It seems fashionable for Winnipeg bloggers to justify revenge, payback for wrongs committed in the immediate past. Look at Endless Spin or Jim Cotton for two of many examples. In Margaret Atwood’s incredile Massey Lectures from 2008, Payback, we can read that “there are two antidotes to the endless chain reaction of revenge and counter-revenge”: first, “through courts of law”; but “the other antedote is more radical”…
“It is told of Nelson Mandela that, after much persecution, and when he was finally freed from the prison where he’d been put by the Apartheid government in South Africa, he said to himself that he had to forgive all those who had wronged him by the time he reached the prison gates or he would never be free […] because he’s be bound to them by the chains of vengence.”
“In other words, the antidote to revenge is not justice but forgiveness. How many times must you forgive? someone once asked Jesus of Nazareth. Seventy time seven, or as many times as it takes, was the answer.”
It angers me to no end that people sitting comfortably on the other side of the Earth would try to point to injust actions from the immediate past to justify further injustices, as if the scales of justice could ever be balanced through future killing. Each side, in justifying their attacks, provides justification for the attacks of the other side thanks to the Principle of Universality. Either both sides are justified in using violence, or neither. I vote for neither.