Yesterday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conneticut once again re-ignited the gun control debate. For US liberals, stricter gun regulations are the key to preventing future tragedies. For conservatives, responsible gun ownership and armed citizenry is the best defence. But neither position really gets to the roots of the issue.
As an anarchist, it should go without saying that I don't subscribe to the position that if only the state bans more things the problem will go away. Whether it's a social right like abortion, recreational products like drugs and alcohol or something as problematic as guns, it's generally true that prohibition doesn't work.
In the last few years many suicides in Italy have been strongly linked to the economic crisis and unemployment. 357 people killed themselves in 2009, compared to the 260 of the previous year: a 37.3% growth. 76% of those people had lost their jobs or couldn’t find one due to the crisis, with a smaller percentage of younger people who were looking for their first job.
Employment emerges as one of the general key causes of suicides: 18.4 suicides were recorded every 100.000 unemployed people, against 4.1 among the employed. This confirms the importance of a job as a way to build and improve someone’s life, especially in the male population, which has the highest percentage of suicides in general.
Equitalia is a state-owned tax collection agency. Created in 2007, it was meant to replace all the private companies previously in charge of the task.
In 2010 Equitalia collected 8.87 billion euros; its profits for the same year came to 1.29 billion euros (Report), with 1.22 billion coming from the 9% commission premium that Equitalia charged on top of the 4% interest that debtors owed to different public administratio
A pensioner kills himself outside the Greek parliament due to austerity measures that has left him in poverty.
For a second day, Police have clashed with protestors angry at the tragic death of 77 year old Dimitris Christoulas. During the rush hour yesterday morning, Dimitris made his way to Syntagma Square outside the Greek Parliament building. He pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head.
Dimitris had left a brief suicide note. It read:
An article on the relation between capitalism and suicide from the June 2011 issue of The Commune.
Some years ago when the streets were filled with red flags, I saw two comrades die at home clutching a common gas tube. Few of us cried then, and each of us knew that they were crying for themselves, for the irreducible substance of our imaginary fears, for all the questions the political struggle left unresolved . . . Nobody thinks of waving red flags round these silent deaths. Why?
2002 analysis of the phenomenon of school shootings, which the author claims reflect the totalitarian mass psychology of capitalism in crisis, whose perpetrators are described as "robots of capitalist competition gone haywire" in a "culture of self-destruction and self-forgetting".
The Fatal Pressure of Competition – Robert Kurz
Mad Gunmen and Suicides as Subjects of Crisis
Tuesday, 26th April, saw yet another suicide of a man working for France Telecom, this time by self-immolation in the parking lot of the France Telecom offices in Mérignac near Bordeaux. The picture on the left shows the exact place Rémi L. set fire to himself - beneath what was architecturally designed to look like a cross. The glories of sacifice. Ironically part of the guy's most recent job requirement was to assess stress levels within the company and their remedy. Some remedy!
Since 2008 France Telecom has had 60 suicides, each year more than the previous one. Such a public and particularly horrible form of suicide was perhaps intended to shock France Telecom's impervious wall of indifference into finally 'listening'.
Workers ask to help spread information about their plight.
The wave of suicides at France Telecom last year made headlines around the world. But in Poland, the suicide attempts of two workers in one month at TP S.A. (Polish Communications, owned by France Telecom) is being hushed over, as are complaints by the workers. They have also written an open letter, again repressed by the mainstream media (but published here).
A 51-year-old father of two threw himself off a viaduct after leaving a note for his wife blaming his work situation for his decision.
This was the second suicide in three weeks by a France Telecom employee. The first, of a 32-year-old woman, took place on September 11 and has been officially recognised as a work accident. Unions have announced that they will be instigating legal action to have the most recent death recognised as a workplace accident.
A sixteen year old boy hung himself in his cell on Saturday.
The youth was being held in an établissement pénitentiaire pour mineurs (EPM penitentiary establishment for minors.) in Meyzieu. This EPM was the first in the country and since its opening it has been plagued with problems. The prison authorities kept the news from other inmates until Monday "to avoid an explosion". So far five of the planned seven EPMs have been opened.