By Abel Merawi
January 22, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- There are many issues I have not been able to figure out, yet I sometimes ponder to examine them and shed some light. Injustice is one of them. Nature may do us injustice, but at least the injustice is not done with prejudice. It envelops the good, the bad, and the indifferent. There is the question of whether nature is just or unjust, which still remains to be resolved. There is another form of injustice that brings more incomprehensible agony. The most intolerable and unacceptable injustice is the one done by human beings on other fellow human beings. This, I think, should be addressed to create a better portrait of the reality of the future.
The injustice committed by humans is hideous for the very fact that it is anti-life. I dread when I contemplate that human beings are the only creatures on earth that inflict pain and misery on one’s own race. Throughout history, it is the few that torment the life of the many, the destitute who are hoping for some solace that never comes. The majority – the people – are deprived of hope by the few – the powerful and undeservedly rich – who are not satisfied until they possess everything. There is no abundance in the eyes of the few for their blinding greed is never quenched. They do not have a love for humanity, their heart only knows how to love power and material things. In their world, the suffering of the people pales in comparison to the luxury they crave.
The manifestation of injustice committed by human beings is legion. It could be done at the personal level, or group or institutional level. Yet, every form of injustice has one thing in common: it is a contradiction to life. The worst thing about injustice is that it never has a good or logical reason behind it. The injustice committed at the individual level is mostly done to gain more power or resources, specifically to feel superior. Think of corruption, for instance, and think of the reason people are corrupt. It is odd and rare to hear that the corrupt say the money was needed to feed one’s family or to be used for a good cause such as helping the needy. Mostly, the corrupt needs the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, which in turn is needed to impress other people. Can you imagine taking money from the poor and the working class simply because you want to feel like you are on top of the world? It seems like insanity, yet it is a common trend everywhere, perhaps worse in developing countries than others.
Each one of us must stop and ask: Why do we do such things? Being trapped in petty competition to the point of stealing the bread of a destitute is never justifiable.
Injustice on an individual level would not have succeeded if it had not been for a society and a system that rewards it. Nowadays, we have even changed the vocabulary we use to describe the unjust. We call such worthless people the smart and witty ones. We don’t bother to check the source of one’s power and wealth as long as they possess it. Instead, most people try to attach themselves to the unjust and benefit in the process. At times, even our sense of justice promotes injustice. In ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, the German philosopher F. Nietzsche writes, "What justice means to us is precisely that the world is filled with the storms of our revenge" - thus they speak to each other. "We shall wreak vengeance and abuse on all whose equals we are not" - thus do the tarantula hearts vow.” We use the sacred name of justice to seek revenge and oppress others.
Just consider the ethnic and sectarian injustice in our country, and you will have a complete picture of what I am talking about. It is unimaginable to listen to people who say that they feel justified that people from a certain ethnicity are persecuted, displaced and killed because they have wronged them in some historical or fictional past. Look at the mob injustice committed by the community when they catch and beat the life out of a thief who may have stolen a purse or a mobile phone. What rights do these people or the police have to physically abuse a criminal except for handing him/her over to the authorities for a proper trial? Imagine the level of madness by those religious fanatics who cry for justice when a church is burned but feel happy and justified when it happens to a mosque; or vice versa. Remember, seeking revenge is not justice but another form of injustice.
Upon witnessing the injustice at the individual and group levels, we demand justice from the government and from the various non-governmental institutions. The innocent people seem to forget that the so-called political and social organizations can also be unjust. It is common to see politicians pretending they did not know about a certain incident or trying to justify it somehow because they depend on the support of some people during the election. We also see politicians persecuting those who fight for human rights and justice because they feel their power is threatened. The same goes to the NGOs who benefit in the name of children, women and the underprivileged. To fill your personal coffers by collecting money in the name of the suffering is a repugnant crime. I find it absurd when people say they want to work for NGOs because it pays more. The claimed purpose of these organizations is to alleviate the burden of others by sacrificing or dedicating themselves to a higher cause than a personal one. To join humanitarian organizations for a fat salary is missing the mark. Even worse, it can be creating a system of using the money on pointless exercises like seminars and researches instead of the actual people. I ask every false humanitarian and every tyrant, is your petty power and resource worth the suffering of the helpless people?
The injustice we commit in the name of ideologies, identity or any other difference, is causing real suffering to the people. Yuval Noah Harari states, “Whenever politicians start talking in mystical terms, beware. They might be trying to disguise and excuse real suffering by wrapping it up in big incomprehensible words. Be particularly careful about the following four words: sacrifice, eternity, purity, redemption. If you hear any of these, sound the alarm.” The reasons behind injustice are indefensible and never justifiable. All of these calls for action. Society arrangement which operates by the blood of the people to satisfy the ungrateful few must be put to a halt. People can get better justice only when they unite and take back their power. The world is for all; everyone has equal privilege to live, to exist and to reap the fruits of the ever-giving earth.
Abel Merawi is Addis Ababa-based contributor for Ezega.com. He can be reached through this form.
Other articles by Abel Merawi:
Education Demands of the Future
Job Security, Life and the Unpredictable Future
The Shift From Racism to Culturism
Sacrificing Meaning for Power?
Culture and Market Forces
Seeking Cosmic Justice
National Myths: Makers and Destroyers of Nations
Are We Truly Free?
Maturity: The Prerequisite to Freedom and Democracy
Loyalty to Truth, Not to Group
The Value of Work
The Flaws with Ethiopian Political System
Intellectuals and the People
Where Are Our Pathfinders?
The Allegory of the Cave and Its Lessons to Leaders
The Truth Behind Humanity
The Seven Virtues
The Seven Deadly Sins
What is the right thing to do?
Building National Identity
Adey Abeba and the Spirit of Change
Living the Truth as a Human Being
Hubris - The Tragedy of Not Learning from Others
The Era of Group Mentality: Us vs Them
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