Friday, September 9, 2016

Stepping back towards devils and witches

I wonder at times whether our advanced societies might not be stepping backwards, inexorably, towards devils and witches. In particular, the ancient theme of witches has appeared in my mind. Last Sunday, in the early hours of the morning, an unusual terrorist affair was revealed in Paris. In the vicinity of the great cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris (where Victor Hugo had invented and placed Quasimodo, better known as the Hunchback), inside an old vehicle without number plates, six bottles of gas were discovered. Five young women have been arrested, and there are no doubts that they were planning some bad work. They were described in French as "radicalisées, fanatisées”. That  means, to call a spade a spade, that these women were determined terrorists, on the point of committing serious crimes.

Now, I don’t intend to delve further into the details of this affair, which is still the most prominent news story this evening. What I wish to do is to reflect upon the possible evolution of thinking in France on such an affair, and the possibility that our society might be faced with the birth of very nasty attitudes towards terrorists.

Is my thinking influenced by the fact that the culprits were women, that they were determined to cause severe damage, and that their project for murder used material (gas bottles) that can be purchased at the local supermarket ? Yes, you can say that I was biased by those simple facts.

I wish to add an additional opinion, which is terribly grave. I believe that, to put it bluntly, there is no hope for such individuals. The possibility that these women might be magically “improved” is practically zero. In other words, it would be preferable, from many viewpoints, if these women were to simply disappear from our society. We have no place for them. For the moment, the only legal way of making them disappear from our society consists of putting them in prison, and making sure they stay there. No matter what their crime, there is no death sentence in France. So, they are likely to survive in prison for many years, and there is little likelihood that their years of suffering will have any positive benefits upon anybody, neither the women themselves, nor most members of our society.

In ancient societies, women of this kind might have been considered as witches, and they would have been put to death without too many questions being asked. That is the technique being used today by the USA to combat Daesh devils. I have the impression that, as more and more terrorists emerge, approaches for removing them might soon merge. But I don’t see how intelligent humans could ever survive in such a harsh new world.

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