Ninety-one heads of state attended the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Pope Francis was not among them; nevertheless he belonged to the scene by being the Man of the Year on the front page of Time Magazine. Both Mandela and the Pope cast a vast shadow on the departing era; both also…
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Life is a walking shadow, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing
Lately I’ve been very busy. I’ve been looking for yesterday. Yesterday? A lot of yesterdays, all of them! We all know that they visited us here; the question is: where are they now? Did they disappear into thin air? Are they hanging above us like Damocles sword, threatening to take revenge over the way they were treated by us? You could say that yesterday is only a concept, a point on the line of time that goes only forward, that it’s an artificial concept, a convention, but I know that it was here. I even left in it a big package of unfulfilled chores that now clamor to materialize.
One political expression that jeers my nerved is: “he killed, or kills, his own people.” It has become kind of an idiom which has been applied to Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Omar Bashir in Sudan, Idi Amin in Uganda, to name but a few. The list of such cases is very long. It bothers me because in each case we Westerners assign “his people” to whoever “he” is by artificially drawn lines on a map based on temporary political calculations or individual caprice, creating thus “his country.” Maps can be printed in many languages so that people of different cultures can simultaneously engross the borders of each country, especially when they are printed in different colors. This “commonality” creates an illusion of universal consent that those countries are “legitimate“,– so much so, that following the worldwide accepted principle of sovereignty, somebody with the title of Prime Minister or President can oppress and suppress “his people” with no or little objection. There are no colors on regular maps for different tribes, languages, religions and customs; all are squeezed within such artificial borders even though those are the principal factors in the oppression process. In other words: first, we expect them to organize and act according to our political code and wishes, and then we complain when the tension between our ways and theirs leads to “killing their own people.”
Revolutions can be depicted as political earthquakes. Like earthquakes, revolutions can drastically change the landscape as well as the relationship between us and the old, commonly displaced, outlook. Usually an earthquake erupts from a deep focal point (hypocenter) and reveals itself in an epicenter. However, the current ongoing revolution has no epicenter, at least not one that we can identify. An observer from higher up in space would probably recognize it easily, because his point of view is not confined by artificial borders that limit our field of vision. The current revolution is global and its presumed epicenter is therefore not a point in a certain area but global, and identifying it calls for a new kind of description, definition and approach. We don’t recognize it yet as we still use the old, soon to be replaced, terminology. Regarding the Wall St. protesters, and the tent people in so many cities around the word we expect them to have leadership and specified demands, not recognizing that the strength of the current global movements of protestors is in the lack of leadership and the fuzziness of their demands. Their fuzzy language enables unlimited openness to all aspects, influences and ideas, both local and global. What is more, it enables the transition to the next step in human evolution.
The scientific laws concerning crushing are simple – the higher the object starts its fall the more effective is the crush. Also, as Galileo discovered while throwing two different items from the top of the Pisa Tower – on their way down all object follow similar laws. “High” can be distinguished by many different modes of conduct and presentations. I have been reminded of it while watching on TV the uprising in Libya that followed other uprisings, insurgencies and civil dissents in counties like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, England and Israel. One common denominator in all those places was the immense gap in economic conditions and standards of living between the upper classes and the rich and the rest of the population. Following the assumption that similar and comparable circumstances are likely to lead to similar reactions, we can expect an eruption of riots in quite a few other places, above all – in the USA.