Friday, May 22, 2020

Strip away the civilized veneer, and human beings are still capable of anything


I'm obliged to American Partisan for posting a video of the rebellion and civil war in the Congo in 1964, when white mercenaries and Belgian paratroopers had to restore order across thousands of square miles of equatorial forest and bush.  The video is explicit:  you'll see bodies and parts of bodies, all of them real, and most of them casually discarded or even used as decorations by the fighting men.  That's what such absolute disregard for human life does to those who encounter it.  Eventually, it grinds you down.  You become numb, inured to it, no matter how deep your faith or developed your conscience.

I'm not going to embed the video here, because it's very graphic in its depiction of brutality and horror.  Nevertheless, if you want to see what Africa can be like at its worst, I recommend you watch it.  You'll find it at this link.  When you've done so (or if you'd rather not watch it, for which I don't blame you), read on below.

The thing is, nothing's changed in Africa.  Precisely that same brutality is going on right now in the east of the Congo.  The terrorist groups who oppose (and sometimes attack and kill) the medical teams trying to deal with Ebola?  They're the descendants of the same people who slaughtered so many thousands in the sixties.  It's not just the Congo, either.  The Rwanda genocide, the Burundi civil war, the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, the South Sudan civil war, the Sierra Leone conflict, the First and Second Liberian civil wars, the Rhodesian conflict, South Africa under apartheid . . . the list goes on and on.  Nor is it just Africa.  The Killing Fields of Cambodia, the East Timor genocide, the Nicaraguan Revolution, the Salvadoran Civil War . . . need I name more?  For another example of this sort of casual brutality in action, see the documentary "Cry Freetown" about the civil war in Sierra Leone.  You'll find it at this link.  The same warning applies to that video as to the earlier one - it's brutal.

This is the reality of more primitive societies when the thin veneer of civilization is removed from them.  Decades of colonial rule, followed by independence and decades of alleged "education" and "development", have not changed that basic reality.  I know.  I've been in many of those countries, and seen that at first hand for myself.  Nor is it only allegedly "primitive" societies.  Our First World nations are just as vulnerable to such savagery.  Consider the Holocaust, or the lynching of black people during the civil rights struggle in the American South.  It's just that we (usually, but not always) take longer to strip away our slightly thicker veneer of civilization.

Many people in the First World today have become so insulated from this sort of reality that they literally can't conceive of it.  Yet . . . it's not very far from us.  Consider cartel violence in Mexico, or the worst of the crime-ridden inner-city ghettoes in the United States.  Precisely the same savagery is evident there.  It's almost indescribable to a Western audience, because their educated, civilized minds just can't wrap themselves around such things.  Yet . . . it's true.

We may degenerate more slowly than others, revert to savagery more gradually than others:  but in all of us, civilization is only so deep.  Pushed far enough, some - too many - of us really are capable of reverting to the most primitive savagery.  I hate to acknowledge that, and I don't want to believe it, but I've seen too much to doubt it.

Peter

18 comments:

mark leigh said...

A civilized man goes armed because the barbarians are everywhere and must not be allowed to win. Africa is need of a great cleansing but that cannot be done by outside forces. For myself had I the resources the best one can do for Africa is to sell defensive weapons to the unarmed farmers for the price of a chicken. Only a people willing to protect themselves and respectful of others ability to do the same can be truly peaceful.

Craig Mark said...

In first world countries the degeneration is likely to peel away just as fast since our last few generations have been indoctrinated with the concept that life is pretty much cheap/worthless (abortion on demand, at ALL stages).

Glen said...

Rider Haggard wrote repeatedly on this.
For a very recent example, Monrovia Mon Amour, by Theodore Dalrymple Documents the recent breakdown of Liberia.

kurt9 said...

I don't want to face the killer instinct
Face it in you or me
So we keep it under lock and key

We don't want to be victims
That we all agree
So we lock up the killer instinct
and throw away the key

Dov Sar said...

Reginald Denny, LA, 1992

Beans said...

What most 'civilized' folk don't understand is that civilization and civility are hard, very hard to do. Even harder to do it right. Hard on the mind and soul. Easy on the body though.

Barbarism or hunter-gatherer tribalism or any stone-age type of -ism is easy on the mind, easy to grasp, easy to implement. Though they are rather hard on the bodies.

And, sadly, you can't force civilization on people that don't want it. Though you can force barbarism on people that don't want it. And when it happens, it is surprising how hard the people grasp it.
Like, oh, mounting the burned head of an enemy soldier on the front of your tank (WWII, Central Pacific) or casually displaying dead enemies and their pieces-parts.

It's why a cool-down period from bringing troops from active warfare back to civilization. Sometimes it just takes a few days of being on post and in semi-dress uniform (one of the reasons I think the wearing of BDU-type uniforms everywhere should be stopped. There's a civilizing influence in being forced to wear Class A's or the equivalent, at least a decent pair of slacks, nice shirt or blouse and an tie.) Back in WWII and previous wars, a lot of decompression and recivilizing could be done on the trips back, especially if on a sea voyage.

Rick T said...

+100 Beans... Rituals are more important than we realize.

I've been working in an empty office instead of from home but that means I still have the morning prep, dress, and travel to gear up and travel time home to gear down from office-mode.

I'm agree with you the change from troop ships to aircraft beginning with Korea has caused the PTSD problems we see today. Going from a war zone and Zone Red/Black alertness 24/7 to Zone White in less than a day doesn't allow for any mental transition.

Old NFO said...

Concur on the 'rituals'... Keeping the dragon back is important!

jxbdz said...

Albert Schweitzer published his "African Notebook" in 1939.
It contained the following passage, excised from subsequent editions:
"I have given my life to try to alleviate the sufferings of Africa. There is something that all white men who have lived here like I must learn and know: that these individuals are a sub-race. They have neither the intellectual, mental, or emotional abilities to equate or to share equally with white men in any function of our civilization. I have given my life to try to bring them the advantages which our civilization must offer, but
I have become well aware that we must retain this status: the superior and they the inferior. For whenever a white man seeks to live among them as their equals they will either destroy him or devour him. And they will destroy all of his work. Let white men from anywhere in the world, who
would come to Africa, remember that you must continually retain this status; you the master and they the inferior like children that you would help or teach. Never fraternize with them as equals. Never accept them as your social equals or they will devour you. They will destroy you."

Chas S. Clifton said...

Yes, civilization is just so deep, but remember that 1960s novel and movie "Lord of the Flies," that fantasized about a group of English schoolboys turning savage?

Something like that scenario actually happened in the South Pacific in 1965, and it turned out very differently.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/09/the-real-lord-of-the-flies-what-happened-when-six-boys-were-shipwrecked-for-15-months

Eaton Rapids Joe said...

I am deeply saddened by your post because it is true.

We have millions of people who believe that everybody is exactly like they are.

That is true at one level and very untrue at others.

Timothy Treadwell was sure grizzly bears are the same as humans. In some ways it is true. They are mammals. Mothers love their babies. Our cells share the same metabolic pathways.

Timothy Treadwell was killed by one of the bears he "befriended".

If I may be so bold as to quote the Bible: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8

As true today as when it was first written.

Beans said...

Being stuck in a 'send back camp' and then a troop ship allowed war veterans to hang with their fellows and decompress and talk to others who saw and experienced the same things, roughly.

Sending someone straight from the front to home is a way of mentally murdering them.

It's why I've encouraged the GOT veterans to, as soon as they come home, join the VFW or American Legion or even the local NatGuard so they can be around people who've 'seen the elephant' and have the '1000' yard stare.'

I've read a lot, seen a lot, but there's still a huge gap between what I've experienced and what combat vets have.

Greg said...

That "thin veneer of civilization" in our oh so comfy USA vanishes about 48 hours after the EBT cards stop working. The cities will burn first, which is why I live a very long way from anything like a city. Although even way out in the boondocks here we are infested with libtards who are one or two meals from going feral.
We prep for the worst and hope for the best. In our current situation, the worst would be a long term grid down scenario. Whether we witness it in our lifetimes or not, it is a possibility that would kill 70 to 90% of the population. And as I carry the thinking through to its logical conclusions I have to ask: Do I even want to live through such horror?

PresbyPoet said...

My wife's father was a Marine who went ashore on Guadalcanal in August 1942. What happened on that island was horror he would never talk about. When we emptied his home after he died, we found a partly used message pad from Guadalcanal. I wonder what he remembered as he looked at that "innocent" carbon paper pad.

Trust is essential for civilization. Our trust wears thin. I no longer trust the FBI. I no longer trust the CDC. I no longer trust any "news" from the MSM. I no longer trust the WHO. So many things we need to trust come from those we cannot trust. Will anyone trust the 2020 election results? No one should trust Red China.

The South did not trust Lincoln. Civil war the result. A rough calculation of direct and indirect deaths from an American hot civil war is 2 to 3 billion. When we fight, food is not produced. The world starves. I fear the left tears out the supports of civilization. Like the devil, thinking to rule in hell. The veneer thins.

The Lab Manager said...

"Consider the Holocaust, or the lynching of black people during the civil rights struggle in the American South. It's just that we (usually, but not always) take longer to strip away our slightly thicker veneer of civilization."

I really don't care that blacks were lynched in the past by whites. Don't forget the 'duh-verse' feral animals that are taught to hate YT and shoot each other with abandon even in this time of relative peace. American blacks have killed far more of each other on a yearly basis that the total number lynched over a longer period. The inner city trash are incapable of doing anything resembling civilization, yet we are forced to feeds these POS's.

I'm sure after the Chinese takeover Africa, some of them will begging for colonial rule by Europeans.

John T. Block said...

Read the quotations of Col. Jeff Cooper. He tought much the same thing in his school, and his writings. We forget, or ignore this, at our peril....

John T. Block said...

Peter, your friend Lawdog has written about the Monster in his heart, that he keeps in hard lock-down, unless or until he must deal with similar savagery. Peace and love are all fine and admirable, but I'll stay back here and cover them in case it doesn't work out....because like you, I know the veneer is thin.

Rick in NY said...

Agreed gentlemen... and John, your reference to Lawdogs post came quickly to my mind while reading this article. It is definitely a struggle to remain civilized with how uncivil the world is becoming of late. Hold fast, gentlemen, to your morals and ideals... I fear we shall be needing them more in the near future.