If you follow current events, it’s hard to avoid frequently seeing video clips of the domestic terrorist assault on the U.S. Capitol Building. It’s apparent that radical political and religious movements attract firebrands and thugs who enjoy mayhem. Their tactics include baiting innocent citizens who provide context for pushback and retaliation. The only freedom the thugs respect is exclusively their own. Although I can intellectually understand human violence; I have trouble wrapping my head around how a person can actually resort to such activity.
There are certain cities and particular neighborhoods in cities and towns that are reputed to be populated with large numbers of people who commit violent crime. We are well advised to avoid those areas if possible. There are behavioral techniques that average people can utilize to help avoid being attacked, robbed, and even murdered when we find ourselves in unfamiliar surroundings. We can learn about them by searching the Web.
Then there is the increasingly ubiquitous nature of mass shootings. Their occurrances are so common that the shock value of each incident is dulled in the collective mind of society. Criminalogists and psychologists have investigated these unfortunate, harmful forms of misbehavior for years, yet it is difficult to fully understand the hows and whys of such chronic, visceral thuggery.
We find examples of violence in our towns, in the news, and in entertainment. It seems as if our countries have been overtaken by murderous gangsters who lust over political power and wealth. There are stories of debauched cops and corrupt elected officials who overshadow the good behavior of rank and file police, government bureaucrats, and employees. There are thousands of individuals who loathe freedom and liberty and love illicit gain. They care not one hoot for Western civilization. We are titilated by reports and depictions of thuggery until and unless we are personally victimized by violent crime.
Some of us were targeted by bullies and gangster cliques when we were kids. Schools are breeding grounds for thuggery of all types. In some instances, teachers and adminstrators either passively witness or even enable the mental and physical violence. A great many kids do not have a safe haven at home due to dysfunctional familial relationships. As observers, we shake our heads and wish that such thugs could be severely punished.
Although thuggery is tiresome and we’d rather focus on the bright side of life, it’s important to keep tabs on the wrongdoers. Bullies, killers, and thugs will continue to impose their will on others. If we do not respond to thuggery or go into denial about it, the wrongdoing continues and escalates because the individuals are further encouraged by their own perceived successes.
There has long been a vocal subculture of felonious rebels in vogue among adolescents and young adults. Clever politicos and militia leaders make conscious efforts to appeal to the antisocial nature present in teens and powerless young adults. The political and militia organizations capture and keep recruits by promoting the idea that the use of force is somehow socially acceptable behavior. When thuggery is heartily integrated with political conviction, it’s not surprising that militia groups multiply and thrive. For legitimate caring people to get through to hard-core ruffians and thugs is a thankless chore.
When contemplating thuggery, we can take a longer view of the overall problem. We see nations, militaries, and institutions that are overseen and managed by thugs. There is an informal “shadow state” that is run by people with an aggressive, bullying mindset. The powerful institutions enjoy legal immunity and implied impunity. This is why it’s important to have oversight groups. Meantime, it’s still important to remain mindful whenever we step outside of our homes.
Keeping an uplifting, positive attitude while maintaining a prudent level of vigilance, is a helpful technique that encourages and maintains a good life.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes English actor, comedian, and writer, Robert Webb. “Missing out an apostrophe or two does not make you an idiot. But equating party allegiance with nationhood certainly makes you a thug. And thugs don’t often notice that they’re thugs, usually because they’re also idiots”