If you’re poor, the only way you’re likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it – by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car. But if you’re tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part. You can, say, build a sweatshop factory that will collapse in Bangladesh and kill more people than any hands-on mass murderer ever did, or you can calculate risk and benefit about putting poisons or unsafe machines into the world, as manufacturers do every day. If you’re the leader of a country, you can declare war and kill by the hundreds of thousands or millions. And the nuclear superpowers – the US and Russia – still hold the option of destroying quite a lot of life on Earth.
American discourse is in a bubble of subprime outrage and subprime apologies — and it’s having a chilling effect on free speech.
Bill says, “I support single-payer village healthcare.”
And then Mary writes, “Bill is a faggot communist.”
And then Ted says, “I won’t shop at Mary’s boutique until Mary apologizes to Bill.”
Then Angela says, “Stand with Mary against the assault on her freedom of speech!”
And then Bill says, “Angela is a racist.”
And Jeff says, “Anyone who shops at Mary’s boutique is a racist.”
And Ted says, “Check your privilege.”
And Mary says, “I don’t remember who I am in this story but I’m furious.”
And then someone writes, “FUCKK YOU TED!!1!” in all caps with a bunch of typos.
Will you birds shut up I’m trying to look at pictures of you on the internet.