(A Debbie Downer post. Sorry about your luck.)
For several months I’ve been making posts that suggest (though I don’t think I’ve said it), that the idea that people are somehow different than they were before is probably a little idealist. I don’t think people are progressive (as in, moving forward or evolving either physically or emotionally/spiritually/physcologically). Perhaps the best time I’ve come out and said it would be the shit-disrupter of a post I made on Christarchy, Humanity on the Fringes of a Moshpit. Essentially, in a long winded tirade, I compare the progressive anarchist/art-school kids to the famed large browed Geico Spokesmen. Such a thing was a dare, especialy among my more liberally minded brethern. But I did it. I did it because I don’t think humanity is really all that different than it was 2,000 years ago. Or 4,000. Or 6,000. We can pretend lots of things, like those people back then were all stupid, ignorant, inbred maruaders, raping the land for everything it was worth. Besides for the inbred thing, I don’t think we are far removed.
News from the front of our progressive world:
Bedraggled, hungry and dazed, the refugees arrived on the shores of Thailand after fleeing one of the most repressive governments in the world — the hard-line military regime in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
CNN’s investigation — based on accounts from tourists, sources in Thailand and a Rohingya refugee who said he was on a boat towed back out to sea — helps to piece together a picture of survival thwarted by an organized effort not just to repel arriving refugees, but to hold them prisoner on shore, drag them in flimsy boats far out to sea and then abandon them.
“Whenever someone raised their head or moved, they [guards] would strike them with a whip,” said Australian tourist Andrew Catton.
[A surviving refugee] said all six boats with their refugee cargo were towed back out to sea in January, and five of the six boats sank. His boat made it back to shore, and he hid in the jungle for days until nearby villagers captured him.
Okay, the lowdown is these Burmese (they’ll always be Burmese to me. I once had a lovely Burmese girlfriend. Her father was a refugee here. He had a price on his head in Burma.) flee Myanmar in little boats. They wind up in Thailand in these little boats where the locals think they are a nuisance. Then, the military comes in, rounds ’em up, and leaves them on the beach baking in the hot sun where they get whipped. (I guess a whipping is better than death in Myanmar…) Then, the military gets some of their boats and tows the boats out…far out…TWO FUCKING’ DAYS OUT INTO INTERNATIONAL WATERS! Then, they leave ’em there. Then, they deny that they did it.
Five of the six boats sink and all the people die. Thailand’s official response is that they have no idea that their own military was responsible for such thing.
I’ve lived on a boat for 3 weeks. And while I cannot claim to know all about life on the water, I do know that being in the middle of the ocean in an overcrowded boat falls clearly into the “bad thing” category. I suspect that this is kinda common knowledge. I kinda think that the Thai folks sorta, kinda knew it, maybe. Perhaps. And that they might have had some sort of sneakin’ suspicion that these people might not be comin’ back (or going anywehere). Which makes me think that some folks in the Thai government could be, well, assholes.
Or, maybe not.
This kinda thing has been going on a long, long time. The more I think about it, the more I think we are all very, very capable of such a thing. Not sorta capable, where something deep down inside us is just waiting to show its evil self. No, I think from birth we might be fighting this sort of malicious selfishness everyday. Everyday we hunger to take those who tread upon our own perceived rights (in this case, the refugees kinda being a pain in the ass) and cast them off to sea to die.
Given the right set of circumstances (an empty beach, a people no one cares about) and the right tools (guns, boats, whips), I think we might all very well do something, well, similar.
If I seem really cynical, perhaps. But I gotta think. This sort of thing is not an abnormality in the human race. This, as I mentioned earlier, is a story that repeats and repeats and repeats and transcends matters of race, religion, geographic location, etc, etc…all except…well, gender.
Let’s face it. Anyone doubt an overwhelming under-representation of female Thai soldiers on that beach? Some kids wind up dead somewhere or a guy gets gang attacked or some female store employee gets shot at point blank range in a stickup. These are crimes of men, nearly universally. Sorry ladies, when it comes to malicious, senseless violence us men win every time. (You gals suck at this sort of thing. Practice makes perfect.)
So call me crazy, I don’t see a lot of change in humanity. It’s probably a sin problem goin’ back to the garden. The same needs and wants and urges seem to drive the person, and if that’s the case, how do you expect the people to change?
My friends have tried to pin me down politically for a long time. A libertarian? A Republican? A Democrat? Progressive? Classically Liberal? Maybe.
I think there’s one term that sums up my cynicism, fiscally conservative (REpublican), socially liberal viewpoints (proGRESSIVE). For now, call me “REGRESSIVE“.
(For the record, A person’s political idealologies are probably not as important as if that same someone drags refugess out to sea to die. I think the latter transcends party affiliation. In short, party affiliation is really, kinda worthless.)
Ortega & Gasset once said something like that: “For the las 6000 years of civilization we (humans) have evolved a lot on matters of technology (…), but nothing on matters of love”