BRUTALITY: PURITY AND REVENGE
Brutality: Purity and Revenge
Copyright © 2013 Isuru Abeysinghe
This book is about a simple premise – that the nature of human brutality throughout history is rooted in one of two primary causes; which are issues surrounding purity or issues surrounding revenge. From this perspective, I will attempt to depict a few famous historical and contemporary illustrations of human brutality, both from a social level and an individual level. The work is provided as a philosophical treatise which may have concrete and relevant applications to real world issues both in terms of personal relations and the relations between groups in society (be it ethnic, religious or otherwise.)
Firstly, we need to understand the nature of brutality. The term brutality can't be confused with the legitimate use of coercion or force in situations whereby there is an acceptable need and prerogative to do so – such as issues concerning self-defense and military actions or social actions performed by various groups, nations or factions in the diverse and conflict-prone world that we live in. Conflict in itself is part of the very nature of humanity; and while all civilized efforts are made to ensure that conflicts can be resolved peacefully in a civil society the success of the peaceful resolution always intrinsically rests also with the internal or external cooperation of the other protagonists to accept the peaceful path. Brutality in my definition encompasses all those things which are considered unwarranted, excessive, obscene, overboard, strange or unnatural punishment etc. - in other words a violation of human rights.
While these events can happen in the context of individual interactions, broadly classed as crimes such as murder, assault, rape etc. the greatest threat to humanity in terms of populations effected is the systematic application of brutality from an institutional perspective – war crimes, genocide and slavery. In my way of thinking, these social forms of brutality are just a scaled up version of individual brutality but used for a strategic purpose which is both illegal and immoral.