The Politics of Murder, The Politics of Humanity

Cross posted at Brave New Films

The murder of Benazir Bhutto leaves the world with many questions, puzzles the world with many implications, and presents to the world both challenges and opportunities. There are political realities in Pakistan, throughout the Middle East, and across the world that now exist due the killing of this woman. However, these are neither the most sensible nor the most appropriate issues to be discussed at this point. What we, the media, and anyone conversing on this subject should be grappling with is the fact that a woman, a daughter, a wife, a mother of three, was murdered because she had different ideas.

I belive the cliche is, what is this world coming to? Maybe I’m soft, but is this really what disagreement has been reduced to? There were many, many ways for Bhutto’s political enemies (and this was indeed a political act) to disarm her politically. There exist many, many ways to silence a dissenter. Many, many ways that do not involve murder.

You can silence a speaker by taking their microphone. You can defeat a political opponent by crafting a more relevant message and telling a stronger story. You can destroy ignorance using the weapons of listening and conversation. None of these three involve the ending of human life. Are we no longer people? Do we no longer view murder as the antithesis of natural order? Is this the way that “debate” will play out in the 21st century?

The thought patterns that lead people from disagreement to argument to assasination must be eliminated. That is not what humans should do. People with different opinions are still people with lives and loved ones, all of whom deserve to exist, survive, and live. We need to remember that there are people, persons behind the ideas. To disagree with a person is not to de-humanize them, and we have to remember that. People-powered politics cannot succeed if people kill people.

Huey Newton said that “politics is war without bloodshed,” and that “war is politics with bloodshed.” This act of murder, this act of inhumanity, this act of war is the physical manifestation of this statement. It is up to us to bring humanity back into the equation and replace the Politics of Murder with the Politics of Humanity.

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6 responses to “The Politics of Murder, The Politics of Humanity”

  1. Ellen says :

    Garlin,

    Thank you for posting this. It means a lot to me to know that some people still have sense of humanity in them.

  2. Anonymous says :

    thank you, if only we could see the world as part of the human family,as you say as Mother, Father, son, daughter, brother,sister, unfortunately in violence there is no seeing, and listening is to the wrong message, a type of brain washing, but again as you say we have to try to listen wherever, whenever possible.

  3. Anonymous says :

    Ask yourself who has the greatest motive for this murder? Work backwards, do the same thing with 911 and you will find the answer.

  4. Steven M DeVougas says :

    Garlin,
    You make a very good point. At first I looked at it from the point of view of Cui Bono or “who benefits”? As a political move, it sends a pretty definitive message. However, in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if someone tries to act on their ideas? At the human level, someone who meant the world to someone else was killed in a cowardly fashion.

    I totally understand what you are saying in that politics is war without bloodshed. It seems that people are not well-versed in the Art of Politics. Especially in the use of assassinations. I know you have many thoughts on how to wage this battle effective so as to neutralize your opponent. I do not know if assassinations can ever be justified, but I think it should definitely be a last resort. But as you frame it, assassination seems to be the lazy man’s way to silencing the opposition; akin to reducing political chess into checkers.

  5. Steven M DeVougas says :

    As an addendum to paragraph 1: As long as people do not violate people’s human rights and dignity, let them act on their ideas. In politics, the guide should be that the greater good and public welfare should be promoted.

  6. Hameed says :

    I agree that it is a tragedy for Pakistan. But Pakistan squandered its firt 60 years by pursuing dictatorship and politics of personal enrichment. Julfikar Ali was only interested in becoming the Primee Minister aand, as a result, destroyed the country. Benazir and Nawaz Sharif’s administrations were corrupt to the bone. Unfortunately, they cannot get over their feudal mentality. See, how the PPP nominated a 19 year old, who has never lived in the country or can even speak its language, to lead. I thought the age of King Tut was long gone. Once again, without nominating experineced political hands, the PPP has remained a Bhutto faamily heirloom. What a tragedy. We all cry for Pakistan.

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