The single greatest conceit of the human animal is that humans like it are somehow more conscious or self-aware than the beings who make up the rest of the animal kingdom. This belief is not only insane and irrational, but it has had devastating consequences for the rest of the Earth.
When it comes down to it, no-one has any fucking idea who or what else is conscious. This follows simple logic. After all, how could we possibly know? Each one of us can assert with absolute certainty that, as an individual, they are conscious, because being conscious of your own consciousness is sufficient evidence that it exists. But this gets taken to illogical conclusions.
The vast majority of humans labour under the erroneous assumption that other creatures are only conscious to the degree that they are like those humans. A chimpanzee is considered to be very similar to us relative to the rest of the animal kingdom (and it is if the comparison is made in physical and anatomical terms), but this has no relevance to whether or not the chimpanzee is conscious.
If we can’t observe or measure consciousness in other humans, then we can’t measure it in other creatures either. So if consciousness has never and can never be either observed or measured in other creatures, then any belief about the consciousness of another creature must of necessity be an article of faith.
Simple enough, but the difficulty arises when this iron-clad logic meets the infinite human capacity for self-delusion. The vast majority of people make the erroneous assumption that their brain generates consciousness and therefore that other creatures are similar to the extent that their brains are believed to be similar.
But this is pure superstition, and not logical.
Even worse, despite being a majority, are those who assume that they are superior to all creatures of “lesser” consciousness, and that the supposed lower consciousness of other creatures give us a green light to abuse and exploit them.
It’s common for humans to look at a cat and think we see an animal that is uncomprehending of the greater existential questions, but how can we rule out that the cat has long since solved all these questions and is now blase about them, to the point that any human wondering about them merely appears sophomoric?
How can we know that the cat, who sleeps 15 hours a day, isn’t meditating for most of this time? Cats might all be spiritual masters on the order of Buddha.
How do we know that the ant that appears to go forward mindlessly, isn’t at perfect peace with its role in the world and accepts it without reservation?
The logical flaw is also evident if one observes that many people are willing to assume that these creatures have less consciousness on account of that they didn’t evolve as much of it as we did – but they aren’t willing to make the same assumptions of different races, even though the logic is the same.
The argument that differing selection pressures could account for differences in consciousness between humans and the other mammals, but could not also account for differences in consciousness between white people and black people, is a contradiction on its face.
Humanity’s greatest conceit is that our consciousness is somehow more special or worthy of not suffering than the consciousness of other creatures, and this line of reasoning is what has enabled the rape of the planet that has occurred over the last century.
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The herds of the West have been conditioned to react to the word “colonisation” with horror and guilt. From the late 1400s until the European empires were wound down after World War II, ghastly crimes were indeed committed by colonial invaders against the native peoples, all over the world. But what this focus on historical crimes overlooks is that these same crimes are still being committed, by the ruling classes against the middle and working ones, to this very day.
In 1860, shortly before the American Civil War, the total slave population in the United States stood at 3,953,761, or 12.6% of the total population. In the Gulag system at its height under Stalin, there were believed to have been up to 6 million people incarcerated.
Most people agree that slavery and Communism were two of history’s greatest evils. But in 2013, there were 6,899,000 Americans under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) – about 2.8% of the total population. Although smaller as a percentage of the national population, in absolute terms it still represents a greater number of unfree people than under either slavery or Communism.
In fact, it amounts to about 25% of the world’s population of prisoners, and not all of them are in there because of murders, rapes and armed robberies. Far from it. Because of the War on Drugs, the population of non-violent drug offenders in American state or federal prisons has increased twelvefold since 1980.
The same strategies that the colonial powers used to subjugate their client populations are being used today to subjugate the peoples who are still their client populations – only instead of being done to dark-skinned races by lighter-skinned ones, it’s done to the working and middle classes by the ruling ones.
Today’s system of convict labour achieves almost everything that was seen as desirable in a slavery system anyway. Some refer to this as the ‘prison-industrial complex‘, because the profit incentive seems to have led to people being imprisoned for the benefit of shareholders in private prisons. These prisoners are often paid less than 20c an hour for their labour, despite that their productivity is dozens of times higher.
So the mentality behind the great colonial enterprises of enslaving millions and extracting resources from them in the form of labour not only still exists but it still manages to enforce its will in the 21st century West. The only difference is that, this time, the people are enslaved through the prison-industrial complex, and mostly for arbitrary drug offences.
Some groups are hit harder than others by this approach. Black people are imprisoned at the rate of 2,306 per 100,000 people, which means almost 1 in every 40 American blacks are in prison at any one point in time, and for black males the rate is an incredible 4,347 per 100,000 people, about 1 in 21.
The mentally ill also suffer atrociously in American prisons, regularly being subjected to corporal punishment for reasons related to their condition, such as becoming confused or anxious or having difficulty following instructions.
The truth is this: the ruling classes only recognise each other as true human beings, and all lower classes are considered some kind of animal to be exploited. Emphasising the racial aspect of the crimes of colonialism, as is common today, only serves to shift the blame from the ruling classes who planned and designed it to the middle and working classes who were forced to help carry it out lest they become the next group of victims.
Colonisation was never a matter of race, and it didn’t stop happening after the European empires fell. It was always a matter of class, and it simply shifted from being done to them over there to being done to us over here.
Some people are making the argument that the legalisation of same-sex marriage was another step on the slippery slope to legalising pedophilia, and that it was a mistake to let gay people get married – perhaps even a mistake that needs to be corrected. This argument is becoming more and more common as pedophiles are starting to argue their position with renewed vigour. However, as this essay will show, not only is this line of reasoning fallacious, it also diverts attention from the true problem.
The argument against same-sex marriage seems to go like this. There is a scale of sexual degeneracy, like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where the depravities at one level make the depravities at the next level seem not so bad, and this leads to those worse depravities being indulged in, and so on until civilisation has collapsed.
And so, the loss of absolute paternal authority over the family and over unmarried females led to prostitution and whoring, which led to divorce, which led to homosexuality, which is now leading to pedophilia and which will inevitably lead to bestiality and necrophilia.
This is how many religious and/or stupid people have been conditioned to think, but the reality is different.
The sliding scale is not of depravity, but of consent. Once a person has done something to another person without that second person’s consent – and got away with it – they are incentivised to do it again. Many sexual predators get an egoistic thrill from doing things to someone without their consent, and it’s this that constitutes the real psychological slippery slope.
If there is a slippery slope that leads to pedophilia, it begins with impoliteness, which paves to way to rudeness, which escalates to verbal abuse, then physical abuse and then which leads to expressions of utter contempt such as rape, kidnapping and murder.
Legalisation of homosexuality cannot fall on a point along this slope, because homosexuality is consensual (at least, it is not inherently non-consensual, unlike having sex with someone too young to give informed consent).
Essentially, the slippery slope we should be worried about is disregard of the suffering of others. Not the feelings of others – the error of confusing feelings with suffering is what has led to the social fascist culture that we have today. We should be worried about people who disregard the suffering of other sentient beings, and see to it that the freedom of these people to cause suffering is restricted when necessary.
This is not to say that we need to make rudeness illegal. What we need to do is remove the elements of our culture that consider it acceptable to do things to people against their will, such as steal from them, or coerce or trick them out of wealth. This will have to happen on both the personal and collective level.
On the personal level, it might be worth encouraging the kind of philosophical and meditative traditions that have led to personal insight in the past, because this usually leads to peace of mind and a cessation of suffering. Hermeticism and Buddhism are examples of the traditions that lead to an appreciation of honest inquiry.
On the collective level, we need to stop conducting wars against each other. The first one we ought to stop is the War on Drugs. The politicians who have fought this war against their own people for almost a century have done so against the will of people, for the people have always been against it in any place where they have been honestly informed with the truth.
Unfortunately for us, the War on Drugs has normalised things that would have been best left taboo, such as imprisoning someone without that person having harmed another person. This was previously unthinkable in earlier times, when correct jurisprudence demanded that some harm must be demonstrated to have occurred before the court could ever have the right to punish someone.
It has also normalised the people do not have to consent to the laws that they are forced to live under. At school, we are taught that this is totalitarianism and evil, but our own governments do it to us without our consent, and they get away with it.
If pedophilia ever does become legal, it won’t be because homosexuality was legalised. It will be because our culture has made it normal to do things to people against their will, to force and coerce them into obedience.
Charles Manson: thought by some to be a genius, thought by many to be a maniac. Only a select few realised that he was both. In his actions relating to the infamous Family killings, Manson almost showed humanity a new way of relating to power, but a poor choice of target disqualify his actions from being considered anarcho-homicidalism.
Much like Adolf Hitler, Manson kept a coterie of devoted followers on account of an extraordinary level of charisma and penchant for giving lectures about the degeneracy into which the outside world had fallen. Also much like Adolf Hitler, Manson had a lot of excellent ideas that lacked execution, with consequences that the world would not forget.
One of the excellent ideas that Manson had was that people ought to rise up and challenge the control system, on account of its incredible corruption and the lies and destruction that it has wrought upon the Earth. Rising up against liars and thieves who have wormed themselves into positions of authority is the basis of anarcho-homicidalism, and no doubt Manson played on natural anarcho-homicidalist sentiments when he persuaded Watson et al. to do what they did.
Nobody can stand in judgement, they can play like they’re standing in judgement. They can play like they stand in judgement and take you off and control the masses, with your human body. They can lock you up in penitentiaries and cages and put you in crosses like they did in the past, but it doesn’t amount to anything. What they’re doing is, they’re only persecuting a reflection of themselves. They’re persecuting what they can’t stand to look at in themselves, the truth. – Charles Manson
Some might argue that Manson was an anarcho-homicidalist, on account of that much of his stated ideology was anarchic, and so the homicidal actions of the Family were also anarchism. It could indeed be argued that the Family actions were anarchic, because behaving in that manner is demonstrating very clearly that one has no rulers, but actions only constitute legitimate anarcho-homicidalism if they are conducted against someone making an attempt to enslave another.
It’s not really fair to target members of the cultural elite on that basis alone, for the reason that they are not the ones holding the reins of power. Sharon Tate was an actress – an influential position admittedly – but no-one took orders from her. She didn’t threaten anyone into coercion; she didn’t try to enslave anyone. She was just a pretty face that people paid money to look at for a few hours.
There was perhaps an element of jealousy in Manson’s selection of target, in that he had found it difficult to break into Los Angeles cultural circles, and so chose to target those who had. Such motivations cannot be considered anarcho-homicidal in any real sense, because they didn’t target anyone who held real coercive power, and were not motivated by the ideal of liberation.
This absence of coercive power meant that the people the Manson Family killed were not aggressors in any real sense, and therefore killing them could not be justified in self defence.
If Manson had targeted politicians instead, things would be very different. America was embroiled in the Vietnam War in 1969, and the Government was drafting young men to fight it without their consent, on pain of imprisonment. Killing any prominent warhawk or supporter of the Vietnam War would have been a legitimate act of anarcho-homicidalism, and would have been much more effective than abusing the draftees when they returned.
Charles Manson and his Family had more or less the right idea; their major error lay in the selection of a target that was not directly trying to enslave them.
News media are reporting that one of the world’s most “notorious serial killers”, Charles Manson, has died in prison. Described as a “mass murderer” by many, including Wikipedia, Manson was found guilty for a string of murders committed by followers of his Family cult, even though it was only ever alleged that he ordered the killings. But if Manson was a serial killer for ordering the deaths of nine people, then what is George W Bush, who ordered the deaths of a million?
It’s well known that Charles Manson never killed anyone himself (at least he was never tried of a murder that he committed himself). At his famous trial, where he faced several counts of murder, it was never even alleged that he killed anyone. From the beginning it was asserted that the Family members had killed on his authority, and so Manson was as good as guilty even if he hadn’t literally murdered.
One obvious question arises from this. If being the leader of a hippie cult that killed nine people is enough to get a man put in prison for life, how has George W Bush got away with being the leader of a statist cult that killed over a million people? Surely, according to the same logic that was used to imprison Manson, George W Bush ought to stand trial for several hundreds of thousands of counts of murder and up to a million counts of manslaughter?
All of the US soldiers that killed people in Iraq from 2003 onward justify what they did because they had vowed to follow orders. They had sworn to do whatever they were told by their superior officers (unless it was illegal), and their superior officers had done the same, all the way up to the first link in the chain of command, which is the President. It was the President’s word that got the invasion started, and the President’s authority that justified it.
So if the actions of Manson’s followers made him guilty of murder, then the actions of George W Bush’s followers have also made him guilty of murder.
Even worse, Charles Manson had very little in the way of guidance that he could have drawn on to make a better decision. He was the son of an alcoholic teenage prostitute, and so wasn’t raised to learn how to make good judgments. What’s George W Bush’s excuse for so callously ordering a military action that killed over a million people? He was the son of a president himself, so should have learned better judgment than anyone else.
Moreover, the people of the world demonstrated in no uncertain terms that they thought the invasion was a bad idea. Over a million people protested in London, and three million in Rome – still the largest protest in world history. The whole planet told George W Bush that what he proposed to do was going to be a humanitarian catastrophe – so he can’t say that he wasn’t warned by the world that he was making an error.
So if Charles Manson was worthy of all the hatred he endured because he was guilty of possessing a monstrously arrogant disregard to the value of human life, then George W Bush is worthy of a hundred thousand times more.
This reading carries on from here.
In this section (pages 1294-1413), Breivik describes what he predicts will happen when a European civil war kicks off, sometime around 2070 A.D. Chillingly, he is clear about his belief that democracy has already failed. He points out that if Europe is to remain a democracy then it is already lost, because demography has already gone so far as to shift the power into Muslim hands.
After all, if Muslims become a numerical majority anywhere then it is no longer a matter of fighting – they will be able to simply vote any aspect of Islamic culture into law. It is a curious fact of the modern public discourse that few commentators are willing to speak about what will happen if current demographic trends continue, even though the historical example of Lebanon has been clearly described by many, not just Breivik.
A particularly odd paranoid streak, common in European nationalists, comes through in this section when Breivik lists the crimes of the American Empire. This list is not as exhaustive as his list of the crimes of Islam, but it emphasises a point that is not easy for people in the New World to understand: namely, that the idea of “The West” is a New World concept and European nationalists are quite happy thinking of Europe by itself as a self-sufficient system.
Interestingly, here Breivik puts a precise monetary value on his willingness to get rid of Muslims. He states that, when the inevitable deportations begin, every Muslim will be offered 1kg of solid gold to voluntarily go away. $15 billion Euros to get rid of a population of 1 million is a fine exchange in his mind.
The plans for a cultural conservative revolution here are comprehensive. Breivik writes about the need to reform education so that children are taught that Islam is a hate ideology on par with Nazism. Re-educated is the preferred method for dealing with Marxists, unless of course they are “Category A, B or C traitors”.
Again underlining Breivik’s inability to understand irony, he writes “Crusading is not just a right, but a duty according to Canon Law,” which is precisely the mentality that he is accusing Islam of and which he uses to justify his action. Much like the jihadists he excoriates, Breivik claims that “in the context” of the Islamic invasion of Europe, any action could be considered self-defence, echoing Osama Bin Laden’s justification for the 9/11 bombings.
This section then takes a rather bizarre turn, with a series of cut-and-pastes on religious themes such as the ability of the Christian cross to act as a unifying symbol for all Europeans, how the Lord demands that his followers be warriors, and a fire and brimstone laden spiel about the hell that awaits atheists after death.
Here Breivik mentions explicitly that he considers himself a warrior of Christ and that if he is killed in action he expects to get into the Christian heaven as a martyr.
This section finishes with a c.50 page “interview” with himself, in which Breivik responds to anticipated criticism. Here he again expresses his disdain for Nazism, calling it a “hate ideology” and saying that he could expect the Nazis to turn on conservatives like him as soon as the Marxists were dealt with.
Breivik makes a very compelling argument here. The Marxists claim to oppose Nazism on the grounds that declaring a person to be subhuman and then treating them as such is grossly immoral, yet anyone who doesn’t agree with the Marxist doctrine on every point, no matter how evidently ludicrous and self-defeating, is themselves treated as subhuman. Already the Austrian Government is putting elderly ladies in prison for the utterly preposterous non-crime of “Holocaust denial”.
It’s hard not to appreciate the accuracy of this criticism of the Left’s behaviour.
New Zealanders have had a collective experience this year – 97.6% of us have seen Gareth Morgan on television or social media and thought to themselves “There’s something fucking wrong with that guy.” Even by the mediocre, ignorant, bombastic standards of the puffed-up pissants who comprise New Zealand’s political class, Morgan stands out as a particularly vile specimen. This article takes a psychological perspective to examine what might be wrong with the man.
Having a go at someone on the occasion of the sudden death of a beloved pet, as Morgan did upon the death of Jacinda Ardern’s cat this week, is about as worthy of admiration as having a go at someone on the occasion of the death of a grandparent. It’s a really low thing to do, and a person wouldn’t normally think to do it unless something was missing from their brain. After all, many pet owners consider their animal friends a legitimate part of the family.
Imagine if Sam Morgan suddenly died and Jacinda Ardern had a go at Gareth on social media, taunting him on account of the damage Sam did to the environment with frequent international air travel. It would be the most appallingly unprimeministerial conduct ever witnessed in the history of the country. The whole nation would be united in agreement that someone who behaved like that was not fit to run a pub, let alone lead a country, on account of lacking basic compassion.
That this sort of conduct is not beneath Morgan won’t surprise the large numbers of people who have observed him speak and got a creepy vibe from the man, as if he was someone who you wouldn’t leave alone in a room with a pet or a small child.
Probably the reason for this is that Morgan, like most individuals who give other people the creeps, has a very low opinion of the importance of other people. As evidenced by his proposal to buy a section of Awaroa Beach, Morgan considers other people lesser beings, their opinions less worthy, their feelings less valuable.
This is not news to anyone who criticised Morgan’s refugee policy on one of his billions of sponsored FaceBook threads, and was verbally abused as a consequence.
It is cause to believe that Morgan has utterly failed at what a psychologist would call the development of a Theory of Mind – in other words, Morgan has absolutely no idea what’s going on in other people’s heads.
This hypothesis is supported by Morgan’s rude, crude, almost autistic dismissals of other people’s viewpoints. Like most narcissists, Morgan responds firstly with disbelief and rage when people disagree with him, and then when this cools becomes snarky and contemptuous. No effort at creating a common understanding with another person is made – you agree with the truth as divined by Saint Gareth or you are simply subhuman.
No amount of explaining could get it into Morgan’s head that most people are appalled by a tax plan that calls for taxing the family home. For the vast majority of people, their tenure of dwelling is their basic security in life: their castle and their home base. Of course, someone with hundreds of millions who can buy a house with pocket change cannot understand these sentiments, but the telling thing is that Morgan made no effort to – anyone who disagreed was simply a misinformed idiot.
Neither does he seem to have the faintest idea how much joy people get out of cats, and therefore the great anti-depressant effect that cats have on the people that spend time around them. He seems to have completely failed to understand that most cat owners see their cats as fellow beings of a similar order of importance to other people. This is pretty weird, all things considered, because there are very few people who are mentally defective on such issues of empathy.
Probably the main reason for this failure is that Morgan just doesn’t care. Judging by his behaviour on the campaign circuit, other people are, for him, just tools to be used in the achievement of a greater objective.
In other words, Morgan shares a failure to develop a theory of mind with all manner of criminals, psychopaths and dictators, who, like him, are missing the basic empathy that makes people truly human.
This reading carries on from here.
In this section (pages 1235-1290), Breivik turns to the question of how to consolidate and organise European conservative groups. This is mostly to be achieved through the promulgation of what Breivik calls the “Vienna School” of ideology, so named because it was in Vienna where the last great expression of a European will to not be ruled by Islam took place.
For Anglo readers, some of Breivik’s philosophy will appear very curious. Some of this originality is a consequence of being European, such as his desire to resist “excessive US cultural influence”. He also believes in the idea of partitioning South Africa in two countries, with one for the Europeans. These sentiments he shares with many other European thinkers, not all of whom are right-wing.
Fundamentally, as is repeatedly emphasised, Breivik is looking for space away from what he considers hate ideologies. These hate ideologies are all as bad as each other in Breivik’s mind, and he claims to oppose any such ideology based on hate: “A multiculturalist is just as bad as a Nazi, which again is just as bad as a true Muslim, a communist or a fascist.”
The four most prevalent hate ideologies in the modern world, against which all nationalists and patriots much stand, are according to Breivik:
1. National Socialism (anti-Jewish hate ideology, racist in nature).
2. Islam (anti-Kafr hate ideology, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists etc).
3. Communism (anti-individualism, anti-freedom).
4. Multiculturalism (anti-European hate ideology, anti-white racism).
Sometimes Breivik’s argumentation is so reasonable that one is forced to consider whether or not he may have become demented after composing this document. For instance, he correctly points out that it isn’t a good or honourable idea to fight the hate of multiculturalism with the hate of Nazism, and one ought to strive to find an ideology without hate. He also points out that young people should not be considered “lost causes” just because the media labels them racists, a level of tolerance severely at odds with his infamous actions.
Much of this section is taken up with talk about the “seven fronts” of peaceful activism, which involve ways of promoting a cultural conservative message and resisting the hate ideologies of Communism and Multiculturalism while acting within the law at all times, and how people in these fronts must officially deny support for the “eighth front” of armed resistance.
Breivik gives a sense of having left no stone unturned when he writes at length about the reality of time in prison for anyone really interested in being a member of the eighth front. How to conduct oneself in prison in order to undermine Islam is discussed at length.
The most interesting thing to take away from this section is the question Breivik raises when he talks about the need for reasonable cultural conservative movements. He makes the claim that multiculturalists have sown the seeds for their own downfall by making moderate cultural conservatism impossible, because this has driven a large number of impressionable young people into the embrace of hate ideologies like Nazism.
This might be the aspect of Breivik’s philosophy that people will have the most difficulty understanding. He has the historical understanding to foresee a counter-reaction to leftism, and he knows that the greater the excesses of one age, the greater the excesses of the counter-reaction. So he is a voice of moderation in a very real way, somehow managing to be a centrist on the paranoid and aggressive axis.
Interestingly, however, Breivik puts the responsibility of creating this reasonable cultural conservative movement on his readers. He argues that any unwillingness to do so will inevitably result in impressionable youth having their social needs met by more insidious movements.
Consider this thought experiment. You’re driving down a state highway at 100km/h, with some cannabis in your car. Going around a bend, you see a Police car upside-down in a river with no person in sight. Obviously the driver failed to take the corner, and is almost certainly in dire need of immediate medical help. The question is: do you stop and help, or do you just drive on past?
Most Kiwis would argue that the correct answer is clearly to stop and help. After all, it’s a medical emergency, and the Police couldn’t possibly be so unreasonable as to charge a person with a cannabis offence if someone’s life was on the line. Surely discretion would be used in such an instance.
These Kiwis would have more faith in the Police than Caleb Smith, of Greymouth. His story, which hit the news yesterday, has appalled New Zealanders. Smith made a suicide attempt, and part of the Police response was to search his house, discover some cannabis plants, and charge him with a criminal offense. He now has three criminal convictions.
This incident is very enlightening when considered in the context of broader relations between the public and the Police. The reaction of most New Zealand citizens when reading about the conduct of the officers in the Caleb Smith story is horror, disgust and outrage, but that isn’t the worst thing.
The worst thing is the effect stories like this have on public perceptions of New Zealand Police officers.
Stories like Caleb Smith’s tell the reader that the sort of person who becomes a New Zealand Police officer is the sort of person who is willing to go up to another Kiwi at their lowest point – in the midst of a suicide attempt – and kick him in the guts, making his life far more difficult for no benefit to the public good, and without the consent of the New Zealand people. It’s a person willing to be cruel simply for the sake of it, using their uniform as a shield to evade responsibility.
Like a dog, they just do what they’re told without consideration. At least, this is how the Police naturally start to appear in the eyes of the population they are supposed to be keeping safe when that population read about such incidents.
Cries of “They’re just doing their jobs!” don’t change the sentiments that stories like Smith’s make Kiwis start to have towards Police officers. In fact, mindlessly following orders is as contemptible as anything else – and people know this.
At the end of the day, every Police officer has the free will to refuse to enforce laws that are unjust, and if they choose not to exercise that free will they cannot complain of the consequences.
It is the duty of every sentient being to consider whether their actions cause suffering to leave the world, or whether their actions bring suffering into the world. That Police officers enforce a law on the Kiwi people that causes great suffering, and that they do so without the consent of those people – who do not approve of that law – is worthy of contempt.
If Police officers choose to enforce a law, even when doing so requires them to willfully add more suffering to the life of one of their fellows who is already suffering severely, then it’s only natural that the people come to hate them.