Arquivo para June 14th, 2024

Stories of a future life

14 Jun

There are many visions and even prophecies about the contemporary polycrisis, it goes beyond thinking and reaches social life, politics and wars on a worrying scale, but the

The question is what are the reasons to have hope, and at the same time what Edgar Morin called “resistance of the spirit”, in the final sections of The crisis of Byung-Chul, he criticizes current politics: “political narratives offer the perspective of a new order of things, they paint possible worlds…  we drag ourselves from one crisis to the next. Politics is reduced to problem solving. Today we precisely lack future narratives that give us hope.” (Han, 2023, p. 132).

The solution to specific and emergency problems is the solution to great problems, the “works” it can be visible and bring popularity to those in power, when they should have both the long-term perspective and the notion that they are short-term solutions implemented sparingly that lead to long-lasting, sustainable and effective responses and concludes Byung-Chul: “every action that transforms the world presupposes a narration” (idem) and thus there are few cases of immediate responses that are lasting.

There is a well-known narration that a young woman asks the man who was planting dates “why do you waste time planting what you are not going to harvest”, the man turned and he replied: if everyone thought like you, no one would eat dates.

The idea that things can be quick and simple is present in today’s storytelling: how to lose weight effortlessly, how to learn this or that complex job in just a few lessons, how to speak clearly and simply about a problem with a complex solution and many other “magic” formulas that have little magic and enchantment, are narratives that aim to sell and easily consume products whose effectiveness is questionable.

The first idea is to understand medium and long-term solutions, second is to be suspicious of easy solutions that are not lasting and third to admit that a complex problem it requires a longer narration and silent listening to different voices and different listenersto listen carefully.

To a biblical saying that says that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed (one of the smallest seeds), you plant it, in years it grows and becomes a leafy tree and only it depends on its own nature and waiting time (Mark 26-27).

Says Byung-Chul Han in his final paragraph: “in the world of storytelling, everything is reduced to consumption. This blinds us to narratives, other ways of life, other perceptions and realities” (p. 132-133).

Han, Byung-Chul (2023). A crise da narração. Trad. Daniel Guilhermino. Petrópolis: ed. Vozes.