America Has No Safe Outlet For Its Violent Underclass

Throughout history society’s violent underclasses traditionally filtered down into the many armies of kings and queens and ambitious tyrants to be used as mere cannon fodder in their endless wars. The military thus acted as a kind of safety relief valve for the buildup of society’s violent element by having them killed off in significant numbers as front line soldiers and sailors in battle.

These violent types ended up in armies and navies either because they were forced, perhaps as criminal punishment, or simply because they were unsuited for anything else in life stemming from their unstable personalities. Then, too, they often were enticed to become warriors for the exciting potential of rape and pillage that was often the victor’s reward. Or perhaps it was mostly for the opportunity to exercise their violent natures in general.

From the American Revolution through the extremely deadly American Civil War and the carnage of two world wars and Vietnam the United States had quit an effective means for disposing of much of its violent underclass in battle, but not anymore. Today’s modern, high tech, all volunteer fighting services are looking for competent, dedicated men and women to man the ramparts, not unstable killers.

And so for quite some time America’s violent underclass has been piling up in mainly White extremists groups — Neo Nazis and Klan types — having formed armed to the teeth militias that are looking for any excuse for blood. Indeed, without wars to employ them the violent among us have only the most vulnerable in society to unleash their pent-up viciousness against. Demagogues know this and are eager to employ them for selfish and dangerous political purposes, which of course Donald Trump did (as previous president) in giving them his blessing to act brutally on his behalf. And, alas, with no deadly harvesting war to keep their numbers in check, our nation’s natural killers will only continue to grow larger in number and more threatening to the American way of life.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!