Migration and Reason

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The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home for 160,000 refugees who have escaped the brutal Syrian civil war. 6,000 people arrive a day (Getty Images)

The number of refugees has dramatically increased over the past three years with almost 60 million people migrated from their homes in 201440 percent more than in 2011. There exists a false perception that the majority of the immigrants to Europe are economic migrants. But they are not: they flee as desperate asylum seekers, not economic migrants. They flee persecution and human rights abuses.

The main countries of origin are Syria, Eritrea, Somali and Afghanistan while millions are being driven out of the Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon. The Syrian civil war, instigated by the United States and its Arab allies in 2011 has caused more than 3.5 million people over the border with an additional 7.5 million people within Syria having fled their homes from a volatility that is the direct and indirect consequence of the continued and centuries long exploitation of the continent by Europe and the United States. Nobody wants them.

Like modern Gullivers, (see gullible, google, yahoos etc) pinned and nudged to be ‘reasonable’ we watch the jackboot of the Hegelian dialectic speed up time, dismantle countries, and take the lives of children and beings we do not know – people we do not see, people we evidently do not regard as equals.

As Alan Watt recently noted on his radio show, our thoughts about such atrocities are accepted as real, while reason – the part where we recognize that we are all fundamentally similar and equal – that part we can’t seem to access.

Are we not are in danger of  becoming displaced ourselves –  psychologically deadened and damaged by merely observing and not acting to create alternatives to the “…hidden injuries, hidden wounds that have been inflicted on [the] children [of Syria] because of what they have experienced; the behavioral changes, the nightmares that they carry around with them – the way in which they can no longer function as normal children do”?

A wise man said, “the answer is never in the context that created the problem…thus let the past go and create the future.”

Damage of conflict on Syrian Children

http://www.voanews.com/content/un-highlights-effects-of-damaging-conflict-on-syrian-children/1868559.html

What is life like inside the largest Syrian refugee camp

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/jordan/11782770/What-is-life-like-inside-the-largest-Syrian-refugee-camp-Zaatari-in-Jordan.html

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Torture Report

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I saw it on a TV show called 24. And they were able to save lives!

Yesterday’s report on the CIA’s use of torture was not a surprise, but it was still shocking…“interrogations that lasted for days on end. Detainees forced to stand on broken legs, or go 180 hours in a row without sleep. A prison so cold, one suspect essentially froze to death…the Senate Intelligence Committee is finally releasing it’s review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs and it is brutual.” (the Daily Beast)

State power using torture has been justified as a method of extracting information from potential psychopaths.  What if those administering the torture are themselves psychopathic? And what happens when we look in the mirror and see we’re the same because we allow it?

The aim of torture is to manipulate the human body. There are infinite ways torture of the bodies of this world exists: one is the withholding of food from those who,  just because they lack money, are unable to get it.

Writing about the Nazi system of torture in The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt wrote, “This new mechanized system [the Nazi prison system] eased the feeling of responsibility as much as was humanly possible. When, for instance, the order came to kill every day several hundred Russian prisoners, the slaughter was performed by shooting through a hole without seeing the victim.”

Allowing torture of any kind, especially the torture of children who do not have enough food, [nearly 37 percent of residents in  the South Bronx of New York  said they lacked money to buy food at some point in the past 12 months (1)],  makes us all complicit in “shooting through a hole without seeing the victim.”

The belief that one person cannot create a solution is perhaps the link to how we have come to accept a world in which torture is allowed. It’s OK as long as we don’t see it.

The Living Income Guaranteed can be a refuge – our commitment to humanity – and a way to rebuild our relationship with and for one another; for how can anyone say it is not torture to be hungry?

 

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/nyregion/14hunger.html

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