US Election: In which Direction the World Is Moving?

Monday, February 13, 2017


Manijeh Navidnia
Doctorate in Sociology & Faculty Member at the Islamic Azad University

The rapid circulation of news across the world has done away with any possibility of living without information and humans in the present society are bombarded by a wave of various good and bad news from dawn to dusk. In getting that information, willingly or unwillingly, people keep abreast of decisions that are made and actions that are taken by various countries and are also informed about the direction of changes without actually knowing why or how developments are unraveling. One of the recent global developments, which is still at the top of the world news is the recent presidential election in the United States, which has elicited various reactions and quotes, as well as a wide range of sentiments from shock and awe to admiration and praise. A clamorous development, which came before the election in the United States, was the decision by the UK to get out of the European Union. The ripples from that decision still continue. On the other hand, the French are heading toward their own election in which slogan about the necessity for Paris to get out of the European Union has been among attractive slogans. The question that has been arisen as a result of what such political currents do is “in what direction the world is moving?” Toward what destination those countries, which were once considered as vanguards of globalization, are currently heading? Why the United States, which has a claim to be pursuing a policy of open society, has shown green light to form an alliance with Britain to promote totalitarianism? Or is France really ready to get detached and separated from the rest of Europe? And in short, why that integration and cooperation, which was promised by the process of globalization, has apparently hit a deadlock and has been gradually replaced with an expanding form of isolationism and detachment instead of attachment and connection?

Evidently, what we see today, has not come about overnight and its root causes and breeding grounds must be sought in a not-so-far past; a time when this process was still nascent and did not have much maneuvering room. However, it was largely ignored and as a result, it turned into a sweeping current and other approaches cannot cope with it now.

Once, modernity ruled that separation must be made between city and village, elite and layman, majority and minority and things like that, and after making sure about popularity and acceptance of these dualities, rejected one of them in favor of the other. Once, the capitalist system reduced credit and dignity of humans to consumption in order to conquer more markets. Once, secularism respected every form of freedom of action in order to get humans rid of all imposed boundaries. Once, industrialization attached more value to tools and technologies than humans. And when extreme willingness toward specialization reduced people’s time to spend time with their relatives and make them happy, and in many other cases, nobody ever believed that human beings were moving far from favor, kindness, compassion, cooperation, love and support and were left alone by products and investment. Nobody would believe that in order to be kind, like any other asset, you would have to plant a seed and then harvest its crop. The modern man, who was availing himself of the spoils of kindness and compassion of previous eras, ignored the need to produce and reproduce love and friendships, and now that stocks of kindness and compassion have been exhausted, consumed and depleted, he is facing a barren desert of humanity, which wrenches any heart. Talking about kindness, favor and friendship has become so alienated in today’s life that the most common words used to describe those who talk about love and compassion by everybody is “simplicity” and “nativity.” The machine-like humans of the modern society, who owe their happiness to reserves of kindness and friendship, which were once extracted from the mine of humanity and handed down to them by their ancestors, are now facing famine and shortages as all reserves of humanity have been used up.

Naturally, an effort must be made to review the current conditions and something must be done to reconfigure the situation. However, how a human being grown in the context of those conflicts, and a person who has been bred for arenas of rivalry and conflict, with a world of rationality and tools around them and in a world of prices and pricing, could possibly think about others in their profiteering transactions? How can they think about others in their emancipatory efforts? How they would be able not to consider others as invaders and aliens? How is it possible for them to consider harm on others as harm on themselves? How can they think about a common solution between themselves and others? So, what will happen? Or what has already happened? By resorting to the principle of “national interests,” a human devoid of kindness and compassion is trying to improve his conditions. This comes at a time that multitudes of war refugee children, who are stuck behind bard-wire barriers of various countries, attest to emptiness and futility of this principle and there are many other bitter catastrophes, which cause modern man to feel ashamed.

Endorsing the principle of national interests and brave defense of this sanctified principle, remembers one of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and his man of law, who was looking for Jean Valjean for many years. The man of law in Hugo’s story was loathed by readers, because humans at that time were not still devoid of compassion and kindness and were well aware what would extreme commitment to one principle (here the rule of law) and victimizing other principles mean. Today, however, people have long forgotten about kindness and love and mercy as a result of which those committed to just one principle are mushrooming every day and the voice of those who cry out against sacrificing more important principles is lost in the clamor and onslaught of supporters of national interests. What cancer really is? Is it anything but uncontrolled growth of cells belonging to a body organ throughout the entire body? When national interests turn into the sole principle on the basis of which citizens in a country make decisions, won’t it led to the same cancerous growth and dominance of one principle over all? Shouldn’t prevalence of this new cancer in the field of humans’ collective life be prevented? Cancer endangers body health and kills it and it has been afflicting humans due to malnutrition and many other negative phenomena. Isn’t social cancer also a result of distancing form compassion, friendships and other positive human values at the present time, which is currently annihilating healthy life? Judgment about this issue is left to readers.


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*Photo Credit: CNN

*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.