Good and Bad People
The West-East Divide
7th April 2018
Russia is drifting into the old cold war mindset in tune with its inherent tendency, especially when feeling pushed too far. I am sure that it is not entirely its own fault and that the West side didn’t do its 100% that it could to prevent it from its side and didn’t blunt its West edge as much as it could. Not out of its devilish nature, like most Russians now believe, but because we simply could not understand the legitimacy of Russia’s worries. And we are not a great deal wiser today. What we can perhaps understand better, are some differences. The differences between the Russian and Western mentality, their worldviews and even values in some ways as human mind has unique ways in which it works and manifests itself. In the grand scheme of things the part that we could call ‘gap’ is getting narrower although that’s not always obvious as the road's natural course is up and down. But we don’t want those slopes to get too steep, that is, if we can avoid it.
When we think nations and cultures, things have their own pace and there only is a limited space for altering the way they go for which there only has to be a joint initiative. There also are challenges that we are sorting out for ourselves. Is it hard for us to see them – that’s how hard it may be for the other nations or cultures to see our way. If we cannot make such steps easily how can we expect the others can. In some instances, we need to listen even if we don’t see the reason we would deem valid. It does not mean compromising on our values. It is a listening that in the instance of a young, largely positive but potentially tense and scarred relationship in a geopolitical sense can distinguish a line. Managing this can be significant enough to either develop that relationship further or send it down crumbling to pieces.
At the beginning of the century, the tone from the West was wrong and that was all that was needed to tip the balance of the fragile relationship. Russia protested but echoing ‘you adapt’ was all it came back to it. The West failed to distinguish the sensitivity of democratic and in some nuances cultural changes in the neighbouring and closely related Ukraine and the reality of the implications they had for Russia that is able to perceive them as an existential threat to its culture and sovereignty. Where the West followed its democratic principles (NATO statement) should be a broad engagement in discussions and negotiations with Russia instead. That didn’t happen and the West was seen as a ‘danger’ again, Russia as ‘weak’ and in illusory need to find a new ‘strength’. So the West’s ‘oversight’ was in some way the best gift to Russia as it, through its nationalism, could regain its false twisted confidence - along with the limitations and shortcomings that blind nationalism inevitably brings (and that cannot sustain this stage for long, but that in the grand scheme of things while in our days we look for ups and downs). We certainly don’t need to be slaves to what largely is a Russian problem but what we can perhaps do is to prevent adding wholly unnecessary catalysts to it which could have been enough to move us further with Russia. Any such mile further here has a great potential for all of us.
Naturally, the side that cannot see the problem will play down what it recognises as a bizarre notion but that can make the perceived threat even more real. When a space for possible consideration isn’t utilised in some intense-relation scenarios the situation leads to reflective backlash and a consequent challenge that is one step harder to overcome. The inability to react again then creates a new backlash and even harder challenge which is how the confrontations begin and unfold. If they are to be unravelled significant efforts need to be made to overcome the resulting deficit, mostly by the ability to address the core problem that was left unsolved at the start.
Otherwise, the relation will remain scarred and problematic.
24 May 2017 Manchester suicide bombing
Evolution of humankind can be viewed as broadening of options.
They gradually open both ways.
Because our natural inclination is biased towards 'knowing more' rather than less, our general bias is towards 'good' rather than bad as per our own feelings.
More knowledge means more empathy and that means more connection and less separation. As we realise that ‘they’ are 'me' we tend to treat ‘them’ as 'ourselves'.
But broadening of options isn’t a linear process; it goes through trial and error where experience is toughened.
No army can fix this.
With the values and motivation losing tangibility of the previous centuries, dematerialising straight in our hands, melting into a Facebook-style chatter across the entire social, cultural and political structure, somewhere from the Smartworld of instantaneous enjoyment, a virtual child emerges with a virtual bomb on his virtual body.
Is this a fleeting moment of a phase a better human will emerge somewhere further from or our fate on our way back to an ape?
8 May 2017 (4)
In the past year, standards of ordinary people for politics shifted remarkably. People grapple with the(ir) Mind of the Internet and Angela Merkel learned the hard way that Alice in Wonderland isn’t the sustainable way of doing politics and that pursuing it can change societies and politics into hell rather quickly.
In amongst this, out of the rebellious, anarchy prone France comes a character that looks somewhat misplaced. And again, the challenges that weigh on his shoulders extend far beyond his own country. So does the hope for him to succeed.
17 December 2016
There sometimes are events that make others think about intervening in other country’s affairs to promote democracy and concept of our values, for example during the events of so-called Arab Spring. But that is not always such a great idea because these interventions are tricky and we need to have respect for important basics that we may overlook or disregard.
Most important is that countries and societies have their own path and that in their cultural and political context. Our own ideas cannot be projected into it as the genuine development or course of events cannot be skipped. Not beyond a certain point at least. The experience involved in the process is an essential part of any change and just as important as the goal itself. One needs to be thinking about this before intervening, the more radical the intervention is to be, the more cautious approach to such involvement is needed.
(This note is not even aimed at interventions for our own political and economic goals.)
9 November 2016
It’s an ancient process that today can be put this way:
When liberal elite loses touch with reality, the reality will storm back reinforced.
The process of learning to distinguish values has a long curve but that is what is ultimately needed to handle them.
We can view it as evolution of mind. It always has sine curve character which is representing change and alternation, just as all conceptions based on dual concept do.
2 March 2016
There is a lot of noise all over the world that lately is as if culminating. Europe, USA you name it.
But these are old issues. If you come forward with a moral idea, you have to be twice as morally strong as the idea itself. Unless you are, the idea turns into utopia, a naive step on the path towards the ideal your immature soul aspires to.
99% of the world and nations leaders had ideas and ideals that were over their minds and moral strength. So the history is marked with courses that were paths and lessons on which it is built further towards the great ideals.
Morally high ideal without insight into reality and deep respect for it is another episode of a human growing up and the society with it.
At the end of the path, there are not bad people and good people. No higher ideas and lower ones. There only is right act and naive act. We all need the path of the naive act to mature into the right one. The naivety is blessing on the path that only we ourselves throw away when it served its purpose. This can’t be given to another person, to nations, to humanity and it never will be, just as one can’t steal a soul. And if he does, it will backlash and make a full correction.
The only thing you can is to tell the truth. But the truth is never naive. So no one listens to it and no one likes it. But that’s OK. It rules our world regardless as the human race inches forward.