My Take on it: The ideology of violence

Nino Pagliccia

When I observe violence through media outlets anywhere in the world I seem to notice that it often comes from a rightwing ideology (neoliberal, conservative, capitalist, imperialist, etc). Often It also comes from misguided groups without a real or acceptable ideology who practice violence for the sake of violence. By the way, that gives a bad name to anarchism because that's how those groups are labeled. Anarchism as I understand it has an ideology even if you don't agree with it.

Now, to be sure, I don't use the terms "rightwing" and "leftwing" as technical terms but simply as usually understood and interpreted. Also, I am not saying this happens 100% of the times when there is violence. I recognise there are exceptions. There are leftwing protests that often are taken over by violent types for their own reasons. But more often than not, where there is a rightwing protest usually the violence is part of it. For lack of statistical evidence I rely on my personal evidence and testimony. 

There is no doubt in my mind that such coincidence of a political rightwing ideology with what I call the ideology of violence is not casual. I have a theory that if you put the whole range of different ideologies in a circle like beads in a necklace – instead of in a linear right-left order – the last bead moving rightward touches its neighbour bead (misguided group) that completes the circle leftward. This is not a proven theory so don't ask me to explain. It comes from day after day of following world events and watching where the violence occurs, what the context is, and who uses violence.

But if you press me for examples, I can easily produce two.

1. Take Syria. Terrorist groups (no ‘lovable' ideology) are as brutally violent as you can imagine. The whole war on Syria is sustained by terrorist groups. Aren’t these groups connected to – even supported by – the imperialist ideology of the US and company? The violent actions of terrorists in Syria is quite undistinguishable from that of their supporters who can conceive such a hypocritical group like the White Helmets – true wolves in sheep clothes. And please don’t tell me that the US is practicing…humanitarian violence.

2. Take Venezuela. The so-called opposition, self defined rightwing, is bent on regime change against the government. That would be a right if they followed the constitution democratically. But NO. They use violence, or condone those who use violence, putting themselves into the…unlovable ideological group. Who is behind them? I let you guess that one. It should be an easy test.

Let's take the example of Venezuela to emphasize another important point. When a leftwing group initiates the protest and violence breaks up, usually the violence is immediately attributed to the protesting group. On the other hand, when the protest is initiated by a rightwing group and violence breaks up, then you have two possible reactions: 1) the violence is ignored – not reported by the mainstream media, and/or 2) the violence is attributed to those who are the recipient of the protest, but not the protesting group.

I could give other past or present examples, Cuba, Ecuador, Ukraine, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, El Salvador, etc. etc.

Both Syria and Venezuela try to mind their own political business perfecting a society that has put those governments in place until such a time when the people themselves will decide to change them. It is a basic right encompassing democracy, sovereignty and self-determination. It is established in international law because it is very important in order to be part of the international community of nations.

But no one can relax and enjoy that basic right because one evil empire is in the way – like an international bully – whose only ideology is violence justified by a doctrine of exceptionalism, and covered by a false pretext of humanitarianism.

Violence must be stopped because it is the precursor of wars.

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Nino Pagliccia

NINO PAGLICCIA has two Master’s Degrees from Stanford University and is a retired researcher on Canada-Cuba collaborative projects at the University of British Columbia. He has published many peer-reviewed journal articles and has contributed chapters to books on topics about Cuba, the Cuban healthcare system and solidarity. He has been a long-time activist and has organized groups to do voluntary work in Cuba for almost 15 years.

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