Brutality Clothed as Power
By Lydia Limbe
Have you noticed how there’s a vicious battle of ideas lately?
The existence of different ideology, beliefs and thoughts are not new, but what is glaring at the moment is how intolerance is a deeply rooted way of being for global citizens. Perhaps this explains why there was WW1, WW2, just as it explains the rumors of WW3. Or why there has been civil unrest worldwide in different phases and places.
Even when you look at the history of what has been mainstream religion for centuries now, those who held different ideas were either burned at the stake, killed in ‘holy wars’ or banished from the conquered territories. Hardcore religious people are hard pressed to mud-sling the alternative expressions of the recognition of God or higher power, labeling them New Ageists and trying to quote scriptures to demonstrate how ‘lost’ they are.
How did the ideologies that carried the day take root? By the use of brutal force, which we have come to equate power to. Brutal force instills fear in those who refuse to tow the suggested line, and the punishment meted out on those who have the courage to stand by what they believe in that goes against the ‘powerful’, always sent a chilling message to the others watching.
Self-preservation is inherent in every human being, and because of this, it has been easy for many to live the life that brings less attention to ourselves. Still, every so often there are people, or groups of people who rock the boat.
Sitting in the house and scrolling through the different national, international TV channels, and internet sources for information on the pandemic has become the norm now. People are being bombarded with different ideologies and arguments, some which sound ridiculous, while others resonate with the seeker.
The 21st century brutality is in the form of censorship and character assassination. If one dares to speak against the mainstream ideology, they are quickly labeled conspiracy theorists. What makes mainstream? And why is the alternative idea dubbed a conspiracy? Why is it that both ideologies cannot exist side-by side without knives drawn?
Also, if conspiracy theorists are the answer, then what is the question?
I watch these vicious battles of ideologies online and one thing is clear for me: centuries of brutality clothed as power has run it’s course. The global population is in deep mistrust of those in power, and the deeply ingrained fear of them is beginning to loosen its grip.
Perhaps it is time. Because, is there anything like a one-size-fits all approach? If the truth is as subjective as the total population on the earth, isn’t it time that we shed the trauma associated to following a singular ideology in the different aspects of our lives and begin to embrace our authentic self and celebrate our difference and diversity in the process?
Perhaps this would allow people to be themselves without the fear of being labelled or cast out from the community, and in the process begin to create a nurturing environment where peace and love is the binding force, and not hatred and fear as we have come to know.
Perhaps in the process we will realize that even in our difference and diversity we are all connected, a fraction of the whole that makes us all complete. Even then, I recognize that this is the unknown, and the fear of the unknown will push many back to what they have known and are used to: the brutality clothed as power.