Saturday, July 30, 2005

Books I Haven't Read

Josh writes:

Here's a picture for you: You're an average guy -- wife and kids, you probably work on a farm. You get up in the morning, get together with a bunch of guys like you, and you go out and kill people. Hunt them down and hack them to death with the tool of your trade (the machete) for the most part. Men, women and children. You might rape some of the women -- you make a point of looting the bodies and homes of your victims -- and at the end of the day, you go home to your family, go to bed, and get up the next day to do it all over again.

You do this non-stop for three months.

I've been reading reviews of Machete Season by Jean Hatzfeld, a book containing interviews with 10 Rwandan Hutus (now jailed) whose lives were as I described above during the genocide in that country, and I'm really not sure if it's a book I want to read or not.

On the fairly glaring negative side, I'm not all that keen to have further images of men mutilated and babies smashed against walls taking up residence in my brainmeats. On the positive side, it'd be nice to see further evidence backing up my belief that the old maxim about dogs being one missed meal away from wolves applies to people as well.

These guys, convinced that everything will go back to normal if they can just "finish the job" (i.e. kill every single Tutsi) and made bold by the complete lack of repercussions as the rest of the world muttered "stupid darkies" and looked the other way are folks just like you and me, different only in circumstances -- to think otherwise is no more plausible than believing that an entire generation of Germans was inexplicably born with the Evil Gene.

I'm a socialist for reasons already summed up pretty well by Hewligan here. In short, I don't trust any of you fuckers not to go feral the minute it suits you. Those of a libertarian bent may want to claim that it's the state that pushes people into these actions, to which I reply: they never seem to take much pushing.


RSJS said...

Lend me that book when you're done or I'll bust out my machete on yo punk ass.


Zum said...

From someone with a libertarian bent: Hewligan may think the government can protect him from his peers, but governments have killed many people too. The Nazis were the National Socialist party after all.

If the Tutsis were as empowered as citizens should be (i.e. if they had not been disarmed by the state), they might have fared better.

HORansome said...

It's true; governments do kill people, but market forces dictate that the private sector does it better.

Blair said...

Hmmm not so sure about that. If you look at the records of governments under Hitler, Mao and Stalin, versus private sector murderers like Harold Shipman and Gary Ridgeway, it's not even a close contest.

Although I will concede that if Hitler had contracted out to privately run concentration camps, they might have killed a lot more Jews.

Josh said...

And of course I should point out that when I talk about socialism, I don't mean crazy Marxist "the state owns everything, brother comrade" socialism, I mean the kind of democratic socialism we have at the moment, which gives the people power over the state as well as vice versa. Because obviously I don't trust the state either (I just trust "the people" less).