Looking with fresh eyes at the state of the Planet, its short and long haul history, what would such a look report to those willing to listen with unencumbered ears, a mindset not clogged by the ashes and residues left by its slow and steady destruction?
The premises of this fresh look are that it must be completely and radically unhinged from the constructions of the history of humanity as recounted from the mindsets which have grown out of the destructive processes that can be traced from short and long haul histories. Humanity’s history has been much longer than, say, its last 30, 50, 66, 500 years.
Having the history of Humanity told and retold by one of its segments, especially if it has been triumphant, can only lead to distortions of that history. Yet, a look not so fresh seems to say that only one segment has abrogated to itself the intellectual property right to tell that history. In the process of assuming full authorial rights, it has grown into the very opposite of what it has always stated to be: the model of democracy.
That can be questioned without necessarily having to prove that there is a better model. Humanity’s history overall, and anything stemming from it, whether political, technical, technological, cultural, religious, moral, has been built up through trial and error. There is no such a thing as a model history of Humanity either, but for one segment of Humanity to present itself as the only and best defender of the most valued values of Humanity is to reproduce the ideological stories of domination which have been associated with conquests, colonization and, now, globalization.
A segment that has been associated with genocidal processes while being born has continued to claim a history cleansed from those warts. Having gotten away with those genocidal processes has generated on the one hand a sense of impunity and on the other, fear.
Fear, however, is no longer rooted on the side that has most suffered the consequences of power abusively exercised with impunity. This kind of change helps in bringing about a fresh look at the state and history of Humanity.
When fission of the atom was discovered, Einstein is alleged to have commented that it changed everything except the way we think. It would have been good if he had specified what he meant by “we”. “We” could be understood as the scientific community, the physicists, or, in a more general way, the human species. However, fission of the atom itself was not just the result of scientific endeavors, unless one looks at the “discovery” of the Americas as a scientific endeavor too. Fission of the atom, again from the stand of a fresh look, can be seen as the result of conquering processes whose consequences resulted in fission of humanity. The clash between conquerors and conquered was similar, in its consequences, to the splitting of the atom.
The impact of conquest on humanity by one of its segments has led to such a splitting of humanity that one has to ask if the splitting and its accumulated consequences are irreversible. From such a fresh look, a question arises: shall the specific and generic conquerors ever accept that what has been achieved through such a massive crime must be acknowledged, accounted for, and repaired (as in healed)?
From the point of view of the conquerors and its inheritors, it is obvious that this kind of question and fresh look might be seen as too unsettling for comfort, and, therefore, challenged, resisted, disputed with the same ferocity that was resorted to in order to impose the conquerors’ rule. The conquerors, through the centuries and the last decades, have been in the habit of recruiting defenders of their rule. In the last few weeks, however, the conquerors have been forced to recognize that these allies were best jettisoned least they, the conquerors, be too closely identified with the ones being referred to as tyrants.
Identifying the tyrants is not as easy as identifying tyranny, yet aren’t tyrants begotten by tyranny? As Deep Throat used to say when the Watergate scandal was unfolding: “Follow the money”.
To be continued
March 7, 2011