Thursday, February 18, 2010
Is Austin a Harbinger of Things to Come?
Joseph Stack was not a revolutionary martyr, even though his kamikaze mission targeted an office of the Internal Revenue Service, America's most feared and hated government agency. If his on-line manifesto is genuine, he was a man who'd reached the end of his tether after years of abuse from a corrupt, despotic political system. He chose to lash out in self-immolating despair, dying as a suicide and possibly a murderer (one worker in the Echelon building is still unaccounted for as of this writing).
How many Americans will take this as a cue to strike at Leviathan, either singly or in groups? Vox Day and Karl Denninger wonder if the Austin, TX attack is a harbinger of more anti-government violence, as increasing numbers of citizens come to the conclusion that peaceful reform is no longer possible.
A society whose leaders are foolish enough to willfully destroy its structural foundations should not be surprised when madmen increasingly begin to appear in its midst. But the problem is that insane actions such as Stack's are merely a symptom; what is ultimately much more problematic is all the talented individuals who simply won't bother to create wealth that is only going to be taken away from them. I suppose it may be possible to maintain a wealthy and stable society that consists of nothing more than government employees and a vast horde of unemployed individuals supporting a small financial elite that generates enormous profits by playing complicated gambling games with itself, but if it is, I have to confess that I understand neither the economics nor the logic that makes it viable.
We can quite reasonably describe Joseph Stack as a madman, categorize his suicidal actions as insanity, and ignore his rantings as the last angry words of an embittered failure. He was, after all, the very antithesis of a hero and his actions were as stupid and evil as they were futile. But I think we should also ask two questions before we forget the episode entirely entirely. Was the man always a lunatic? And if not, what was it that turned him into one?