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 :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

"There is no such thing as a 'self-made' man. We are made up of thousands of others." George Matthew Adams ... Perhaps, that is the core concept behind the sense of social responsibility. Naturally, we tend to give back, what we have received from others. But what if someone tells us that, we need to rethink the ways that we give back as they are not doing the "good" that we intended to? Very few people invest thoughts in their actions, especially in actions that are appreciated by dominate culture. Aside from a bunch of flakes, who question the norms, people usually follow the norms and it makes the saying of Louis Althusser appear true, "Ideology has very little to do with 'consciousness' - it is profoundly unconscious."...

In his talk, "First as Tragedy, Then as Farce", Zizek criticizes the capitalist philanthropic practices based on the assumptions, that they are just addressing the symptoms, not causes. I agree with him on this, but I have a question here... 

Let's assume that, you go to Starbucks to buy your coffee and the ads says, part of the price goes to an extremist madrassah, what would be your reaction? What, if the ads explains that, your money is spent for a good cause of "educating" poor children in some remote place? Well, I assume, that doesn't require much thinking as by now, it is a common knowledge, that these madrassahs have become part of problem instead of solution. They produce people who lack skills to get them jobs (to become a useful part of society) and instead, they have the mindsets to  make them as readily available recruits of militants.

Even if for a while, we assume that the "education" in those madrassahs are harmless and are just for moral training and literacy, again read this description of the "education" in those schools to learn, how they produce just waste, "In this part of the world, writing as a category has not been recognized for centuries although the word used for Muslim school is Maktab which literally means the place where you write. But in Maktabs there has been no writing done at least after 12th century. These are, in the words of Dr Sarfaraz, ‘oral societies’ in that the method of teaching in their religious schools is mostly oral — individual to individual with no use of conventional teaching aids, such as the black boards, chalks, and markers."

Although it is plausible to question, the way capitalist philanthropists invest but I wonder, why after more than a decade of "war on terror" no one has questioned the donations of those Shaikhs who support these madrassah and still do business in billions with countries that have prioritized the war on terror as the prime objective of their foreign policy? Why they have remained immune of the smart sanctions? (May be, it is just asking a  wrong question as those Shaikhs are frenemies. Next joke please!!!)

If we just limit ourselves to questions of the intellectuals again, I understand that, it has a popular demand to question element of popular culture that everybody is familiar with. Skipping serious questions that have less public appeal is the characteristic of "cultural capitalism". The Socialist revolutionaries have reduced to public entertainers. I don't know, what to call it, "reverse revolution" or "reverse evolution"? whatever, it is really amusing in itself. 

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