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Documentary Connects Shootings to Economic Struggle

Posted on Jan 5, 2012

“Murder by Proxy: How America Went Postal” starts with the earliest post office massacre in 1986 in exploring how economic factors might play a role in the epidemic of shootings.

According to the film’s website,  “... in the overwhelming majority of cases, people who commit these murders have no criminal record or history of mental illness.”


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By diamond, January 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

It isn’t only this documentary that has made the connection. There’s a book just published called ‘Why some Politicians are Worse than Others’ by James Gilligan. In this book, Gilligan appears to go even further. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University and he looked at statistics for suicide and murder in the US (records have been kept since 1900). He noticed inexplicable peaks and troughs in the statistics. Then he noticed how closely the rises and falls coincided with which party was in the White House. Sure enough, he found that ‘Suicide and homicide increased when Republicans were in the White House and decreased under Democratic administrations, with a magnitude and consistency that could not be attributed to chance alone,’ he writes.

The statistics, it transpired, revealed that during the 59 years Republicans were in the White House violent deaths increased by 19.9 percent per 100,000 people and during the 48 years of Democratic rule violent deaths decreased by 18.3% per 100,000. Clearly those who claim that all politicians are the same and it doesn’t matter who you put in power are wrong. The fact is, people can be driven to homicide or suicide by their working conditions and under the Republicans workers get it in the neck: their conditions at work deteriorate and their economic circumstances go into a nosedive. It’s certainly no mystery to me why these kinds of crimes rise under Republican administrations. You only have to look at what every single Republican candidate for President wants to do to American workers to know why it happens. The Republicans have a long history of treating workers like crap and taking away their economic security, not to mention their self-respect. The anger and feelings of failure this causes create a power keg in the workplace which any further pressure can set off. The fact is, Republicans hate the working class and will do anything they can to harm them, even if it destroys the economy. It’s not even a hate based on self-interest: it’s a mindless, ideologically driven hate, the worst kind.

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By gerard, January 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Truthdig editors:  I have strong reservations about putting up this snippet which contains a lot of fearsome implications but little to no explanation. Both music and method of photography are inflammatory regarding a subject that cries out for cool-headed investigation.  What’s the real story?

Isn’t it a fact that murders, overall, have been decreasing recently?  And of those murders that are committed, are they all solvable simply by casting shadows of horrow around them?  What is the purpose of this item—or any of the others that invite the viewer to go on into the next miserable, disheartening event?  And the next?  And the next?  Please give us a reason for giving this spread

Do you honestly think this kind of thing raises the value or enhances the reputation of Truthdig?

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