Cho and Che

This essay by People’s Cube’s Oleg Atbashian is very interesting, and the first one I came across that actually takes Cho Seung-Hui’s words for their face value. Because the man actually went through the trouble of putting a video together and mailing it to a major network, he thought that his stated motives are worthy of examination. Atbashian notes that Cho’s ramblings regurgitated his educators’ ramblings, and other popular sources. But Atbashian is overreaching at when he suggests a causal connection. Consider this, for instance:

Besides acting as a catalyst on a depressed mind, “progressive” education is also a major cause of depression in itself. Imagine growing up while believing that yours is the worst country on the planet, guilty of death and suffering of millions of poor people worldwide, who are being wantonly killed, robbed, enslaved, raped, and tortured so that your mom could shop at the mall and your dad could fill up the tank. The species are dying, the rainforest is dwindling, the ozone hole is growing, and the globe is warming. If it is frightful enough to turn a sensitive adult into a guilt-ridden neurotic, think about a ten-year-old who, in addition, lives with the fear that if we all don’t die of skin cancer by the age of thirty, global warming and raising sea levels will finish everyone off anyway.

A patriot will find “progressivism” is a depressing ideology, I doubt it can cause Major Depression. It seems to me that even the most committed proponents of not-my-country-right-or-wrong doctrine actually believe it down inside. They are too comfortable, bored and complacent to be honest with themselves. There is obviously too much money to be made, too many carriers to be built, too many cheeks to be picked up America-bashing. If one is comfortable on personal level, why be upset? Children they “help” us raise pick up on this. Sadly, they may learn to identify with “progressivism” not their country. If America is never a part of one’s identity, why despair in the face of its alleged wrongdoings? Cho’s American identify might never had materialized. Although he was certainly eligible, he never applied for American citizenship.

Cho’s mental illness did not originate with his exposure to radical ideology on our shores. According to his Korean relatives his behavior was always peculiar. Atbashian of course, didn’t credit progressivism with causing Cho’s depression, but he does suggest that it might have aggravated it. This is proposition is difficult to prove.

Cho might have been a revolutionary in his own deranged mind, but he was too much of a recluse to make the cut in real life. A true revolutionary dreams bigger dreams building radical networks to ensure that his violence doesn’t stop with its first outbreak. Lenin’s newspaper, for instance, was called Iskra, meaning “spark’ out of which a fire shell rise. Cho was a deluded armature, a far cry from true sociopath like Che.

It seems to me that Cho simply sucked in violent ideologies that are “in the air” today – Marxist rhetoric, terrorist MO, etc. So he wasn’t free of both Islamist and Marxist influences. What is doubtless, however, is that was this maniac somehow influenced by some sort of a right-wingish ideology, we’d keep hearing about for months on in.

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April 24, 2007. Random thoughts.

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