The Dynamics of Love and Repression in Our Times

PERSPECTIVE
In an age when we see totalitarian regimes appear everywhere on the globe and it is becoming difficult for an oppressive regime to continue its regime unquestioned –it is time for the world to reflect upon the important issue of whether love or repression should be the ultimate source of inspiration in running nations or communities.

PERSPECTIVE

In an age when we see totalitarian regimes appear everywhere on the globe and it is becoming difficult for an oppressive regime to continue its regime unquestioned –it is time for the world to reflect upon the important issue of whether love or repression should be the ultimate source of inspiration in running nations or communities.

Nivedita Dwivedi is an Independent Writer. She is working in the field of education and—based in Mumbai.


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USA. Washington DC. 1967. An American young girl, Jan Rose KASMIR, confronts the American National Guard outside the Pentagon during the 1967 anti-Vietnam march. This march helped to turn public opinion against the US war in Vietnam. Source : https://thefirstgates.com/2017/08/24/the-summer-of-love-repression-and-stuff/

Which is better liberation or repression? Love or hate? Which is the better political strategy if the goal of a certain individual’s life is only acquiring power? Pure, sheer and naked power? In other words, the individual wants to become an all-powerful being. Something we associate in common parlance with ‘God’. The Almighty, The All-Powerful. So, if an individual’s sole purpose in life is to acquire power akin to God, can that individual be convinced that love and liberation are better strategies towards meeting these goals than hatred and repression? Are they really? If so, why?

Through the history of the human civilization, the concept of ‘God’ has been the most sustained one. Yet, suppose that I am an atheist and vehemently deny the existence of ‘God’. Now suppose I come across a news report about a brutal rape and murder of a 2-year old child. This incident further strengthens my atheistic beliefs as I am convinced that in a world where such an incident could occur, there is not even a remote possibility of there being an All-Powerful entity termed as ‘God’. Since ‘God’ has not been able to provide me the answer to my question of why this had to happen to a 2-year old child, I turn to reason.

But again, I draw a blank. I am unable to attribute any reason for the occurrence of this ghastly act to a 2-year old child. Then, what do I have left? Where is the explanation? I next come to the theory of karma. This must have happened to this child as a consequence of the actions of her previous birth. Does this thought explain the inexplicable? Does it comfort me? I have conveniently turned the victim into the criminal. I have even more conveniently and easily explained away and justified every wrong that happens in this world. So, whatever I do from now on or whatever happens to me is my own responsibility. I have obviated the need of a Supreme Being. I don’t require an All-Powerful ‘God’. I am myself the one.

Is this theory enough to explain away all the questions that I may have about existence? What happens after countless such cycles of births and rebirths, actions and their consequences? Where and how does it all begin? Where and how does it all end? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer. But the question troubles me. I am not comfortable with turning the victim into the criminal. I am not comfortable with justifying all the wrongs in this world. Yet, I am also not comfortable with the existence of a ‘God’ who allows injustice and unfairness to prevail and thrive. Then what do I do? What do I believe in? How do I reason?

As I have concluded that I am neither sure of ‘God’s existence, nor its non-existence, I then choose to believe in none of these. I don’t have the means to prove either of it to be true. This is because I am limited by my birth and death. I am limited with this life which I have been given, that exists between my birth and my death. I don’t have the wherewithal to know anything beyond these, so I will now function within these boundaries. Operating within these boundaries, I know for certain that whatever happened with the 2-year old girl was wrong and not her fault. Suppose, the perpetrator of the crime in this case has stated that the only reason he targeted this girl was because she belonged to a religion other than his own. This crime is thus born out of a hatred of all human beings that belong to some other religion. This is a crime born out of a triumph of hate over love. This is a crime born out of a need to repress the other in order to liberate one’s own.

Now suppose the individual we discussed earlier, whose sole purpose in life was to acquire insurmountable power believes in the above strategy of hatred and repression. He strongly believes that hatred and repression are much better strategies towards achieving his goal rather than love and liberation. So, the individual continues to propagate hatred and brutally represses anything to the contrary. He chooses religion as his tool in this game of thrones. He chooses to side with the majority as the minority don’t matter if he has the support of the majority. And then he embarks on his mission of spreading hatred and inducing repression. The majority are led on the path of hatred by a combination of various strategies. They truly and deeply start believing in this hatred of the other. They are convinced that this is the ultimate truth.

Through the twin strategies of hatred and repression, a totalitarian state of all people following a single religion is created. The individual now has become the All-Powerful ruler of the state. Now since this individual firmly believes in the strategy of repression, he continues to follow the same in this new-formed state. Every thought or action by any individual that differ from his own thoughts and perceptions is repressed. This continues unabated and with much success for some time but slowly and gradually some cracks start to appear. It becomes impossible for every individual to think and act like that individual all the time.

They start getting tired of the repression when they are personally affected by it. And there comes a day when each one is personally affected. That day, it becomes impossible for the individual to survive. He is overthrown, and people trump liberation over repression. They also now start having second-thoughts on the strategy of hatred that they had followed till now.

What would have happened had they followed the strategy of love? They would still have been living in a state that belonged to people from various religions, in a rich and diverse culture, celebrating that richness and diversity in every moment. Had the expulsion of this extra number of people led to any substantial difference in their lives that was for their betterment?

They were still struggling with the same problems they were struggling before. Many of them were still poor, they didn’t have jobs. They had developed their abilities to hate to such an extent that they had completely lost the ability to love. So, now they were incapable of loving even those they thought as their own. Devoid of love, they had become mere zombies breathing their lives away as they were incapable of doing any better.

They now realized how utterly wrong they were. They now realized how love was always a much better strategy than hate. The most surprising thing was however that the individual who had strategically chosen the strategies of hate and repression over love and liberation, now realized his folly. He still dreamt the same dream – of becoming the ‘All Powerful’. But this time, he swore to choose the strategies of love and liberation.

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