Sometimes turning the other cheek doesn’t work
One of the most important and often forgotten pieces of history from the last decade is the Iranian Revolution. Aside from short-lived Hollywood glory in Ben Affleck’s Argo (even then, it was turned into a playground to show the heroics of the CIA, with the involvement of the foreign government being kept to a minimum), the event has often been forgotten when it comes to the discussion of the revolutions of the past century.
And while the role of foreign governments is being discussed in a new light in the West, the dangers of hardline fanaticism are often forgotten when it comes to the discussion of this event. This is problematic, especially in light of current events. It’s no secret that after Brexit, things in Britain have been less than stellar.
Things took a further nosedive when Britain pushed for the release for Ghislaine Maxwell, and after her release, invited her over to give a speech during the anniversary of the Brexit vote. Both the IRA and the Westboro Baptist church took to the streets. The unofficial “special operational unit” of the government called “Oy Mates” took to the streets as well, to put the protestors of the IRA in place.
But when the militias of the Westboro people proved to be too difficult to handle (and let’s be honest, this is the same group that uses orphans as a human shields and has stopped investigations into decades of sexual abuse inside their own churches), the police were deployed, people were killed. As you would expect, the fallout from this would have grave consequences.
The IRA achieved some support from the people, but they were soon forgotten by the people. Westboro Baptist church had a large win from this, as they banked on the Christian nature of the masses and used that support to mobilize sympathy and political capital for themselves. They also singled out the IRA and liberals as their enemy, as a lot of people in the liberal circle are not comfortable with supporting tyrants (for obvious reasons).
Even still, a large portion of the liberal elites have taken to supporting these people, while also condemning their action. Suffice to say, this kind of support did not ruffle any feathers in the Baptist circle, as they deem such a centrist support (the police shouldn’t have killed people, and protestors shouldn’t protest violently) to be spineless and basic. And ultimately, this is something I agree with, albeit for different reasons.
The Baptists oppose this stance as they think that when protesting against one’s violent oppressors, one can only get their ways when they oppose their oppressors using force. And this is something I agree with. To the liberal elite, this is a no-no, as they believe anything and everything can be gained through working inside of the system.
First things first, the system itself is broken. Liberals believe the capitalist democratic system to be just and fair, but in reality, it is anything but. From issues like information asymmetry where people like Trump and Johnson can get elected, to issues like the greater holes of capitalism as a whole where the rich can do anything they want while the poor might die even for a sack of rice (the yearly suicides of farmers during harvest, anyone?), the system is inherently built on violence and oppression.
This is not a society where people of all communities and groups can live in harmony. The world is inherently zero sum as it is. Capitalist democracy essentially exacerbates the issue, where some groups have all the power and benefits in the world, which comes at the cost of the other people.
So yes, in this instance, the liberals are wrong. But what can be the end result of this? What can be the end result of a group trying to take back power through the barrel of a gun while the regular people of the country rally behind them, and the liberals with influence just sit back and watch?
Essentially, the people who are fighting will get the power. The time for idle chat is over, and since people have discovered that voting has no influence on outcome, since people have been deceived by the cronies of Nigel Farage for so long, the people would take the issue head on. And who better to lead them than a group that can mobilize these people based on the oldest ideals there are?
This is the first blow to the liberal ideology, the supposed ideology of peace and tolerance. What liberals forget is that they come from a place of privilege, and while there are a lot of things they want to implement, they are still a part of the ruling class. As such, it is easy for them to speak about peace and tolerance, as they can afford to do so. But what they forget is that they only have this privilege because their ancestors gained these positions by force. Without them, liberals would be nothing.
This brings us to another aspect of tolerance, and force in general. Liberals took a centrist position here because they believe the system to work. They believe if we all preached tolerance and peace, all of the issues of the world would disappear, just like that. This is bogus. While they watch Netflix while sipping tea, the camp that doesn’t want to be tolerant is mobilizing.
I imagine these pathetic liberals would preach the same tolerance if they were present during Hitler’s rise to power. When you are dealing with a group that wants to take away your rights, you don’t turn the other cheek. No my good sir, you fight back. Baptists have realized this, and they are doing the same. Liberals haven’t. And when the parliament falls and the Vatican comes into power again, trust me, worrying about what they can and can’t say will be the least of their concerns.
Nafis Shahriar is a student of business and an intern at the Dhaka Tribune.