Hofileña: Cultural values and political violence in history
April 27, 2022 No Comments
IN OUR column today, we highlight the historic interactions between politics and violence with focus on this phenomenon in contemporary times. We particularly noted the relationships between politics and violence because of the recent notable events of violence erupting in various parts of the world. The media reports presented the tragic events of various cases of inhumanities especially in the Middle Eastern areas of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Turkey; several states in Africa; and the more recent tragedies in Belgium, France and the United States including a number of countries in Asia.Almost every week of the past several months, various cases of violence have disturbed the much hoped for situation of peace and harmony in the world today. Our column has especially noted one of the most heart breaking of the evils of inhuman violence in Ukraine with the exodus of pitiable helpless dislocated people fleeing from the killings and destructions of their homeland and on their way to doubtful receptions in different European countries.In our concern to find some clarifications on our questions today, we have been guided by various references from ancient authors to more recent sources on the history of human relations which have been affected by the widely spreading climate of human violence which have sown the seeds of the politics of fear, impunity, oppression, deception, and greed for power and wealth and all these cases highlighted by fearful cases of terrorism.As historians have explained it, politics is the study of a country in all its elements, aspects and relationships and which include various features of human behavior, and how governments and peoples conduct themselves in their societies. Other authors focus on the study of politics to discover whatever principle may exist of general significance not only about the state and its institutions but also of basic characteristics such as the culture, values and attitudes of the people and their leaders. To quote the great philosopher Aristotle in his famous book “The Politics,” every polis or city state, is a kind of association and man by nature is a political animal.From the view of Aristotle, the essence of social existence, culture and the human beings interacting with one another are often involved in political relationships. He further pointed out the political kinds of authority such as that of the statesman or the head of a family and in this relationship there arises conflicts and related ways by which human beings endeavor to find solutions.History has often taught that when people live together in associations, they create rules or governments to deal with conflicts and these attempts to rule also generate other conflicts.This dilemma originally written by many other writers from history has shown that the only way by which human beings could maximize their capabilities and attain the highest development of their social life is through political and cultural interactions in the institutionalized setting of the state. This is because the state is designed to resolve social conflicts and set collective goals that would attain and promote a good life for all citizens.The major challenge here is how to harmonize the varying cultural values of different groups of people living within one nation. On this matter, political power through the government must be exercised with equal treatment and must balance the interests of the various peoples in an environment of fairness and freedom. We will continue these clarifications on the paramount principle of cultural values which government and people must coordinate in the political setting to address the evils of human violence.