The most overlooked aspect surrounding tragedy seems to be the denial of ambiguity. Emotions cloud our judgement, and lead even smart people down roads they would not otherwise go.
It seems to me, the real problem is that the mainstream conscience has no room for ambiguity or nuance. Part of this has to do with the heuristics we must use to divide and deduce meaning from a complex world.
Authoritarianism is an automatic response to atrocity. Conservative governments often come into power in response to crisis, and we have seen this in response to the attacks in Paris.
These issues are all very difficult, and it is hard to deduce exactly what is going on, and who the players are, and what their motivations are.
Overall, Butler’s letter is intriguing, but her fascination with state overreach seems to be a bit overblown.