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Stochastic Terrorism: Who's Responsible?
Can someone be responsible for another's actions?
Stochastic terrorism is defined as “the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.” [emphasis added]
Responsibility & Blame Shifting
I understand the allure of wanting to blame someone else for why people get angry. I could argue that President Biden has been using stochastic terrorism since he entered office, trying to demonize anyone who has anything to do with MAGA or Trump so that the democrats never lose an election again. I could argue the mainstream media demonized Trump well before Biden even considered running. Did they want someone to enact some violence on Trump or Trump’s supporters? They’ve done a pretty good job demonizing him if that was their intent. Remember when a woman wanted to burn a child alive simply because the child wore a Trump mask?
But, if I argued that then I would be coming from a place within the Drama Triangle where no one else has responsibility for their own actions, and, instead, that responsibility has been shifted onto others. That woman who wanted to “literally burn him alive” (her words) has the responsibility for her own emotions. She has the responsibility to get mental help when she feels like killing people. It is not the media’s responsibility to stop demonizing Trump to save that child’s life. Would we put everyone who demonized Trump on trial for the murder of the child if she had acted on that impulse and succeeded? No, she would be the one held responsible.
Who is Responsible or to Blame?
If people attack the members of the Supreme Court, is it the responsibility of the media to make sure the members haven’t been demonized? Or, would we hold the attackers responsible for their own actions? If someone attacks white people simply because the public schools, colleges, and media heavily teach that racism is systemic and white people need to be taken down a peg or two, is it their fault? Or would it be the fault of the actual attacker?
“Stochastic Terrorism” Comes From Drama
The term “stochastic terrorism” is only used by people who live within the drama triangle. It specifically says in the definition that the demonization from one person results in a violent act by someone else. That is responsibility shifting. I’ve previously written about how the media love to accuse Libs of Tik Tok of causing “violence.”
Libs of Tik Tok is not inciting people to violence simply by reposting videos. It is not her responsibility to make sure people who follow her don’t act violently. People also talk about “giving someone a platform” and blame the broadcaster or event coordinator for why someone they disagree with (who they think might incite people to violence) got a chance to even speak.
Communists & Pooling Responsibility
But, of course, communists want to shift that responsibility around. The word communist is, of course, related to commune and community. It’s about pooling resources so that everyone has an “equal” share. (They don’t actually pool it equally and I’ll discuss the asymmetry later.
Rather than say one person is completely responsible for their own actions, a communist might say we are all responsible for everyone else’s actions. They may believe that we need to pool this responsibility.
SEE ALSO: My article on social communism where I discuss the desire to pool immunity & education and also, why communism can’t work.
But, if we need to pool the responsibility then we need to pool the consequences and blame, right? If that was the case, then Biden should be held responsible for some attacks on MAGA Republicans as he’s been out publically demonizing them his entire presidency.
No, they won’t enforce that evenly, will they? That’s the repressive tolerance that James Lindsay always talks about. They’re okay with misbehaving on their side, just not the other side, so then the blame gets doled out unequally. It’s asymmetrical. I was reading this substack this morning from Dr RollerGator which reminded me that I’ve been wanting to write about “stochastic terrorism” for a while. His article focuses a lot more on the asymmetry.
Our Culture of Responsibility Shifting
In a society where people are held personally responsible the idea of stochastic terrorism can’t fly. The reason it’s flying right now is that people (in all political parties) still want to blame others for why crazy people attack. I do think we have a responsibility to raise our children to take personal responsibility so they stop blame-shifting. But that is the responsibility of each individual parent or caregiver to do. It is not the responsibility of the public schools.
Culture comes from individuals making choices. A fad can’t happen without individuals making choices to give into it. The responsibility-shifting culture we have is because enough parents didn’t “raise” their children to become responsible adults. To fix it, people need to start on the local level to raise their children to be responsible for their own actions and not default to blaming someone else. Our irresponsible adults are likely stuck that way. But, when enough people do raise responsible mature children then the culture will shift back to a personal-responsibility culture. And then, stochastic terrorism won’t even be brought up the way it is now.
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