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 :)
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Clash of mentalities
Everyone has heard about use of brainwashing through mass media by large corporate businesses (Commonly known as multinational companies) that has extended their businesses throughout the globe. The mass media's advertisements of products makes people confuse of their needs and they become customer of products that they didn't actually needed. There are many products which we have bought that have replaced our more needed products. But the brainwashing of people is not limited just for making customers but it is also used for political purposes. Goverments and groups of special interests use propaganda machines of mass media to make people rally for their political objectives.
Unfortunately, the social sciences have proved as very useful and powerful tools for making peoples judgments weak by confusing them. Modern men have developed faith in knowledge, sciences and data and statistics. They mostly accept them without knowing the background realities or digging out in the facts to have a healthy judgments.
One of the most influential misuse of socail science subject was the paradigm of clash of civilizations that presented by Samuel Huntington. Certainly, it is a natural process for a socail scientist to present possiblities in global politics but it was unnatural to exploite this paradigm for particular political purposes.
From Colonization of lands to colonization of minds
Reproduction and developments are two key characteristics of life beside others like movements and exchange of materials with environments. Reproductions and developments led organism to grow. Growth is the matter of survival of organisms so it is natural to expand and exploite environments for survival.
Growth and expansion is the core policy of every nation so we find forms of colonization in every time in history. The colonization that we are familiar most with is Colonization of Asia, Africa, Australia and American continents by European colonial empires. It was colonization of lands. Colonial empires were searching for new lands to expand and grow. At that time the largest trade items were either agricultural products or related to agricultural products.
Then we see a period of decolonizations as a results of world war II that resulted in decline of the colonial powers.
But cold war and following globalization by advent of world wide web changed the pattern of colonization. Now it was the thoughts and decisions of people that are determining the trading and political success or failures so the age of massive colonization of minds began.
Just as compass, gun powder and later on stem engine made the colonizations of lands possible so is modern mass media like TV, world wide web, Mobile phones, computers, etc is making massive colonization of minds possible.
The psyche of people are measure of success or failure of colonization of their minds so governments, politicians, religious groups, special interest groups and businessmen are exploiting sensations of people to their likes and unlike and make fake likes and unlikes in them to suite their agendas.
One may have heard one or several following arguments:
1- Human are spiritual by born as he/she is connected to his/her mother through the feelings of affection. Neither left hemisphere of his/her brain has developed nor its product, rational mind.
2- Human are materialist and capitalist by born as he/she is just struggling for his/her survival. Competing with others over resources starts in womb. It is observed that twins competes each other in womb and it is enough to know the instinct of human as materialist or capitalist.
3- Human are socialist by born as one's existence is totally dependent on community in which he/she born. He/she is relying on community for his/her existence, so his/her survival depends on the survival of community.
4- Human are innocent by born. One comes to this world with empty mind. It is the society that shapes his/her thoughts and behaviors.
5- Human are sinful by born. Adam and Eve did sin in paradise so they were descended to earth. It was a punishment to the sin they did. All spirits dwell in paradise and they are descending to earth to wash the sins did by Adam and Eve to become able to ascend back to paradise.
6- Human are ranked by born. Those who are evolved have better adaptability than inferior ones. Intelligence and physical fitness are the genetic expressions of inherited genes, so the advanced nations are superior by born as they have more evolved genes.
7- Human are equal by born. It is the social norms and systems that excel the mental and physical growth or slows it down.
The idea of clash of civilizations in a time when men and women brought up under cold war period psychology made its way easily into popular acceptance as men have become habitual of clashes. Men can’t think of world without clashes and it is believed consciously and unconsciously that men are competitive by nature. The misuse of language and science have played main role in making this belief more concrete. Look to the following duality of the adjectives in language that construct the ideas or mentality in people.
Empty # full, good # bad, superior # inferior, rich # poor, masculine # feminine, spiritualist # materialist, Black # white, Easterner # Westerner and so on.
These adjectives are used in language to describe that what is praising or hatful, what are acceptable and what are not. These adjectives and uses of them in descriptions construct a mindset that divides people and making them in a particular behavior and making them view the world and fellow men in particular perceptions. The concept of clash of civilizations is a mentality born out of the cold war. When cold war finished the West that have been accustomed to clashes searched for new rivals. There were emerging forces in world but as Islamic forces had their own ideologies which could digest the modernization within their versions based on their ideologies, so they were the most suitable rivals. It also had the historical basis in the form of crusade wars of medieval ages. The ideologies have the potentials to mold the progress in their own cast and shape the society in their own systems.
Comment on images:
Both Islam and Christianity is a religions of peace. But both Muslims and Christians have violent histories that contradicts with what they are claiming. Crusades and Jihads are holy wars often used for political purposes to use the religious mentality of people for clashes that fulfill certain political and economical purposes. It is still continues but every time they are represented in a new frame. Old corpses new coffins.
Religious people are the softest targets for political exploitations. It is really evident in modern history that even children who live in Afghanistan, Pakistan and neighboring countries can tell that how religion is used to create militias under title of Mujaheddin against Soviet Union. Again religion is used to to create Taliban against Mujaheddin. In both these examples from modern history, religion is used for political purposes. Neither Mujaheddin nor Taliban represent Muslim or Islam but they were and are political parties using religious sentiments of people. As we earlier mentioned religious people are softest target because they heavily rely on their intuitions rather on reasoning.
Still if we look to our modern history we see,
1- Religion is used to confront religion (Sectarian violence in India, between Muslims, Sikh, Hindu and Christianity,...........Sectarian violence in Lebanon among Christians, Sunni and Shiites, Sectarian violence in Palestine and Israel among Muslims and Jews, Sectarian violence in Iraq, North Africa, Philippine, Indonesia, etc)
2- Religion is used to confront Marxism: Certainly, the atheistic foundations of Marxism is challenged and used in cold war. Certainly! the communist has to lose the war because they were had faith on their system and this system had to be tested in physical world. While religious people had also faith on their beliefs and their beliefs had to be tested in next world.
3- Religion is used to confront Science. The liberal atheist are using Darwinism and evolution to challenge the religious beliefs. Here religions have to lose the war. Why? Because contrary to Marxism and religions wars that both had faith on their set of principles, here those who rely on Science do not bother if a scientific theory is failed because it is part of the scientific process to challenge existing theories by new evidences and experiments to put a better explanation or theory. On the other hand religions have to be always true and do not fail. Certainly! in wars of reasoning Science has to win over religion because a theory does not become part of science if it is not based on reasoning, evidences and experiments. These mental clashes is natural and will continue but they are also easy to be exploited. These clashes could be used for political purposes that will widen these mental clashes into fault lines that will become violent. It should be noted that religions are part of human societies and they shouldn't be attacked as a whole. But it doesn't mean to allow people deny human rights and enforce their beliefs and practices on others. Attacking on religions is attacking on human rights and giving free hands to people for inhumane practices in the name of religions is also against human rights.
Does the clash of civilization is real? Let’s ask from history:
1- In crusade wars the European alliance and the Turkish forces were rivals. But now Turks are the main alliance of the western forces.
2- The African blacks were the main source of slave industry in USA but later on they were the cause of war between north and south regions of current U.S.A. Again the black were the victims of the apartheids but now the black Americans are competing for president of U.S.A. The black Nelson Mandela is a global hero both for black and white.
3- In time Bolshevik Revolution, the Russian riches and capitalists were hated and were the victims of the class struggle. The same were happened in communist revolution of China. The Russian and Chinese elite classes were known as symbols of evils and exploitations but now the same Russians and Chinese masses are praising the wealth and are struggling to become rich and wealthy.
4- The Jews were hated by in Western societies as the enemy of Christ and the source of the wealth exploitations. The Nazi movements and the resulting Second World War brought close the west world and the Jews that the west can’t think of an alliance without Israel and participation of Jewish communities.
5- The Hindu and Muslim clashes under British rule caused the partition of British India into India and Pakistan. There were follow up wars between these two countries that resulted in breakup of Pakistan into Bangladesh and Pakistan. But again there are struggles to turn these rivalries into friendship based on their common cultures. Once there were stress on dividing cultures and now there is stress on uniting cultures.
Few examples that I have quoted above are enough that the clashes are not rooted in civilizations but it is rooted in mentalities. Civilizations have both points of differences and commonalities. It depends on a mentality that which one should be stressed. If the common values and cultures are stressed and promoted, sure people come closer but if the points of differences are stressed then the divisions and rivalries are ultimate.
To elaborate this notion let’s take a few more examples from daily lives within a civilization. There are clashes common within every civilization over whether one is theist or atheist,
spiritualist or materialists, leftist or rightist, moralists or immoralists, rich or poor, neat or clean, obedient or disobedient and so on. These clashes ranges from individualistic levels to families to circle of friends and to coworkers and colleagues and to societal levels.
Even a single country is filled with clash of mentalities. The clash of mentalities just in USA is enough to understand the diversity of internal cash of mentalities,
1- Creationists Vs evolutionist
2- Environmentalists Vs Industrialists
3- Colored Vs whites
is the three major clash of mentalities that have well known history and popular division of society. But clash of mentalities do not limit itself to these major issues but there is more mentalities that colonize minds which are related to the major mentalities, for example,
Stem cells, Cloning, Abortion is related to roots of creationist Vs evolutionist clashes. Certainly! divisions on stem cells, cloning and abortion would dissolve out as biology progresses to solve the problems of people and these divisions will vanishes out by passing laws related to them but new issues will replace them. So it is a nonstop clash of mentalities. Why? Because religious groups will always be skeptical of biological advances and theories and the atheists will always remain skeptical of religious beliefs.
Similarly, usage of lands, water sources, exploitations of minerals and fossil fuels and new chemical, biological and nuclear projects will continue to create clash of mentalities as industrialists will continue to focus on more profits and people will focus on their health and environments.
Besides the cultural and racial differences will also continues, though civil rights movements have matured people enough to accept people of color equal to themselves but history of black slavery, immigrations of Latin Americans and historical division of crusades and jihad will continue to clash but in new shapes and forms.
Result: It is easy both to understand and experience those clashes and conflicts in human societies that are rooted in mentalities not in civilizations. A change in mentality (perceptions and behavior) changes the perception of a whole world. It is the attitude that determines the fate of men not civilizations. These are the attitudes that make people categorize each other and either accept them or reject them.