Arquivo para June 3rd, 2024

Narratives, wars and dangers

03 Jun

In one of Byung-Chul Han’s recent essays, while the author remembers Hyppolyte de Villemessant, founder of the French newspaper Figaro and Walter Benjamin, essayist and philosopher who died in the 40s, the author does not fail to associate the modern narrative associated with new media, with storytelling called storyselling (product that sells).

Thus, instead of provoking a reflection on the major problems of today, including the escalation of wars, the problem is old: “the reader of a modern newspaper jumps from one piece of news to another, instead of letting his gaze wander into the distance, and linger there. The long, slow and lingering look was lost” (Han, 2023, p. 17), that is, there is no reflection.

So it’s about creating a narrative favorable to this or that ideological vision, logic and humanity don’t matter, even in the face of tragedies we are more busy (not all of them fortunately) in creating a narrative to justify a certain position than to defend a principle. humanitarian, there is this or that war, but all of them kill innocent people, all of them, as Eduardo Galeano said, hide desires for power and exploitation over the nation to be dominated, but great empires have succumbed despite all the arrogance and genocides.

The resurgence of the war in Ukraine, the threats to the last stronghold of Palestinian refugees, the constant threats to Taiwan, in addition to incursions into Africa and now even South America, Venezuela is once again threatening Guyana with intense troop movements and provocations between the USA and Iran, warlike spirits ignite and even good but innocent people embark on these narratives, there is no other interest in wars: looting, deaths of innocent people and inhumanity.

There is no shortage of meetings between nations in Brazil, Europe and attempts to sensitize governments to the dangers of this war escalation around the world, but they come up against partial and partisan narratives, few minds are aware of the serious and civilizing danger of this escalation. , around the world, armaments are the only response that seems to reach the rulers, and so narratives of “heroic acts” of warlike events grow around the world that should shame those who invoke humanitarian principles, with the UN being the wars and environmental problems that have led starve more than 700 million people.
Even for a biblical or historical narration, where the intention is to build a “whole” narrative, there is a call for humanitarianism, when Cain kills his brother Abel, the divine question is “where is your brother?” (Genesis 4,9)  and the narration suggested by Byung -Chul Han is that of the Egyptian king Psammenit who was captured by the Persian king Cambyses, and after the defeat makes the king humiliate when he sees his daughter turned into a slave and his son being taken to be executed (Han, pg. 21), however the Egyptian king only felt when he saw an elderly and frail servant among the prisoners and “hit his head with his fists and expressed deep sadness” (pg. 22), so the narration, says Han, “needs no explanation” (Han, pg. 22).

If we are capable of long, slow and lingering reflections, it is not difficult to understand the danger of the escalation of wars, of simple people like Psammenit’s service who suffer and die for issues that they barely understand, and that the narratives do not explain, they only try to justify the unjustifiable: death, jokes and lies.

As the philosopher Morin states, it takes resistance of the spirit, we are gradually losing the sense of love, hope and solidarity and if we read and investigate the news and facts of the wars we will see that there was nothing in them other than great genocides, robberies and In situations of hunger and misery, it is necessary to resist hatred and violence.

Han B.C. (2023) A crise da narração (The crisis of narration). Transl. Daniel Guilhermino. Brazil, Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes.