Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Philosophy of Tyranny

By Maysaloon

"Stalin once said that half a million deaths is a statistic but the death of one is a tragedy. As Syrians we've stopped registering shock at the news of a hundred deaths a day in the country.....

Solzhenitsyn knew about Stalin, and he wrote about the Lie. He knew that the violence cannot sustain itself without the Lie. Assad's friends know about the Lie as well. They know how to cultivate it like a weed, and then they help to gently spread it wherever it can grow. When it covers everything then they will be happy, because their job is done and the violence is stabilized. Everything Assad learnt about the violence, he learnt from his father, who, in turn, learnt a lot from Stalin. So we too should learn from those who came before us. We should learn about Solzhenitsyn and about the Lie. We should know that its harmlessness threatens us all, that it is the life support for Assad's violence. We cannot stop his violence, but we can stop the Lie and in this way deny tyranny a shelter. We must force this tyranny out into the open and expose its ugliness and brutality, that nobody can be under any illusion about it. Only when the brutality is seen for what it truly is that it can die out, because it cannot sustain itself by naked violence alone.

There are some who might think that we can counter a lie with a lie and they are right to a certain extent, but the point is not to counter Assad's lies, the point is to destroy them. To do that we only need to say the truth. It is this truth which can be used to shame those people who are outwardly good but justify such evil. When they only use their freedom of speech to deny it to others, in the civilized discussions where they can present their "point of view", they use the Lie shamelessly, and are only silenced by the truth. The only weapon they have against the truth is time and the frailty of human memory and so they wait and listen in silence. A year passes, then two. Assad digs in and from his bunker in Damascus wages war upon those who will not worship him. One day, he knows, people will grow tired and forget. Then he can maintain with the Lie what he could only seize with violence. Until then, he waits, and waits and waits while the killing goes on."

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