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Lessons learned, (or not)

2016/06/27

The Killing Field

The social pathology of mobs is well known. Empathy disappears. Brutality pokes its ugly teeth into our face.

It is well known that people are being killed at a greater rate in Venezuela than almost anywhere on the planet. It is well known that few of the killers are being arrested, tried and convicted.  But what is not well known is how those killings are affecting the soul of Venezuela, the future of Venezuela and the children of Venezuela.

When impunity for killing becomes commonplace, people that you’d never suspect of murder begin to kill right in front of your eyes. Killing inflamed by passion extinguishes reason and obliterates morals. In a second, we are back in the jungle.

The social pathology of mobs is well known. Empathy disappears. Brutality pokes its ugly teeth into our face. Either you go along with taking the law in your own hands or you are ridiculed as weak or a traitor.

Consider Venezuelan neighbors who caught a thief stealing. The thief was knocked down. Suddenly the neighbors pounced on him, kicking and beating and shouting. In this frenzy, the defenseless thief became a fatal bloody mess in minutes. Children approached, imitating their elders, kicking the dead body and making jokes.

Is this a chapter taken from “The Lord of the Flies” or a documentary video of Islamic State in Syria?  No, it is something you can see on the Internet posted by a Venezuelan who is proud that his neighbors killed a thief. This is how far Venezuela has sunk in the pantheon of history and civilization. He doesn’t even know the posting is an outrage against humanity.

This is what we should learn from this killing: The membrane separating civilization from hell on earth is both thinner and more fragile than any of us can imagine. No matter how bad it gets, some degree of humanity must be maintained. Countries collapse only when individuals, one by one, proudly join in. I say this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

[Byline Michael Rowan]

29 de marzo de 2016
El Universal

“…let’s not let the dead bury the living.” –Richard A. Posner

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