Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rising v Listening

Thomas Hobbes was a 17th century philosopher who lived through the English Civil War. Masses of people died on both sides in the fight of the King's men versus those supporting Parliament. The question he spent most of the latter part of his life looking at was how much we should obey rulers. If they are rubbish, should we start revolutions and depose them? See the Book of Life chapter on Hobbes. Once people stopped believing in the 'Divine Rights of Kings', the relationship with authority started to wobble. But the price of revolution is chaos and bloodshed.

I don't much about all the Civil Wars that have been going on (before and) since the end of World War II. I know that in going down the rabbit hole of trying to understand the relationship between Christianity & Islam, and the impact of Colonialism and Globalisation - most of the conflicts ended up being 'proxy wars'. Wars of ideology. Wars of religion. Wars of ethnicity.

I am eternally grateful to have never learned to kill. Never to have had to. South Africa avoided Civil War. Just. Take a look at the 'list of Civil Wars' on wikipedia. The length of the conflicts. The decrease in population because of people fleeing. The death tolls. Revolution is nuts. Oppression is nuts. 

Violence and poverty are being defeated. It isn't a case of rising up. It is a case of listening. We can and are doing better. We can build communities rather than looking to impose ourselves.

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