People, as we know, are a rotten affair who can tend to bad taste and malice. But then again, they do tend to get some bad press. Several of the week’s most popular analyses have held people to account for much of the heartbreak in the world. Perhaps it is time to rethink people’s culpability. Perhaps, people are not always to blame.
A very common reaction to the horror of Manus Island is despair. But the despair seems to be aimed less at the rationalised violence and policies of a government demonstrably responsible for this horror than at people. Even, and it seems now especially, from those disposed to a more structural view of violence, we hear that it is people who are to blame.