One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)
Monday, November 28, 2011
Clashes of meanings OR Crisis of identities?
We have all seen the changing language of the people in different occasions. Some occasions have their specific words and manners of speaking. These consciousness of meanings and changes of languages according to occasions are the signs of the civic life. The level of familiarity with these words and languages add to nobility of individuals so people try very hard to learn them. As culture and politics have a lot in common both in functionality and purposes so here we would look to some aspects of the clashes and conflicts that are in political and cultural circles of world.
Meaning is the foundation of the culture and cultural activities. It is the meaning that leads to developments of values and it is the set of values which collectively construct culture. It is the culture that directs our cultural activities and behaviors like politics, education and economics which in turn shape the societies and determine our positions in society. Do meaning work the way we have linked the meanings with values, then culture and cultural activities? How we create new meanings out of old ones and events and how they affect our lives? Let’s take a few examples,
Redefining the meaning of economy and history
Historical dialectic or historical materialism was in fact a reconstruction of meaning of history and economy. History was viewed as economical struggles between classes, class struggles, new men, proletarian revolution and planned economy. These new meanings developed new values in societies which welcome the Proletarian revolution. All the values related to higher classes become evil. There were clashes and conflicts between old values and new revolutionary values. Culture, traditions, religions and icons were banned from public practices. Secular men and women’s lives were no more directed by the promises of the lives of after deaths but were based on better lives promised by communism and socialism. Their culture were based on animosity with rival political and economical systems namely capitalism and religions. Equality of men was thought in the form of the economical equality. Equation doesn’t mean equal proportion but still the economical equality was promoted. Today if we look back we can’t find economic equality in any parts of the world under any economic system or political system throughout human history. Promotion of the socialists and communist values led to conflicts and clashes within the societies and with other societies the most famous and lengthy of which is cold war.
Redefining the religious languages and imagery
Colonization of the Muslim world by European forces especially by British Empire was the most destructive to Muslim civilization. British Empire knew well the importance of religion in thoughts and acts of people. If the Empire had to be strengthen and expanded then the religion was the strongest tool. British Empire was not only used the differences of between the sect to widen the differences and to cause an unending conflict between Muslim sects but also using them for the Political purposes. Creating Afghan Mujahidin against Hazaras of Hazarajat and make Hazarajat part of Afghanistan to make Afghanistan a buffer zone against the Russian Empire is a very well known and well documented example.
It was the first time that these Mujahidin gave new meanings to holy war of Islam. By declaring the Muslims infidels and allowing to massacre them, enslave them, burning their homes, orchards, fields and businesses, confiscating their lands, forced immigrations, putting heavy duties and selling their sons and daughters and distributing their men and women among the tribes of the Afghan Mujahidin. These were no known in Islamic rules of war. It was first time that the Afghan tribal traditions were presented by the name of Islam. The Islamic Jihad or holy war got new meaning and it was supported by British Empire.
As religion is the best tool for the massive brain washing so the British Empire planned to make a new sect in Muslims which promote the British interests in Muslim world especially in oil rich areas of the Gulf countries. It was the British support that a new sect by the Wahabism was introduced and it was injected in the Saudi family the kings of the Saudi Arabia. Wahabism gave the new meaning to every rule of the Islam and call its opponents infidels and allowed to kill infidels confiscate their properties and enslave their women and children. These were the start of the extremism in Muslim world. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia have seen the worst practices of these extremists. The values and cultures that come of these new meanings shocked the Muslims and Muslim world and defamed Islam in way that losses and wounds is impossible to be healed.
Without new definitions of meanings and extremists values and cultures Islamic states could have Islamic unions, single currency, monitoring systems, open trades and passport entries without visas in Islamic countries and unified defense. The allied economics and defense systems of the Muslim countries could help solve the Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chechen an, Bosnian, Somalia and Sudan problems. Unfortunately the extremists cultures implanted in Islamic countries by Western forces left out Muslim states of those opportunities and to pity of Western Powers.
Redefining the culture by mesmerization of Western Ideals
The vast gapes of progress between the Western world and third world countries have put a very deep psychological effect on the minds of the youths of the underdeveloped and developing countries. The youth want to escape the poverty and the sense of the inferiority so they are adopting the western life styles in order to escape their poverty and sense of inferiority. These efforts make them compel to redefine and give new meaning s to a lot of things that are essential parts of their daily lives, cultures and societies. The force that compels them is mesmerization of Western ideals. The idealist writings of the Western philosophers, men and women of letters, politicians, scientists, musicians, film stars, etc are the sources of the new meanings. The change in languages, dressings, dinning, education, behaviors and celebrations have introduced new sets of values. These values in turn introduced a new culture that is in conflict with traditional cultures. A conflict with ones history and culture can’t be said as generation gap but a disconnection of with ones past and identities. These youths are not able to totally westernize nor they are able to connect with their history and culture and hence they are suffering from identity crisis.
Identity crisis is not a simple problem because it blurs the visions and minimizes the role of these youths in reconstructions and renaissance of these societies. The inability to judge and compare the meanings, cultures and values made these youths to become deeply mesmerize and let them in any direction that popular cultures are leading them. Youths are struggling beyond their resources and potentials and it costing them much and hence they are unable to create meanings, values and cultures that could accommodate their resources, potentials and gave them a directions in which they could reconnect with their cultures as well as make them able to earn identities and recognitions.