Saturday, May 10, 2008

Myanmar’s Junta and Josef Fritzl: one and the same

Josef Fritzl is correct: he is “no monster.” And while his behavior may be frightening and disgusting, Josef Fritzl has demonstrated a behavior found in many humans: a pathological and perverse desire to control others. This behavior may seem monstrous, but it is a part of the human condition. To make matters worse, this same pattern of behavior is reflected, in varying degrees, in the institutions of government. Some governments are worse than others.

People like Josef Fritzl and the military junta of Myanmar control others by either imprisoning or isolating them from outside contact. Josef Fritzl imprisoned his own daughter while the government of Myanmar isolates its citizens from outside interactions and influences. Then comes the violence and rape. Without prying eyes Josef Fritzl could beat and rape his daughter at will – when ever the mood struck him. Without prying eyes, the junta of Myanmar can kill and torture those citizens who voice their displeasure about the regime and then rape the economy of the country to satisfy their own comfort and luxury.

But it doesn’t end there. Included in this perverse human behavior is always the justification that it is being done for good reasons. That this imprisonment, torture, and rape is for the welfare of the victim. Josef Fritzl believes that he was doing something good for his daughter. He was protecting her from the adversities of the outside world. Drugs, violence, a broken heart. The government of Myanmar believes this too. That they are helping the people of Burma. They are protecting them from the evils of the international community. And I’m pretty sure, that both Josef Fritzl and the military junta of Myanmar also believe that these people should appreciate and worship their efforts to save and protect them from the world. Already, Myanmar’s military is confiscating foreign aid resources and refusing the entry of foreign aid workers. You understand of course, that they must maintain the illusion that they are the saviors of the Burmese people. You can’t have foreign aid workers undermining that much less giving the people food and water. (If you think I'm exagerrating check out this update from the very next day May 10th).

And do you think this ‘control freak’ behavior is limited to Josef Fritzl and the government of Myanmar? No way. Religious cult leaders and serial killers also use this strategy. Strange government leaders too: Kim Jong-Il of North Korea, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and until his death in 2006, Saparmyrat Ataýewiç Nyýazow of Turkmenistan. Isolating people from outside influences in an attempt to control them occurs in China and India as well. Even the United States does this as it has by expelling foreign news journalists from Iraq. And in each and every case, it is done under the guise of protecting people from bad things, bad ideas, and even themselves.

No Josef Fritzl you are no monster and you aren’t insane. Nor are you – the leaders of Myanmar. You are simply the worst of human nature.


- Just a peasant

Photo from Channel4.com of a torture cell used at the Ba-ath Party Headquarters in Iraq.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree. It's sad and scary -- disgusting and horrific -- overwhelmingly mindboggling and upsetting, but most of all it's still part of human nature -- we need to be vigilant at all times to keep the worst of human nature in check.... :(

1:39 AM  
Anonymous just a peasant said...

Thank you for the comment.

9:39 AM  

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