License to Kill

Several young people remain beside the remains of a vehicle, at the scene of the attack last Thursday on Barcelona’s La Rambla. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 21 August 2017 — The most complex ethical dilemma facing a human being is to make the decision to die or to kill. Faced with this conflict, there are those who justify themselves by arguing that only by taking a life can they defend their family, their patrimony, the sovereignty of a nation, ideological principles or religious beliefs.

The terrorist attacks of the recent years have been committed mostly by Islamic fundamentalist groups convinced that “the infidels” should be eliminated wherever they are. The perpetrators of these acts are willing to sacrifice themselves to the cry of “Allah is great” as they leave a trail of civilian casualties.

There is no novelty in these hate crimes. In Spain itself, where last week a truck hit dozens of people, more than half a century ago Republicans shot the priests and the Falangists killed the poet Federico García Lorca, accused of being a communist and a homosexual. In 2004, in a single day, on 11 March, terrorists killed 193 passengers on four trains in Madrid.

The revulsion in the face of the attack on Barcelona’s La Rambla now becomes energetic but not unanimous, because revolutionaries find it hard to condemn such actions. The reason for this timidity is simple: Marxist ideology is based on the philosophical principle that the elimination of the opposition — by means of violent action — is the only formula for solving an antagonistic contradiction.

In his well-known Message to the Peoples of the World, published in April 1967 in the journal Tricontinental, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara defined in a radical way the sentiment that should accompany every revolutionary soldier: “Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine.”

As if he is advising the jihadists of today, the guerrilla concluded his recommendation warning, “We must carry the war into every corner the enemy happens to carry it: to his home, to his centers of entertainment; a total war.” A phrase that fits with the scene of the pedestrians who were walking along, last Thursday, on the Paseo Marítimo in Cambrils, unaware that the terrorists were preparing to turn their stroll into tragedy.

Revolutionary morality justifies murder and can be used by members of any political or religious sect. There is no difference between killing in the name of social justice, the supremacy of a race, or the imposition of a faith. Hate is intrinsic to the Marxist dialectic because, in the face of the “other,” the position that promotes this ideology does not come to accept it, but to annihilate it. Where the two do not fit, the solution is not to enlarge the space but to eliminate the excess.

Revolutionaries suspect that if they renounce this maxim they will lose the power they obtained by force, and that by showing themselves too tolerant they weaken their authority. A guerrilla, although disguised in the suit and tie of a statesman, knows that he cannot undermine the legitimacy of the armed struggle or violent acts, because they are part of his ideological DNA, they are in each of the chromosomes of his political actions.

These radicals, once they have society under control, undertake another form of extermination against their political opponents. They cut off their economic autonomy, prohibit their free association through laws, prevent them from expressing themselves in the media, and enact laws that penalize their disagreement. They are socially murdered.

The attempt to impose a single religion is similar to that of implementing the doctrine of a single party. In both cases, the promoters of fundamentalism are willing to denigrate, silence and kill “the infidels.”