During the sixties and seventies of the last century, humans were divided into Arab and European universities into three categories: progressive, reactionary, and suspicious of their origins.
The Communists were occupying the progressive spectrum, to the left of the extreme left, to their right by the secularists claiming moderate and polite socialism / democracy. And what they have in common is: an absolute conviction that they are open, civilized, optimistic about the fate of man, benevolent people who work to improve their destiny.
On the contrary, In their view, reactionaries - mainly patriots, nationalists, and later Islamists - were the missing link between apes and humans. They are backward, they are related to the myths of the past. They do not care about the sufferings of the weak and the condition of women. They do not understand where history is going, and they will end up in its famous dungeon.
Between the two teams - always from the standpoint of progressives - there are suspects. Fortunate luck wanted to rank among those, and to this day remain "half progressive". How do you gain the honor of the registered name, despite what you speak out and defend the rights of the poor, women and oppressed peoples, while you have chauvinist / petty bourgeois ideas such as the Arab tendency, or make fun of the saying "religion is the opium of the people"?
Progressives - in the sixties and seventies - had more than one reason; Communist regimes control a sixth of the planet, communist parties expand even within the West, and revolutions over exploitation, racism and colonialism are led by progressive forces, cultural space abounds with progressives, and the Soviet Union sends the first woman into space.
Add to this the breakthrough of scientific and technological discoveries in all fields, all of which confirm that scientific, technological and economic progress is a project that is always creeping forward, and no one can stop it.
What is left of the progressive arrogance after denying the reality of their delusions when they see “the opium of the people” is strongly returning to all societies, including Russian society, indeed, to the horror! ? Talk and do not ask about the victory of capitalism with a knock-out on all our dreams.
Progressives - in the sixties and seventies - had more than one reason; Communist regimes control a sixth of the planet, communist parties expand even within the West, and revolutions over exploitation, racism and colonialism are led by progressive forces, cultural space abounds with progressives, and the Soviet Union sends the first woman into space
What remains for them after the disappearance of the Soviet Union, after the revolution of the workers of Bologna in the 1980s against a party they claim to represent, after the collapse of the Communist parties everywhere, after the largest of them - the Communist Party of China - turned into the best guardians of capitalism? next to nothing.
How regrettable was the reaction of many Arab progressives, who are faced with the Islamic boom that has lied to everything they believed in; Instead of reviewing their ideas and wondering about the causes of the phenomenon and what revealed the defect and lack of their theory, they installed their heads. In the end, their hatred of "oppressors" ended up in alliance with tyranny, whereby they gave him in Tunisia the best theorists, servants and torturers, or they became bandits for revolutionaries. However, nothing has benefited or stopped their regression, or foretells that complete disappearance will not be their destiny.
Someone may say: So why am I shooting an ambulance that carries only a dead body or a patient who is breathing? Because shooting bullets of mercy on patients is not from the doctor’s habit, but rather from his morals and the requirements of his profession. Understanding the patient’s cause with the utmost objectivity and helping him with the utmost sympathy to restore his health, and this is what I have always tried for my absolute conviction that the world needs more progress today than ever before, But for a very different progression.
Let us recall that progressively - with its contemporary understanding - is our translation of the French word Progressisme, and that this word is derived from the word Progrès, and the first one to use it is the French writer Rabelais in 1546. We are therefore again faced with a Western concept - specifically French - that arose during the period that was called the period of lights (1715) -1789), and major theorists include the philosopher Diderot and Condorcet.
At a later stage, the concept expanded to all of Europe and was entirely acquired by Marxists from the end of the nineteenth century. Then the concept conquered the whole world, and we Arabs reached throughout the twentieth century, along with other concepts such as patriotism, socialism and democracy. To this day, we are consumers of ideas and values, waiting for God to conquer this nation, perhaps it will return to the makers of history, not its victims.
Examining the concept; You will find it made up of three main convictions that constitute the intellectual reference and strong moral stimulus for the opposition political movements, or the ruling regimes that are calculated on the progressive in all its forms:
- The belief that progress is an inevitable and inevitable.
- The belief that it carries only goodness.
Believing that he is able not only to improve man and society, but also to change their nature.
The first weakness: determinism ; The established doctrine of progressives is that the history of mankind is like an arrow if it does not stop, and its direction is always forward; Who knew of you an arrow that suddenly stopped or went back?
It is a belief that sustains it; Take the field of health, who denies the tremendous progress in the field of disease control, and the evidence for this is that the average life expectancy of a person ten thousand years ago did not exceed thirty years, and today it is about to exceed the threshold of eighty in the most advanced countries.
But it is also a belief that is not without simplification and even naivety; Did the Soviet Union continue its "inevitable" progress, ending in the victory over imperialism? Has exploitation and slavery collapsed in any country, or have their forms and intensity only changed?
Who would dare today - especially as we flounder in the Corona pandemic and global warming - to say that contemporary societies will inevitably continue their "triumphant walk" towards the desired future? We are almost dreaming about the future, and all we sometimes wish for is for things to remain the same.
The second weakness: science and technology idolatry ; Unfortunately, historical experience has shown two things that were not in mind: that you do not fill a country with factories that save tens of millions of poverty - as happened in the West, China and India - without destroying the environment. And that you do not invent nuclear energy - which guarantees you cheap and accessible electricity for all - without that also building up thousands of atomic bombs capable of wiping life from the planet. And that you do not invent electricity that lights cities at night without being used in torture ... etc.
This is how - with the advancement of historical experience - slowly and slowly evaporated the dream with knowledge and technology that carries nothing but good. The branch on which we sit, that is, the environment without which no life is possible.
Another phenomenon that has diminished our confidence today in the benevolent nature of science and technology is what I call "the escalation of the pot". The rule can be enacted as follows: the greater the capacity and technology of technology, the greater the risks associated with it. This means that the more we increase in the capabilities of creation and creativity, we increase - in the same way and in parallel - the capabilities of ruin and destruction.
Look at the enormous privileges provided by the media, and see their destructive role in spreading lies, rumors and hate speech. But be aware of what is more dangerous. That is, providing them with a terrible weapon for tyranny in the field of observation and manipulation of minds, not to mention the sins of the video game industry, which generates billions for the owners of the price of tens of millions of addiction to them, just as is the case with drug sellers and consumers.
Talk and do not be embarrassed by what promises us progress in the field of artificial intelligence, and the danger that it can pose not only to millions of jobs in the world, but also to the position of man himself, and he may become a prisoner of what he invented and a slave to whom he thought his servant.
The last weakness: the confusion of progress and development ; The basic thesis from which the progressive thought started is that humanity is gradually disposing of “obscurantism”, that is, from “long-held religious myths”, and that - under the leadership of political systems led by progressives - it will be able not only to improve the living conditions of everyone, but also to create a human being new.
The problem is that history has shown - up to now - that the growth of scientific knowledge, the proliferation of effective drugs, and the emergence of a large number of machines that improved living conditions as happened in an unprecedented way in Western societies in the last two centuries; All this was not in line with any improvement in the nature of individuals or societies. The most telling evidence of this is the colonial crimes committed by the "advanced" societies, and the barbarism it reached - unprecedented in the history of mankind - during the Second World War in the genocide camps.
It is necessary here to distinguish between two concepts that are always confused: progress with what is the field of material quantum, and evolution with what is the field of moral quality. Could it be said that the progress imposed on the tribes of the Amazon basin and the mountains of New Guinea was an evolution? Was it not, on the contrary, the greatest catastrophe that befell these people, an extension of the disaster of the North American tribes that brought about no progress in development, but death by millions and disease by obesity, and alcoholism for those who remained trapped in the settlements left by the more advanced human greed.
This means that progress can truly be an evolution, but it can be without evolution and even be a civilized response that hates you in progress and all progressives: the Stalin and Paul Pot systems as a model. If you want an explanation of the brutality of the two systems, Look for it in their conviction that they are at the service of the greatest project of history: the creation of the new man. What value does anyone have in the face of such a project? Nothing, and therefore there is nothing wrong with sacrificing millions of copies of the "old" human in preparation for the arrival of the new man, the last and highest stage in the saga of history.
What the naive theory of progress is ignorant of - and it is becoming common today among biology researchers - is that the living species called "Homo sapiens" (and we are today seven billion copies of it) has not changed physically hundreds of thousands of years ago, when no new member appeared and did not multiply The size of his brain
What the naive theory of progress is ignorant of - and it is becoming common today among biology researchers - is that the living species called "Homo sapiens" (and we are today seven billion copies of it) has not changed physically hundreds of thousands of years ago, when no new member appeared and did not multiply The size of his brain.
Likewise, contrary to a popular idea, he did not increase his intelligence, but only accumulated his experience. The intelligence required of a human being in the beginning of history to make tools of stones and bones, and to develop techniques for hunting in a world of all dangers was no less than the intelligence that modern man needed to build rockets.
In the same way, this person has preserved all the positions and behaviors in which history has so far been expressed, i.e. with all its advantages and disadvantages, and the matter will continue in this way until a new human race emerges, perhaps as a result of a natural or artificial biological mutation. But imagine the possibility of changing the nature of the current person - with this or that political system - as saying that improving the quality of clothes is enough to change the parts of the body that it covers.
Any conclusion after this evaluation? Should our hands be permanently washed of everything related to progressivity as we know it? Then the evil half of us can say to those who still describe themselves as progressive: the dust trails of history that your opponents have long threatened you await you in the spaciousness and capacity ... Or the good half in them says to them: He who worked hard and hit him has wages and he who worked hard and did not have a single reward, and in your regard to transfer Half wage is enough and does not spoil friendliness.
Absolutely not, because we only focused on half of the empty cup. Really, progressive failed to fulfill the bulk of the dreams that promised us, but tell me which religion or other ideology has fulfilled its promises? Gains such as social security, the provision of human working conditions and less exploited wages, health and education for all, and the emancipation of women and colonies; Are not all of these progressives many achievements?
More importantly: Have the problems that the progressives tried to solve have evaporated? Did others find effective solutions to freedom from the trilogy of poverty, ignorance and injustice? Then, do we not need a dose of hope for the future with some confidence that history is not a continuation of absurd events?
We need a vision that has some humility, and accepts that history is an open space to all possibilities, and that we have to deal with the human being as it is with its faults and advantages, and with its various needs, including his religious needs, whose importance was not appreciated ..., and that the liberation of man never passes - even for the shortest period - with his bondage In the name of supreme gelatinous interest
Of course, all the problems are still sharply raised, and we still need to believe that we can control our future, not as a feather in the wind. Of course we need to see the progressive dream continue and its first project, that is, to provide maximum social justice, equality and dignity for all people inside the country and worldwide.
But we also need a vision that has some humility, and accepts that history is an open space to all possibilities ... and that we have to deal with the human being as it is with its faults and advantages, and with its various needs, including its religious needs, whose importance was not appreciated ... and that science and technology have dangers that must always be taken into account ... And that noble ends are not realized by dirty means, and that the liberation of man never passes - even for the shortest period of time - by enslaving him in the name of a supreme, supreme interest that only progressive elites know.
It also believes that we must never lose hope and try with all the power we have to push the liberal project, even a simple step forward, and rebuild on ruin every time. That is the only inevitable thing. What our Arab societies need - which no longer has a dream or a compass - is a progressive, mature, viewed and practiced by those who accept painful reviews, and those who learn from history, not those who repeat it.
- Source: Al-Jazeera