Friday, July 15, 2016

It's the ideology

Immediately following the Bastille Day incident, this meme
circulated on social media. Exactly who do they have in mind, I wonder?
An ideology isn't a religion, interestingly enough; it's "a system of ideas and ideals,
especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy."
Governance, position, influence ... I'm right and you're wrong.

If you've got a solution in mind, here's the root problem that has to be resolved.

Justifying the murder of innocents is based on a willingness to do harm to another, to reach your goal at the expense of another.

It's not a new idea.

Recent perpetrators include ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Boko Haram.  And governments.

In the early 90's, 857 cartons kept by the Iraqi secret police surfaced.  They contained detailed files describing genocide against the Kurds.  Time reported, 1 June 1992: 200,000 to 300,000 killed (late 80s).

The years before gave us the Rwandan genocide, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the Holocaust under the Nazi Reich, the Armenian massacres by the Ottomans, the Nanking massacre, the Holodomor ....  In each case, the slaughter of innocents was directed by political leadership and justified by some rhetoric of superiority.

The colonial era cost the lives of more than half the population of Africa and the Americas with similar justification by perpetrators.
Centuries have passed, and they've not yet recovered. Ask a Mijikenda what it's like to be driven from your own lands. He can tell you now, but prior to the new constitution (2010) he'd be arrested and imprisoned for speaking ill of the government. Most of the 2000+ African tribes spent a century or more without any voice in their own governance while their  cultures were systematically destroyed, their resources were stolen and shipped off to foreign lands. And then, of course, there was three hundred years of slavery.
Untold millions have died in the name of our way, our rule, our empire.  What we see today is nothing new although the demographics of both perpetrators and victims have changed.  The world's population has tripled in my lifetime, and population densities have changed the geography and rhetoric of conflict.  The rationale, however, is unchanged since Herod ordered the execution of male babies in Bethlehem.  It's a power play risen from selfishness, perceived vulnerability, and perhaps opportunity for advancement.

Contributing to the problem, oppression, discrimination, disenfranchisement, and injustice have provoked an extraordinary degree of frustration and violence in communities, cultural groupings, and the world.  Add the two together, the power players and the oppressed, and the result is perhaps predictable.

It's the ideology, but go to the root.  It's not politics or religion, it's conquest for power and position, the climbing up over the bodies of others for personal gain.

The willingness and intent to do harm to another, to reach your goal at the expense of another ...

If you've got a solution in mind, that's the root problem that has to be addressed.