Margaret Thatcher’s belief that there is no society, only individuals means that yesterday’s bombings in Boston is relatively insignificant news.
But, of course, Margaret Thatcher’s statement isn’t true.
There is more than individuals. There is society.
And there are societies that, for lack of a better word, are considered more “civilized” than others, where “civilization” includes lack of violence, and most certainly, lack of violence against innocents.
Terror is David’s ultimate weapon against Goliath.
Goliath is an impermeable military fortress. David is the suicide bomber disguised as an immigrant laborer that Goliath needs. Because there are so many immigrant laborers in Goliath’s world, David is relatively meaningless … until he blows himself up and takes down a few “innocent” Goliaths who happened to be wandering near.
That gets attention.
Numbers don’t. It doesn’t matter that it was 15 unnamed adults, children, clerics, wives and pregnant mothers in Garissa, Kenya, but only one 8-year old boy and two unnamed adults in Boston.
It shouldn’t have happened in Boston. It’s no surprise it happened in Kenya. Boston is more civilized than Kenya.
Moreover, as an American an attack on my country is more painful to me than an attack in Kenya. I come to work each morning in part affirming my beliefs and trusts in my society, convinced my society is working hard to be just.
This seems senseless. Weren’t there other ways the bombers could have expressed their dismay and dissolution with what they perceived as unjust?
They feel that way in Kenya, too.
And in Iraq and Pakistan and Argentina and nearly every other place in the world, even Australia.
Something is wrong with mankind and it isn’t with the bombers. There are too many bombers for too many vastly different reasons in too many vastly different places on earth.
Should weapons of any kind be illegal? Can we destroy every gun and bullet and bomb on earth?
What a silly notion. They’d still strangle us.
Should Big Brother be allowed to monitor us all? Do you know how many CCTV surveillance cameras are clicking away right now in London?
Kenya doesn’t have as many. Boston will, soon.
A good Pd.D. thesis for a student of political science would be to show a definite collaboration between the number of CCTV cameras and terrorist killings. More cameras, more police, less killings.
More cameras, more police to enforce a system terrorists feel is unjust motivates terrorists to become even more clever, more deadly. More individualistic.
Maybe Margaret Thatcher was right.