Contrary to what the politicians and religious leaders would like us to believe, the world won’t be made safer by creating barriers between people. Cries of “They’re evil, let’s get ‘em” or
“The infidels must die” sound frightening, but they’re desperately empty of argument and understanding. They’re the rallying cries of prejudice, the call to arms of those who find it easier to hate than admit they might be not be right about everything. Armageddon is not around the corner. This is only what the people of violence want us to believe. The complexity and diversity of the world is the hope for the future.
“You know my position, Drumknott. I have no particular objection to people taking substances that make them feel better or more contented, or, for that matter, see little dancing purple fairies – or even their god if it comes to that. It’s their brain, after all, and society can have no claim on it, providing they’re not operating heavy machinery at the time.”
Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?
“There’s no grays, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. .”
“It’s a lot more complicated than that-“
“No. It ain’t. People as things, that’s where it starts.”
“Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes-“
“But they starts with thinking about people as things…”
‘I Suggest You Take Me And Smash Me And Grind The Bits Into Fragments And Pound The Fragments Into Powder And Mill Them Again To The Finest Dust There Can Be, And I Believe You Will Not Find A Single Atom Of Life-‘
‘True! Let’s do it!’
There was silence.
‘That’s not fair,’ said a priest, after a while. ‘All anyone has to do is bake up your dust again and you’ll be alive…’
There was more silence.
When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that’s a miracle. But of course, if someone is killed by a freak chain of events — the oil spill just there, the safety fence broken just there — that must also be a miracle.
Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you are going to die. So they’ll talk. They’ll gloat. They’ll watch you squirm. They’ll put off the murder like another man will put off a good cigar. So hope like hell your captor is an evil man.
In fifty years’, thirty years’, ten years’ time the world will be very nearly back on its old course. History always has a great weight of inertia.
You have the effrontery to be squeamish, it thought at him. But we were dragons. We were supposed to be cruel, cunning, heartless, and terrible. But this much I can tell you, you ape –the great face pressed even closer, so that Wonse was staring into the pitiless depths of his eyes – we never burned and tortured and ripped one another apart and called it morality.
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