Rethinking Absurdity

Pablo Ouziel

Posted Jul 17, 2008      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Rethinking Absurdity

by Pablo Ouziel

The turbulent times are upon us and I can no longer determine if it is a
crisis of confidence, a run on the bank, a recession, a depression or a
simple slowdown. People of all colours and fields have been using such terms
to try and pinpoint the truth and magnitude of our global situation. Some
have paralleled events, describing links between tragedies. The tragedy in
Iraq as a link to the financial collapse of America, the Twin Towers as the
price paid for years of external aggression by Imperial power, but truly I
wonder if these are outdated approaches to understanding the true state of
the world. I question whether the coming generations, those who one day will
take the reigns of the world, will be so obtuse in their understanding of a
simple equation which is clearly imbalanced.

I wonder if the new visionaries of the world, the vanguard which is
obviously still gestating (metaphorically speaking), will continue
developing on our warped ideal of a world with fake democracies, phoney
altruistic wars, and unsustainable lifestyles. Or whether they will
contemplate the world in a holistic way, understanding that those big
problems which we are obviously facing, may have really simple answers.
Answers which could prove difficult, but which nevertheless at this stage of
the game are worth serious consideration.

At a time when mortgage lenders, construction companies, banks and many
other businesses are simply collapsing, when a large quantity of the global
population is suffering under atrocious inhumane conditions, and the
environment is being punished at a pace never seen before, it seems like the
right time for thinking outside of the box. Obviously global leaders are not
doing so. If they were, they would all be apologizing to their people and to
the world. Conflicts between nations would be resolved, the whole world
would disarm, and the global population would set to work in providing
solutions to the tragic reality which we are already facing. But these words
belong to the vanguard, and the sad truth of the vanguard is that it must
coexist with the existing frame of collective thought, until events unfold
which force the majority to some kind of global collective action. That will
still take some time, but there have been events creeping up which show us
that the masses are not yet fully asleep. It is true that nowadays it is
easier to see a collective of people united behind a football team, than
behind an altruistic cause, but the importance is that the collective
element is still present and within it lies the path to an alternative
global reality. That in itself is worth exploration.

As the time for serious introspection arises, it is necessary for humanity
to determine how to treat those politicians who have lied to their people,
to decide what course of action to take towards those military generals who
have participated and promoted wars which were clearly unjustified. It is
also unavoidable to face the honest moral dilemma of what to do with those
bankers, businessmen and lawyers who have used their knowledge of the law
and their understanding of the markets, to bankrupt whole nations bringing
their populations to their knees, but one must never fall into the
simplistic vision of a world were a few bad apples have spoiled the game for
the rest of humanity.

Humanity must punish those who promoted and capitalised on this adventure we
have embarked on, this adventure of the promotion of peace and prosperity
while undergoing a process of war and misery, but unless we have genuinely
opposed it with all our might, we must understand that we are also
responsible. Let us punish and let us repent, but more importantly, let us
change. The absurdity of it all is that it is all incredibly elementary, yet
we seem determined to continue complicating matters further with the
metaphysical goal of sustaining an unsustainable situation, which is
crushing all those ideals we all seemed to be fighting for. I wonder if
humanity is preparing itself for a second chance at Plato¹s Allegory of the
Cave, in which this time the chained prisoner after breaking lose and seeing
the sun, is able to go back into the cave and convince his fellow prisoners
of an alternate reality.

Pablo Ouziel is a sociologist and freelance writer