent point-and-shoot
video game ever could."
Why is it that in the previous decades, when life was tougher, guns were just as available, and the ratio of mental disorders was about the same, mass shootings were unheard of? Some would say that those people had not yet been corrupted by moral relativism, desensitized by Hollywood's fantasy violence and glorification of crime, nor addicted to gory point-and-shoot videogames. All valid points - yet one major reason for this hardly gets any notice. I mean, of course, the dehumanizing effect of the so-called "progressive" education.
The truth is that the radical "progressive" ideology (a broad term embracing many offshoots of Marxism) dehumanizes people more effectively than any violent point-and-shoot video game ever could. It pits various groups of people against one another by cultivating envy and grievances that are mostly imaginary and second-hand. In the politically correct book of "progress," man is no longer judged by the content of his character - but by the color of his skin, class, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other secondary attribute. The trick is that when a secondary attribute becomes the primary one, man loses his unique individuality and becomes a mere social function, a drone in a collective, a peg in the machine, a sacrificial animal on the altar of "progress."
"Progressivism" remains more or less benign as long the nation on which exists like a parasite remains wealthy. But as soon as the wealth is squandered and there are no surpluses left to redistribute, human sacrifice begins. The final argument behind every well-meaning "progressive" scheme is always a gun pointed at those unwilling to be enslaved or give up their wealth for redistribution. Planned mass murders and incarcerations of "enemies of the people" committed by every communist regime on the planet provide enough evidence of that. "Progressive" ideology denies moral absolutes, yet it assumes the moral authority to give a license to kill in the name of a delirious utopia.
Here's an assignment for you: find the difference between the videotaped ravings of the homicidal maniac Cho Seung-Hui and this call for "progress" issued by a revolutionary Leninist newspaper:
"We will make our hearts cruel, hard, and immovable... so that they will not quiver at the sight of a sea of enemy blood. We will let loose the floodgates of that sea. Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies in scores of hundreds. Let them be thousands; let them drown themselves in their own blood... let there be floods of the blood of the bourgeois - more blood, as much as possible."
I can almost hear Cho's slow, monotonous voice saying it on his webcam video.
Under Che's brief management Cuban economy hit an all-time low, quickly turning one of the wealthiest Latin American countries into one of the poorest. To accomplish this great feat Che murdered thousands of "rich kids" of the bourgeois class who stood in the way. If this isn't criminal insanity, what is? Yet "progressive" educators in the U.S. continue to decorate classrooms with Che Guevara portraits and arrange "educational" school trips to Cuba. Tell me this is not a mind-trip of madmen.
The inmates are now running the asylum. Which brings us back to the issue of school shootings.
"Imagine growing up while believing
that yours is the worst country on the planet."
Besides acting as a catalyst on a depressed mind, "progressive" education is also a major cause of depression in itself. Imagine growing up while believing that yours is the worst country on the planet, guilty of death and suffering of millions of poor people worldwide, who are being wantonly killed, robbed, enslaved, raped, and tortured so that your mom could shop at the mall and your dad could fill up the tank. The species are dying, the rainforest is dwindling, the ozone hole is growing, and the globe is warming. If it is frightful enough to turn a sensitive adult into a guilt-ridden neurotic, think about a ten-year-old who, in addition, lives with the fear that if we all don't die of skin cancer by the age of thirty, global warming and raising sea levels will finish everyone off anyway.
Somehow these particular paranoid fantasies cooked up in the mind of a madman have not yet caused anyone to be detained and evaluated at a mental health facility. No court has determined that they constitute an imminent danger to society. While there is plenty of fingerpointing with regards to the Virginia Tech shooting, someone should also mention the responsibility of those who poisoned Cho's disturbed mind with class hatred, envy, and falsely interpreted ideas of justice and social duty.
Could those educators who impose such insanity on their students please explain if there is anything, in their view, left in this world for our children to live for? Other than, of course, to continue the struggle for "progress." But that is manifestly not a skill or a trait of character that will help them to become happy, self-sustaining, professional individuals. All it can do is replenish the cancerous growth that is consuming this society, replacing its productive and vibrant cells with mutated dysfunctional neoplasm.
"If his student play McBeef is any indication,
Cho could have become our next Tarantino."
Now we can only guess if the injection of "progressive" class hatred had aggravated Cho's madness, but it surely had given him a frame of reference and the direction to channel his rage. Without it, perhaps, a certain amount of medication could help him to move on and focus on writing more of his disturbing plays, maybe even joining a circle of his peers in Hollywood. He could make a career by scripting those shockingly dark, violent movies that demonize Western Civilization, Christianity, Capitalism, and Family - always a winner in the Movie Academy circles. If his student play McBeef is any indication, Cho could have become our next Tarantino, conditioning a new generation of movie goers with irrational violence and high scatological drama. No need to stalk "hedonistic brats and snobs" anymore - they'd be stalking Cho themselves, some of them offering free sex for an autograph.
But history doesn't work in the subjunctive mood. What happened, happened. And as of this moment, indoctrination in second-hand envy and phantom grievances is still happening at full throttle, with academia aggressively promoting its "progressive" agenda and rapidly deploying more and more "social justice" commissars in the classroom. Which makes me wonder just how many more mentally disturbed kids might become ticking bombs by next Tuesday, and how long it will take before a new self-righteous "avenger" files off the serial number on his gun and starts shooting at the closest bunch of "rich kids" in retaliation for some imaginary injustice. Without doubt his last words will be, "You made me do this."
Oleg Atbashian - writer and graphic artist from Ukraine, currently lives in New York. Creator of ThePeoplesCube.com, a satirical website where he writes under the name of Red Square. He has previously written for Pajamas Media, The Gospel of John & Yoko: The Origins of Mad Morality.