Suicidal Rage & School Killings vs. "Something Of Value"


Synopsis
A relationship between an Egalitarian mind-set, which strips away an adolescent's sense of identity, purpose & self-worth, and teenage rage that causes mass school killings & wasted lives? Motivational importance of sex-roles and a sense of heritage to positive conduct & personal happiness.

The following essay, based upon a Basuto teaching that inspired the late Robert Ruark, was posted before the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Since it suggests the most probable cause for the gathering epidemic of suicidal rage and violence among American teenagers, including that shortly before Littleton, at Paducah, Kentucky, and several less serious situations since, we republished it with this introduction. We also appended a brief postscript.

The situation may be growing still more serious, both because those adolescents infected with this level of rage will try to make successively more terrible statements--each outdoing its predecessors;--and because most of those now planning societal responses have no clue as to causation: Certainly the Nazi like effort to scapegoat the NRA and demonize the gun owner, does not provide one. Nor does suspending eight year olds who want to pretend their chicken tenders are handguns!

This is not about the availability of guns. As high or higher a percentage of adolescent boys had guns in other eras. In Switzerland, for generations, every teenaged boy was armed, and before the explosion of drug usage, they had no teenage crime problem. (Nor would there be any advantage to Society, if those bent upon killing themselves in angry statements used bombs, poison or gasoline, in making those angry statements.)

Nor is this epidemic about a lack of emphasis on teaching the youth to be kind to one another; to not be too exclusive or clannish. It will certainly not be cured by pretending that we are all alike. It is not a sense of difference or a lack of compassion, but the lack of a true sense of personal worth and purpose upon the part of the would be killers, which leads to these homicidal onslaughts. In each case, the perpetrators have been venting a suicidal rage. It was precisely because the Kentucky killers knew how terribly wrong it was, that the boys in Paducah killed both their parents and the more religious of their classmates. It was not a sense of racial pride--probably a lack of it--which led to the racial slur that accompanied one of the many killings in Colorado--in a school where there were no apparent racial conflicts.

In the absence of territorial conflict--as in Kosovo, or the California gang scene--a true sense of racial pride, heritage and personal worth, would have instilled an awareness of purpose and continuity; would have defused some of that rage at Littleton. Generally, those who respect their own heritage are more likely to respect the heritage of others. (The examples of this are legion.) Being part of an undifferentiated humanity, on the other hand, leaves one with little incentive for the positive. We would suggest that having no adequate sense of person or purpose, feeling an instinctive void in the core or their beings, the killers were trying to act as outrageously as possible. The reported sexual ambivalence of the pair involved in Colorado, should only lend further credibility to the approach suggested:


"SOMETHING OF VALUE"



On the page facing the author's Foreword to his 1954 novel on the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, Robert Ruark quotes an old Basuto Proverb:

"If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them."

Now, of course, the point of the quote in the Ruark context, was the mistake the British made in undermining traditional tribal cultures of East Africa without making certain that those traditional values were replaced with something of at least equivalent value. And while that point was well punctuated by the Mau Mau excesses, the same point could as easily have been made as to the assault on traditional social values in 20th Century America, as well as about the meddlesome actions of American "Liberals" all over the world. In pursuit of an egalitarian agenda, the Liberal Compulsion, the rage for uniformity; they have undermined the traditional customs of many lands. But what we want to focus on, here, has nothing to do with trashing old values in the Third World, or in Europe, Asia or in other times.

The most fanatical, and truest, compulsion in the modern "Liberal" quest for an egalitarian uniformity has been displayed in their discussion of race and sex. There are some among them who will even attempt to deny the validity of race; deny the overriding importance of sex; some who absolutely seethe with hatred at the mere thought that others may take pride in their race or sex, may make decisions based upon that pride, may instill that pride in children. And there is little question but that those, who seek to deny the importance of racial and sexual differences, have had the upper hand in Washington since 1960. (The Republicans may slow the assault; almost no one has really suggested that we reverse it.)

Well, thirty to forty years is long enough to discover a trend. Let us see what trends we can discover?

One trend, you will not see, is better feeling amongst diverse groups towards one another's differences. When the good hearted athlete/Minister Reggie White even spoke out on the subject of ethnic variation, with nothing but Christian love for his fellow humans as different as we are, the whole "Liberal" establishment showered him with contempt. Yet there is so much collective blame being hurled on every side against definable groups for problems really unique to individuals, that one is reminded of the revolutionary ferment in other periods. And there is more ill will between the sexes than at any time in recorded history. Just consider the postings on the Internet, before you even survey the Divorce rate.

But there are trends which rationally correlate with what has been happening in the groves of egalitarian compulsion and coercion--although to demonstrate that correlation, we need to put a bit more on the table. (Given the functional nature of an Internet posting, one should simplify. We do not ask anyone to take the following interpretation on faith. Readers should check out the facts.)

From 1938, the Aid To Dependent Children program has subsidized the birth of children out of wedlock. (We have often criticized this program, not for a want of compassion for the poor or fallen, rather because the program had no Constitutional mandate; and because it was obvious that by subsidizing conduct, which it simultaneously removed all stigma from, it could only serve to multiply the number of poor children--while offering very little hope or incentive for those children to ever rise very far above their poverty.)

While there was a gradual rise in illegitimacy from 1938 to 1960; it was just that, gradual. From the early '60s on, the rate exploded? Why?

It was surely not a function of the advent of birth control pills at the same time. That cut down on legitimate in family births, but it also made it infinitely easier for the unmarried to avoid conception. Had old values prevailed, illegitimacy should have fallen.

The most significant other contemporaneous social phenomenon was the integration of schools in the South and the shifting of school populations, to increase integration, in the North--a species of Affirmative Action. The proffered justification for that integration was a belief that the previous separation was disadvantageous to the Negro children--no matter how good the schools attended. (The implications of that concept tell a lot about how really liberal, "Liberals" are. Everywhere they show concern for others; never respect.)

The opponents of a deliberate policy of mixing students on racial criteria, claimed that such mixing would lower White standards to a statistically demonstrated lower Black social and academic level. The proponents claimed that it would be the other way around; that the Black achievement and social statistics would rise much closer to previous White norms. In fact, both groups were proven wrong! Public education has been declining, and the social statistics have been in a free fall, ever since. The White bastardy rate did not rise to the previously higher Negro level, it soared right through it; while the Negro family structure, far from improving, completely disintegrated for many who had previously been every bit as stable as the best of their White neighbors. Why?

Contemporaneous with this melt-down, came the trashing of pride in family, race, sex and culture, by the "Liberal" establishment. They removed the need to measure up to old role models and "good customs" without offering anything of value in its place.

They did not give the Black child pride in being himself; nor did they support the self-respect that many had found in a Christian upbringing during the long, hard ascent from the social pit of 1890. Rather, they taught Black children to blame Whites for every problem. And they substituted dependence upon Government for the faith of their fathers.

They did not give the White child pride in his ancestry. They set out to replace any pride he already had with a sense of guilt; guilt because his family had been successful and had taken inspiration from past achievement.

And they absolutely trashed the importance of sex roles for everyone.

Nothing that really mattered in the lives of young men or young women--or adolescent boys and girls--really mattered any more.

As contemporaneous with the breakdown in family and racial pride, we have seen a decline in educational standards and the family structure across the board; so in the breakdown in the sex-roles, inherent in traditional family values, we have seen a tremendous surge in both the level and intensity of teenage violence, crime and drug addiction. The malaise afflicts every race and, sadly, sometimes even the children of some of the very "nicest" families, children raised by loving parents devoted to God and homeland. Why?

We do not suggest that the entertainment media is wholly blameless; nor are those who have displayed a compulsive need to keep God out of the classroom. Nor is a former Administration, which burned people alive for "their own good" at Waco, and lately bombed "for peace" in the Balkans. But the irrational anger, which afflicts so many of today's youth, is seen even among children raised in loving God fearing families; even among some who hardly ever watch TV; even among Republicans.

The ready availability of drugs certainly aggravates the phenomenon. As do other contemporary factors. Yet we would suggest that the single most important factor in this gathering anarchy, is that we have allowed egalitarian fanatics to deny youth a part of their birthright--the right to take pride in being who and what they are. And drugs, crime and eventually violent rampages fill a need for many to escape from self--a being which can not respect itself, because all of the things, which its instincts tell it are important, are no longer permitted to be important.

Our old "good custom" in America, White or Black, Red or Yellow, was that we honored the potential of the adolescent girl, as a woman, to be a wife and mother. That was something very wonderful to which half the population could never aspire.

Our old "good custom" in America used to be that being a GOOD wife and mother was especially honored--honored in ways that being a good Corporate employee or pregnant, unmarried school drop out, never were or ever could be.

Our old "good custom" in America, White or Black, Red or Yellow, used to be that we looked to young men to protect and provide for women and children. And we especially honored those who took that responsibility most seriously and performed it better than others. Thus the soldier, who went off to war to protect the homeland, as service in that male role, was always far more respected than either that good Corporate employee or that pregnant, unmarried, school drop-out.

Children need guide posts and role models. They need meaningful identifications with people and purposes beyond the immediate--something and someone to measure up to.

Being a member of an undifferentiated humanity is no substitute for what they have been asked to give up. It is not "Something of Value."



*********
Postscript


It would be difficult to conceive of a more counter-productive approach to the problems of teenage violence than that which former President Clinton submitted to Congress in the wake of Littleton. Making guns "forbidden fruit" to teenagers will contribute absolutely nothing towards reducing the likelihood for more such massacres. (It is many times more likely to provoke them.) It is also preposterous to tell 18 year olds that they may vote and go to war, but that they have no Second Amendment rights; that they may not possess guns for their own protection, or even to train themselves to be more effective if they must someday go to war. The Clinton policy read like something out of Nazi Germany. The weak-kneed opposition among certain Republicans demonstrated once again the difficulty in preserving freedom in the face of determined demagoguery.

The issue needs to be joined; not by the faint at heart, who want to compromise with an hysterical mob stirred up by a "Liberal" media exploiting human grief; but by those who understand what General Washington was actually proposing after our Revolution, when he urged the adoption of a Swiss like system for training the Militia: For the arming--not disarming--of America's youth. It is no accident that Switzerland has for centuries maintained not only her neutrality, but the lowest crime rate in Europe. The Swiss have treated their young males as competent developing adults; giving them training in high school in the correct use of military weapons, and entrusting them with the responsibility--and the sense of purpose and self-worth that has always flowed from that responsibility--of keeping those weapons at home, ready at hand, as part of their Society's first line of defense; the protectors of women, children and heritage.

Nor was it any accident that George Washington, whose writings show a deep understanding of human motivation, specifically cited the Swiss as a contemporary example. That they have continued to thrive, over two centuries after he pointed them out as the model, provides one more example of the truly ageless wisdom of the Fathers.

Clinton proposed instead only to further demean youth; to diminish their sense of responsibility and the importance of the sex roles (such as that men protect women), which have always been so dominant in the teenager's conscience. In brief, he proposed an extension of the very policy which has already trashed the self-images of so many; the policy which led directly to the type of suicidal rage unleashed again at Littleton. The superiority of General Washington's proposal for reawakening Chivalric concepts--and a sense of true worth--is obvious.

William Flax





For generations, mainstream Americans have been bombarded with a three pronged challenge to the continuity of their values, culture & identity. These have included an absurd, oft repeated, lie of an equality of human potential; a direct attack on the ethnic pride & identity of mainstream Americans as unique peoples--coupled with the pretense that they are somehow guilty of causing most of the earth's problems;--and the promotion of a cynical Utilitarian claim that despite a written Constitution--precisely intended to prevent such misuse of power--the Government has whatever power a majority desire, to address any & all problems of unhappy individuals.

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