Not about Bin Laden: Revenge is the World-Killer

the crusty desert is occluded by the incoming light of the sun

I wrote this the morning before Osama Bin Laden's death was announced. It was therefore, obviously not written about him, or the political environment surrounding his death.

Revenge, I think, is the ugliest of all motivations. It descends beneath the "savage beast", who acts simply to achieve it's own ends, to a demonic impulse, which seeks to actively destroy that which is beautiful and good in the world.

Revenge springs from a negative-sum impulse, which reasons that if I am deprived of something good, others must also be deprived as well. In polite society, it often goes disguised as "fairness", seeking to pull all others down to it's level.

It is irrational, ignoring the fact that good for others is good for ourselves, seeking instead to find pleasure through destruction. It is a perversion humans alone are capable of.

Rather than win-win, in which everyone benefits, or win-lose, in which one benefits and the other does not, or even lose-lose, in which no one prospers, it is the pursuit of lose-destroy, in which all parties are left decimated and deprived, nursing their wounds and their newly acquired tastes for blood.

Revenge is the world-killer.