One who shall die - greets you!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Power (political)


For six months, I have been following the tweeter account WW2 Tweets. The project has been started by a history professor and it will go on for next 5 years. Couple of days ago I stumbled on this photo on Pinterest. The photo was taken during the Nanking massacre in 1937 when Japanese army invaded China. I read of the mass scale bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany and the British retribution attacks on German cities. I read propaganda articles on both sides and wondering how all these atrocities could happen? How could we do all these horrible things to each other? Then I remembered the Croatian – Serbian war I lived through (luckily my town was spared from demolition and war conflict) and then I realised it happened because we didn't perceive other human beings as human beings. We saw them as objects, as non-humans. They were no humans. They were "others".

For people born and raised in the last 50 years in Western culture after the WW2, after Rock 'n' roll, the hippie movement and the rise of postmodernism it is hard to comprehend what horrible things we did to each other and why. I believe the reason is as I stated above.

We didn't treat others as human beings.

We didn't have sympathy for them, we didn't want to know that they have feelings as we do, that they love, care, hate, feel pain, can be bothered, have mothers, fathers, children, relatives, friends... Same as we do. If that is not true, then how could we know what love is, what fear is, what is sharp pain and dull pain, what it means to think or have an idea? How could we understand each other? We all share these experiences and that is why we understand each other, why we make connections or why art or science exist.

The Western culture learned a lessons from the past (or at least it looks like it did) and I'm hoping for good even not all the members of our society do. We still have people among us who look on other people as objects. We all do that on some occasions and that is the reason why we should keep remembering what we did in the past. Not to torment ourselves but to prevent us from repeating the same mistakes.

I see political struggle all around. There are basically leftists and rightists and whole spectrum in between. Generally I believe they all have some basically good values and all have blind spots but one thing must be set as the bottom line. No man or a party could win elections and rule if they do not perceive others humans as human beings. I haven't seen that line anywhere in the world and basically anybody could nominate and win elections. In other words anyone can be a politician. I agree with that but I would suggest that people who have that kind of ambition should pass a set of psychological tests. If we need to pass a psychological evaluation for getting the driver's license or weapon permit then the politicians should do the same.

We have more than enough examples of misuse of political power .

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