Geostrategic thinking Pensiero geostrategico

Social complexity, inequality and violence

Marissa Edmund, for the Center for American Progress (Guns Are Fueling the Rise in Domestic Extremist Violence Across the Country), reflects on the violence that runs through American society and on the easy availability of weapons that become tragically dangerous in the hands of radicalized individuals. Edmund suggests possible remedies.

The phenomenon described here, in particular referred to the United States, opens up a complex reflection on the political sustainability of liberal democracies.

The de-generative megacrisis in which we are immersed, preceding the pandemic and the war in Ukraine (and exacerbated by the latter events), and the increase of inequalities can only bring serious difficulties in terms of maintaining social cohesion.

Edmund’s reflection, which directly concern security and intelligence activities, must be framed in a larger mosaic. Every day we see, everywhere in the world and in some countries in particular, the widening of the distance between the rich part of the population (ever smaller and richer) and the poor one (ever wider and poorer).

In many cases, political parties ride the protest; at best, however, political parties lack the capacity and vision to imagine adequate “politics in the while” of historical processes and are unable to see beyond the imminent.

Social violence does not come out of nowhere. It is the result of wrong policies and, looking deeply, of a profound dissatisfaction of a large part of the population that is exploited by extremist groups.

The problem of violence arises in an often misunderstood or neglected unease: but, we ask ourselves, is abstention or not a very clear political signal of distrust towards those who stand for the elections?

Marissa Edmun is right to make proposals to reduce violence. But, on closer inspection, the real problem is working on the causes with a complex, critical and systemic approach.