In 1967, not long after the outbreak of civil war in Nigeria, the federal wuthorities arrested poet and playwright Wole Soyinka and imprisoned him without trial. In solitary confinement, summoning all his resources to stay alive, the thought occured to Soyinka that "some (albeit warped) logic is involved in acts of inhumanity."
But how is one to understand this logic?
All violence is a form of retribution. A form of payback, driven by the need to reclaim something that one imagines to have been wrongfully taken, that one is now owed. One's very existence is felt to depend on making good this loss-- a legacy stolen, a promise broken, a loved one murdered, one's honor impugned, a dream betrayed. Often, these existential wounds are so deep and degrading that material indemnification is considered inadequate. The injured party demands satiisfaction, and this, as Nietzsche observed, commonly involves punishment inflicted on the debtor's body-- by branding, amputation, rape, and mutilation. (citation and notes) The logic of this kind of exchange, Nietzsche writes, restson the fact that "instead of money, land, possessions of whatever sort,) a sort of pleasure is conceded to the creditor as a form of repayment and recompense-- the pleasure of being able to vent his power without a second thought on someone who is powerless, the enjoyment "de faire le mal pour le plaisir de le faire," the pleasure of violation." connects to Nazis, RUF