The Importance of Sinning


In 2002, Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was murdered by Volkert van der Graaf, an environmental activist who shot Fortuyn because of his right-wing political views. After this murder, most people started to portray Van der Graaf as a lone wolf whose act had nothing to do with actual left-wing politics. This is odd, since the history of political terror is much more intertwined with leftist politics than with the Islam, yet Muslim terrorists are never considered lone wolfs whose acts have nothing to do with their religion. The history of leftist politics is a history of struggle. A struggle which, at certain times, was violent or even terroristic. Unpleasant as this may be, it is something which has to be faced.

We live in a society were a lot of people acquire a sense of self-esteem because of their social-economic position in this society. Someone with a bourgeois job will, for example, feel important because of this bourgeois job and be happy with the things he can buy with the salary this job pays. Not only do a lot of people get their sense of self-esteem because of their social-economic position, they also think they deserve that position. The man in question, for example, will think he deserves his job because he worked hard for it and not because he was born in the right bourgeois circumstances.

If a society is based on the believe that the positions that the members of this society hold is justified, it creates a soil on which terror can grow. If the rich are rich because they deserve it, the poor will be poor because they deserve it as well. People who want to rise up against this system, not only need to fight inequality, they also need to fight the idea of justice which sustains this inequality. Uncovering ideas of justice within current societies as being ideas of injustice instead isn’t a bad thing, as a matter of fact, it’s probably one of the most important task of emancipatory politics. It starts to become a problem though when the idea of justice which activists are using to base their own viewpoints on, is started to be experienced as an ideal which needs sacrifices. If people start to experience the fact that they have a difficult life because of their sense of justice as a sacrifice to this sense of justice, things can get out of hand.

The concept of sacrifice should be understood in its full theological context here; a sacrifice is something you need to give away to a higher authority because you expect that this authority will eventually reward you for it. This reward can be a paradise full of virgins which has been given to you by some kind of god or it can be a variant of the communist utopia which has been given to you by the laws of historical necessity. The more that you sacrifice to this higher authority , the more you feel entitled to the reward the higher authority promises you, up to the point that it feels right to kill for this higher authority. So, if you’re a vegan like Van der Graaf and your struggle for the environment starts to feel as a sacrifice for a better future, please start to sin every now and then by eating a piece of fair-trade chocolate before you blow someone’s brains out. You’ll do us all a favour

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