The Evil That Men Do

So I sat. And I waited. And I thought. The NewStatesman article staring up at me blankly. The words of Sophie McBain were being churned over in my head as something I had known for years began to creep to the front of my brain. The article was on Syria, a subject close to my heart, but its words began to form a deeper realisation within me.

The civil war in Syria is now into its fourth year and it is showing no signs of stopping. The inaction of the UK, and the rest of the world, has disgusted me, but I understand why it has been this way. I understand why the streets are not lined with people demanding action be taken. I understand why the press and the politicians are hesitant to speak out about showing support to those within Syria. And I understand why despite the known use of chemical weapons, despite the deliberate targeting of civilians, despite the evidence of torture, and despite it being the worst humanitarian disaster in my lifetime, nothing is being done.

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Is There A Person…

Is there a person living who advocates the deaths of others? Would they stand on high and proclaim to others that the killing of people is not only justified but welcomed? Guns, bombs and more sinister methods of slaughter are essential to a thriving society and a joyous life. The task to take human life is a decision we are allowed to take ourselves, it is a decision without consequence and a decision without impact. Is there a person who can honestly say that there is nothing immoral and unethical about preventing another human being continuing their life? A person who can make the choice, and take the decision to permanently extinguish the fire of existence. To halt the candle before it had run its natural course and burned out of its own accord. Is there a person living who can look another in the eye and say to them with all honesty and conviction “I posses a right to take your life from you, and I will act upon that right if I see fit”? The person gazes upon the other in full knowledge that the same sentence can be repeated back, and both are fine with it. Is there a person who advocates this?

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Leave The House

It was Thomas Hobbes, in his book Leviathan, that declared without a state man is in a constant climate of struggle and fight. He called this the “state of nature” whereby it is a “war of all against all”. He makes a compelling argument for the coming together of all peoples, and the creation of a civil society and state. This society, and this state, was intended to protect men from a life that was otherwise “nasty, short and brutish”.

People were persuaded, coerced and sometimes forced to become members of the state because it was in their own interests. Who would want to face a life out in the wilderness, struggling to make ends meet? Under constant threat, with very little security? It seemed like an obvious decision to make. Lets step inside this “state”, lets live under its roof and lets prosper, together, as a society.

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