Violence: The American way of life


Abraham Lincoln

John Kozy Correspondent
The United States of America was conceived and nurtured by violence. Americans not only engage in violence, they are entertained by it.Killing takes place in America at an average of 87 times each day.

Going to war in Afghanistan is less dangerous than living in Chicago.

The Romans went to the Coloseum to watch people being killed.

In major cities, Americans just look out their windows.

Baseball, once America’s national game, a benign, soporific sport, has been replaced by football which is so violent it destroys the brains of those who play it. Violent films, euphemised as action flicks, dominate our motion picture theatres and television sets. Our children play killing video games.

The United States of America was conceived and nurtured by violence.

Europeans who colonised America were neither tolerant nor enlightened; they were the dregs of society, and they even despised each other.

The totally impure Puritans of Massachusetts despised the Quakers of Pennsylvania and the Catholics of Maryland. In the Pequot War, English colonists commanded by John Mason launched a night attack on a large Pequot village on the Mystic River and burned the inhabitants in their homes and killed all survivors. By conservative estimates, the population of the US prior to European colonisation was greater than 12 million.

Four centuries later, the count has been reduced to 237 000.

Four centuries of continuous violence against native Americans, and the violence persists.

Abraham Lincoln, enshrined as the great emancipator, freed the slaves by inciting a war that killed somewhere around 750 000 Americans.

Emancipation came to the slaves by previously unheard of violence.

In contrast, at about the same time in history, the “autocratic” Tsar Alexander II of Russia emancipated more than 23 million serfs without killing a single person.

Oh, those horrid Russian Tsars!

After the Civil War, Americans pushed the frontiers of America all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

They did it with the gun.

The Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle and Colt Peacemaker revolver of 1873 are colloquially known as “The Guns that Won the West” for their predominant roles in the hands of Western settlers.

Americans shot their way from the Mississippi to the Pacific.

American foreign policy for decades has consisted primarily of military misadventures, foreign policy through the barrel of a gun!

Today, the gun has become the drone and the bullet, the hell-fire missile.

General Smedley Butler (1881-1940), one of only two Americans to win the Medal of Honour on two separate occasions, wrote:

“I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for big business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. . . . I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.”

Now, of course, we’re using the gun to make the Middle East and Southeast Asia “safe for democracy.”

But the attempt isn’t faring very well.

American society is violent not because of guns, but because of the attitudes of Americans.

When Europeans first came to the Americas, they thought that they had discovered a new world.

Instead they found a land already inhabited by people with their own ways of life.

Christian intolerance required the use of violence. Just as the Romans took the parts of Europe they wanted, these Europeans took the Americas. Violence was in their souls. Current day Americans have inherited it.

Wayne LaPierre, a National Rifle Association spokesman, has said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Someone should tell him that many consider him to be a bad guy with a gun.

So sure, enact legislation to control the proliferation of guns, but don’t get sanguine about it. Such legislation may help, but don’t count on it.

Unless you can change the American character, our violent nature will endure until we exterminate ourselves.

Live by the . . . Oh, you know how that goes. Cultures are extremely difficult to change; changing them requires a sustained effort over several generations. I doubt that Americans are up to the task. — wsws.