December 18, 2012
A British criminologist has produced a study that blames the “culture of individualism” for mass shootings like the one at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut last week.
Peter Squires of the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom told USA Today that “privacy and individualism is where some of the causes of crime and revenge can be found” and only collectivism and “informal social controls” presumably enforced by the state prevent violence.
The philosophy of American individualism is founded on natural rights going back to antiquity but more recently defined by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. The ideas set forth by Locke shaped the thinking of Thomas Jefferson and the founders and are at the heart of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and eloquently enumerated in the Declaration of Independence.
According to Squires and the collectivists, the end result of natural rights – what many now call individualism – is violence and chaos. For the collectivist, the individual has no rights and may be sacrificed to the whims and prerogatives of society and the state. Under collectivism, the state holds a violent monopoly on power and the individual is a slave.
Thus it stands to reason that the most populous authoritarian and collectivist nation in the world, China, would call for all Americans to be disarmed:
“The state news agency in China, the official voice of the government, has called for the United States to quickly adopt stricter gun controls in the aftermath of the shooting rampage in Connecticut that left 28 people dead, including 20 schoolchildren,” reports the New York Times.
Collectivist authoritarianism, however, is largely incapable of preventing violence by individuals. Last week in the village of Chengping in Henan Province a knife wielding man wounded 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes.
Lost in the debate and Mr. Squires’ study is the indisputable fact that the collectivist state is the most vicious perpetrator of violence. Millions died under the Red Terror and Great Purges in the Soviet Union (more than 40 million alone under Stalin) and Mao’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution (nearly 80 million killed).
Privacy and individualism are not “where some of the causes of crime and revenge can be found.”
That distinction is reserved for the state and its organized mass murder.