Yesterday I was reading the responses to the events in India and was struck especially by this passage:
I know many will use the events of Mumbai to justify more violence. Already there are many calling for tighter access to public spaces. Many will want more profiling of supposed outsiders and new restrictions on our borders to keep out "dangerous foreigners." Bigger, stronger, more impenetrable borders and barriers seems like the only way to keep ourselves safe. But what if we followed an entirely different path?
Hannah Arendt claims that totalitarianism exists by generating terror and that terror is created through the production of human loneliness. Loneliness locks human beings in isolation and hampers social intercourse. The only solution to this terror-producing loneliness is to grab hold of one another, to open ourselves to each other, and to be vulnerable. More openness. More communication. More contact. Fewer barriers. More permeable borders. Obviously the courageous Indian commandos who ended the siege were doing the right thing. We cannot stand by idly in a crisis of violence, murder, injustice, and destruction. But we also can't govern or live in a state of constant siege. Our humanity is too fragile for that.
It is so hard to open oneself when they are already feeling vulnerable, but Melissa is right here, it's the only way to counteract the effect of terrorism. It is the only way we can move forward into a better world.