Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

~ Satchel Paige ~

Handing You A Bunch Of Violence

August 27th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 7 secs

Violence toward the vulnerable is never acceptable.

Violence toward the vulnerable is never acceptable.

I find violence a miserable prospect. Not the slap on the bottom type violence (I don’t mean that). Nor, the kind that sees young drunk men fighting outside bars (though that is alarming). I mean the disturbing viciousness driven by the directives of psychopaths.

Worldwide, you can take your pick of a host of failed states and countries racked by war. In almost every case there’s a psychopath at the helm.

They are only too willing to ruin the lives of their citizens for their own twisted ends and it matters nothing to them that women, children and the vulnerable are sacrificed, tormented, or tortured for the sake of their leader’s cause.

Think Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mugabe, and Assad, and many more besides. It’s a big list and all of them are or were easy about apply violence to achieve their ends.

Good people, decent people, get damaged in wars. There is no purity in killing folk; only an extension of the original torment. For leaders unwilling to lose their grip on power, pushing their people to fight and lay down their lives is de standard practice.

While, this is not a happy theme, it is a real part of life and somehow we have to factor it in rather than pretend it doesn’t exist. What is happening in Syria, for example, where it appears President Assad has allowed (or directed) the use of chemical weapons against his own people is evil personified. But then, to a psychopath, that hardly matters.

These people push their way to the top of nations, departments, and key organizations, and get lauded for their leadership skills. But, ultimately, their lack of empathy causes appalling fallout, and violence is often a consequence.

Personally, I find violence tragic. People may indeed face terrible fear and show courage. But killing people is never glorious and humanity gets tainted in the process, no matter how noble the overall cause.

Is there an easy answer to dealing with psychopathic leaders and crimes against humanity? I don’t know one and I gather no one else does either. Sometimes people fight to defend their homes and families and that is understandable. But even that gets frighteningly messy and in the end, killing other people is accepted murder: a grotesque and appalling answer to the great possibilities of life.

Ultimately, it’s not leaders telling us what to do that ought to decide for us, but our own conscience. For surely everyone must be true to his or her own heart.

I oppose the celebration of violence, while understanding the concept of defense. Yet, witnessing psychopathic rulers run amok requires us to do something and in that people everywhere need to have their say.

Will more violence set things right? Will force limited to a deterrent (and only actioned by criminal acts) be an acceptable answer? These are not pleasing choices. But there are times when the world community is compelled to depose despots. For everyone everywhere deserves safety and to be treated decently.

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