Week 12

While I enjoyed all of this weeks lecture video, my favorite part was the potent reminder of how fortunate we are as Canadians to have the power to elect politicians. When we aren’t happy with who’s in power, we have a chance to act to change it- peacefully! Lucky us. I continue to be horrified by the violent and cruel nature of the crimes the government is commenting. It seems especially cowardly given that in the case of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo the innocents they were murdering were unarmed, non-violent women. I suppose that’s another thing we have to be grateful for here; the right to protest. We had talked previously about whether or not violence is ever justified. I think often peaceful protests can seem ineffective, but the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo would serve as a fine counterexample to that point. Of course, no everyone could manage to be as persistent in the face of  so great a threat, so perhaps there was a uniqueness to the bravery of the mothers and grandmothers who stood up against a foe far more powerful than they that imbued them with the ability to affect change. But maybe we can all draw from the same source and achieve the same power they did. Regardless, they are certainly an inspiration for us all. I must say that I am not entirely surprised to find out that there were individuals on the American right that supported the argentine government. Politics, as well as being a scumbag, seem to know no borders. Reagan’s comments justifying the actions of the government seem particularly callous, indicative of a total lack of empathy for the oppressed lower classes as well as a lack of understanding of the situation. But that’s Reagan for you. Part of the reason the peaceful protests worked, it seems to me, is because they were backed up by the threat of foreign nations- nations like the US, who were not afraid of being violent themselves. However, in the long run, it also seems to have contributed to a more stable, peaceful society, whereas more explicitly violent causes, such as the armed revolutions in the 1920s and 30s, while more immediately effective, did not yield the same long term prosperity. One more thing that we have to be thankful for is a free press. Often, I believe, media is overlooked or dismissed, especially in this era of so called “fake news,” but as the deaths of journalists as recent as the past decade show, its definitely something we can take for granted here.

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