Believe it or not, politically, I am a pretty positive person. I truly and wholeheartedly believe that there is great hope for our country. Unfortunately, I am in complete disgust every time I turn on the TV and every time I listen to the leaders of this country speak. It's hard not to be cynical when the country is stuck in a two-party quagmire in which both sides are corrupted by special interests that care nothing for the well being of the country as a whole. Nothing ever gets acted upon because nobody demands it because everyone is too distracted by the media and disillusioned by the bland and corrupt choices they face every two years. It can and must be fixed, but people have to wake up to the harsh realities we have created by sitting on our hands for twenty years. There is hope…I’m just not sure how to go about saving the country just yet. I’ll get back with you when I figure it out. In the meantime, I’m going to call all the bullshit I see.
The link between bullying and capitalism lies in the very way we live our lives. The cut-throat, dog-eat-dog, take-no-prisoners, it's-either-him-or-me mentality has pervaded every aspect of life in the current social structure and it does way more to destroy than to help. Look at the way many "model" businesses are run. Because of their limited liability, their enormous size, and their enslavement to the bottom line, they are willing to destroy everything in their path--workers, wildlife, the environment...hell, we're at the edge of extinction ourselves. That is the model kids grow up following. They see their parents living their lives the way they do, they watch vapid and materialistic shows like "My Super Sweet Sixteen", and “Deal or No Deal”, and they are viciously and callously attacked every moment of their adolescence with ads that claim that their product represents freedom or integrity or courage. They are taught to care little for their fellow person. So they treat each other like garbage. Just like Cho was treated his entire life.
I agree that you have to hold every murderer accountable for his or her actions. They decided to pull the trigger. Without people willing to commit cold blooded and horrible acts of violence, we wouldn't need this discussion. But the fact remains that this is something that continues to happen. By calling him evil, we are taking the easy way out. There is no good or evil out there. We are all capable of both. He did a very evil thing. But we cannot deny that the way he was treated throughout his entire life had a direct role in the way he chose to end it. And yes, I am claiming that capitalism is to blame for horrible way people treat each other and the irresponsible and gaping gaps in our (physical and mental) health institutions—especially those that should provide for the poor and minorities. We practice a form of unbridled capitalism that trumps democracy, takes power from the people, and gives it to a small minority of rich white dudes. This feeling powerlessness pervades the entire population, all the way down to the students I teach (talk to a young black high school student for a couple hours and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about). I think there is room for a strictly regulated form of capitalism, but the minute the wealthy become more powerful than the elected, democracy has been rendered helpless.
Finally, the utopia I refer to is one that existed before our collective memories. One that has become extinct because it did not believe in global dominance. One that never truly made it into our history books. People used to live in harmony with the earth rather than at war with it. Ishmael called them The Leavers. We may never be able to live that way again, but with more emphasis on people and less on things, we can take a major step in that direction.