Thursday, November 09, 2006

Our Means should Reflect our Ends: The non-Violent Answer

Yesterday the Democratic party took control of
Congress. After much patronizing and self-
delusion, Rummy had to step down.

Bush's impopular Iraq war and the recent
Republican corruption scandals antagonized
enough voters for the Democrats to "whoop" the
asses of their opposition.

I was
*almost* starting to feel like Mark Twain, who
stayed in the country only as to avoid its
foreign policies.

The US should not act like a spoiled
brat bullying in the complicated, delicate tapestry of the world
stage. To lead, your
demands should be encouraged by example?
our actions should reflect our expectations.

But most of the weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq right now are the bombs being dropped by US
war planes. Should e battle some
local tyranny by violently and needlessly inflicting a rule from outside?

You can't enforce "freedom", a contradiction in
terms, or impose your beliefs on others. Sadly,
people can be antagonized and terrorized,
oppressed and enslaved. But that won't
necessarily affect what they believe in. If your
beliefs are reasonable all they'll need to
flourish is free expression, the means themselves can
bring strength to your argument. If you're
feeling particularly righteous in your stand why
not sway more people with the example and purity
of your own behavior?

This is my opinion on any belief. I think it was
Bertrand Russell who said that the least
reasonable your argument, the louder you are
forced to shout. When we use violence to drag
some message down people's throats we're
revealing the weakness of our own arguments.
Russell did say that "The stupid are cocksure,
and the intelligent full of doubt". My
interpretation of these words is not as negative
as his,( he started that thought with "What's
wrong with the world is...") as I think doubt is
an important antidote to close-mindedness. Your
thoughts and beliefs could earn their stay in
your mind by facing your constant probing and
reflection. Faced with this adversity, ideas
will evolve and our most valuable and essential
traits will remain.

My belief is that violence begets violence and
resentment. It's a cycle that's very difficult
to break, a conflict that often isn't overcome,
it merely lies dormant in the hearts and minds
of the survivors and their future generations.
Being born into this cycle makes it even harder
to stop or "turn the other cheek". But it's a
worthwhile aspiration to try to become the best
we can be, to overcome those harmful desires for revenge

Even if we believe in an after life, or in
another world, whatever our religion or
convictions are, isn't this earth and its beings
part of that creation? ... Wouldn't we more
likely gain access to that future, peaceful
bliss some call heaven if our actions on the
ground truly reflected those same ideals?

Of course the world would benefit from equality.
I think no matter your nationality the basic
needs of all people could and should be met.
And some think that violence is required for a
successful revolution, that it is necessary to
change the unjust conditions and corruption
which may run rampant under certain regime,
national or international. But sometimes those
that acquire power through violence hold on to it
through violence, even inflicting it upon the
people they initially, supposedly, fought for.

More than the other way around, our means
justify, and reflect, our ends. Our actions
reveal our objectives. Our methods reveal our

The idea of our own welfare depending on the
physical or ideological oppression of others,
will always fuel conflict and instability.

Underneath it all, what we all need and desire
is not that different. Our long-term survival,
our safety, our equality, are all more likely to
be achieved through tolerance, dialogue and
cooperation than through violence and


Anonymous said...

Ok, but how do we break the cyclical violence? Through dialogue? What if "terrorists" won't Reason?

Great post, by the way.

Andres said...

I think that intelligence would be more effective in dismantling terrorist organizations... at least more than wars that fuel xenophobic feelings and help demonize our less than perfect leaders.

Andres said...

and thanks

dincygx said...

andres, thanks for letting me know you've got a blog! i love reading your posts (at least the ones i can understand in english). if you dont mind, i've linked your blog in my blog so other readers can enjoy your well written prose. hope all is well w/ you!

Andres said...

Thanks, I'll be checking in too.

"Marching into the Light" by Andres Useche