The Dark Side of Human Nature

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Unsolved Mystery.- “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Leo Tolstoy
“The ego has learned to be very clever in order to survive. It is capable of resorting to any lengths or ruse of self-deception and camouflage. The world we witness is merely the drama of collective egos acting out on the perceptual stage of form and time. The satisfactions of the ego are more pleasurable and addictive than the preservation of human life, much less dignity.” — David R. Hawkins
Our modern world is reflection of our collective “Ego” (our false, illusionary self/identity) and this reflection is frightening. What we are doing to each other and to our children is the reality hard to believe and to accept.
Although no person wants to suffer, people continually gravitate to the things that cause suffering because of their ignorance. The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof.
War and violence are fueled by human greed and envy rooted in deep ignorance. Genocide has never resolved any problems – in fact it made problems and conflicts much worse.
Why alcohol, drugs, prostitution, and pornography (including child pornography) exist in our modern world?
Because there are many people who crave for it and buy it. Without demand there would be no supply…
We humans are capable of immense love and sensitivity but we have also been capable of greed, hatred, brutality, rape, murder and war. This duality of what has historically been referred to as ‘good’ and ‘evil’ has troubled the human mind since we first became fully conscious, thinking beings: are humans essentially ‘good’ and, if so, what is the cause of our ‘evil’, destructive, insensitive and cruel side? Are we evil by design or corruption?
Why these things are still happening today?
If we were observing beings on another planet behaving like our own species, we would very likely call them monsters. Yet we appear to be blind and numb when it comes to crimes we inflict onto our own species (driven by ignorant Ego and false beliefs).
By now, with the aid of modern science and technology, we could have easily started not only exploration colonies on the Moon and Mars, but also have eliminated hunger, disease, and poverty on our entire planet. Instead, we spend majority of our wealth and scientific knowledge starting senseless wars which kill millions of defenseless people.
Are wars and violence reflection of evilness of a small minority who control and manipulate the rest of the population or are these reflection of thinking and attitudes of an average human being (viewed as a holographic reflection of our collective consciousness)? What makes it possible for genocidesof millions to be initiated by just one person (e.g. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot)? Out of fear our “Ego”, in its blind desire to dominate and survive at any cost, will justify commitment of most horrific acts.
‘Genocide is the deliberate extermination of a racial, religious or ethnic group’ (Chambers Dictionary). Genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law. Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group as such:
killing members of the group,
causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group,
deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,
imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group,
forcible transferring children of the group to another group.
The following acts shall be punishable:
conspiracy to commit genocide,
direct and public incitement to genocide,
attempt to commit genocide,
complicity in genocide.
From the United Nations Convention on Genocide, 1948
With macabre bureaucratic precision the Kmer Rouge photographed their victims before torturing and killing them. This picture is all that remains of a mother and child murdered in Tuol Sleng Prison sometime between 1975 and 1979.
Many countries signed the Convention, some of whom have since been party to genocide. Only a few people have been charged with genocide or complicity in it.
The word ‘genocide’ was coined in 1944 to name aparticularly shocking and horrific crime of violence which it was then believed could never happen again. That it has been put into practice so many times in one century is even more shocking.
The human race is the only species that can and does think itself into anger and violence. (‘The more I thought about it, the angrier I got.‘) We ought to be able to think our way out of it too. (‘Later I realised that violence didn’t achieve anything.’) One much-practised way of thinking one’s way to violence is developing beliefs to back it up; some of them may head towards the absurd:
‘Violence is the only way to get respect.’
‘Violence is the only language they understand.’
I’m good, you’re evil,’
‘We’re peaceful, they’re brutal.’
‘I wasn’t going to let them beat me.’
‘They’re ALL cheats/liars/scroungers/dirty.’
‘If I took it lying down, I couldn’t hold my head up again.’ And so on…
There may have been a time in the early history of the human race (a time when the natural world was the chief threat to survival) when this kind of primitive thinking served a purpose. But it’s nothing but a handicap now.
Genocide is not a wild beast or a natural disaster. It is mass murder deliberately planned and carried out by individuals, all of whom are responsible whether they made the plan, gave the order or carried out the killings. Whatever its scale, genocide is made up of individual acts, and individual choices to perform them. So human individuals need to make the commitment, as early in life as possible, that they will have no truck with it. To do that, the way genocide becomes possible has to be understood.
There follow outline histories of eight 20th century genocides. You may want to research some of them further. There are also pointers towards some of the issues they raise, particularly in respect of their causes. Prejudice, racism, grievance, intolerance, aggression, injustice, oppression – they all start small, and we need to spot and stop them in our own local orbits before they grow and get out of control. This means looking at the often long prehistory of genocide, as well as its symptoms in the present.Understanding these will help to avert future horrors.
8 GENOCIDES of the 20th Century:

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