These two recent Daily Kos stories, Health care worker in WY partied while waiting for COVID-19 test--and tested positive and Donald Trump is personally responsible for the death of thousands of Americans, highlight the difference in usage of the terms Stochastic Terrorism and Stochastic Murder.
The health care worker, for whatever reason, while waiting for a test to confirm or rule out that they were a carrier of the SARS-CoV-2 virus did not self quarantine. And, as reported, they attended a party thus potentially exposing a number of others to the virus. Now their reason to not self quarantine be stupidity, genuine ignorance, or something worse. If it were due to belief that the virus was a hoax due to being influenced by the propaganda from any of the organizations on the above American Axis of Evil diagram then the individual is a Stochastic Terrorist. The image that comes to my mind is that this health care worker is like a “Cluster Bomb” munition.
On the other hand when individuals in power or powerful organizations like the ones in the American Axis of Evil disregard peer reviewed science and act in a way that causes loss of life this is defined as Stochastic Murder.
It is worth noting that the one of the origins of the Republican disinformation machine was the work of Robert Jastrow, Frederick Seitz, William Nierenberg, and Siegfried Fred Singer. These four individuals are Stochastic Murderers. Please see this Daily Kos article about the Merchants of Doubt: Street Prophets Coffee Hour | Weaponizing Religion: The Merchants of Doubt - Part 14.
The Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M M Conway details how big tobacco and the oil extraction industry manipulated public opinion to their profit while ignoring the collateral damage to individuals and the environment. The Republican party used the “play book” created by the “four horsemen” to advance their agenda without regard for Life itself.
In writing today’s offering and reflecting back on by Street Prophets series I did last year on Weaponizing Religion I realize now I felt a bit hopeless while doing the research. Other than reporting what could I do? I found my answer in creating a new expression, Stochastic Murder. I was inspired by Susan Grigsby’s article on Daily Kos: Review of 'A Problem from Hell': America and the Age of Genocide. In the article Grigsby tells how the word genocide was coined. And that laws criminalizing genocide depended on naming the concept.
But, now the struggle is to lobby our elected officials to legislate new criminal codes to include the concept of “Stochastic Crime.” See below an email I sent to my U.S. Representative Mike Thompson. Additionally, I plan to lobby state and county officials to enact similar legislation.
Jonathan Gordon (linkage)
April 17, 2020
Dear U.S. Representative Mike Thompson
I would like you to consider proposing legislation on the federal level to criminalize stochastic murder. This is a new expression that names the behavior of individuals, corporations, and bureaucratic systems that leads to the deaths of ecosystems, plants, animals, and humans.
Murder is a term that is directly causal and is well defined by our legal systems. Its origin is from tribal law and is easy to recognize and prove. Murder is an example of a law that applies to local phenomenon. Stochastic murder is a new concept to hold accountable those that use their positions of power to cause mass death by ignoring statistics. These deaths are indirectly causal.
The naming of the previously unnamed crime of stochastic murder is presented in the same spirit as Raphael Lemkin had when he created the word genocide. Until the word was created, the crime defined, and the punishment decided upon individuals in leadership positions could with impunity murder entire populations with out humanity having a word to describe what they did.
We are in a new age where some individuals, corporations, and organizations are ignoring statistics and through their actions are indirectly causing the deaths of living beings. This behavior is similar to genocide but until now was not named.
I leave it to the professionals on your legal staff to sort out just how to craft legislation defining this crime. I think this crime is applicable to state, county, and city level law and I will be contacting appropriate officials on each of these levels to consider enacting laws to protect life from stochastic murderers.