“There are, above all, times in which the human reality, always mobile, accelerates, and bursts into vertiginous speeds. Our time is such a one, for it is made of descension and fall.”
~ José Ortega y Gasset
Burma is exploding into violence. Today, nine more monks were killed, including a Japanese foreign journalist. The attack on the media is extensive. A hotel where foreign journalists were staying has been ransacked. Yesterday the government confirmed one death, when in reality at least five were murdered by the State Peace forces. The UN unanimously condemned the government, which is including China and Russia who rejected a resolution condemning Burma in January. The circumstances in which the monks and the masses find themselves is extremely oppressive. There is a continually violent dialectic exchange between the government and the people.
Ortega wrote that our lives are simultaneously fate and freedom, and that freedom “is being free inside of a given fate. Fate gives us an inexorable repertory of determinate possibilities, that is, it gives us different destinies. We accept fate and within it we choose one destiny.” For the Burmese, death is now certain if they go out into the streets. The government promised severe retaliation, “serious action”, for opposition this morning.
As individuals in a global society, we are not detached from our past. We are not isolated historical persons. Severe retaliation means thousands of Burmese revolutionaries and monks will be executed in the street, just like in 1988. And perhaps no one, not the United States, not the United Kingdom, not the United Nations, will step in and interfere. Perhaps this is a fight that only the Burmese can take on for themselves, in an effort to build a strong, democratic nation, taking matters into their own hands and defeating the military dictatorship. Cease-fire agreements can only postpone the inevitable, we know this from history. The military government is not interested in peace. False peaces can only make a quick and climactic coup into something long and dawn-out, where more Burmese civilians lose their lives and their liberties before overturning the regime. If a cease-fire agreement is made now it will be decades until the next wave of unsatisfied masses will take a stand against their government, and in the meantime thousands will be killed, thousands will be politically imprisoned.