Perhaps, it was not mere coincidences that revolutions in the Arab countries erupted, demonstrations in Spain and Wall Street went out, ISIS came into existence, the far right raised in Europe and the United States, Britain voted to exit from the EU whilst Putin’s Russia is enjoying the fragility of the EU, and above all, the economic crisis in 2008. It was not mere coincidence that people like Assad, al-Baghdadi, Trump and Farage became the title of this era of human history.
Trump adopted hatred speech as a cornerstone in his campaign; he actually achieved a great success so far. He has not, yet, won in the elections, but having the Republican nomination reveals the extend of fear of the other, and how hatred against the other became widespread in the United States. Clinton heads over Trump by 2 points in the last poll, and I think that any similar incident of the massacre of Orlando before the election would make the result in the favour of Trump. I have a feeling that this is likely to happen.
On the other side of the Atlantic, BREXIT campaign focused mainly on the fear of the other: the other Muslim refugee as a potential terrorist, the other eastern European who occupies a potential job. The campaign did not provide a lot of answers about the benefits which British could get by extricating themselves from the Union. This is the British’s choice and we respect it, but the question is opened: To what extent the British choice was related to fear and hatred?
It is clear that the union leaders have realised that the snowball was started off, and it seems that their plan, which was alluded to in a meeting in Berlin in June 25, consists of two points. The first is to make Britain as a lesson for other countries, so they asked it to accelerate the process. The second point is to contain the up warding far right through having more stern policies against refugees. This requires that the government to be more involved in the discourse of hatred and fear of the other. I believe that the words of the German Foreign Minister Steinmeier at that meeting was clear about the need for having quick answers to many questions, especially the question of migration.
However, these leaders did not realise that the snowball was not started off just yesterday from Britain. They had contributed to start it off for years ago, and it is growing and reaching them frighteningly quickly these days. Spreading hatred and fear is not a one-way process. Western political discourse has focused in the few past years on intimidating citizens from the terrorist organisation ISIS. It is really scary, but limiting the discourse to only this side of the Arab revolutions is simplification and distortion of the truth. Spreading fear and thus hatred towards some “Other” results in generalisation of fear and hatred towards any “Other”, which leads to the disarmament of confidence among people.
Revolutions began in Tunisia and Egypt, and was followed by demonstrations in Madrid, Wall Street and several European cities. Revolutions seemed at the time as a dream which had just begun to be real for millions of people around the world. It was a signal that the political and economic crisis would be revealed in the whole world, not only in the Arab world. Arab regimes faced revolts with the direct and bare force which led to the phenomenon of ISIS, and which made anger and oppression to take the form of civil war. The Western oligarchy faced these signs with soft power which led to Trump phenomenon, and which may lead to a form of soft Civil War (separation from each other). Also, borrowing the term displacement from psychological analysis figuratively, we find that the real source of anger is the world’s political and economic crisis, whilst we transform it toward human groups as a hostile “Other” to cause this crisis.
I wrote at the beginning of the Syrian revolution about the hope, that this moment would be a milestone in the history of mankind. Not because we are super humans, but because the Syrian situation is very special. Syria is located at the intersection of global political roads for thousands of years; making it an environment where dozens of ethnic groups which span a wide geographic areas, and exchanged heavy impact with human groups extended geographically as well. This meant that the success of the revolution in Syria, leads to a transcend of the concept of citizenship to a new level, which was not experienced by the world yet. However, that hope has turned to the reverse completely, for the same reasons. In addition to the internal complexities in Syria, the overlay of problems and conflicts of regional and international interests, no one in the region and the world did want that Syrian Revolution be an example of a successful deep transcend led by people themselves. They want this revolution to be a lesson for all.
Media in the West, particularly in Britain and France, called Syrian Revolution as a civil war very soon and without justification. That how the snowball has been started off! Advocacy and respecting the revolution turned into carelessness and lack of respect for the people of one country who kill each other. After the emergence of al-Qaeda and then ISIS, carelessness turned into fear, and lack of respect turned into hate. That’s exactly what happened when the political discourse was limited to ISIS and the need to fight it. This speech was internally necessary in order to empower the feeling of fear, hatred and activating the displacement mechanism. It was also externally necessary in order to invest in the claim of fighting terrorism and achieving strategic interests.
It is of the gravest mistakes today to continue thinking in local and international politics, in the same mentality of the 20th or even 19th century. There are three basic differences. First, humans have become very adjacent to each other, so they are about to collide. They are adjacent but not close, they are adjacent but closed and solid to each other, just like billiard balls when they collide with each other. But we differ from the billiard balls that we destroy each other while drifting away. There are two solutions to this issue, either to get out and move away from each other, as British have chosen to do, or to become closer to each other, more open and free. We will not succeed to drift away, because it is an illusory and misleading option.
Secondly, unlike the last century, there’s no longer one or two international powers which have the ability to possess the course of events. More importantly, there are revolutions in the region and the anger of the whole world. The population in the middle east will to determine their own destiny. All this failure is part of this historical movement and an experience of the possibilities. Moreover, the appeal of the local groups to get support from external powers is part of this movement. It is a mistake to believe that what is happening in Syria is a proxy war, because even groups associated with foreign states get use of these power to their advantage, and they would change alliances when the interests conflict. Therefore, we see that all states’ interests collide in Syria, because Syrians are able to thwart all what others wants by changing alliances.
Third, the continue of naming the right as right and linking it to hatred. Is the left the contrast? The discourse of left and right, and the discourse of secularism and theocracy has been expired. The circles are overplayed and the borders are vanished. That’s what I learned from the Syrian experience, and I began to touch it here in Europe. There are other questions hiding behind the right and left, the dominant oligarchy are trying to hide them behind the fear and hatred of the other. They are the fundamental questions which need to be asked about the success of the political and economical elites to respond to crises of this world. I saw from my balcony three boys in the street having fun on their bikes with loud music. I wondered to myself: Do these people know how much their ancestors have paid, so they are able to enjoy their lives? You have to have enjoy and to love your lives, but you have also to ask the important questions someday. Otherwise it would not be available for your children to have fun like you. Today in our country, of blood, we are paying the price for not raising the questions. It’s a threat to our future that we believe that the question of freedom is superfluous and that the answer is intuitively given.
This text was written in July and was intended to be translated and published in Germany. But unfortunately, it doesn’t commensurate with the dominate course; this is how I did understand the excuses.