“I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand.” — Martin Gore
There are numerous moments where we take things that we instinctively know, but fail to put them together. I support a World Geography class and in that class we got on the subject of genocide. Genocide is one of those squeamish topics that has to be covered, but it is difficult to give its proper weight with young teenage minds.
For some reason my mind immediately went to South Park. In the first episode of their seventh season they ran an episode titled “Cancelled”. In that episode it turned out that Earth was a reality television show in another galaxy. Different species of animals were thrown together purposely to see what conflicts would arise. As you might imagine, this included the various races as well.
Obviously, there was a ton of dark and sometimes inappropriate humor there, but that wasn’t my immediate thought. What immediately came to mind was wondering if they were in fact right in their premise. When you watch the war in Ukraine you come to find that a large part of the conflict is based on Vladimir Putin’s assumption that Russians and Ukrainians are really the same people. Therefore, they should be together.
We saw Hitler do this prior to and during World War II. He took over countries he felt had common affinity with his own. The idea was that all Germanic people should be together and a part of one country. As we saw, it also meant that whoever was deemed not Germanic was to be eliminated. We have seen so-called ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, Rwanda, and in other locations as well.
That’s what makes the desire not to teach our history of racism so mind boggling. If you put all of these things together you get the distinct impression that racism, ethnic conflict, and cultural conflict is actually natural. The battle for everyone “just to get along” is not a natural state. It takes constant effort and if one stops making the effort then they fall into the pit of what’s natural. It’s the default position.
Of course, this kind of discovery presents its own problems. One of the hallmarks of the KGB and their tactics is the notion of cultural and moral nihilism. It reduces everyone to zero. You’ve done evil things and I’ve done evil things, so you have no right to call me on my evil things. It’s always funny that our collective mainstream media seems to play the same game in attempt to be “fair and balanced.”
The discovery that conflict is the norm ignores those that deliberately try to move beyond the conflict. We hold these truths that all people are created equal and they are endowed by their creator with unalienable rights and that governments are instituted among people to protect these rights. Those truths are not self-evident. They have never been self-evident. Knowing this doesn’t make our nation’s founding a fraud. Knowing this makes our nation’s founding that much more remarkable.
Knowing this also means that to get to that state of being we have to constantly work at it. If we acknowledge that equality and peace are not natural then we acknowledge that having peace and equality requires constant effort. It means we have to call out those that are not working towards that goal. That means calling out people who aren’t doing it now and it means calling out people that didn’t do it in the past.
It also means that both propagandists and those in the mainstream media are wrong. There are people that fight their own natural instincts every day and just come up a bit short. We aren’t perfect no matter how hard we try. We make mistakes. There are also those that aren’t trying. There are those actively working against peace and equality. They know they are doing it and are relentless in their pursuits. We cannot treat a person with good intentions and a person with evil intentions the same. Both do the wrong thing, but treating those people the same ignores that they are not the same. One obviously does the wrong thing more often and their intent is far different.