I think that he is a beautiful, unique human being, like any of us. A loving family man. Someone with honest intentions, and a sincere wish to do what he believes is right and best. I disagree with his politics, and I abhor some of the choices he has made, but I don’t doubt his humanity, nor that he has the capacity for great kindness and compassion when his heart is touched.
As our history has so explicitly shown: when disagreement arises, the urge to dehumanise our opponent likely follows. This has proven to be especially so within politics. Depending upon how strong the disagreement, you are either going to have every skeleton in your closet placed in a public exhibition (that people will pay to muse over), or you are going to become The Monster. I have seen comments made online about David Cameron and Ian Duncan Smith being ‘pure evil’, and there have even been calls to ‘hang the Tories’. The reasoning being that it is better to kill them and save us than it is for them to live and us to suffer their actions. As Gandhi summarised, ‘Western civilisation? It would be a good idea.’
Once condemned as evil it is not hard to justify violence upon another. In the Second World War the Japanese didn’t even give the Chinese the human quality of being evil, they just regarded them as ‘logs’… something to be cut up, something to put on your fire. Read up on Unit 731 to see where such dehumanisation leads. It’s not pretty.
All of this is a terrible mistake. Such violent rhetoric has condemned many movements and many people to failure, and rightly so. History is littered with failed revolutions, because, once you adopt violence, even if it brings initial victories, with every draw of blood you condemn yourself, both morally and strategically. A mind that has been dipped into violence is not so easily purified. Where violence has brought victory the temptation will always be to fall back on it to further and maintain your cause. New monsters will be created to justify such actions, and one day that monster could be you.
Time and time again we have seen this: resort to violence and you find yourself up against a Universe. It is simply not an option – not morally, not strategically. We must be the opposite. We must be the ones with the brains to learn from history, and the ones with the hearts to do what is right. Not only should we not dehumanise those who oppose us, but we should actively humanise them, such that our overwhelming feeling is that of love and warmth. Can you love David Cameron? Will you love Ian Duncan Smith?
Ours is not just a sound moral position, but a strategically helpful one too. You see, where there is love for another then a desire for their happiness and well-being arises too, such that we naturally think and act for their benefit too. We are no longer so concerned with our own needs, but with their needs too, and so when we draw up our plans for the ‘revolution’, it will not just be a revolution for us, but for them too.
Isn’t that beautiful? To approach those who oppose us as their friend makes us so much more attractive to them, and them so much more open to us. There is no argument to be had, there are no knives being sharpened, we are their friends and we want to work with them, and for them, and for a better world for us all.
This is a hard path to walk! No longer is this a mere political battle, but a battle in our own hearts. Hatred or love? We have seen what hatred can do and a pretty picture it does not paint. Love is harder, it will challenge and test us all to our cores, but in the long run it will produce remarkable results. Revolutions remove rotten governments, but love removes the defects that allow rotten governments to exist in the first place. Where there is love there is no division, so no opposition. Where there is love there is no hostility, so no enemies. Where there is love there is no anger, so no violence.
We have to learn how to live together. We have to learn how to think about everyone – including those we rail against because they are not thinking of everyone. Even if a violent revolution ended austerity, redistributed wealth and ended global poverty, there would still be those who resented our actions and beliefs, and we would still be left with the horrible mindset that violence achieves results. And so the cycle would begin again.
We have to outgrow violence. Our weapons are too destructive for us to accommodate this hateful urge any longer. A few buttons pressed and we are over. It is in everyones best interests that we learn to work for the benefit of all. That requires love. It especially requires love for those we deem unloveable and undeserving. I want David Cameron to be happy. I want to see George Osbourne smile. I want Ian Duncan Smith to lead a big group hug. Happiness for all human beings!
So, here is our task. We are going to learn to humanise those who oppose us (our ‘opponents’). We are going to look for and find every last atom of good in David Cameron and we are going to love him for that goodness. Same goes for the rest of the government, and for the bankers and the super-rich elite, and, whilst we’re feeling all hippy, let’s love some terrorists too. God knows they need it.
We know what hatred does and where it leads. This is a defining time for humanity. There are mutterings of a World War Three. We can’t afford that. We either love, or we go. I choose love.