About escaping conflict



I have shared two observations with several people with whom I interact in some interactive activities.

The first is that people who are seeking and rehearsing new processes of human life, initiatives of free learning, co-creation or occupation of public spaces to enjoy social coexistence, are more willing to experiment than to structure discourses and refer them in existing narratives. They are not theorizing. They are not using existing theories to guide and justify their practices. They’re just doing what they think is cool. They are not even willing to present themselves as great supporters of causes, as it was not so long ago.

The second observation is that these people do not have the militant vibe. They do not look like people who are fighting, preparing to defend themselves against enemies or to face and defeat them. Above all, they are not selecting people. Of the new arrivals they do not charge any posture, no alignment, nor seek to know what they think in political, philosophical or religious terms. They are not also wanting to get more people involved for some purpose. Nor are they annoyed or disappointed when people considered important do not appear. The environments that configure with their coexistence are working as in that first proposal of the Open Space: “the person who comes is the right person.” Now this is nothing short of fantastic: it is the other-unpredictable!

The impression is that they, if they could, would create a new world for them, without requiring others to participate in these worlds. When other people appear, then they interact (as if they have always been there), but they do not become a part, they do not conform to a definite body. And the coolest thing is that they feel they can even do it. Now – it seems – the emergence and coexistence or coexistence of multiple highly connected worlds is now possible.

However I have also noticed a certain tendency of these people to flee from the conflict when for some reason it installs, especially when it is thematized according to the old classifications, of the type left x right, follower of such philosophy x follower of another philosophy or atheist x religious .

Perhaps there is a deeper reason we can not yet grasp to explain such behavior. And it seems to overcome old sectarian behaviors of which we have bitter memories.

In their favor we can say that in these new experiences, they are no longer fighting people. They are just disobeying. Without ever explaining – as I will do now – why they behave this way, these people are resisting certain configurations that reproduce the patriarchal culture, that induce the erection of hierarchical structures and that condition the adoption of autocratic ways of regulating conflicts.

Yes, they are experimenting with distributed networks and democracy through practical (non-theoretical) disobedience. Not doing what everyone else does, not having a fixed goal and planning to achieve it, is perhaps the most eloquent form of disobedience. Hence the refusal to fight.

Whoever fights against an enemy is an obedient. It always obeys someone, some group defined by borders of identity: us x others. But it is the fight against enemies that generates the configurations that program someone to obey-and-command (yes, it is the same thing), that is, to erect hierarchies. And in the struggle – which is a form of war, even if it is not hot war, waged with weapons on battlefields – one can not experience democracy in everyday life. Because the demands of combat are only compatible with autocratic dynamics.

Peace as a revolutionary (non-path) way is non-struggle. But it is civil and political disobedience that deconstitutes war, that is, the construction of enemies (and the maintenance of enemies) as a pretext for organizing social cosmos structured according to hierarchical standards and governed by autocratic modes.

But refusing the fight is not refusing the conflict. The problem is not the conflict, but the way to solve the conflict. You can not escape the conflict, as subdued people thought, evolved people, spiritualized people, who wanted to go to an (imaginary) place where there would be no conflict, where everything would be harmony and agreement. But a society without conflict would be dead, frozen. The suppression of conflict – characteristic of dystopias (and utopias, yes, all utopias are autocratic) – can only happen in herds, in obedient societies, in worlds where there is no place for dirt and imperfection, for deviations from the paths already paved, to the error in the calculation, to the failure of the armor, to the unpredictable and, finally, to chance. But where there is no place for chance, there is no place for freedom.

People who fled the conflict were never better than the others. Rigid people were not necessarily good people. Good education, good manners, abstinence from criticism, fear of being misinterpreted, desire to be admired – all this was and still is, to a great extent, an effort of adequacy, that is, obedience, not disobedience.

The problem is that these people wanted to be accepted by someone who (supposedly) would be above them. They wanted to match what they expected from them. Mom planned them for that. And then they went out into the world behind Mom: seeking approval. But there was no one above them unless they bowed. When they lowered themselves, however, by this simple gesture they already deformed the social field, configuring an environment favorable to the reproduction of the patriarchal, hierarchical and autocratic culture.

Contrary to what has been taught to them in families, schools, churches and religious and philosophical sects, patterns of maladaptation are not signs of insanity, on the contrary: when one adapts to a sick environment, one who is sick is the one who has adapted . If they wanted to polish themselves to pass smooth through the sewers, without friction, without raids, then they were sick. Continuing along this path, such a person often longed to live in aseptic places and suddenly found himself washing his hands compulsively with fear of filth. They could not see that purity existed only in the image they were socially (Maturana would say: antisocially) compelled to create of themselves to satisfy the morbid expectations of the controlling society. And they did not discover that the persona is collective (and it is also an illness).

Then, after being assaulted by all this, I remembered the old alchemists when they said that the raw material for transformation is in the most vile and despised places. And I thought, on my own account, that if one is not dirty enough, it can not be taken advantage of by the symbiont (that is, by the other-unpredictable). And that anyone who wants to be taken advantage of can not escape the conflict.


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