Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Yes, we will mumble freedom first, to spell it out letter by letter, before we can shout it out. After all being free is a learning process. In practical terms, people are born neither free nor bonded, but with an internal readiness for both. Whatever happens to them next is a process of nurture and learning. Should society inform them that they are slaves, their learning could inform them otherwise. We are in essence but creatures of this ongoing interaction between what we are taught and what we learn from our own individual experiences in life.
So far, our historical experiences as in the contemporary Middle East have afforded little chance to learn much about our individuality and about the legitimacy of individual expression of difference and nonconformity.
We are still in the early phases of a long learning process, and not matter how we attempt to speed it up, and there is no reason to think we cannot do so, we still need to give it time. People need to crawl before they can walk and to mumble before they can talk, and to purge themselves of all the wrong answers before they can open up their minds and souls to accept the right ones.
And the next wrong answer that we (i.e. we as a people, and, more importantly, as a liberal elite) need to purge our souls of is Islam, not necessarily Islam as a faith system, but Islam as a holistic sociopolitical ideology. This is why we need to let our societies experiment with political Islamism, regardless of the heavy costs that will be involved. Indeed, and rather than spend ourselves in useless attempts at trying to stem the tide, we need to learn how we can roll with it, survive it, create niches and havens for ourselves within it, check its potential sweep of our societies, and ride it out, all while preparing ourselves for the eventual task of assuming control over the management of our pre-modern societies and of paving their way for eventual integration into the folds of modern states.
Crisis management, our ability to survive the upcoming phase of regional mayhem requires that we learn the fine art and sophisticated science of crisis management. We were born in crisis, and the best we can do to survive it is to learn how to manage it.
Perhaps this is more of a commentary on the human condition itself, but, and be that as it may, it seems pretty clear at this stage that we seem to suffer from a more acute manifestation of it, and although, we tend to export our crisis to others, and hence to globalize it, the real solution of it, still lies in our hands. The world will attempt to “manage” us, but, it will eventually be up to us to learn how to manage ourselves, so that we can end up being part of the solution, and not part of the problem.
My musings might seem a bit too weird today, but hey, have I ever appeard ordinary?