Margaret Thatcher has left this earth and whether she goes to a better place or not is perhaps one of the most hotly debated topics in media and on various internet forums at the moment.
There is no questioning that the the changes pushed through by the Tory political party during her reign were drastic, far reaching and had a very large impact on the British society as a whole. People lost their jobs, the health sector was cut and the few gained through the sacrifice of the many.
Margaret Thatcher supported apartheid, called Nelson Mandela a terrorist and now, once she has gone and can not defend herself anymore Australian politicians are publicly calling her a racists.
I am not infallible and have long ago made the decision that I have the right to judge no (hu)man. Therefore I am not willing to discuss whether she was an evil human being or if Alexis de Tocqueville’s saying that “We get the leaders we deserve” is really true.
What has been going through my mind as I see people taking the streets to rejoice the demise of this, after all, publicly elected leaders passing, is:
Is it actually all right to cheer the demise of another human being?
When our loved ones pass away we are naturally sad. We will never have another chance to tell them we love them or to say thank you for all the things they have done for us.
Yet on the other hand death itself is only concerned with the human body as the home of the spirit for the limited amount of time that we all get on this earth.
Many religions teach us that we should indeed not feel sad about the passing of our fellow man but rejoice! Life is a struggle and a test and as our bodies pass away we are released and, depending on who you believe, go to a better place or get reborn to repeat the cycle.
Through the ages we have seen people celebrating the fall and death of hated leaders. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Ghadaffi, Hussein. All represented regimes of oppression, violence, fear and totalitarianism. Is Margaret Thatcher’s name now to be included and mentioned in the same breath?
When the wicked witch of OZ died the whole land was brought out of the shadows and into the light. The oppressed were liberated and could finally live free of the yolk of fear that had been pushing them down for eons.
Mrs. Thatcher might have been the British personification of the wicked witch and her death might be rejoiced by more than half of the population but the brutal truth of it all is that, in contrast to the magic kingdom of Oz, this will not change a single thing.
Even though we might applaud the execution of a criminal and truly believe in our hearts that they had it coming to them this in itself will not eradicate crime itself.
So the conclusion that I reached in my pondering is that “Yes, it is perfectly fine to rejoice in the death of a human being”.
Personally though, I would rather focus on changing the future than reliving the past….