Thursday, 11 September 2014

Dominate and Control


A friend of mine made the comment “I hope that someday, mankind can get past this need to dominate and control others.” on facebook today. He was referring to the anniversary of 9/11 which was today.
 
I don’t think there are many who are happy that 9/11 happened, other than some extreme religious fanatics. No one should be happy about the death of strangers. They shouldn’t be happy about their friends dying either. Like everyone, I was mesmerized by the 9/11 tragedy and watched it happen over and over again in the days that followed September 11th 2001. I kept hoping that there would be many survivors who would be unearthed relatively unscathed. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

I didn’t know anyone that was involved in the tragedy, or anyone that knew someone involved in the tragedy. I was an interested onlooker. Emotionally, I was detached, like I am when I hear of miners trapped down a mine in Scotland, hundreds of people dying of Ebola in Africa and thousands killed in a two week “skirmish” in the Middle East. It is a terrible thing, but I shouldn’t forget that I need to get some milk today and meet my buddy for coffee. Running out of milk directly affects me. I kind of wish that I could get terribly emotional about those things, but it just isn’t in my emotional makeup.

I was equally detached when the US managed to track down and kill Osama Bin Laden. No, that’s not true, I think I was much angrier when Bin Laden was killed. You see, I expect terrorists to terrorize and religious fanatics to be fanatical. What I don’t expect is for the country that leads the world in fighting for freedom to systematically hunt down and exterminate a man like he was a cockroach. Of course I knew they were going to get him, it was the politically right thing to do. I don’t know if it was the morally right thing to do, but I guess “an eye for an eye” would apply here.
 
What bothered me about the killing of Osama Bin Laden was the joy and celebration that surrounded his death. Yeah, he was a cold, calculating murderer that it could be argued deserved to die for his crimes. I would have put the noose over his head myself, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. No one should find joy in the death of another being. Well, I don’t think so.

Mankind will never get past the need to dominate and control. That is what makes us human, and what has enabled our species to climb down from the trees and send ships to the moon and beyond. That’s why we invented ownership of land and the concept of money. We need some way to determine who is better than whom. I have more, I have bigger, mine is shinier and I am stronger. It is who we are.


I do think that we have come far enough that perhaps we can modify our behaviour. Maybe we can treat others better, help others in need and feed those that are hungry. There must be a way we can dominate and control while being nice…ish.

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