Smart, but how Wise?

BHA posted this Free Arab Press piece (from March) of a young Egyptian lad speaking about what’s wrong with the then current “fascist theocracy” and their “constitution”.

Bright and certainly done his listening and reading, to pick up so many issues, and respond eloquently when interviewed, apparently unprompted. Of course the translation is not his, so the stock phrases (sound-bites) for the issues and parties are obvious, but not much wrong with his logic. His argument for secular government and non-discrimination – who could disagree. Smart kid, and a welcome sign of hope in his generation.

But – vote for him as next president? Institutionally “promote” him from Free Arab Press & BHA perspective? The situation has already changed since then. And, now you’re objectifying one young individual and taking sides – with sound bites – in a complex affair at the same time. How wise is that BHA?

The point is the bigger the issue the less it is about taking sides (after Slavoj Zizek) and the more the thinking needs to be integrationist (after Mary Parker-Follett and Jim Al-Khalili).

“The ruling ideology appropriated the September 11 tragedy and used it to impose its basic message: it is time to stop playing around, you have to take sides ” for or against. This, precisely, is the temptation to be resisted: in such moments of apparent clarity of choice, mystification is total. Today, more than ever, intellectuals need to step back. Are we aware that we are in the midst of a “soft revolution”, in the course of which the unwritten rules determining the most elementary international logic are changing?”
(Slavoj Zizek – The Empty Wheelbarrow)

“Just so far as people think that the basis of working together is compromise or concession, just so far do they not understand the first principles. [It’s neither fighting (win-lose) nor concession (lose-win), it’s about integration.]”
(Mary Parker-Follett)

“It’s because we are winning the battle that we can afford not to be so strident, belligerent, antagonistic, confrontational. Because we’re winning the battle that more and more people can see that humanism is an inclusive thing, … Because that is changing we don’t need to be on the attack against people with faith.”
(Jim Al-Khalili)

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