Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology > Behind the Overreaction to the Boston Marathon Bombing

Behind the Overreaction to the Boston Marathon Bombing

I am sure that almost all of you saw, and sorta followed, events subsequent to the Boston Marathon bombings. You might have also read many posts, editorials and articles about the excessive show of largely ineffectual force and the passive acceptance of such displays by the citizenry. In the end, Bomber 1 was killed in an average police shootout and Bomber 2 was caught because some guy went to check on his boat. Many people have confounded by the thought process behind the decision to shut down a major US city for the purpose of locating a 19-year old stoner with a couple of guns and perhaps.. a pipe bomb or two. The show of force in Boston was in sharp contrast to what happened after an explosion at a Fertilizer Storage facility in West, Texas in the same week.

So what is going on? Why do actions which resulted in the death of 4 people in Boston consume infinitely more resources and attention than an almost simultaneous industrial disaster in Texas that has killed 3-10 times more people.

First let us be clear about one thing- the majority of people killed in both Boston, MA and West, TX were white.. so it was not about race. Nor were the events in Texas any less photogenic. The fertilizer storage facility explosion (100-300 tons of ammonium nitrate) in Texas was far more spectacular than the pathetically small pressure-cooker bombs in Boston. Heck even the aftermath of the Texas explosion was way more photogenic than the Boston blasts.

So why was the much bigger blast which killed many more people in West, TX not as worthy of media and government attention as the infinitesimally smaller ones in Boston, MA?

The answer to this question lies in the very nature of governance in hierarchical societies itself. Governance is not, and never has been, about providing public services, helping people or any of that ‘feel good’ BS which most people want to believe in. It is, and always has been, about the sole rights to kill people who live under that system. All forms of governance, “public” or “private”, are therefore about a collection of individuals who want to maintain their monopoly on lethal force. While natural disasters, infectious diseases and industrial disasters do kill far more people, they do not challenge the governmental monopoly on lethal force- at least in the mind of its subjects.. I mean ‘citizens’. Other people, groups or countries can however challenge the monopoly of any given government on lethal force- especially in the minds of its own subjects.. I mean ‘citizens’.

The actions of autonomous actors, such as “terrorists” and “criminals”, is a public demonstration of the fact that governmental power is not absolute.

The reaction of any government to such authority challenges is remarkably similar to how organized crime syndicates defend their territory or pimps hold onto their hoes. They go overboard with shows of violence and force designed to show the “protected” who is “really” in charge. It is about showing the “protected” that the ‘godfather’ or ‘pimp daddy’ cares about the “well-being” of those who live under his authority. Such shows have no correlation with the magnitude of the challenge and will always appear as overkill to the rational observer. But they are perfectly logical, if not rational, from the viewpoint of the ‘godfather’ or ‘pimp’ because power is really about maintaining monopoly over the use of lethal force at all costs.

So you see, shutting down a large city and using 10-20 thousand heavily armed men along with scores of APCs and Helicopters to find an injured 19-year old “terrorist” with a handgun or two makes a lot of sense if you want to show your subjects that you (and only you) are still in charge.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. jackal
    April 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    There is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else. –Ernest Hemingway

  2. Wilsonlove
    April 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    And the hos love it. The residents of Massachusetts are enthusiastic about their burdensome firearms restrictions, and are hoping for additional innovations after Newtown, but they can’t get enough of seeing Daddy government swing his big black gun.

  3. Hamsta
    April 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    yeah; Nailed this one dead on, Cogent.

  4. April 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    Yeah, that is why it is called TERROR-ism. As always, good points.

  5. P Ray
    April 21, 2013 at 9:05 pm


    Tamerlan’s wife is quite the looker. As usual, violent pre-selected men (the girl he was coaching in photos in other articles seems stacked too) … get the women that many other men find attractive.

  6. John Rambo
    April 22, 2013 at 4:44 am

    White Feminist Woman at Georgetown University working in the admissions department openly admitted that she REJECTED white men’s applications simply because they were WHITE MEN.

    Brief: A female advisor in the admissions department at Georgetown University has been caught openly admitting that she committed the CRIME of discrimination based on people’s race and gender in the application process.

    This has the potential to create a large scale lawsuit against Georgetown University, and with the momentum building at the rate it is building, seems very likely that will be the outcome.

    Below are the main links to all of the information regarding this news story and case.



  7. webe
    April 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Another case with complete overkill was the Newtown shooting. After everything was over and done with, hundreds of police armed to the teeth continued to patrol the school and comb out the entire neighboring terrein. There is something endearing about all those big goofs trying to pitch in and do something, anything, but there is also something completely delusional about what their contribution is: absurd fire-power overkill — as if there’s something evil in Mary’s backyard and you can win a shooting war with “evil”.
    The Chechnyen leader who commented that Americans should look for evil in their own society [instead of projecting it on foreigners] was spot on. Combatting evil in Waziristan with technology or labelling this 19 year Jahar as an “enemy combattant” would be laughable if it wasn’t so damaging.
    There’s another theme at play here than “showing ‘m who’s the boss”: the lunatic inability fo the American imagination, MSM, and policy makers to think of the everyday reality of human good & evil in other terms than more technology and organization, trying even harder and bringing even more force to bear. Kind of like trying to wipe out mosquitos by issuing flame-throwers.

  8. Matt
    April 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Who gives a damn about some hick town in Texas? I do, I’ve driven through it hundreds of times. But most people really don’t care. There are even some who expressed delight that those evil, gun-owning Texas were killed.

    Forget about secession, it’s time to kick some of the liberal states out of the Union.

  9. April 23, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Dude, you take yourself way to seriously Yo!

    Seems you removed my last comment that said the said the same. Looks like these comments of mine are touching a nerve hmmm?

  10. Kraska
    April 25, 2013 at 3:43 am

    while I agree with everything said — its disingenuous to not also include the following to delineate between the boston bombing and the texas explosion:
    these morons intentionally placed explosive devices next to hundreds of innocent people, killing (sure just a few) and maiming with ball-bearings. An industrial mishap — even if steeped in years of rule-breaking — doesn’t invoke the abject fear and moral condemnation of what these brothers did. So yes — govt. showing its in charge; but also reacting to our safety utopia’s worst nightmare.

  11. Ted
    April 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm


    I don’t often agree with you. But on this one, you nailed it. Spot on.

  12. August 25, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Yep. Just like the current situation in Ferguson, MO and how the militarization of the police is interfering with protesters – peaceful or violent. It’s all about flexing muscle. That’s what “law and order” is generally about. Flexing muscle, attaining money and news to show their ass.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: