The political significance of the shooting attack on US congressmen

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About the Author
Eric London is an editorial writer and analyst with wsws.org, an information organ of the Social Equality Party. He naturally endorses that formation as vehicle to heal the crisis afflicting America and the world. This magazine believes simply in the creation of a vast social movement against the capitalist duopoly, eventually a genuine socialist party, and a program addressing pressing social and ecological needs at all levels, while eliminating the influence of all the forces pushing for constant war and inequality deeply embodied in the capitalist system.


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uza2-zombienationDismissing Hodgkinson as deranged, let alone evil, is a facile and false explanation for Wednesday’s shooting. This is an event that requires a political explanation. While it is legitimate for Sanders to clearly reject the act, he made no attempt to explain why it may have happened. Rather, he merely poured scorn over this unfortunate man’s corpse.


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4 thoughts on “The political significance of the shooting attack on US congressmen

  1. He sounded like he did have an inquiring mind, a sense of justice, a grasp of the way things work. But was driven mad by the vast inequities of the system, endless war, everything that is maddening. Along with what sounds like too much isolation and no organized platform to work with. The tragedy is that he could have been an activist towards good. But, as the author says: “… the intersection of immense personal difficulties and disoriented political anger” sent him off the rails and into an irrevocable act.

  2. I see it as karma. This the USA version of the assassination of Ferdinand, (Arch-Duke?) that set off World War One. I think the USA is close to a state of internal collapse. I have never seen Americans hate each other so much, and almost everything in US society is not working at all. When 51% of Americans make around 30K a year, and have no savings, now is not the time for draconian republican budget cuts to social programs that help the poor, which is about half of all Americans now. The USA is becoming a society of affluent people and peasants, and the middle class has become almost non-existent. I see full spectrum chaos coming. Revolution of the far right and left, civil war, and uprisings of huge numbers of people are in the offing….. There will be more targeted killings of public officials and not less. The USA has more guns than people, and half the people in the country have their backs to the wall. What does anyone think will happen?

  3. “The fight against the capitalist system is not advanced by assassinating individual political representatives.” Correct, and I doubt that Thomas Hodgkinson thought it would. Many people have come to recognize the hopelessness of our situation over the last few years, and people deal with it differently. We don’t know what he was thinking.

    A very puzzling statement in this article: “While it is legitimate for Sanders to clearly reject the act, he made no attempt to explain why it may have happened.” Why would Sanders be expected to understand why it happened? Politicians have virtually no connection with the realities of life in today’s America.

    “The outbreak of the Occupy Wall Street movement aroused Hodgkinson’s enthusiasm. ” Yes, it did cause a moment of hope. For many, that hope died when Occupy was so effectively redefined (by liberal media) as a “middle class movement” alone. The notion of some “fight against the capitalist system” by the middle classers who benefit from it — and are dependent on it — is just bizarre. Indeed, they so strongly believe in the success of our capitalism that they think every American is able to work, and there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief!

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