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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The etymology of the common word torture goes back to the Latin 'torture', to twist. Thus we have words the likes of torsion, tortuous (as in a torturous effort), and many more which would indicate an extreme physical effort.
Yet it also has another application, that being applied to the human mind itself. Manipulation of peoples thoughts and beliefs can be as difficult to endure as anything which might be done to their physical bodies, and can be far more difficult to redress.
Husbands and wives torture each other universally. Children torture each other almost ritualistically on playgrounds and schoolyards. Those in authority torture their subordinates for the sake of the mere ability to do so. And this, again, is not a practice confined to those countries usually associated with physical abuse, but is present in all.
This is the problem one faces when addressing the atrocity of torture. It is all pervasive, and is indeed a part of our basic animal nature.
It has been said that 'misery loves company', and perhaps the inflicting of such pain is a facet of our intrinsic nature, and in some, leads to an escallation in which physical pain is natural, for either those who are disturbed or for their victims.
We must examine ourselves, and our own proclivity towards sharing anguish, and if we can control such instinctual behavior in our own actions, we may diminish, to some small extent, torture in general.
However, as long as we blindly allow others to make decisions for us under the guise of government or religious leaders, we will continue to allow, if not support, this abhorrent behavior. and vicariously share the blame for whatever might be done in the name of 'security'.
You are responsible for the torture of innocents, as am I.
As long as their are children left in uncaring hands, or prisoners held by suspect governments, or penitents allowing themselves to undergo 'spiritual purification', you and I must accept responsibility.
We know of the problem. We have yet to determine a solution.
But sadly, we, to a large part, have abrogated our accountability, and, in the words of George Bush Sr. and 'The Dude', this will not stand.

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