Mugabe’s lack of ethics – human rights abuses, the crushing of democratic rights and fervour, the removal of opposition, unemployment, torture, intimidation, lavish individual spending, famine, are but a few suggestions as to how he has been presented as antagonist in chief. What I’m suggesting is that what follows might result in something similar, and potentially more dangerous due to support from the international community. Beware that those that fill the power-vacuum aren’t worse than what they are replacing, especially if they made up an intrinsic and violent part of the previous regime’s power structure.
Malcolm Nance, former US head of defence and expert in terrorism and counter-terrorism, argued that the most recent high-profile attacker in New York is ‘most likely to have been radicalised virtually’ (Channel 4 News 1/11/2017). The internet is a vehicle Daesh to propagate their narrative, converting some and compelling others to action, providing a potential source of income, and a means to coordinate attacks (Moreng, 2016; Charles, 2014).
In the post-university nostalgia that has been plaguing me these past few days, I have been wondering what I might be able to do to break this feeling.
This blog describes the attempt by the Nazi party to systematically construct history in their own ideological image, to mould young Germans into loyal subjects, emotionally and metaphysically devoted to the Fatherland.
It was a warped project without parallel scale or scope, that offers a stark warning of the dangers of state falsification of truths to fit political ideologies. A year on from writing it, I had no idea that it might prove relevant against the background of ‘fake news’ continuously doing the round in the media.
Democracy isn’t just about voting once every few years: it is built on discussion. The Tory refusal to debate is a refusal to fully participate in democracy.
Disagreement isn’t the same as opposing, speaking out, or condemning, it is appeasement. ‘Disagree’ is such a tepid word. It reminds me of when debating someone in the pub, I realise I can’t persuade someone else of my opinion or can’t win the debate but want to remain friends, so I exclaim ‘Let’s agree to disagree!’
We will never be able to stop Human Rights abuses from happening, but we can try and manage them when they do. By opposing them whenever and wherever they occur, we can try to stamp out the hypocrisy plaguing international discussions and start to tackle these issues more multilaterally.
Dictatorships sneak up from behind you, only the benefit of hindsight make them seem inevitable. Vote carefully tomorrow.