Violence Is a Tragedy; Getting Distracted by It from the Road of Active Nonviolence Is a Double Tragedy


Human Wrongs Watch

By Silvia Swinden*

20 November 2015 (Pressenza) – The voices of peace and the voices of war all have something to say about Paris.

.

nonviolence-symbol-santiago-720x5401-720x540

(Image by Rafael Edwards on Flickr. Nonviolence day in Santiago. Nonviolence symbol, Plaza de Armas, the center of Santiago, Chile, marking Gandhi’s anniversary, 2nd October 2008.) | Source: Pressenza

.

“Every time there’s a terrorist attack, Western leaders exploit that attack to do more wars,” Glenn Greenwald says.

“Which in turn means they transfer huge amounts of taxpayer money to these corporations that sell arms. And so investors are fully aware that the main people who are going to benefit from this escalation as a result of Paris are not the American people or the people of the West — and certainly not the people of Syria — it is essentially the military-industrial complex.” Glenn Greenwald, at Democracy Now!

“Today, at Prime Minister’s Questions, I asked David Cameron about the importance of how we will respond to the horrific attacks in Paris. I expressed how vital it is that we’re clear these events have nothing to do with the two million British Muslims that live in this country. I also asked how we will ensure our allies, and all countries, clamp down on individuals and institutions who are providing ISIS with vital infrastructure.” Jeremy Corbyn,

Francois Hollande: ‘France is at war’

The conspiracy theory voices have all kinds of hypotheses, some plausible, same widely over the top.

Tony Blair has acknowledged that the 2003 invasion of Iraq aided the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS). Others go further and state that it was deliberately created by Western Powers.

Why has this happened? What do they want? Why the dead in Paris get more press and horror than the some dead in Syria, Lebanon and Nigeria?

Lots of questions and few answers.

The way forward

There is little doubt that if there is a backlash against the Muslim community as a whole the terrorists will gain ground, because they thrive on the “clash of civilisations” argument. Then, they will be able to say “I told you so, they hate us”.

Furthermore, forgetting that most people want peace and would like to achieve it through nonviolent means is a terrible tragedy, because our limited energies and time should be devoted now more than ever to the construction of a world where solidarity, love and compassion help develop human life towards its still unrealised potential.

Allowing a tiny minority who, thanks to the lethal weaponry developed by the military-industrial complex, are capable of putting a whole country and beyond in a state of mourning, to send us down the path of revenge is an even bigger tragedy.

Getting caught up in the endless vicious circle of violence closes the future. We can always go back to something that happened before, that justifies the violence.

“He started it”, “He hit me first”, would say the children, until the parents stop the fight. Well, there are no parents. Humanity is largely driven by vested interests, and if there are compassionate or parental-like superior beings they are keeping rather quiet.

So, we feel fear. So those in pain wish to instil fear on their oppressors.

But fear is the enemy of compassion. It will only make the oppressors more determined to strip others of their humanity, and wish them to disappear altogether.

Children (most, not all) grow up and discover ways to live in solidarity and nonviolence. Those who are touched by the sacred flame of reconciliation find something within themselves that most people think comes (or should come) from outside.

The leap towards a new state of Being opens unlimited possibilities, the path of revenge is seen for what it is, a dark road that leads to the abyss.

Reconciliation leads to nonviolence and inspiration that defeats fear and hatred.

It gives birth to a spiritual awakening in which freedom of interpretation of the many experiences that accompany such states opens the path to a convergence of diversity beyond anything seen in human society: The Universal Human Nation.

There are very few moments when we can choose, really choose, with complete freedom, our way. But we can always make a choice between the path to the abyss and the path to reconciliation.

Every person who chooses the mindless road to violence, whichever its colour, has been before a human being with hopes and good wishes for themselves and their loved ones.

We must reach them before frustrations and fear turn them to despair and destruction. We can only do this by creating social justice, equal rights and equal opportunities for all the human beings of this world. Nobody is born violent, or nonviolent, of course.

The glorification of violence through films, in particular those directed to young people, will inspire not only those fighting the injustices the film makers thought appropriate but all youths, affected by all situations they see as oppressive.

Active nonviolence can heal humanity. Revenge will devastate it. It is a choice we all have to make.

*, Author of “From Monkey Sapiens to Homo Intentional: The Phenomenology of the Nonviolent Revolution” – Adonis & Abbey, London 2006.

Swinden’s article was published in Pressenza. Go to Original

2015 Human Wrongs Watch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: