Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Worse is better in Syria

Not to take any joy in other people's misery, but I do think we can be pleased with the Syrian government's actions against its citizens recently; and this is so because the Syrian government is so outrageously and obviously criminal in its dealings with its civilians. I say, quoting Lenin in Leftwing Communism: An infantile Disorder, [relying on my memory here. I might be wrong about the source of the quotation.] "The worse the better."

Syria blocking medical treatment for protesters: HRW

(AFP) – 1 day ago

NICOSIA — Syrian security forces in at least two towns prevented medics from reaching wounded protesters when clashes erupted at anti-government demonstrations last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

The New York based rights group said the "inhumane" and "illegal" blocking of access to medical treatment occurred in the southern town of Daraa, the centre of a wave of protests against President Bashar al-Assad, and Harasta near Damascus.

"Barring people from needed medical care causes grave suffering and perhaps irreparable harm," said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East director.

"To deprive wounded people of critical and perhaps life-saving medical treatment is both inhumane and illegal."

Full story here.

The title line is attributed to Lenin's minor mentor, Nikolai Chernyshevsky, a few words about whom we have here from wikipedia.

Chernyshevsky was a founder of Narodism,Russian populism, and agitated for the revolutionary overthrow of the autocracy and the creation of a socialist society based on the old peasant commune.

Chernyshevsky's ideas were heavily influenced by Alexander Herzen, Vissarion Belinsky, and Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach. He saw class struggle as the means of society's forward movement and advocated for the interests of the working people. In his view, the masses were the chief maker of history. He is reputed to have used the phrase "the worse the better", to indicate that the worse the social conditions became for the poor, the more inclined they would be to launch a revolution.

Admittedly there is much to criticise about this "Politics of Confrontation," which is evident in the story above, e.g. refusing wounded civilians medical treatment. It's inhuman. That's the point, though. If we compromise with those who exterminate slowly, as did the eternally evil Adam Czerniaków, the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Judenrat, then we might find ourselves doling out the sick and timid to the enemy to the point that we are some day confronted with the demand, like Czerniakov was, that we turn over the children to be killed, at which point Czerniakov wrote a self-pitying letter and then shot himself.

There is a lot of good to be said about parliamentary democracy, and I have lived under a few such governments and preferred parliamentary government to most others I've dealt with. But parliament is not real in most places in the world, not the way the game of government is played; and where government is the Enemy of the People, then the narodniki must throw off all pleasant pretences and fight like savages for any hope of Modern democracy at all. No mercy without reciprocity.

It is a crime to compromise with the evil State for the sake of saving a few only to have them killed later. It is a good thing to fight while the Ghetto burns to the ground-- even if everyone dies in the process. It gives hope and determination to those elsewhere who can try to survive, if they can understand the nature of the enemy clearly. Then, when the mask has dropped, the people might fight and win. They won't do that till they realise there is really no hope of compromise coming to anything other than dusty death. So, the worse the better.

I don't want to see anyone getting hurt. What I want is to see an end to this. It will never end, of course, because agon is eternal; but so is the struggle to overcome the worst of it. We fight today so our children have a chance to fight when it comes their turn. If we lose, they die before they have any chance at all to defend themselves. So it is with the Syrians. Some will have to die to make it known to all that some must die to preserve life of the coming generation. Today's youth's parents did nothing, and now the youth of today must die in their stead. Today's youth's Syrian children might be thankful for this sacrifice.

More war. More intense. More death. The worse the better.

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