As I was eating my breakfast yesterday morning, I stared at the battered, lifeless corpse of former Lybian dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and had an epiphany: people really don't recognize the moment that they become hypocrites.
I firmly believe the rebels had a right to be pissed. And they had a right to oust Gaddafi. All people deserve to be free and live in dignity, served by (not ruled by) a government of their choosing. But when I saw Gaddafi all battered and dead, I realized something even more harrowing: the rebels had become Gaddafi. And isn't that the way it goes? We turn into the thing we hate, because instead of rising above it, we think to give it a taste of its own medicine.
I was talking to a friend on Twitter yesterday. And, in the midst of my disappointment and shock, I actually said something wise and mature: "The only right way to fight oppression is to fight smarter and better and righter -- not violenter." Violenter is not a word, but the rest are, and I think I made a good point: our evolved brains are supposed to give us the ability to rise above of oppressors mentally, physically, and -- most importantly -- emotionally.
As people opposing Gaddafi's ridiculous autocracy and ethnic cleansing, the rebels' main job was to get him out of power (and hopefully not tear the country to ribbons while doing it). That was their original goal. But then, how do you explain Gaddafi's battered body yesterday? Easily: it was hate. It was anger over him and everything about him and the fact that he was the enemy. Why is it that hate is the most human trait there is, yet it's the one we're supposed to rise above? But that's the thing: every human, no matter what their beliefs or culture knows that hate is wrong. They know what it does. They know that hate festers until it's all there is. Fear is the mind-killer, but hate is the soul-killer. We all know it, but we still let it get the best of us.
Overwhelming anger and passion is the only way an average person could actually go through with killing someone. (Psychopaths and sociopaths obviously operate differently, but we shan't go into them now.) But when you're full of hate, you change. Killing becomes less of a big deal. It becomes less justice and more vengeance, and you've probably forgotten the real reason you were angry in the first place. That dudes who were parading Gaddafi's corpse were all like "Fuck yeah! We killed that sonbitch!"
Yeah, you killed him. Now what?
Because that's the thing: killing him during a raid is just vengeance. You showed everyone (especially Gaddafi) that you were pissed off. But you forgot why. If he was put on trial and had a sentence according to the local legal system, the whole world would've seen why the rebels were angry. They would've showed everyone that Gaddafi's a bad guy, he did bad things, and they refuse to be ruled by that. Execution under law is a political and social choice of a people. But Gaddafi was just killed out in the streets; what was done to him, he'd probably had done to others in the past, but that doesn't make it right.
And, when you kill someone: you just became a killer. You just became the thing you hated. The bullied became the bully; the beaten child beats his children. And that, my friends, is the worst kind of hypocrisy there is.
But with all that said, I sincerely hope the Libyan people find peace, because they deserve it. Everyone does.