Rethinking the World

To think the world is to keep the world the way it is. To rethink the world is to change it.

To change the world is to challenge the way majorities are used to thinking about the world.

A thought is a creative demon and like a virus it multiplies itself. The Buddha too acknowledged the power of thoughts. To rethink is to infect the world with the virus of a social revolution that will lead to “a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security” (Chaplin in The Great Dictator)

To rethink the world is to disprove the prejudices of your teachers at school, your parents, the rest of the family at home and the neighbors on the street, to see alternatives where the doors are closed, to accept the way you are, to give those who never had a chance a chance to be themselves, to embrace elements in a tradition that lead to the future, to use criticism in the form of argument and polemics to deconstruct the enemies of a classless society, to unlearn each day what you’ve taught yourself the previous day, never to put personal loves and hates before the truth, to know the truth the way the victims of injustice experience it, Father Zossima asks the question in The Brothers Karamazov: “After all what am I worth, that another man, a fellow creature, made in the likeness and image of God, should serve me?”- the question is a secular-democratic one as well – what justifies the violence of those who have against those who do not have, what justifies governments dictatorial or otherwise imposing agendas that represent the needs of some as opposed to the many, what justifies millions having to kill their sense of human worth to fulfill the whims of a few, to subvert power elitism in every possible way is to rethink the world.

‘I’ don’t believe in the supremacy of the “we” over the ‘I’. I don’t believe that in some mystical way I echo the thoughts of millions outside me. That is vanity if not outright self-deception. I don’t believe either that I’ve to live up to a particular ideal popular prejudice creates for me. If I say what I say it is because I’m backed by a certain experience of reality. I don’t understand “life” in an abstract sense but in a concrete manner as “living.”

The person who writes this column is neither an “I” nor a “we” but somewhere guided by a sense of what things should be like, somewhere certain without being absolute, somewhere unsure without being insecure, somewhere willing to understand, somewhere less than willing to compromise, somewhere embracing a changing world, somewhere unwilling to make change a goal in itself, somewhere willing to let go because nothing is more disastrous to a social revolution than a bunch of private egos consumed with hatred settling scores with the world, somewhere fighting it out all the way – Che Guevara is not about having the photograph of Alberto Korda on the t-shirt but to know that revolution is the answer to injustices that millions experience every day of their lives.

I haven’t rethought the world. I keep rethinking it over and again because a fool has the last word on everything and I choose not to be that.


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  1. rethinking the world, as I see it, should be crowned by any possible way of re-making the world. But this would probably fail. As Baudrillard claimed in ‘In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities’, we think (and rethink) individually; and therefore there is no society that can think. Rather, what we have is a mass of people far from any thinking ability. With this in hand, a revolution would never be truly accomplished.

    Therefore, my dearest friend, I feel the same dilemmas as you do, between having a rethinking ‘I’ which is highly utopian in itself, and an irresponsible ‘we’ which constantly disappoints the former one. Tragedy is that the former cannot do without the latter.

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