Life seems to go down the drain:
Terrorists just go into magazine offices and kill editors and journalists and companies short staff their departments without reducing goals or work. I feel an uneasiness I have never felt before.
And it’s not for lack of reasons for feeling uneasy: I grew up in Western Germany in the 70s and 80s. Terrorists were on the loose too. They were just religious. Just political. Not that that makes any difference.
The first thing, I can remember seeing on the TV news, was a bank boss being shot in his car by terrorists. Not exactly a picture a 7 or 8-year-old wants to see. But that’s the first time I ever consciously watched the news.
The Anti-Nuclear movement was quite busy a little later on and books like “The Last Children of Schewenborn” brought the hazards of nuclear power and weapons home to a young Bee. There was an American Army Camp somewhere hidden in the forests where I grew up and often at night they transported stuff around under heavy police guard. I could only guess what that might have been.
The cold war might not have been on its height but pretty much at its end and for a while it felt like everything for sure would go boom. No matter how perilous these situations felt to a young Bee I never had the feeling that our society stands at a cross road and the question is: Will our fight for freedom (and not only of speech) lead us to real freedom or just to a state voluntary imprisonment where big brother will be watching us. And dear me: aren’t I living in Great Britain where you are being watched literally everywhere.
This morning on the news one BBC journalist in France asked something like this: Where will all this lead? Will it make communities come closer together or will it draw them more apart? And where is the line between freedom of speech and respect for religious feelings?
But are these people, who go around killing, really religious? I am sure the prophet Mohammad did not preach to go and kill journalist just because they draw or write something they do not agree with. Neither says the bible to kill doctors who do abortions. It seems to me that these kinds of people feel very alienated in the society they live in and just take a misunderstood concept of religion as a pretext to let all their frustration out.
The question it seems to me is rather:”Why is it that citizens of so-called civilised countries feel so frustrated with the state of affairs that they let all restraints go and go on a killing spree?” Many citizens feel frustrated with the state of affairs. The demonstrations in Germany against Muslim immigrants are just a less violent side of the same coin. The rise of right-wing parties like UKIP and Front National falls in the same category: People are frustrated and afraid, and they feel that those responsible for them do not have their best interest in mind.
And I suspect they are right. It seems to me more and more that the only thing, that counts, is making money but certainly
not the welfare of human beings: corrupt politicians, paedophile celebrities, companies bosses earning more and more while their employees can hardly pay the heating bill. The list could go on. Moreover, why do Mr. Marx and his vision of capitalism comes to mind?
And what kind of society do we want? Do we really want a society where people feel alienated for whatever reason or do we want a society that includes everybody and finds a balance and compromise that everyone can live with? And how can we achieve this? More and more surveillance certainly won’t make society more secure, and its citizens feel safe and included. Paris has clearly shown this and MI5 in Britain said it clearly:”No amount of surveillance can stop all terrorist attacks!”
At the end of my thoughts about all this, there is only one question left: “What makes us/me feel secure?”
No wonder I feel uneasy!
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January