Talking again about the lockdown is not a pleasant subject; what else can be said? What more advices can be given to overcome it? None of us saw the lockdown coming again.
The lockdown is in between fighting the pandemic and the full control of the State over people. Whilst the quarantine is necessary for saving people, it is at the same time a political act. So, it is health versus freedom. According to a study done by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics of the Georgetown University in 2014:
“Implementation of medical quarantines in America brings into conflict various legitimate arguments regarding who, if anyone, should have the authority to restrict movements of citizens. Quarantines are not new, but they exist now in a world with new dangers and new opportunities for abuse”.
How to fight the pandemic without individual freedom restriction?
As much as provocation is less needed nowadays due to sensitive issues, the politically correct attitude is nevertheless as harmful. When a cat for example can’t be called a cat but “a furry four-legged domestic feline” then there is a problem.
The problem is that the purpose of discourse or art is deviated from its original objectives: expression, communication, truth. We are then left with sugar coated words and art that is lifeless.
Music can tell readdress the dilemma here. Let’s go back musically to not farfetched decades: the 80s and the 90s. Artists back then promoted all types of passions: love was a lot of love, anger was brutal, and sadness was depressive; joy was more than joyful and darkness was terrifying. Along this musical, poetic and visual process, all those passions (especially dark ones) went through sublimation. In Freudian terms, sublimation is a defense mechanism that reduces anxiety through the transformation of aggressive impulses into artistic, intellectual and spiritual activities.
Look at music now. Apart from happy few artists, music has become politically correct. Is it the result of our anxious world or did it help in provoking anxiety and violence?
Street Photographer and Visual Artist Federico Righi is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From the project ‘Covid 19 — The Social Distancing’. To see Federico ’s body of work, click on any image. My daughter had to learn to use a six-computer when she hardly reads and writes. […]
Modern capitalism has ignored the lessons of history in the ignorant and short-sighted pursuit of individual wealth. See for example the article Economics for the People by economic historian Dirk Philipsen in Aeon magazine, from which I quote at length, due to its eloquence: In preindustrial societies, cooperation represented naked necessity for survival. Yet the […]
As I wrote in an older post, I belong to the paper generation. Typing a post on the computer requires from me some scratching on a paper. I believe there is a mechanism which goes from the hand to the brain making my ideas flow much better than typing on the cold keyboard.
Putting aside the romantic in me or the child in me who loves stationary shops, the writer in me is blocked. I tried to focus but there is so much going on in the world that I can’t grasp nor process.
While the world has eyes on the U.S presidential elections, while a french history teacher was slaughtered for bringing up a delicate subject, the freedom of speech, while racist and anti racist dialogues have been everywhere on the news, while feminism is becoming an extreme feminism, while wars are on a bit everywhere, while #covid19 still striking… I found myself drawing with my blue inked pen.
In fact, I love drawing with a pen. It is more difficult because erasing is not possible. Anyway, there was something liberating about doing it. My mind was clearer: the world is a mad men place! The clearer this idea was, the more I drew lines.
It didn’t solve the problems of the world and it certainly didn’t make people more aware but it surely made me happy for a while.
It is peculiar to put the words philosophy and doormat in one sentence. But the truth of a doormat goes deeper to what meets the eye.
A doormat is a mat placed in a doorway, on which people can wipe their shoes on entering a building. They wipe their shoes from dust, mud and bacteria or viruses brought back from the outside. A doormat is then a cleaning mat; that’s the superficial way to understand what it is. However, a doormat is way beyond its wiping function.
A doormat is the separation between the inside and the outside, the private and the public. At the start, the public meant nature where people used to work or spend their days. If we praise nature now, it was not the case longtime ago. Back then and still to this day, nature was synonymous to dirt, dust and dangerous creatures. Residents in houses with gardens know exactly that definition, a doormat in every doorway, daily swiping the floor from sand and dead leaves, tracking insects and spraying pesticides. The same goes for all the daily hygiene because the idea of nature is dirt. Deodorant smells better than natural body odor.
Humans built culture as opposed to nature. They built a world that stands between nature and them, a world that is a mirror to humans. A doormat separates culture from nature.
Traditions are an endless repetition of an event, a behaviour, an action or just a way of being based on a cultural idea brought to light by society over generations. Repeating is cementing an identity, a cultural heritage and an ideology. Christmas tree, white wedding dress, Sunday family lunch for example and much more are Christian traditions and collective consciousness (to pick this concept from Marx0 perpetuated even by non Christians. It does tell then how religions in general shaped up and influenced our daily life until this present day.
Are traditions bad? Some are and some aren’t. However what is bad about traditions in general is limiting individual freedom. Identity goes deeper and wider than its social characteristics (nationality, race, religion etc.) and it is linked to individual freedom. Not only a background defines a person but this person does, what lessons they learned from their experiences, what they have been through and so on. Therefore, identity and freedom are beyond traditions and repetitions. They are endlessly evolving.
This is why, breaking free and “becoming who you are” to rephrase Nietzsche is to break free from traditions or at least to make the latter work for you and not the other way around.
The World Economic Forum in Davos in January, more than usual, prompted a spirited round of elite-bashing, which has now become the trendy political posture on both the right and left. On one side, US President Trump and Fox News hosts slam the out-of-touch establishment that, according to them, has run things into the ground. […]