School Shootings: A Product of Alienation

University Base Area

In light of the recent tragedy in Oregon, where a gunman killed ten people at a community college, we may ask ourselves why this happens—why do people “go off the rails” and massacre their fellow student, worker, and peer? The answer has less to do with chemical imbalances and more to do with how individuals are reduced to their bare essentials while immersed in a postmodern capitalism which detaches them from the product of their labor.

School shootings have a variety of different triggers, all of which spring from actually-existing capitalism; while this is not to say that under socialism there would be no school shootings, we may posit that there would be a dramatic decline as means of production, both academic and industrial, are seized. Youth suffering under capitalism face two options: either conform to the herd, this ultra-individualism which values aesthetic gloss over interpersonal connection, or strike out…

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