Cape Fear

Source: tompaine.com

Fear is the new Law.

In fact, it is anything but new.

It has always been the Law.

It is something that keeps things in order.

It is something that prevents chaos.

You know, the fear of chaos.

It paralyzes your brain.

It changes the way you think.

Board the boat before the ship sinks.

…From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

                                                                                         – Niccolo Machiavelli 

This is how they rule the world anyway.

Fear is your religion.

Fear is your wars.

Fear is your knowledge of the stars.

Fear controls the way you think.

 

Fear controls you.

 

 

Fear even controls how you spend your money, or how you hoard it.

Fear will make you do things you never thought made any sense.

This was particularly well illustrated by a well researched blog post in the “Washington’s Blog”. It certainly is worth reading every word. Revisit it if you have already read it, and read it again.

I am not a regular reader of this blog, or of any for that matter, and found it accidentally on twitter and am glad I did. It is an old article but every word of it is worth reading and is as relevant today, in the July of 2011, as it was in the November of 2009, and perhaps will be in the next hundred years to come. It is titled:

Investor Psychology: Fear Turns People into Sheep 

I post this link with due respect to the sheep folk.

Source: tolweb.org

The Absence of Violence

What is Peace, but the Absence of Violence.

Just like Death is the Absence of Life.

But what can you do when Violence becomes the way of Life?

What can you do when Violence becomes the way to earn?

What can you do when Blood wets the dough for their breads?

What can you do when Violence holds their world together?

When it makes the world go round and round, or it will smash into the Sun.

We have a violent Instinct by nature.

Instinct, which tells us what the mind does not, cannot.

Tells us to be violent out of Fear.

But does Violence exist as a reaction to Fear?

Violence is also a Statement of power.

Violence is the Display of power and domination.

But the very fact that someone needs to do that shows how Fearful they are.

The Fear of losing power and domination.

When you have that Fear, it is little that cures you of it,

But the Mother of all Fears.

Death.

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Wait, what about Justice?

What about it?

Where is Justice? Any Peace without it?

It is where you learned that word from.

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The Unattainable Human Rights

Human Rights.

If you keep on repeating these words in your head, over and over again, not to fall asleep, but to really understand what they stand for, then the feeling that you will experience will lie somewhere between amusement and disappointment. But if you find the slider of your emotions tilting towards the disappointment part a bit more, then you can make yourself laugh by focusing on the fact that we are talking about ourselves.

You know that we have people known as Human Rights Activists. They are the people who work actively for the basic human rights for certain groups of people all over the world and you cannot have anything but admiration for these brave individuals with great integrity. But isn’t it a shame that they have to do what they do?

The very fact that these people need to engage in such activities is laughable and had there been any extra-terrestrial species watching over the proceedings of what is going on in the earth, they would been laughing themselves to orgasms for the entertainment value. Think about it. There are people in the world who need to speak out for Human Rights. That’s ridiculous.

Currently, there is a logo design competition going on for the International Symbol of Human Rights. Artists and wannabes from around the world have produced some wonderful designs and I am sure that the judges will have a hard time choosing the best and the most appropriate one. But if I were to offer my suggestion, then I would have symbolized Human Rights with the Holy Grail. Pardon the choice of religious symbolism, but we all know what the Holy Grail stands for and to me, its use has never been more fitting.

Source: retardzone.com

Who knows. Maybe the Holy Grail is the Human Rights.

But then again. The most fascinating aspect to it is that the Human Rights are relative as well. The set of values dear to one group of people are entirely meaningless and sometimes even shocking to another. Like morality. So, you can imagine what happens in the aftermath. Same old, same old. Conflict.

But given the cultural confrontation haunting the idea of Human Rights, we can at least single out a few,  broadly speaking, to which everyone would agree, to which of course a lot of people will disagree, which is alright and could be even valid. But let’s consider a hypothetical scenario. Let us say for a moment that the most essential Human Rights are the right to live in peace.

To some, that would be oversimplifying things, but let us consider it anyway. The rest of the Human Rights such as clean drinking water, health, education and even freedom of expression are relevant only when a person is able to survive. The conflicting standards of human rights create a political dilemma (hardly) when you have to violate some human rights in pursuit of others, or at least that is what they tell you.

But the fact remains that mostly human rights are something only attainable with money. As for the aspirations to Universal Human Rights, such noble ideas are in direct conflict to the economic interests of the governments of the world. These ideas could even be considered absurd by some and could be rejected altogether by others being labeled an idealist’s or a mad man’s dream.

The Holy Grail.

The Unattainable Human Rights.

There are No Lies in the Battlefield

Courtesy: James Montgomery, acclaimimages.com

What is it about wars that thrill us? What is it that makes us feel so good, so proud, as if we have accomplished something. Is it the bravery, the chivalry, the defiance to death that men can display, or simply because it makes great stories to tell? It does not matter, because in our world it is a glorious thing to go to wars.

But war is an intellectual concept nevertheless. I have to acknowledge that fact. It is as intellectual as it is stupid and nonsense. This is why it is fought by people far away from action in the battlefield. You know, far away from those mindless soldiers, who are brainwashed the moment they land into Boot Camp. They are fed lies, and they are fed truths. But one thing is for sure. They take away from them a part of humanity and they get to earn a part of it that no one else would ever know about.

But even more cruel are the ones who do not even set foot on the battlefield and expect others to sacrifice themselves for them. The one who dodges the bullet, the one who bears the wounds and the one who witnesses the horrors of war can only know what war is like and how vain national glory means when you only have your life to lose, unless they are hardened by war and it becomes their way of living. Some do it by choice and suffer, others are forced into it and made to suffer.

You would have heard about, if not watched, All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), based on the novel of the same title by German veteran Erich Maria Remarque. It is just a movie, maybe a touch too exaggerating and maybe overdone for some, but it tells the story of men who lived through World War I, an overdone war after all,  if it is not too much to say. The film emphasizes this very idea more explicitly and deliberately than most of the others about the war that you would come across.

The film talks about sending the youth to the front lines for glory and their subsequent discovery of what war really is. The film was banned in the Nazi Germany for its anti-war content, which for no surprise was taken to be an attack on German nationalism. Rats were used to disperse audiences during the initial screening of the film in theaters. But let’s not take any sides here. To my mind, the American filmmakers have emphasized the human side of the war by choosing to tell the story of a non-allied nation.

How many politically motivated artists talk about the human side of the enemy soldier? Most of the war movies even have no faces for them, just silhouettes. The silhouette of the enemy.  There is no enemy soldier, just humans who agree to kill each other over something they are not even aware of. The film applies as much to France as it does to Germany. It applies as much to Britain, or any other allied nation. It applies to each and every nation of the world. It applies to humanity. The blood-thirsty humanity.

A Few Important Excerpts 

(Note: Right now, the complete movie is available on YouTube. However, I have only posted the excerpts in context of the post. It may or may not be accessible from different parts of the world.)

For those familiar with the history of World War I and Trench Warfare in the Western Front, are also familiar with the toll it took on men.  This film, also the novel, is about how a war changes a man, how a war destroys a man and how they are sent by civilization to die to lift their spirits. A remarkable motion picture for its time, it effectively portrays what a soldier goes through before, during and after war, whether an exaggerated portrayal or not. I think it really is a lot worse than this.

What I learned from this film and what shook me the most is this.

There are no Lies in the Battlefield.

But have we learned the lesson?

That’s why we are an intelligent species.