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The negative asymmetry: humility

26 Aug

If all relationships are somehow asymmetrical, that is, they involve some power and some form of domination or at least an attempt, the only way to oppose it is humility, which is not self-flagellation, devaluation or resignation, it is a way of not opposing the imposed power, like taking the body out of a violent and asymmetrical action.

It is asymmetrical in the negative sense, because power and communication is in the positive sense, as power means preventing the Other’s spirit of domination, revenge and depreciation from passing through you, as communication means listening carefully and waiting to disagree with what it is non-symmetric, which is more general than the asymmetric, it demonstrates the positive asymmetry, therefore it denies it.

So a response to violence with violence is a positive asymmetry, the response with the flag of peace is demoralizing and effective against a violent enemy, Gandhi used it to free India from British rule.

Also when violence is arrogant and inhumane, for example the death of civilians, children and the elderly in wars, it makes the mask of power fall and demonstrates all its asymmetry and arrogance.

In order to invert the logic of war and establish the logic of peace, it is necessary to overcome injustices and the disrespect for social diversities, but war is exactly the opposite: the opposition to respect for diversity, the imposition of a unilateral vision and the aggravation of injustices.

So what we should seek is the feast of the humble, the glory of the last and the peace of those who have no weapons and prefer the food of the table to the metallic food of the powerful.

True Christianity does not unite itself with power, but they are at the base of the pyramid, says the Evangelist Luke (Lk 4,12-14): “when you have lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends, nor your brothers, nor your relatives, nor your rich neighbors. For they could also invite you and this would already be your reward. On the contrary, when you have a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Then you will be happy! Because they cannot repay you.”

It seems like a mistaken logic, because it is not the logic imposed by power, but the logic of the righteous.


The position of power and symmetry

25 Aug

As we elaborated in the previous post, power is always a hierarchical position and so the final decision and the instruments of oppression are the positions only of those who occupy the highest positions in the hierarchy and what remains at the base of the pyramid is rebellion or resignation.

If power is necessary, it is up to those in the post to exercise it with discernment and generosity, the ideal would be that they were in fact at the service, but with rare exceptions, most use the post, and in general all those who who sophism with power.

The Platonic and Aristotelian model assumed that the polis could be governed by those who were well prepared and for this they created instruments for the formation of the citizen of the polis, the politician par excellence.

The evolution of this model reached the Enlightenment, and practically all current models (there are some exceptions in Africa and in Asian countries) this is the model of power of most nations, by force, by vote or by what Byung Chul Han called psychopolitics, deceiving peoples.

But it is important to remember that there is power disseminated throughout the social structure, and also that there are networks (they may or may not use media) and through them each one can exercise their action for a better, more symmetrical world with greater reciprocity between co-citizens.

Sloterdijk created the model of co-immunity, but they presuppose that some “evil” always prevails, something like the “discontent of humanity”, what we call here the civilizational crisis, the absence of a real model to oppose the prevailing dictatorial models. or on an increasing scale, there is a return to the crises of the beginning of the century, precisely because there was no opposition to the root of the model: the Enlightenment and the idealist.

The economic reasons are consequences and not the root of these models, as Edgar Morin intended when emphasizing that there is no way to change without changing the roots of thought, Heidegger also says that abandoning the revolution in thought is not allowing real change in society, and that it is basically the reason why we reverted to the theses before the first war, that is, we repeated history.

Symmetry, reciprocity, understanding of human diversity and respect for it are almost always ignored by the models of the beginning of the last century, returning to them is nothing but a foreshadowing of a greater tragedy: the civilizational crisis with deeper roots than the previous ones. .

Who will suffer the most will be the base of the pyramid of power, but the volume of military power can lead to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, only solidarity, fraternity and reciprocity can avoid and redirect this crisis.





War: current affairs and possible scenarios

02 Aug

The release of a grain ship from Ukraine is an important symbolic factor, although Ukraine bombed Russia’s HQ in Crimea while Russia killed Oleksly Vadatursky, founder and owner of one of Ukraine’s largest agricultural companies.

The symbolism is important and it is a relief because the confiscation of grain could cause a cascading price surge that would affect the price of food around the world.

The war, however, is far from having an announcement of peace and denunciations of atrocities by Ukraine (a video of the castration of a Ukrainian soldier by Russians was removed from twitter) and Russia, which protested the attack on the Crimea HQ.

There is controversy among experts about the future of 20% of Ukraine’s territory that is already occupied by Russia, most consider it impossible to retake these areas without civilian deaths and this would be a turning point for Ukraine in its narrative of placing Russia as ruthless and cruel.

In the middle of European summer, the European Union achieves a 15% reduction in gas consumption, to try to guarantee a stock for the winter, but Russia’s dependents will be more vulnerable from the end of October, the gas pipelines are simpler than the transport of liquefied gas which even makes it more expensive, in Germany, for example, the demand is great.

In the most worrying future scenario, the 10th will start again. Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Agreement, yesterday Biden made a statement hoping that there would be “good faith” to carry out the agreement, clarifying that even in the cold war there was never a rupture of talks and the scenario of the war now worries more deep.

According to May 2019 data from the World Nuclear Association (WNA), there are 447 nuclear reactors in operation in the world and they are in 30 countries, each of which is also a nuclear hazard, either by disaster. natural as in Fukushima in March 2011, or due to operating errors like Chernobyl in April 1986.

It is worth remembering that each plant is also a potential bomb and could be bombed in a war, it is likely that the new nuclear agreement will include this aspect.



Covid 19: Origins and possible future

01 Aug

A recent study, published by the journal Science, with researchersCredit PixaBay from 18 countries, reveals that the origin of the Covid 19 virus was even in the Wuhan meat market that sells game meat and types unsuitable for human consumption: such as foxes, bats and dogs.

The studies had been published online as prepints (provisional publications on sharing sites) in February and have now had workshop publication in the journal Science (

One of the researchers publishing the study, Kristian Andersen, clarified to the Associated Press news agency that they have not refuted the lab leak theory, but “I think what’s important here is that there are possible and plausible scenarios and it’s really important to understand that there’s no means equally likely” depending on the mapping of the initial cases of the virus.

Last week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom reiterated that the pandemic “is far from over”, but stressed that the current situation is “very different from a year ago” with important lessons such as vaccinating the right groups and that this assessment “this is not theoretical, this is real” pointing to several countries where the number of hospitalizations is increasing.

The current data from Covid shows that it is still far from the end, in Brazil it has a moving average of cases below 40 thousand and the number of deaths still above 200, with a slight increase of 10% compared to the previous week.

In China, the inhabitants of Shanghai who are under a long and hard stage of Lockdown are already irritated and are tired of the limitations imposed by the authorities, in Wuhan, place of origin, new 4 cases triggered a new lockdown and China follows the zero cases policy. criticized.

In the West, the policy is confusing and varies from country to country, it can be said that there is no standard protocol and when there is, it is rarely observed by the population and supervised, the testing mechanism is particular and inefficient.



International Day of Friendship

30 Jul

The date of International Friendship Day was established by theUN to remember solidarity between peoples, respect for diversity and I make a special repost of content from this blog in this regard:

The philosopher Plato defined friendship as “the reciprocal predisposition that makes

 two beings equally jealous of each other’s happiness”, Augustine of Hippo affirmed that “being a friend merges us in the friendship of being; friends are one soul” and Aristotle seems to merge the two thoughts: “friendship is a soul with two bodies”.

It was Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics dedicated two books to the study of philia and friendship, who defined friendship in three types: for interest, that for pleasure, for interest and true friendship, the first is easy to identify because it is the pursuit of mutual pleasure, the second because they are useful to each other, and the third, it is possible between good men because they desire good for its own sake and do not place pleasure or interest above friendship.

In chapter IXI the Peripatetic philosopher states:

“Perhaps we can say that there is nothing strange about breaking a friendship based on interest or pleasure when our friends no longer possess the attributes of being useful and pleasant; in fact we were friends with those attributes, and when they disappear it is reasonable not to continue in love. ” (Aristotle, IX, 3, 1165b)    .

In the chapter “The partner and the neighbor” of the book “History and Truth” by Paul Ricoeur he will talk about the difference between these relationships, he talks about charity: “Charity doesn’t need to be where it appears; it is also hidden in the humble and abstract post office, the social security; it is often the hidden part of the social”, Paul Ricoeur, Le socius et le Prochain (1954).

We are reminded by the philosopher that just as institutions can only have corporate relationships, they can also have interpersonal relationships, of affection and solidarity and that make them less cold and less bureaucratic, where one sees not a client or a service more, but a neighbor in which one may be interested.

It is not by chance that it is a chapter of History and Truth, because the truth is only established between true and close friends, and if they are partners, it will only be to be closer.

The Twinkl website referenced this post in function of this date, thanks for the reminder. 


Vanity and true treasures

29 Jul

For many the world, history and even personal happiness developsaround wealth, false treasures and some public recognition, in fact, everything is vanity and a large part of human energies are consumed in it, without finding true joy, not that euphoria, frenzy or catharsis, but that of gaudio and inner peace.
Socially, it means collaborating so that all the good around us spreads and everyone can be happy not with big undertakings, big parties or even other fleeting joys, all this is gathering false treasures.
There is a joy in the true perennials, that as a biblical verse says “where moth and rust corrode and where thieves break through and steal” (Mt 6,19), but those that exist in the bonds between good people, as Aristotle defined for the kind of true friendship.
Accumulating true values, true friendships and true goods that are not those that only material wealth confers, means more than having a virtuous life, it is a path that leads to inner peace and a balanced happiness that is beyond what happens and for this reason it tastes like eternity.
In times of wars, hatreds and false polarizations (these are not poles between what is eternally true and false, but temporal rivalries), they experience only the taste of a fleeting, narcotic happiness and a fleeting and short-lived intoxication.
It is better to cultivate values ​​and feelings that are durable, and they need love and dedication to spiritual asceticism, than to cling to the passenger who will later demand a more difficult and painful kind of renunciation precisely because it doesn’t taste like eternal.
Wise men, saints and great philosophers sought this type of gaudio (a more balanced and lasting happiness) but it is impossible to achieve it with temporal attachments: vanity, greed, oppression and feelings of low morality because they cannot have durability precisely for what they represent: its limitation in a time lapse.
In a society of performance, activism and low or little ability to perceive, live and contemplate what is really beautiful and eternal, only those who go beyond vanity and temporal pleasure can achieve this kind of joy, he precious jewels of eternal life.


Covid in decline and WHO shifts focus

25 Jul

With the number of deaths above 200 in Brazil, Covid is still a concern, since the number of cases has dropped below 50 thousand ‘which shows a downward trend, but care protocols and care with protocols are still necessary. .
The World Health Organization (WHO) in a document released this Friday (22/07) announced that a new global strategy to increase vaccine coverage against Covid-19, especially among the most vulnerable populations with comorbidities and advanced age, where aims to reach 100% vaccinated.
The strategy is correct because as the virus circulates, new variants may appear, and as it is very difficult to reach 100% of the population or to lockdown, it is an effective strategy.
Monkey smallpox represents a new concern, the number of cases is growing worldwide, and in Brazil there are already more than 600 cases, now with internal transmission, but the number of cases is increasing worldwide.
Transmission can occur either through close contact with injuries or through bodily fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as personal clothes and bedding, and according to health agencies, , between human beings in physical contact between close people who are symptomatic.
Precautions therefore must be to avoid contact with contaminated materials and close people who show symptoms.


Friendship and espirituality

22 Jul

Idealist philosophy places amgio and friendship in an ideal philosophical relationship, Aristotle nevertheless warns: “the friend is made quickly, while friendship [is a fruit that matures slowly”, the same can be said of spirituality, recognizing that we have a part spiritual and that it is part human, requires an exercise in spirituality.
It was Sloterdijk, one of the great thinkers of Germany today, who warned that we live in an “exercise society”, but warns that it is de-spiritualized.
High spirituality, before reaching the divine, must go through previous stages in the relationship with the Other, the one who is not a mirror, who does not have the same values ​​as us and this relationship can evolve or obstruct, being more difficult when there is an obstruction to maintain a relationship of respect and cordiality, as friendship and love are more distant.
It is possible to love those who obstruct everything, yes, it is possible first to maintain respect, then separate what are values ​​and real exercises in spirituality and what is just interest.
At this point, friendship has a very close relationship with the spiritual, it can be said that there is, in addition to friendship, reciprocity, a continuous flow of relationship between good people, what Aristotle defined as true friendship, for this you need good men.
There is no just society without just men, there are no friends without friendship exercises, and only on the basis of true reciprocity can friendship reach the spiritual level.

Only with good men can society be saved, says a curious biblical passage about Sodom (Gn 18,20-32) in which Abraham asks God if with a small number of just men society would be saved, and he reduces the number because he knows that there are few.
For those who believe the biblical verse, the teacher explains this question (Lk 1:5-8): “If one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine has come on a trip and I have nothing to offer him,’ and if the other replies from within, ‘Don’t bother me! I have already locked the door, and my children and I are already in bed; I cannot get up to give you the loaves’; 8I tell you that even if the other does not get up to give them because he is your friend, he will get up at least because of his impertinence and give him whatever he needs.”
If one wants to achieve reciprocity, he must first take steps in respect and friendship, and the highest spirituality is to be able to love and respect enemies..


Friendship and concepts

20 Jul

We have already posted and explored the concepts of friendship in Aristotle for pleasure, for interest and true friendships, we also highlight the difference between the partner and the neighbor (Paul Ricoeur’s text) where in the first case there is only interest and once the friendship is over closes or diminishes.
What we want to explore a little bit now is what it means in an individualistic world and where interest reigns, what is the concepts of friendship and friend.
In another perspective, in which Deleuze and Guattari go so far as to say that the friend and friendship are “absent” concerns in philosophical thought, and the book “A friendship de Maurice Blachot” is mentioned as a rare exception, but there is already at the base of this discourse a clear distinction between friend and friendship.
So the philosopher is a “friend” of wisdom (philos-friend and sophia-wisdom), but there is a compulsory obligation due to “friendship” being the object of this relationship, and thus only these friends could participate in the friendship, that is, there is a requirement of wisdom.
The basis of this concept is in the “gaze” of a so-called “sage”, so they are concepts within each one, they are the eyes or look of each one on another person, but this look is a sensation that does not come from the eyes of the senses or of personal feelings, so they are a nobody’s gaze, a demand for observation, a selfie that must be seen by another.
But how can you be a friend while being nobody? This question makes more sense when it comes to a dimension in a highly differentiable plane, and thus it can be seen in certain historical, political and even religious contexts, where each thinker is taken individually as having a “look” of sage, or of pretended wisdom.
One can illustrate with Guattari and Deleuze himself, and thus we can divide friendship into concepts of different contexts: the Greek, the Nietzschean, the Heideggerian and the Focaultian.
Such an inquiry aims to explore the territory of friendship as a concept, because if, as we said, it is a highly differentiable dimension or plane, then it can be detected in certain historical periods or even in each thinker taken individually. We will then try to define and illustrate, from the elements that we have just lent to Deleuze and Guattari, in a way appropriate to the extension of this article, four types of friendship of the concept, the Greek, the Nietzschean, the Heideggerian and the Foucaultian, but it’s just a rhetorical exercise.
It can be worthwhile as an exercise in thought, friendship is simple and there can be, and there are, among simple people with little book culture, and there may not be among “cults”.
I venture to say that there is more true friendship between simple people, than Heidegger says in his Forest Path in which he lives with very simple people.


The being, the clearing and the necessary

15 Jul

Only through language do we possess an habitation of being, being in it we can have access to the clearing, and unfolding in this being-there we take care of our ex-sistence, and thus the clearing is the world and is in the world, in this truth Heidegger believed and it was through her that he wrote Letters to Humanism, which received the answer from Sloterdijk who states that the clearing would not be the habitat, much less what we today call environment or “house”, because we are in rupture with nature. , while Heidegger considers the human being to be the shepherd of being, Sloterdijk states that his task is to know how to guard the Being, both were not religious, Heidegger was religious for a period, but he abandoned it.
Long before the pandemic, Sloterdijk created the term co-immunity, alluding to the task of caring for the “sick” being here in a broad sense that includes the social, and such a task is used in the being, choosing it freely and impregnating itself. her or not, so it does not depend on the language he is used to, while the man lives a life of exercises, almost always empty, or with the term he used making an asceticism (ascension through exercises) despiritualized, that is, without taking care of himself as sick, but adhering to the disease.
So we live a life focused on action, performance, a set of exercises to explore ourselves, too bad Byung Chul Han focuses excessively on social media, they are also means as languages, but consumerism, activism and the search of an active being he finds only a false asceticism, even if religious, shallow because it does not take care of the sick.
For both Heidegger and Sloterdijk, it is not about the soul, nor about the divine elevation of man, it is only the civilizing process, but for Christians who understand how deep and important a true personal asceticism is, it is about the soul. and of eternal life.
The biblical passage that most reflects this is the one that reminds us of what is essential, I would even say that only one thing is necessary, to hear the voice from above, of full life and the true light of the clearing, Luke 10, 38-42, in which Jesus visits the house of Martha, “a certain woman” and Mary his sister, the reading says so they are not known women, as some exegetes say.
Martha is busy with chores, she certainly prepares something for the master, and Martha sits at his feet to listen to the master, and Martha gets mad at her sister who doesn’t help her.
But the master even rebukes her and says (Lk 10:41-42): “Martha, Martha! You worry and are agitated by many things. However, only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken away from her.”
Only one thing is necessary, and that is not alienation but the clearing from which we are moving away.