So, I’ve been thinking a bit about the destruction wrought by three Scout Masters in Goblin Valley.
There’s a difference between wanton and needful destruction. I will grant a huge gray area there, but the navigation of this is one of the purposes of a system of informed debate and collective decision-making. At least as an outside observer, the reactions of the “men” and the rather ill-conceived after-thought of a justification they offer makes it apparent that their act was more about asserting human dominance in the most petty way possible than actually protecting anyone. This was clearly “wanton” and not “needful” destruction.
Did it ever occur to these “men” (and I use the scare quotes because I doubt that anyone who feels the need to demonstrate their self-worth via destructive acts of petty dominance is worthy of anything other than “boy”) that, as Scout Masters, one of their functions is to ensure that the children in their care don’t wander in to areas where they could get hurt? Isn’t the destruction of this rock formation an abrogation of their responsibility to “leave no trace” when there were other solutions that would have protected their charges just as well?
I see two explanations for this:
That the mindless and destructive assertion of dominance is part of the central identity of these “men”, or
These folks are too stupid or lazy to understand that if they were worried about the stability of the rock formation, then they just shouldn’t have allowed their Scouts to walk near it (i.e., do their job).
In either case, they are completely unfit to act as role models for the children in their Troop.