Mass killings and extreme individualism

The observation emerges everywhere: the United States is deeply ill.

Mass killings and extreme individualism

The observation emerges everywhere: the United States is deeply ill.

You don't need to be a sociologist to make the diagnosis, any more than you need to be a psychologist or psychiatrist to detect unhealthy behavior in certain people.

The essence of sociology consists in studying how apparently individual behaviors are in reality strongly influenced by the society in which they are immersed.

Mass killings belong to this category of actions, even when the killer suffers from a diagnosed mental illness – because his delusional choice remains conditioned by his society.

Why such killings?

Some sociologists, like David Le Breton, explain that mass killers suffer from extreme individualism. They feel rejected. They respond to this rejection with contempt for others.

In this extreme individualism, any personal failure can take on serious proportions and become intolerable for the self-image. Hence, often, the murder of parents, as if to symbolically erase the origin of an unbearable image of themselves.

These first murders are followed by a rebirth, through a slaughter, supposed to bring social recognition, even if it results in death.

Extreme individualism also leads to the rejection of all forms of state authority. Schools, which are scattered all over the territory, can easily represent the authority of the state. They are therefore frequent targets for these killers.

It is not difficult to guess similar mechanisms in mass killings motivated by racism or religion. The exception comes from those perpetrated by jihadists. The latter follow a politico-religious agenda, therefore in essence, not individualistic.

Sources of individualism

American extreme individualism is primarily fueled by two political sources. On the one hand, by extremist Republicans, close to the NRA, Donald Trump and originalist interpretations of the American Constitution, and on the other hand, by extremist Democrats, close to sectionalist and wokist currents.

Any political action that seeks to reinforce collectivism is immediately denounced as communism by the former and as patriarchal white supremacy by the latter.

Republican and Democratic extremists are certain that their beliefs will save American society, while they contribute to its destruction. They are unaware that their visions of politics are based on false beliefs.

American mirrors

Some Quebec and Canadian political parties are mirrors of these American political beliefs. Québec solidaire endorses much of the ideology that comes from the extremist wing of the American Democratic Party.

It is easy to draw a similar comparison between the extremist positions of the Republicans and those of Éric Duhaime or Pierre Poilievre. In this regard, Jean Charest is right to denounce the American drift of certain leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Unfortunately, Quebec and Canada are becoming more and more Americanized. They are therefore less and less sheltered from the excesses of extreme individualism.