Busy writing (took the blog well beyond what I needed for a book, finally putting it to pixel now).
Here are some quick notes on Joe Stack's violence and the acts of others (there have been many recently). I tend to view people like Joe Stack as canaries in the coal mine -- people on the margins, mentally and situationally, that fatally explode at the early onset of severe societal and economic pressure. Here's what's driving them:
- Extreme frustration/hopelessness. A great many people have seen little to no success in the US commercial sector despite a considerable effort, for decades. For workers below the median wage this current environment is a depression -- from the duration to the rate of the un/underemployment. Any status gain they might have achieved before this occurred is now gone.
- Few mitigating influences. Most of the community and familial structures that historically buffered people in the US against economic failure have been ravaged. Even functional families are now atomized.
- Rage and a loss of government legitimacy. Time worn beliefs that have underpinned the American experiment, such as the idea of a level playing field, the correlation between hard work and success, and the underlying basic fairness of our system have been savaged by the government response to the financial crisis. Frankly, the perception of many is that Wall Street's pros are guilty of criminal fraud and even traitorous behavior (they damaged the security and future of the US for personal benefit). Worse, they not only avoided punishment, they were rewarded for it.
Will we see more of this violence? Most assuredly. Domestic terrorism, as a result of systemic failure, can be an existential threat in a super-empowered age.