Fighting back

I have too much on my plate today and too little time, but I just had to take a few minutes to follow-up on a theme that started with the British Marines and ended, so sadly, at VTech: passivity.

Two of the best writers out there have written about the fact that our Western culture has made a virtue out of passivity in the face of violence.  Mark Steyn views the problem as an infantilization of society that has us completely conditioned to wait for others to rescue us. After explaining his viewpoint, Steyn looks at a Canadian massacre of a few years back (and doesn’t Canada have gun control?) with some of the most frightening facts I’ve ever heard — not because of what the killer did, but because of what the male bystanders did (or, rather, didn’t do):

The cost of a “protected” society of eternal “children” is too high. Every December 6th, my own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the “Montreal massacre,” the 14 female students of the Ecole Polytechnique murdered by Marc Lepine (born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, though you’d never know that from the press coverage). As I wrote up north a few years ago:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

Apropos the men in Canada, I read somewhere on the blogosphere, and I can’t remember where, that when the Titantic sank, the men truly abided by the age-old adage of women and children first:

First of all, if you were a man, you were outta luck. The overall survival rate for men was 20%. For women, it was 74%, and for children, 52%. Yes, it was indeed “women and children first.”

The other post I read today on the same these was at Big Lizards, where Dafydd wrote about the peculiar virtue our Western culture has made of not fighting back:

I see the circumstances of the Virginia Tech shooting and of the British hostages as betraying the same very poignant — and dangerous — perspective: helplessness as a virtue.

But the two circumstances also differ in a way that at first appears vast, but upon reflection seems not so great after all. When a soldier, by inaction, renders himself helpless, we call it cowardice; but civilians do not seem to be under the same duty as a member of the military, one who has voluntarily assumed responsibility for protecting and preserving his society.

Surely, however, adult civilians are not completely bereft of any such responsibility; in fact, assuming personal responsibility for the lives and freedoms of others is, by my reckoning, exactly what separates the child from the adult. When a boy or a girl freely accepts that he has a certain duty towards his fellows, even when nobody will ever know whether he fulfilled it or not, that is when boy becomes man and girl becomes woman.

The epiphany is usually a series of small revelations that mount up over time, but it can also strike like the fangs of a diamondback in the dark night of the soul. Either way, dawn can begin at any age past puberty and can take a number of years, or a few short days… or else a lifetime can pass without the change completing.

The epiphany is this: Each one of us is a foot soldier for civilization; when evil threatens, we must do our utmost to thwart it.

Your utmost may be as simple as snitching on your best friend when you discover he has systematically looted the company you both work for… or as profound as Virginia Tech Engineering Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, who gave his last full measure blocking the doorway to his classroom, allowing his students time to escape out the window.

Steyn and Dafydd are both absolutely right about the way in which Western culture has emasculated itself.  It’s confused the cultural virtue of avoiding bullying (a good thing), with the cultural death knell of becoming helpless.

As for me, when I heard about the Marines being led onto waiting Iranian ships, and when I heard about the VTech students lined up to be shot, all I could think of was the Jews passively getting round up by the Nazis. When Israel says “never again,” she means that her citizens will never again allow themselves to be taken without a fight. What the country realized collectively is that, if you’re going to die anyway, take the others down with you — and you may discover that your death toll isn’t as great as you thought.  Professor Librescu, having survived the Holocaust, understood this and willingly sacrificed himself that others could live.  The passengers on United 93 understood this and, through their sacrifice, may have saved the Capitol.  Every member of the armed forces who fights a battle or goes on a rescue mission understands this.

And lest you think that this line of reasoning holds true only in extreme situations of battle or terrorism, it also applies in a microcosmic way to every assault or rape in this country — or so I was told during a long-ago self-defense class. The teacher said that studies about attempted rapes show that women who fight back are more likely to get hurt but (and here’s the kicker) less likely to get killed.

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Comments

  1. says

    born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, though you’d never know that from the press coverage

    That’s why I read your blog and don’t watch the news anymore. Big time saver, btw.

    the men truly abided by the age-old adage of women and children first:

    First to be saved, rather than first to be executed and sacrificed.

    The epiphany is this: Each one of us is a foot soldier for civilization; when evil threatens, we must do our utmost to thwart it.

    It takes work to prevent civilization from backsliding, Book. Entropy is ever present and eternal in a way. It always beckons to us, it always works to reduce things to its lowest order. Evil takes advantage of this by purposefully seeking to block human progress, to create more human suffering, and use that suffering to degrade potentials even further.

    It takes strong people, men and women, to resist entropy. The temptation of evil to just give in, to just give up and let things slide, is great. There is little motivation for people to advance entropy, for nobody wants to age and die. But there is a great amount of motivation for people to advance the cause of evil, for the personal benefits promised by the hand of darkness sings to our souls and spirits of more glorious rewards than constant vigilance and struggle against entropy, death, and aging. But of course, the catch was that evil cannot produce progress or rewards, for it cannot resist entropy itself, it can only harness it to destroy whomever gets in evil’s way. It can kill, but it cannot protect you or extend your life. It is a false promise.

    It is easy to let others protect you. It is easy to let others do things for you. Even if you know that this is a bad habit and will weaken your resistance against future temptations, you might still let people do it for you, because resisting and saying no would require work and strength.

    Strength comes from strength and weakness comes from weakness. It reproduces itself.

    Once you accept the basic tenet of helplessness and being a victim, this status and station perpetuates itself, growing larger and more dire. Once you accept the temptation of evil, it won’t just stop there. Once you appease the barbarians even once, they will come back asking for more. This is a universal principle. No mere mortal can stop this, no mere mortal can say that he doesn’t like the status quo, and that he is going to cheat and get things done his way. Not going to happen. The Left and Olmert says they can give our enemies everything, and that we will gain what we want in turn. Very funny. Very ignorant. Very weak. How many people have actually gained what they wanted, from a deal with the devil? Maybe Cheney, but he is the Dark Lord, he is above us mortals.

    The passengers on United 93 understood this and, through their sacrifice, may have saved the Capitol.

    Which may or may not have been a good balance in trade. Regardless, their actions were examples of fighting against death and destruction. If the people they saved wish to do evil things and to decay that which the people on Flight 93 sought to protect… well, it’s not on the souls of heroes.

    Civilization is hard work. It does take sacrifice, but it has to be honest sacrifice, not sacrificing others for your personal benefit. Every individual must choose which path he will take. Which memory he will remember in the future. Which regrets, if any, he will have.

    If you choose the easy and shortsighted path, then the end is inevitable. But if you choose to fight against fate, destiny, and circumstance, then your fate is not predetermined.

  2. says

    Bookworm,

    I think there are many, many reasons why we live in an emasculated society. For starters, for two decades we have been indoctrinated with the ideology of victimhood. In virtually all circumstances, we have taught our kids and each other that it would be more profitable for a person to be the victims rather than the man standing in the path of the juggernaut… and get stomped.

    There is always the price of standing in the path of evil, and usually that price is paid in blood, either yours or the evildoer. It is much easier to turn to emotive hysteria, take some anti-depressants and receive the sympathy of all your compadres for going through such an ordeal. Hell, you might even get monetary compensation for suffering such “emotional trauma”.

    Secondly, feminists have ingrained two whole generations through our education system that manhood is a joke. You see it in commercials where the wife is always the virtuous, savvy one and the husband is this bumbling buffoon. Honor— who really sees honor in today’s world? We are taught that such silly grand narratives are really the tool of dead white men to oppress women and minorities to an evil powerful patriarchal society. I know for a fact this is what is taught in school because this is exactly what was indoctrinated in me until reality slapped it out of me.

    Thirdly, we live in a highly concentrated urban society, and we’re all lawsuit happy. We refrain from acting decisively to protect others because decisive actions will land us in jail or leave us bankrupt. Living like sardines in a concrete can is much different than living out in the country. People living in concrete cans (cities) settle things through litigations, not proactive protective measures.

    “What, threaten me? I’ll sue!”

    “Your tree is coming over my little yard. I’ll sue you if you don’t cut it!”

    “Don’t look at me that way. I’ll accuse you of sexual harassment and sue you!”

    The dangers in a city is ubiquitous and manifold, and cities can’t really afford men to “take the law into your own hands.” Society is putting manhood into a Catch 22. Case after case, men were slapped down for acting to protect someone because they acted outside the law. We are supposed to call the police.

    Then there are also other cases where men are denigrated and belittled because they did call the police and didn’t act. Many even held the man there as morally culpable because he didn’t act.

    The bottom line is that our society has lost a virile code of honor and loyalty that relies upon individual responsibility. What we have in its place are legal protocols to follow.

    Why are we surprised when we suddenly look around and find many of our would-be protectors standing out in the hallway… and doing nothing to stop the evil next door? Society has seen to it that if you are a masculine bull of man, a protector, it would be best if you just kept your head down where no one can see you.

  3. greg says

    In stark contrast with the conservative impulse to emasculate victims, the actions of the Virginia Tech victims and survivor’s speak to us of how people truly act in an extreme situation:

    * Liviu Librescu, the 76-year-old Holocaust survivor, barricaded the classroom door, so that others could escape. Do not trivialize his actions by interpreting them as somehow anomalous.

    * A survivor by the name of Dylan (?) also described his and others’ success in barricading a classroom door (despite his having been wounded) and thus preventing the shooter from re-entering the room.

    Likely, similar stories will come to light in the coming days.

    Bloodshed and heroism marked the events that took place in Norris Hall on April 16. To claim otherwise — for the revoltingly self-righteous partisan purposes that Bookworm promulgates — is, as the Governor of Virginia said at the podium at Tuesday’s convocation, ‘loathsome.’ And indeed, infantile.

    Bookworm owes an apology to Liviu Librescu, Dylan and to all of Virginia Tech’s victims and survivors, the ones unfortunate to have been within the range of fire and those in the greater community, including readers of Bookworm’s blog, who are horrified and impacted by the tragedy.

  4. Danny Lemieux says

    Funny how Greg keeps coming back to The Bookworm Room…like a moth to a flame.

    A big problem that you refer to, Book, is the idea, promoted by members of the Christian Left, that Jesus was a pacifist (He wasn’t). The oft-quoted interpretation of His saying that when a man strikes you, you must “turn the other cheek” is that it symbolizes giving oneself over to sacrifice by offering the “other cheek” to be similarly abused. Not so, the phrase refers to turning the other cheek back so that you look the abuser straight in the eye – ergo, confronting him with what he has done. It does not imply acceptance of the act. Similarly, the Left likes to reference the King James bible misinterpretation of the Commandment, “thou shalt not kill”, when it should be “thou shalt not murder”. The idea that Christianity implies pacifism is wrong, wrong, wrong and yet it may have played a very signficant part in the responses of the victim culture to the tragedy in Virginia. I am with you – real men and women fight back!

  5. says

    Danny, I loved that interpretation of turning the other cheek. I too believe, after reading over and over and over, the Gospels, that Jesus was anything but a pacifist. He was indeed a sword. He thrashed the moneychangers in the Temple, he railed on the religious leaders, condemned them soundly, he warned time and time again of false prophets, of false followers. He was never a Kumbaya Lord. Entropy is the last thing that he ever encouraged.
    Entropy is why there are very few Christians left in the Middle East.

  6. dagon says

    danny,

    i think greg’s point was that many of the actors during the frenzy of this massacre were anything BUT passive. there have been myriad stories of personal heroism and courage.

    true, apprently no one was SUCCESSFUL in disarming this killer but it certainly seems that more than a few tried, placing themselves in jeopardy for the sake of others. and for you to twist this situation to accomodate your own axe to grind about how jesus’ words should be interpreted is an act just as sick as bookworm’s predicably deplorable comments.

    what this world and it’s many religions need is less people who embody the mindsets that you two have just displayed.

    really, you should be ashamed.

    peace

  7. Danny Lemieux says

    Actually, dagon, I don’t expect you to buy into these ideas at all. A life of passive servitude may be just the ticket for you and keep the crocodile at bay…for a little while, anyway. The rest of us will opt to resist and fight for our freedom from these maniacs, however, a concept that I understand you find just too awful to contemplate. Just stay out of our way. Peace.

  8. says

    Dagon,

    Yes, there were instances of true heroism in this tragedy. Liviu Librescu’s act to protect the lives of those in his classroom that day at the cost of his own should be told and retold.

    I honestly don’t know the blow by blow events of that day, and I am sure some did try to stop this killer. What I wonder about is why is it that the system did indeed spot this trouble young man as a potential threat to society and still this tragedy happened? Society tried to give him therapy and anti-depressants. His creative writing professor demanded that the school kick him out of her classroom because he was so disturbing. The result of this? 33 people killed?

    Perhaps we should just admit that our “system” is broken. We can’t just shove soma into people’s mouths and make the happy. It just doesn’t work that way, and there are consequences to drugging people up to tame them. It only delays the explosion til later. Sadly, in this case, the explosion happened right off the top.

  9. dagon says

    danny,

    did you read a word that i wrote? i didn’t say a thing about not resisting these monsters….quite the opposite actually.

    and what in the world would ever give you the idea that i am a pacifist?

    peace

  10. says

    Then again, perhaps for some people, the soma is all they’ve got to keep themselves from unraveling. Who am I to say? What don’t I understand about looking at the world and finding it too frightening to cope?

    Let’s see here: We could be hit with terrorists. The economy could tank us into another great depression. The continental shelf could go at any time sending a 300-foot wave across the East Coast. We could get fried by the sun. We could jump into WWIII tomorrow. Oh, and lunybins can suddenly decide to kill everyone he could find.

    What don’t I understand about it being a scary world? If some people want to take their soma and zone out and remove all feedback, who am I to say anything bout that? …

  11. dagon says

    thomas,

    one big problem would be the fact that are mental health infrastructure has slowly been eroding for decades, arguably beginning with reagan’s decision to severely cut back funding on mental health care centers (virtually creating the homeless problem that we have overnight).

    as a substitute for adequate and ongoing care, big pharma has provided psychiatrist with a host of medications which are meant to be a stop gap but not an answer for many of these illnesses.

    i agree that the system is broken and i can pinpoint exactly where. conservative legislators and their constituents didn’t treat mental health issues as seriously as they should and as a consequence, we don’t have the structure or even the beds to house troubled youths who now otherwise remain in our midst.

    peace

  12. says

    Re comment 2, Thomas, I agree.

    Greg, stop demanding that I apologize to everyone. That’s not argument.

    Dagon, sure more stories will trickle out, but the fact remains that we tend to be a polite, obedient, passive people, and that sometimes means we tend to be a dead people.

    And of course, almost none of us are trained to run to the gun (as someone said of the Marines, who are, in fact, trained to do just that).

  13. says

    Re comment 12, Dagon. I’ve always blamed the ACLU for the fact that there are so many mentally broken people on the streets. It was in the 1960s that the ACLU began a series of legal efforts aimed at getting people de-committed on the ground that it was a violation of their civil rights to have them institutionalized. Not long after, the streets of San Francisco became truly littered with people talking to Martians and eating garbage, while their limbs rotted away from various diseases of drugs, alcoholism and street life. Sadly, there was nothing to be done. These people could be committed for a couple of days for observation but, if they weren’t an immediate threat to themselves or others, they were right back on the street again. In this regard, it’s important to remember that paranoid people resist treatment, because the nature of their disease is to view any efforts to help them as attacks. Reagan may have defunded, but that came long after the ACLU made care a civil rights impossibility.

  14. dagon says

    book,

    sure the aclu played their part which is understandable since i don’t think any of us want to live where committment to a mental institution could be as random, malicious and compulsory as it once was.

    but, i think we should have been looking for a realistic happy medium and reagan made that virtually impossible by defunding protections such as mental health care in a wide swath, with little thought of the ramifications.

    AND…at the same time opening the doors for big pharma to push unnessary drugs to our kids as a substitute for attention or even for simply being just a little precocious.

    peace

  15. Danny Lemieux says

    I suppose it’s a symptom of victimism that every breakdown in human behavior and morality is somebody else’s (meaning, the “conservatives”, of course) fault. Reagan, Big Pharma, neo-cons, George Bush…whatever!

    “…and what in the world would ever give you the idea that i am a pacifist?” – Dagon.

    Why Dagon, I’ve been one of your avid readers on this blog for so long, now. Where did ya think?

  16. dagon says

    hey danny,

    “I suppose it’s a symptom of victimism that every breakdown in human behavior and morality is somebody else’s (meaning, the “conservatives”, of course) fault. Reagan, Big Pharma, neo-cons, George Bush…whatever!”

    –i just calls em like i sees em. but c’mon let’s be honest. modern conservatism is simply a code for unfettered greed, usually of the corporate stripe. unless you’re gordon gecko, i think even you have to realize that a lot of social protections get short shrift when that philosophy is allowed to go unchecked for too long.

    and for the record i’m no pacifist…i’m agnostic.

    peace

  17. says

    Dagon,

    Yes, modern conservatives has a whole lot of greed, but it’s straight up, prima facie greed. That I can deal with.

    Liberals also has a slew full of greed too. They’re usually called non-profit organizations (though corporate greed exists as well), and they usually make a killing. I don’t understand how they can be called non-profit when their executives make hundreds of thousands of dollars and hire high-powered lawyers and lobbyists the world over. They don’t sell anything except guilt, and they wrap themselves around noble pretensions.

    That I can’t deal with quite as well as the conservative variety.

  18. greg says

    Bookworm, the reason you should apologize is because you wrongfully and disparagingly characterized the actions of the victims and survivors of the Virginia Tech tragedy. You made a mistake. You discounted their heroic actions. You used them as whipping boys to promote your own (twisted) personal beliefs, and you thereby heaped additional insult upon their injury.

  19. Danny Lemieux says

    Hmmm…Dagon, so its “conservatives” that are “simply a code for unfettered greed, usually of the corporate stripe. Not the ones I know. Many of the conservatives I know are lower to middle middle class who work hard to get by, raise kids and hopefully retire some day. However, I grant you that the “Republicans as the Party of the Rich” is a well-entrenched stereotype nurtured by the Left.

    So, let’s play a mind game, shall we? Close your eyes, shut your door and think carefully about the answers to the following questions:

    1) Name five of the richest people in America.
    2) Name the five richest people in Congress.
    3) Name the five richest professions in America.

    OK – now review your list: how many of those answers are Democrats or Democrat dominated (in the case of “profession”)?

    Now try to answer the following questions:

    1) Who donated a higher percentage of their income to charity, as President: Clinton or Bush?
    2) Who donated a higher percentage of their income to charity, as vice president: Gore or Cheney?
    3) Which U.S. population demographic regularly donates the highest proportion of their income-adjusted wealth to charity? Liberal Democrats or Conservative Republicans or….religious, conservative Republicans?

    What does that tell you about media-fostered stereotypes?

    Peace

  20. Zhombre says

    I think one could say some of the victims at V-Tech were passive, some were not. But those who were passive, obviously could not rely on campus law enforcement to protect their lives, or even give them warning of potential jeopardy, and now the pious policy of a “gun free zone” at V-Tech is a grim and bloody farce; and those were not passive, did not have the means of shooting back at their assailant.

  21. Danny Lemieux says

    Thomas – I can answer your question, as I used to be the top executive for a 501(c)-3 not-for-profit. “Not-for-Profit” means that you don’t have to share any of your profits with shareholders, so you must spend it internally through sumptuous expense-paid trips, office and living perks, extraordinary salaries, fat pension plans. However, you do have to spend on all kinds of dishonest activities to make sure the lemmings out there keep opening their wallets to support your lifestyles and the soapbox from whence to pronounce your moral righteousness to the rest of humanity. Once I caught on to how that racket worked, I left, took a long shower, and never looked back.

    Irrespective of that, however, my own experience with “for profit” corporate executives tells me that they are just as likely to be Democrat as Republican (or both). Democrats aren’t really all that different from Republicans when it comes to feeding at the public or private trough. At least the “for profit” executives are a lot more honest about what they do…and they are accountable to shareholders.

  22. dagon says

    danny,

    i didn’t say conservatives. sadly a number of conservatives had been conned into voting against their own interests and for this new bunch who have coopted conservatism for power as it exist in the modern republican party; which is nothing but the legislative wing for corporate america and resembles traditional conservatism about as much as i resemble ann coulter.

    peace

  23. Zhombre says

    … and for the record i’m no pacifist…i’m agnostic …

    Could you explain what this statement means? May I assume you have no fixed opinion on whether pacificism is a good thing or not? I would think some one who signs off using “peace” leans, like oceanside homes in California, toward the pacific.

  24. dagon says

    oh and danny,

    your straw-man arguments are always amusing.

    i thought we’ve cleared up the fact that i’m not a democrat a long time ago. i’m an independent. the entire system is rotten to the core currently.

    the reason i don’t rail against the dems as much is simply because they haven’t been in power and haven’t presided over the monumental screw-ups that we’ve had to endure for the past few years.

    peace

  25. Zhombre says

    Sorry, Dagon. Didn’t get it. As per below:

    [Roxanne Kowalski is walking behind a hedge because she is nude]
    Roxanne Kowalski: Nobody had a coat?
    C.D. Bales: I thought you said you didn’t want a coat…
    Roxanne Kowalski: Why would I not want a coat?
    C.D. Bales: You said you didn’t want a coat!
    Roxanne Kowalski: I was being ironic.
    C.D. Bales: Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don’t get that here. See, uh, people ski topless here while smoking dope, so irony’s not really a, a high priority. We haven’t had any irony here since about, uh, ’83, when I was the only practitioner of it. And I stopped because I was tired of being stared at.

  26. says

    Danny,

    Thanks for that startlingly honest confession. Good gracious, I knew what you wrote abstractly for some time, but boy howdy is it different coming from a former executive of one such organization…

    (sigh)

    I was going to blog about this topic for a long time, but I just haven’t collected my thoughts enough to do so. Talk of these non-profit organizations just reminded me of it. For the first time in American history, we have ourselves “Rulers”.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s Democrats and Republicans. How many of our representatives worked an honest day in their lives? They are the sons and daughters of civil servants and lawyers, who were themselves sons and daughters of civil servants and lawyers. I pillow-cushioned class of people, who’ve taken upon themselves to decree how long we should work, who decides when it is okay to take property away from us, and who decides just how much power they’re going to consolidate onto themselves.

    Whatever happened to the power residing in “We the People”? Aren’t we the sovereigns in our government? What happened to Locke and Hobbs and this silly notion of the Social Contract? We used to take personal responsibility for the actions of our elected officials because we jerked their chains. So what’s the deal now?

  27. dagon says

    thomas,

    i blame madonna…and paris hilton….

    no seriously, your post is entirely on point and i agree that i do not know what has happened to our body politic.

    i honestly thought that 911 would serve as a wakeup call but we were told to go about our business; keep consuming, keep watching the ‘anna nicole’ show…..and by and large we did.

    no sacrifice was asked of us and by and large we didn’t even think to do so.

    peace

  28. says

    It’s obvious Bush is too compassionate and doesn’t want a heavy Executive footprint. He wants to protect people from themselves, which while good intentioned, doesn’t actually work as we see with policies designed to protect citizens as if they morally the same as children. This ends up with Bush putting limits on his own powers, in his intent not to put too much pressure on the people, and it also ends up with Bush not using the power of the people. The latter is not easily analyzed, but certainly Bush’s attempts to ignore public polls and his lack of communications wisdom and skills contribute to the both is unwillingness and inability to harness the power from a mass of people for violent things.

    Wasn’t Bill O’Reilly an independent too? Maybe Dagon and he gets together sometimes to chat politics.

  29. rockdalian says

    When you have approximately half the population getting benefits from government there is no incentive to vote for smaller government. One simply cannot out vote the recipients.

    I do wonder what some type of compulsive service,such as the Israeli’s have,would do for improving the gumption and morale of our youth.

  30. Danny Lemieux says

    “When you have approximately half the population getting benefits from government there is no incentive to vote for smaller government”.

    Good point, Rock. I have always suspected that the Democrat/Left has wanted to keep people poor and dependent. The only way to get out of their crab bucket is to pay homage and baksheesh to the Master. This is certainly how Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton positioned themselves.

    I suspect that this is what happened to the Socialist Eurabians – Eurabians became so dependent upon their governments that it became impossible to fight back – after all, stick your neck out and you could lose your pathetic government benefits (as happens to disobedient journalists in France and Belgium, for example). Instead, most meekly submit (“Islam” means submission) and pretend that their governments’ corruption is someone else’s problem (these days, that and all the world’s problems point to George Boosh and the Joooos, of course) and maybe it will just go away and leave them alone. Please God, don’t let this happen here.

    That’s why Book’s exhortation to resist and fight back against the culture of victimization is so important. What happend at V-Tech is a microcosm of something much, much bigger that is happening in this country.

  31. Mike Devx says

    “He’s got a gun. Just do what he says, and nobody will get hurt.”

    Somehow we’ve been trained to this passivity. It seems clear that when confronted by a madman filled with kind of psycopathic need to kill, and rage, that this guy had, your only chance is to mob rush the bastard. But enough people have to recognize that you’re dealing with a psychopath for that to work.

    Couple that problem with the diffusion of responsibility you find in impersonal groups of people such as a crowded city street or, in this case, a classroom, and getting that kind of a mob rush together may be extremely difficult. In a similar “diffusion of responsibility” crisis, it took the passengers of United 93 quite a while to gather their resistance, to organize around those who would lead them.

  32. says

    Book,

    Great post and some great and some amusing comments.

    I believe, thanks to the Liberals, our last few American generations have been bred into passivity and fear.

    Our Founding Fathers would weep to see the emasculating of our society.

    I like the story of the old time preacher, when threatened, said to the one who would accost him, “Let me warn thee, you are standing where I am about to shoot.”

    I thank God for those today who are fearless. Example, Liviu Librescu about whom I posted a recent article..

    Why does it take a 77 year old Jewish Holocaust survivor to remind us — this is the way we all should be — fearless.

    What an example and a challenge for our youth!

    ExP(Jack)

  33. Oldflyer says

    I just wish that I understood the mind-set that equates reducing the increase in Government spending from, oh say 8% a year to maybe 6%, a draconian cut. Off topic, and we will never figure that out anyway.

    I actually thought we did away with the notion of insane asylums for those who have not (yet) committed violent crimes because of privacy and individual rights issues. Silly me.

    Bookworm, I have pondered the questions you pose. I have put them on hold for the present, because too little is known about the actual circumstance.

    Regarding the Brits, I do not believe that military surrender necessarily equals cowardice. I identify naturally with air crews in enemy territory. But, more realistically there have been many instances when heroic units in hopeless situations have surrendered; e.g. Corregidor. I expect that the decision to surrender a unit is one of the most difficult a Commander could face. The Brits could well have been in a hopeless situation. The real question to me is how they were put in that situation.

    At Virginia Tech, surrender on acceptable terms was certainly not an option. I believe serious study of the reactions of the victims and survivors would be more enlightening than the direction that many analysts seem to be taking. Perhaps lessons could actually be learned. Maybe what we believe and are taught about individual response to threatening behavior should be modified, just as the mind-set toward Skyjacking was radically changed after 9/11. Perhaps those on the scene did all that they could. I just read the make-up of the Commission that my Governor, Kaine (damn it hurts to say that), has appointed. It is a multi-faceted group. I don’t know if part of their charter will be to study the actions of the targeted people. I hope it is.

  34. says

    Hmmm, think the ‘gun free zone’ had anything to do with this as well? I’d be suprised of some of those students didn’t have a gun that they could not bring onto campus. And people wonder why there is a push to let teachers get a concealed weapons permit and carry a gun on campus. We have lost to a degree the ability to fight back like we should. We’re still the sleeping giant in the world. It takes a lot to get us angry, maybe too much. There’s a time to talk and a time to fight, we need to start teaching the second point as well as the first.

  35. says

    Interesting perspective on the VA Tech events. Some interesting comments already covering most of my possible responses. Just one objection concerning the Mark Stein article quoted: “…the men in that classroom…” What men? The account doesn’t really mention any men. Wusses, pansies and despicable, cowardly worms, perhaps, but no men.

    As to how directly the Mark Stein account relates to the VA Tech event, well, I’d like to have more information on the victims’ responses. Onbe account had a number placidly lining up (chewing their cuds, as it were) to be shot. Surely that could not have been the case. Surely not…

    But it certainly does seem that the premise that the West in general, and the U.S. specifically, is becoming a society of folks less than capable in self-defense, for whatever reasons, is on target.

    No more “rage against the dying of the light” but “Would the last one out turn out the lights, please?” as we take another turn around the prickly pear…

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