"To lessen the quantity of cruelty and sadism, we must learn to listen to the cry beneath violence. The victor must hear himself in the victim's cry, the winner feel himself in the humiliation of the loser. It is always the sad, the wounded, the disappointed child in ourselves we seek to triumph over, to deny, in defeating the enemy. So long as we can visit pain on another, we need not feel our own pain. Anger lifts depression. For a time, purging our rage on a scapegoat relieves us of the feeling. But the need for the cleansing of the unacceptable feelings builds up, and we must plunge into a new circle of violence.
"The only certain way out of the blind ritual of war is by learning to substitute grief for anger. Those who mourn the childhood love they never had, who treat their own wounds tenderly, learn to forgive and to break the vicious circle of the wounded and the wounding. Every day we are not grieving is a day we will be taking vengeance. When we are unable to confess that our own parents, our own governments, our own styles of life, have disappointed and injured us, we will inevitably create an enemy on whom we heap our anger. The Soviets must find a scapegoat on whom to lay the burden of pain caused by World War II, the purges of Stalin, and the continuing brutality of their own bureaucracy. The United States must find a scapegoat on whom to lay the pain of the disappointment in the American dream and the increasing frustration of life in a high-tech, low-touch society.
"Thus we form a blood bond, a community of enmity, where we agree to play a game of sadomasochistic politics. In the race to prevail, to be superior, to play the part of the sadist, each nation inflicts increasing economic hardship and political tyranny on its own people. The old, the young, the ill, must suffer deprivation so we can triumph over our enemies. The sadomasochistic drama of everyday life is complete when we define "normal" relations as a process of perpetual planning and national sacrifice directed at achieving the meanings to destroy the other. The militarization of society is the triumph of sadomasochism.”
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