Lines on the morality of killing psychopaths

There is a saying in advertising that aperture and environment are everything. It means, basically, that where and when your ad appears can make or break its effectiveness. I have always believed in this – and when those factors are wrong, advertising can look spectacularly inept. This is an excellent thing, as it warns the public of what goggle-eyed sociopaths may well be behind the ads.

A good example occurred this morning in the early hours, as I was reading a piece about Greek death threats against Yannis Stournaras. This is how the passage at Reuters read in my browser:

‘The [bullet in the mail + threat]  was sent by a little-known group called “Cretan Revolution”, which warned the minister against any efforts to seize homes and evict homeowners, police sources said. The group sent similar letters to tax offices in Crete last week.

Yannis Stournaras, a respected economist who became finance minister in June, has angered many Greeks by championing austerity policies demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund as the price for bailout aid.

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There have been a spate of small attacks in recent weeks in Greece, including makeshift bomb explosions outside the homes of journalists and political figures as well as shots fired at an office used by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras….’

Yes, you too can download a free guide on how to retire when a bunch of political hoodlums take all your money away claiming it’s for your own good. A large number of ads these days are placed online robotically, triggered by words like ‘finance’, ‘austerity’ and so forth. It shows.

Geeks would love to have you believe that communication can be automated, but it’s bollocks. Some Greeks would love to have you believe that austerity will be good for Greece in the long-term, and that’s bollocks too. But what’s going on between Brussels-am-Berlin and Athens at the minute leaves the average Greek citizen helpless. And such brings up the age-old debate about when is a ‘resistance worker’ a terrorist, and when a freedom-fighter.

I have no problem discerning this. If a government persistently ignores the law of the land, subverts the constitution, robs the People, connives with external powers, reduces citizen liberty unreasonably, and infects a supposedly apolitical police force with anti-democratic philosophy, then it is asking for trouble. This is especially so when the citizen is left with no form of redress, the legal system is corrupt, and those in charge are obviously taking it up the backside from crooked financiers and remote political manipulators.

I abhor violence and would never indulge in it unless my way of life was being threatened by a foreign power. The Greeks had the chance to chuck out the cheats at the last election, and they blew it. So for me at the moment, the sporadic bombings and rifle potshots at Greek politicians – while understandable – shouldn’t be condoned. I would however find it difficult to use that argument if new elections there produced an anti-EU government and/or that election was ignored/forbidden by the gargoyles in the EC. Then I would say armed resistance was entirely justified.

This presents us with a further moral dilemma in that, of course, had Wolfgang ‘Strangelove’ Schäuble had his way last Spring, this is exactly what would’ve happened. Further, the year before that Sarkozy and Merkel literally forbade Greece’s elected Prime Minister George Papandreou from holding a referendum on the bailout terms. As a constitutional historian (there being nothing in the Lisbon Treaty about repressing member State elections) I would say the Merkozy action was obviously illegal.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. You see, Draghi’s 2012 subordination of Greek bondholders was also illegal. The haircut he took with our money was illegal. Five times now in four countries, the EU has ignored the popular will against tighter fisco-political european union. The European Commission (EC) clearly runs the EU, but is unelected. There are no signs at all that any of these characters and institutions wish to stop doing what they do, and hand power back to the taxpayers.

The bottom line on this one might thus seem to be that it’s OK to buy a long-range rifle and start picking off everyone from van Rompuy and Rehn to Merkel and Barroso. My view wouldn’t be that one, because the ball is for the time being in the Court of the MEPs, the State Opposition Parties, the media, and the empowered legislatures around the EU to firmly oppose what’s being done in the name of some muddled concept called ‘Europe’. And at the same time, the buck stops at those electorates who seem happy to ignore the blindingly obvious illiberal oligarchy being created all around them.

He’s a tricky cove, your moral philosophy. But while there’s no ‘absolutely’ right or wrong answer here, thankfully there is also human common sense and pragmatic judgement. It may sound odd, but I wind up here: if you think a majority of citizens in private would like to see something or somebody patently and illegally fascist removed – prior to the reinstatement of full liberal democracy – then doing that by the use of extra-Parliamentary force is entirely justified. What fascists of all colours do is smile sweetly as they remove any and all forms of opposition from the People, pacify them with bribes and entertainment – aka, bread and circuses – and then label every violent protester and assassin terrorists. Doing that, like I say, is asking for trouble….although given my own beliefs as already stated, not from me. Hello GCHQ, howeryooderday?

From Dublin to Delfini – and in time from Dakar to Denver – individual citizens will make their minds up in the context of what’s happening in their neck of the woods. The number of Establishment necks that remain unbroken will depend on just how far they push such people.