Crab Footsteps and War

20 Apr

Umberto Eco’s book: “A Passo de Caraguejo: Hot Wars and Media Populism” (first Portuguese edition of 2012) is from more than a decade ago, but very current, Eco died on February 19, 2016, but if he were alive he would have had a lot to say.  because his vision is prophetic.

He spoke of the global regression, this is the step of the crab, the resurgence of creationism, the iPod radio (now in disuse), he saw the rebirth of nations not as an affirmative period of cultural identities, but “after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the political geography of Europe and Asia changed radically, making it clear that we were moving backwards. Atlas editors saw forces … to draw inspiration from the old pre-1914 models, like their Serbia, their Montenegro, their Baltics States and so on” (Eco, 2022).

He also saw the rebirth of creationism and so many other absurd worldviews in a process of going backwards like “the steps of the crab”, and when we least expect the war and the new models of expansionism and colonization, and he already warned of media populism, today more evident.

However, in a deeper vision, Max Weber already pointed at the beginning of the last century “the disenchantment of the world”, forced to an excessively rational vision, where he saw the social model: “not what weighs on individuals, but what is transmitted between them”. ”, so what seems outside the objective world, the world of ideas is the one that is transmitted among men.

Pierre Bourdieu returns to “disenchantment” (Bourdieu, 1979) to analyze the assumptions of the Enlightenment and of Kant as a starting point for these ideas, the idea that is in scientific knowledge, consolidated by the French Revolution and its models of state that combined with the technique, would provide a drastic change in human lifestyle, bringing lasting peace.

However, in addition to the ignored colonial wars, two world wars were also triggered, and the bad agreements at the end of each one of them led to others, which delineates now is a repetition of errors, where the reason of each state wants to prevail over the other. , and soulless (and disenchanted) rationalism shows us a world of horror, hatred and intolerance.

Bourdieu warned that the mechanism of direct democracy should not become an element of symbolic oppression, and that most of the words we have for the social are between euphemism and insult, it is like wanting to perpetuate the current state of segregation and oppression.

Bourdieu, P.  (1979). O desencantamento do mundo: as estruturas econômicas e estruturas temporais. Trad. Silvia Mazza, Brazil, São Paulo: Editora perspectiva.

Eco, U. (2022) O passo do caranguejo: guerras quentes e populismo midiático. Trad. Sérgio Mauro. Brazil, São Paulo: Record.

Weber, M. (2004) A ética protestante e o “espírito” do capitalismo. Trad. José Marcos M. de Macedo. Brazil, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras.


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