The culture of violence

Dear readers,

Every time people want to protest and show their disapproval in Italy, they have to face violent riot police squadrons. Whatever age or gender the protesters are, the Italian police regime knocks them down, no matter if they are university students, women with their children or old shepherds. There is no democracy in that country.

The problem is of course that this violence produces further violence as people get used to it and fight back. This creates a very tense atmosphere of social and political unrest, creates no room for critical thinking and no time for reflection on important moral social and political issues like democracy, self-governance and human rights. This is very dangerous, especially in Italy, because the government takes advantage of this situation to do what they want while people fight against the armed forces. Moreover, the more violent the police are, the angrier the mob is, the less people think about the whole situation, about their rights, about democracy.

Every month, every week and lately even every day I read articles and watch videos about Italian police attacking people somewhere who are protesting against something: against waste disposal sites, against the new government plans in secondary and further education, against the new laws about the fight against organized crime and many other things. The only thing the government does is send riot police trained and ready to fight to disperse the people and show them who is in charge. Then, as I mentioned before, this violence produces further violence because the people fight back and a kind of civil war develops. In such a country, there is no room for democracy because the most important issue in a democratic society is that every person has the right to express their opinion and show their approval or disapproval without being attacked, threatened or without risking their lives and this right is clearly not respected in Italy.

On the contrary, in a country where there is a culture of democracy, things happen differently. Of course, even in such countries there are violent police, of course there are riots but first of all they are usually isolated events that only take place in extreme situations, secondly the first general reaction by all parties most often is: this is unacceptable, people have the right to protest, we are against violence. This happened, for example, here in Germany some weeks ago. Right now the government is building a new railway station in Stuttgart and thousands are against it. Last week there was a critical moment when the police used water cannons and pepper spray against the people and this was immediately criticized by different parties: some politicians, the media, the citizens. There has been a lot of discussion about the action of the police and the project itself and now some people are trying to find a compromise as it is becoming very clear that most people are against this project. All this has started a general discussion about the democratic system and its values.

In every aspect of life violence is always the wrong way to solve problems and if it comes from the police, then citizens really feel hopeless and left alone by the people who govern the country. To make it worse, little by little people get used to it and do not develop any opinion of their own, especially if the mainstream mass media (TV channels, newspapers, etc.) are also controlled by the government, as they are in Italy. Many citizens just accept things as they are and if they indeed plan to do anything against the situation, they just have to get ready to fight police forces at the next riot.

I hope that in the future human beings will be able to implement other forms of government where citizens have more possibilities to express their opinion and take decisions. Politicians think that once they are voted, they can do what they want. This is basically wrong. We cannot just base our democratic system only on one vote every five years. It is and will never be enough.

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