Sometimes a bunch of things fall at the same time and form a pattern. One is tempted to call it emergence, but is it a physical emergence, a mental emergence, or both? Or neither?
The recent church massacre was – perhaps – the seed crystal for all this. It caught my notice not for its uncommonality, which it most assuredly is not, but by the unusual – uncommon – effectiveness of the berserker. Usually the ratio of discorporated to wounded is 1: n where n is usually on (2,10). In this instance the ratio was essentially 3:1.
Shooting incidents at schules and churches have become regular; news only of the sob sister genre. The clear indication is that there is something about these organizations that incites violence in them. The simplest answer – Occam’s Razor – is that something to do with the organization has injured the berserker.
Years ago, when I first became a supervisor, I formulated a theory that most instances of human behavior can be attributed to insecurity. Since then I have observed little conflicting evidence – and always from a rational individual – and much confirming evidence.
Asimov famously has noted that Amerika is a nation that prizes ignorance over knowledge.
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”― Isaac Asimov
The ending, the use of the words “just as good”, shout insecurity. Amerikans, the ones who treasure ignorance, apparently do so from insecurity. Ignorance is comfortable; you don’t have to try to accomplish anything and you don’t have any fear of failure.
Hunter-Gatherer bands were characterized by egalitarianism. This doesn’t mean that no one was a leader; the band sorted itself out socially. The lesson from this is that humans are programmed to not want equality: extroverts want to be exalted; introverts want to be left alone. Both groups consider equality to be a punishment – extroverts for being snubbed and disrespected, introverts for being bullied and abused. Both are examples of insecurity.
Organizations don’t care about humans, at least once they get to the size of a band – or larger. Whatever damage they do to their members is irrelevant. And eventually, that damage results in some retribution.
The church massacre in Texas is as yet unresolved but it seems at this writing to be a transfer retribution. Evidently the berserker’s family was the organization that damaged him and the family attended the church. It was little more than a concentration of convenience.
Schools are similar. Their damage is a mixture of over-regulation of the membership and apathy towards it. This is not new. Clausewitz bemoaned such in the early years of the Nineteenth Century. What characterizes these two types of organizations that they are selected? Clearly it is a mixture of their apathy for the individual and the individual’s insecurity.
It may seem strange to think of members of a church as insecure but a bit of analysis of the atmosphere of totalitarian rules and Weltanschauung – no questions answered, no answers questioned – indicates that churches are havens for the insecure who fear to try as much as they fear failure. Their evangelistic bravado is merely an expression of their comfort in denial, both their’s and the church’s.