This was sent to me by Brigid Meier, always a terrific source of information on the edge: http://charleseisenstein.net/the-cycle-of-terror/
A few of the points he made that caught my eye: From fear comes hate, and from hate comes violence.
and: What we suppress in our psyche often bursts out in some dissociated and extreme form. When we live in fear (as we do in a security state), we are certain to experience that fear in various externalized ways, such as terrorism. The suppressed shadow emerges. Are the horrific events of the last few months the random acts of bad guys? Or could it be that we are seeing a reflection of ourselves?
and: The further we take security, for example to preemptive drone strikes, the more hatred we will generate. The more hatred we generate, the greater will be the need to extend the regime of security even further.
The same is true of the mindset of control at home, in the workplace, and at school, extending even to pharmaceutical control of the mind via anti-depressant drugs. A society that is increasingly regimented, surveilled, and controlled, in which “freedom” happens behind gates and walls, necessarily stokes an explosive desire to break free. I do not mean to trivialize the complicated psycho-social factors that turn a person into a mass murderer, but certainly a key factor must be an overwhelming feeling of alienation. What could be more alienating then a standardized, controlled, endemically suspicious society, where everywhere you go you are treated as a suspect or troublemaker?
And this especially, I agree with:
To build a society of safety and trust rather than security and fear, we are going to have to act from the former rather than the latter. I therefore offer a few modest proposals for how to respond to the Boston bombing. First, let us reverse the cycle of terror by responding, not with heightened security, but with relaxed security, demonstrating that we will not be frightened into retreating behind cameras, fences, and metal detectors. We will bravely uphold an open society.
Secondly, let us reverse the cycle of hatred abroad by ceasing all preemptive and punitive drone strikes and other attacks. Those are the actions of a frightened people. It takes courage to trust that if one holds back from violence, whomever one has seen as an enemy will do the same. But in a situation of mutual distrust, someone has to take the first step. Otherwise, each act merely confirms the distrust of the other, and the violence never ends.
Thirdly, instead of vowing to take vengeance on the perpetrator of the Boston attack, let us proclaim that rather than punish him, he will have the opportunity to face the families of the people he killed and the people whose limbs he destroyed. He will hear their stories and share his own. Then together, the victims, perpetrators and community will agree on how best to heal the damage done and serve justice. While remorse and forgiveness may not result, it is more likely to than in punitive justice.
Thank you Brigid for this contribution, and thank you Charles Eisenstein for tacitly allowing me to quote your essay.