Can we be friends with our political opponents?

Today’s post is a follow up to my last post on political polarisation. If you haven’t read that one yet, click here. Today I’ll be talking more closely about how polarisation and differing political opinions affect our relationships and friendships. We have all become very politically saturated in society. Politics takes up a large part […]

Can we be friends with our political opponents?

Going backward in 2020

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First, there is the pandemic, then the collective hysteria of shutting down borders and staying home, or not. Then came economical crisis. Then the world is trying to cope up with a harsh new reality. Then, here comes… Segregation!

I am not sure if there is a link between the peculiar pause of the world and racism. However I can’t help wondering how racism, fanaticism and culturalism still exist. People of my generation (I was born in the 20th century) thought we would have flying cars by now and a world with more justice. We really thought Hitler was dead to never be born again,. We also dreamed of having more of Martin Luther King and Gandhi. How romantic and stupid we were! How violent are the protests down the streets!

Racism, or any sort of dogmatism, is a question of identity. It is understandable that we fear for our identity. But we actually fear for the exterior aspect of it. Identity is more complex than the colour of a skin or any religious system.

Let’s dig deeper and I will talk about me: I am Lebanese, born during the civil war. I speak Arabic and I am also french educated. I learned Spanish in college and randomly Russian. I traveled and I have friends from different nationalities, religions, colours and cultural backgrounds. All these events and encounters added layers to my identity. So I am more what one can see of me and more complex than what is written on my identity card. I don’t fear for my identity because it goes beyond from any label. I am not one aspect and no the other. I am my experiences. And we are all very complex.  Can we stop human stupidity please?

I feel that 2020 is a long science-fiction movie!

 

 

Easy like being the other one

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painting by Banksy! 

 

This question keeps coming back: how come can we put ourselves in other people’s shoes and predict their future and we can’t do it for ourselves?

The alter ego: as in the other me; the other one who is similar to me and yet so different. Same in humanity and different in humanity too, relationships are meant to be difficult. So are the relationships we have with ourselves.

Imagine someone asking you for an advice regarding their life. Foreseeing their future in general, pinpointing their talents and their flaws, predicting about their love affairs etc., is all so easy.  However, one can’t do it for themselves.

To be intuitive about one’s own life, this requires an internal journey to meet the inner alter ego. Seeing oneself from the inside out requires facing the veil of emotions and some undesirable truth.  It’s never too objective to be clear.

That’s why we can be deceived in trying to foreseeing our own future but never ever bored.

 

 

Peace and reconciliation

 

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(I took the picture of this street graffiti couple of years ago in the streets of Athens)

If peace is defined by quietness, tranquility, harmony, then reconciliation (restoring a friendly relation) is to be seen as a new conciliation, an action of mediating between disputing people or groups, which is the current state of the world.  Whereas the Social Contract was conceived like the reference of conciliating differences and reconciliation, Hegel’s State, on the other hand, is an ethical totality, a product of conjunction of the subjective will and the rational will. Ideally the State is supposed to eliminate all conflicts between the subjective desires and the rational law of the government. Mainly, these two theories, among others, are the frame of any peace and reconciliation; unfortunately it seems that they have missed out on the reasons of today’s world problems that lie beneath the surface.

Therefore it is interesting to seek an explanation in the philosophy of immanence, more precisely in Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy that demonstrates the problem of war by displaying a plethora of dualisms: nomos/polis, smooth/striated, deterritorialisation/reterritorialisation, minor/major etc. Deleuze’s ontological politics follows a cartography of desires which points out the various issues of identity on a molecular level (or individual) and on a molar level (religious, ethnical, social etc.). In Deleuze’s perspective, to understand the world today in all its identity crisis, violence and emergence of minorities, taking note of the cartography of desires and analyzing capitalism will show us that the current conflicts are a logical response to the way desires shape lives and societies as a reaction to transcendence in religion, philosophy and politics. It shows us ultimately how war is inherent to the State’s nature.

This being said, States want to achieve a worldwide peace by declaring a global war (which is happening today in a way or another). Needless to say that peace and reconciliation as perceived on people’s minds would never happen through the State which times of calmness and security are more likely to be a cold war on a deleuzian perspective. Peace and reconciliation are to be searched in desire and lines of flight.

The paradox of identity crisis: submission and foolish wars!

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An identity is a complex concept made of different layers: nationality, racial, ethnic, religious (of course!), cultural, subjective…

While most of the aforementioned have always been issues unfortunately, the subjective identity remains the core understanding of identity.

All national and supranational identities tend to reduce a person, including her being, feelings and experiences, to one aspect: race, religion, culture etc. How fair is that? And how or why do people accept it? Why do we agree on being reduced to a politicized inherited character? A human being is beyond a definition of words.

The subjective identity is given by consciousness and reflexivity. It is synonymous to the internal world of thoughts, memories, fears, anxieties, desires and so on. As these elements keep on changing throughout the years, an identity is neither set, nor rigid. It’s not given once and for all. It is constantly evolving. Therefore, reducing this complexity into one tangible aspect for political or social reasons is a paradox to its essence.

That being said, tell me why are we still fighting each others?