Friday, November 27, 2009

Up in arms

I am afraid my last post was a bit dry. Since I wrote it I wanted to add something to illustrate what that discussion of concepts like "culture", "knowledge", and at the end "religion" is all about.

It's about "political wars".

I often read about the simplemindedness of Americans seemingly identifying democracy with elections.

Of course, the argument goes, elections are good for us, and we would never given them up. But how can you impose them on people who neither have our history, nor our way to account for it by the story we tell.

In short: how can America impose elections in Afghanistan, a country divided among different ethnic groups not very friendly one toward the other.

True, all true.

But then I ask: is that so much different from what we experience with politics in our world?

We vote, and choose a king or a tyrant: somebody, who is king for some, and a tyrant for others.

This means that we are no more united than the Afghani are.

That's what I was talking about. America was founded as a land of tolerance, in which everybody could worship God the way he liked. But we are speaking, originally, just of different denominations of Christians. Now things have changed. Not only because of immigrants coming from all kind of different traditions. But because politics itself divides, among people of different "religious" persuasion: right and left, Republicans and Democrats, conservative and progressive.

They are at war, no less up in arms the ones against the other than the Pashtun of south Afghanistan and the people of North Afghanistan.

The only difference is that we have learned to be "civil" and not to kill each other.

As long as patience lasts.


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