A World Upside Down, Where is the Middle Way?
By. Raimondo Graziano
There is no doubt about it – the world is in utter and complete disarray. Everywhere one looks there is a lack of direction and cohesion. In nearly every nation in the world there is division and fear. Fear is indeed the word that most aptly describes this year thus far – though in truth, fear could describe the last few years of life here in this broken world. It has been building for some time, many pundits will argue over when in fact this climate of fear, hate and animosity become so far reaching and widespread. Some will say we have always lived with this lingering malaise; an affliction of civilization itself. Others portend that we are living in end of days. The truth like most things, whether we choose to accept it or not is somewhere in the middle. Not in the extremes, but in the center.
Indeed we live in harrowing times, but there is still the promise of the progress that tomorrow will inevitably bring, no matter how far we regress. History is cyclical, and we do make great strides, though we often fall prey to regression by our collective stubborn refusal to learn our history. Today, there are newer trends however that complicate things further. The technological advancements of the last three decades have brought the world closer together and farther apart. For the first time in history there is an absolute overabundance of information. So much so that we are finding it hard to discern what is true and what is not. This in and of itself has forced the multitudes to flee to the walls in fear of the unknown, in fear of that which is false, and in some cases fear of what exactly the truth is and what it means for themselves and their worlds at large. This fear of, in one hand, the inevitable, and in the other hand, the unknown has created a fundamental contradiction in the peoples of the world.
Their inner world is increasingly not aligned and often in conflict with the world around them. We have all retreated into our own secure frames of thinking on ideological extremes of both pillars of human thought. One side yearns for total liberation from the self and liberty and freedom at all costs – whether that be through complete and total liberation of the body and ideas that been the norm for centuries or through the erasure of history. The other side yearns for something similar, yet diametrically and fundamentally different. The other side yearns for order and tradition at whatever cost; whether that be through regression of the advances that women have made through control of their bodies, or through supremacy of the idea of the greatness of ones nation or of ones race. Both sides seek to satisfy the same ends – to shape and mold the world in their utterly illogical, unrealistic, and illiberal worldview. They are unwilling to face critiques of their values, and ideas and if chastised they attack and seek to silence dissent.
They have no room for debate and cooperation on tackling perhaps the gravest questions humanity has ever faced. They have framed their arguments in the language of dictatorial tyrants, their modus operandi is “us versus them”, to these ideologues the question of rectifying the present and reconciling with our past is a theatre of war, and the hearts and souls of the peoples of the world are the greatest battlefield. And victory? Why, like, any war of ideas, it is impossible to quantify when the very premise of the question they have poised presupposes that one idea and its adherents must perish for the other to reign supreme. Like the religious wars of the Crusades, this futile ideological war will only end in tumult, destruction, death, and the collapse of civilization itself. There is only one way. That long neglected pillar, holding the house of civilization upright and from caving in and collapsing on itself. The middle way. Through pragmatism, through integrity, through willpower and through a belief in the human ideal – not in the belief of one man, or one idea, but through the great coalescing of knowledge. Through the recognition of the inherent good slumbering within humanity, and through the adoption of ideas based on their merit and not their adherence to a strict code of conformity or expedience to a dogmatic political association. The world is in need of pragmatists and statesmen; men and women of character who are not afraid to compromise, but who will never give into aggression or into intimidation. Those who will stand on their values and principles, but whose ultimate pursuit is that of the greater good, progress and truth; and whose ultimate foe is deception, deceit and corruption.