“Never, and never again” has been quoted so many times over the 20th and 21st Centuries history. But “it” always happens again. Great human atrocities. Killings, torturings, isolating a group of people for some random of reasons and trying to wipe them all out.
“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.”
“No more war! Never again war! If you wish to be brothers, drop your weapons.”
Pope Paul VI quotes (Italian Pope. 1897-1978)
“And most of all, we and the world’s governments must pledge to act decisively to ensure that such a denial of our common humanity is never allowed to happen again. Only if we do these things can we honour the victims whom we remember today. Only so can we save those who might be victims tomorrow”.
Kofi Annan 2004 In Memory of the Rwandan Genocide
“As freedom-loving people across the globe hope for an end to tyranny, we will never forget the enormous suffering of the Holocaust”.
“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes (American Baptist Minister and Civil-Rights Leader. 1929-1968)
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905
World War Two.
The Rwandan Genocide of 1994.
30 years of Apartheid.
The war in the Balkans in the early 1990s.
World War One – The “Great” War
We dream of a better world. But I don’t think we will get there. I don’t think we, as a species, are meant to “progress”. All we do, and maybe are ever meant to do, from day to day, and century to century, is change the settings while we ensure our reproduction.
From Cave Men to the Middle Ages, we headed to the European Renaissance or the Great Ages of China, we got to a close knit world of states and governments and headed towards Democracy, paper money, then Credit Cards and Pop Culture. Trade systems have changed. And we have new ways of communicating. But we still kill and maim and torture. Hate and Victimise. Search for power through a fist, fire, or machete.
Human societies aren’t moving forward or becoming more peaceful. We simply adjust the ways by which we delay the sinister sides of our humanity. Eventually though, we act out our human impulses and tempremental emotions, personal desires and group needs, psychological wounds and inner battles of the dark self and the light self.
Our darkness exposes itself in us ignoring reality as much as when we act out. We characterise it as “The Devil”, the yin with our yang, the Id (or is that Ego?), or the animal from which we are supposedly evolving.
So do clothes on one’s back, state-wide ID books, the ability to readwritecount and build prove our human evolution?
A man in a first world country imprisoned his daughter and raped her for 24 years.
A group of men in a third world township set alight a twenty-two year old man and watched.
Machetes still blazen the human’s species daily lives. Fraudsters still trick the weakest and poorest out of the most basic means to survive (these days we just term such means “money”). Power-hungry people still watch disarray and grin inwardly that this is a way to up their rankings in the group (we now just term these people “politicians”). The youngest, oldest and weakest are raped and beaten and taken advantage of. A complete stranger will make you feel as much hurt or disgust as your lover will make you feel accepted and complete.
Women still die from child birth.
Tiny bugs still rage through our bodies and wipe us out.
Medicine men still try to stop the bleeding or pain with their concoctions.
Priests, shamans and “independent election organisations” still act out rituals to put order into our human lives and communities.
And South Africans take one trial after another and keep saying we cannot take another. What is worrying me today, is that as a group, we will recover from this xenophobic crisis and horror. And another will hit us and we will fall into inner-questioning, outward-assisting, confusion and anger and exhaustion. And we will keep doing it. But can I?
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.