A point of view is utterly benign, as natural as a pelican on a post. Opinions are different. An opinion is an urgent, opportunistic malevolency, a gimlet-eyed mental formation spoiling for a fight.
Institutional violence kills vastly more people than criminals do. War is conceived and executed by the sane and sober, by institutions whose chief feature is conformity.
Is there anything more dispiriting than sameness?
Violence draws and holds our attention but it is pike-in-the-weeds impatience that represents anger in its most relentless and corrosive aspect.
There are no bad men but sometimes—if we misunderstand, cannot see or are confused about something—we act badly. We become inflated, dogmatic, violent. We talk about the bottom line as if it were philosophically significant, about God as if we’ve been deputized.
The word “exist” is derived from the Latin for “stand out”. In a violent culture, a violent man is unremarkable, has no distinguishing features. He is not apart from his context; he is of it. So total is his identification with the zeitgeist that he disappears, ceases to exist. People ask, “Why did he do this?” When we ask the wrong question, the answer does not illuminate.