A story from history

31 Oct

This is the name of the first chapter of the book Terra-Pátria (Ed. Sulina, 1995) by Edgar Morin, the author’s attempt at the time was to understand the various civilizing processes to guide the world towards a moment in which we would all see ourselves as citizens of the same house.

He writes there: “But, however diverse they may have been, they constituted a fundamental and primary type of Homo sapiens society. For several tens of millennia, this diaspora of archaic societies, ignoring each other, constituted humanity” (page 15) and this seems very current.

History “merciless towards defeated historical civilizations, was atrocious without remission in the face of everything prehistoric. The founders of the culture and society of Homo sapiens are today definitive victims of a genocide perpetrated by humanity itself, which progressed to parricide” (page 15), punctuating 10 thousand years in Mesopotamia (the Semites), four thousand years in Egypt , going east “from the Indus and into the Haung Po valley in China” (pg. 16) 2,500 years ago.

This early history is “the emergence, growth, multiplication and struggle to the death of States among themselves; it is conquest, invasion, enslavement, and also resistance, revolt, insurrection; they are battles, ruins, coups d’état and conspiracies […]” (pg. 16) and which seems to be repeated today.

Then this story “began to become ethnographic, polydimensional. Today, the event and eventuality, which erupted everywhere in the physical and biological sciences, appear in the historical sciences”, in which what Edgar Morin calls “homo sapiens-demens” appears.

This “homo sapiens-demens. I should consider the different forms of social organization that emerged in historical time, from Pharaonic Egypt, Periclean Athens, to contemporary democracies and totalitarianisms, as emergences of anthropo-social virtualities” (pg. 17), I return to this reflection because what should be rethought, repeats itself as a cruel cycle.

The author states: “Today, the destiny of humanity poses to us with extreme insistence the key question: can we get out of this History? Is this adventure our only future?” (p. 17).

Morin’s wise and prophetic spirit announces: “Thus, a multiple fermentation, in different points of the globe, prepares, announces, produces the instruments and ideas of what will be the planetary era” (pg. 18), but with serious and civilizational threats.

Your essential question remains: “can we get out of this History?”, it takes wisdom and a historical understanding that seems to escape the great world leaders.

MORIN, E. and Kern, A.B. Terra-Pátria. Trans. by Paulo Azevedo Neves da Silva. Brazil, Porto Alegre: Sulina, 2003.



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