Speaking about the light and dark sides, the good and the evil, thanks to one of my friends on Facebook, I’ve had an opportunity to dwell a bit longer on the subject of ruthlessness, how bad and deeply rooted it is in us. No, no one’s an angel. But the best of us master the balance of the competing halves of the ego. Greed is important, too. What else would drive us forward and give us strength to stand up for new challenges? You may well be greedy and aggressive, jumpy, selfish and harsh if you mean good, have a legitimate and honourable goal—something that wouldn’t make other people condemn your deed. Personally I see an optimistic historical trend as we as a whole and in the historical context are constantly improving in mastering the balance.
What I am reviewing in my posts of 4 November could be interpreted as a drop in favour of evil in the spiritual balance of ourselves, the post-Soviets. My point is that ruthlessness, or heartlessness, as such is a pure evil. It gives no strength, no meaning. The person I am discussing with in the FB episode here obviously sees no value in the lives of other people. It doesn’t really matter why.
Here he finds it relevant enough to “punish” them for not being fluent enough in a specific language and explains it drawing parallels with another county and a different language with no relation to the subject of cancer or any similarly lethal threat. He seems to be eager to sacrifice their lives in the name of a language, a means of communication which doesn’t exist without people. It’s pointless, both from the point of view of making a sacrifice and from the point of view of worshipping an idol.
That’s why my conclusion is that the whole exercise of the Latvian Language Police prohibiting Russian print of the cancer early detection leaflets is not about the language and even not about sacrificing people’s lives on the altar of a fetish. It’s about pure heartlessness. It is pure evil, as pure sadism can be. Just exactly the same as the sadism of NKVD or Gestapo interrogators, Gulag or jail guards. A small drop of evil on earth, one small drop too many to break the fine balance, a drop that can cause a bit of or a lot of real pain. I personally have difficulty portraying who might attempt to justify the drop of pure, pointless, sadistic evil, if not a madman who may just as well be eating children.
Now on a rational note, I may add a thing which in my view is self-evident but which still seems to be rather obscure for policy-makers and executives in my dawning country. If you have a quite sizeable linguistic minority/-ies in your parish, be the caring shepherd. You have your nazi-style statistics on who’s the “jew” in the neighbourhood—stop waiting for day when you’ll be painting yellow stars on their doors. Use your nazi-style stat for something better, find out what languages are spoken in your flock, find out for once who don’t understand a word when you try to convey important stuff to them. You may just as well have older people who will never learn a new language and for some ten or fifteen years more you may still want to keep talking to them a language they prefer, because they are your flock, and you are their shepherd. This is what those in charge in some other countries do. Aren’t they wise? You, too, have a fair chance, grab it.