Wednesday, April 04, 2007

History's Evil

Now I am not one to dwell in the dungeons of the depraved or one to fixate on evil but I am certainly one who firmly believes that if we ignore the past we are condemned to repeat it. History has recorded as far back as 37AD where evil men and women, fuelled by power, religion, sadism or lust, have reined terror throughout society in the form of terror. It is because of this belief that governments today have put checks and balances in place in order to attempt to avoid such mistakes in the future… or at least try to.

On Wednesday, December 06, 2006, I submitted a post titled “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” In it, I shared my belief that if we are to protect the rights and freedoms that our ancestors spilt their blood for, we need to remember our past to protect our future. My concluding paragraph was as follows:

“If we, as members of humanity, take a stand for human rights and do what it takes to stop monsters such as these, we could stop them dead in their tracks. Now is the time to fight for the oppressed, the tortured and the hungry. What will it take for us to learn from our mistakes of apathy before we take a stand? What will it take for us to learn that indifference is not the answer? We need to remember the mistakes made by others in the past if we are to protect humanity in the future.”

Recently, I came across a book titled The Most Evil Men and Women in History authored by Miranda Twiss. In it, are biographies on 16 of the most evil men and women our world has ever known. As far back as Nero, the fifth emperor of Rome, to Torquemada, the Spanish Inquisitor down through Pol Pot, the architect of genocide, the book paints a grim picture of our society’s not so proud past.

I have just begun this book and as time goes on, I plan to introduce you to some of these monsters of our history books. The purpose will not be to glorify these individuals or concentrate on their atrocities but instead to bring to light of what happens if we allow people like these a free reign to terrorize citizens of our countries.

And “yes,” this is still occurring throughout our societies today… Can you think of any? I am very sure you can.

And so… Welcome to the monsters of our past.


Hammer said...

We haven't learned anything. More half of America wants to ignore this Evil and pretend it doesn't exist or have anything to do with us.

Wendz said...

Have you ever read The Rape of Nanking?

That book made me vomit, cry and have nightmares. Never ever seen such a display of the evilness of man. Horrific and terrifying.

I'll read your posts with great interest, but not while I am eating.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Evil does exist in the heart of men. So does stupidity and it is our stupidity that lets evil flourish.

Jazz said...

What squirrel said. Stupidity and apathy let evil flourish.

However, I can understand that, past a certain point, what can you do. For instance I've often heard "how can the people who lived near Auschwitz have let that happen". What could they do, really. Shut up and survive or talk and die.... Honestly, I know what my choice would have been.

Janice Thomson said...

Good thought-provoking post Dave. LGS has nailed it perfectly--it is our own stupidity AND greed that allows this to happen. At the risk of offending my American friends I feel Bush will go down in the annals of history as having a "different agenda" that had nothing to do with benefiting mankind as a whole. That not so secret dirty little piece of paper calling for A New World Order propagated by Rumsfeld and turned down in sheer horror by France, Germany, and their allies, is one example of the evil that is very much in evidence today.

Monika said...

It's easy to put ones head into the sand and pretend nothing's happening; on the other hand, I think I would go mad or loose the will to live on this earth, if I would follow the horrors of our time too closely.
I really would like to know, how it's possible for people, like the ones you are reading about right now, or the ones living in our present, to get so powerful, to inflict so much pain and horror. In my opinion they are/were insane. Doesn't that show somehow?

patterns of ink said...

I've just spent quite a while enjoying your archives. I'll be back. We have similar tendencies in our posts. You may enjoy some thoughts on the conflict from my October 2004 archive and this post:

I shut down comments on that post because it drew some from a jihadist (and it spooked my family).
Love the picture of your hockey game. If you dig through my archives you'll see what I mean about similar interests.
Great blog you have here!

Josie said...

Freddie and I were having a conversation about this just the other day, and he asked me if rulers like this could still exist. And yes they can and still do. I'm really looking forward to your series of posts.

(Have you ever heard of the Skull and Crossbones society?)


CS said...

Evil will always be here, as long as there is greed and ignorance. But I will interested to read your takes on some of the monsters who came before.