Our Arab societies, one notices, are suffering from the culture of the sin complex which is firmly and strongly established in our religious doctrines and values. We are the grandsons and daughters of the culture of self-crucifixion and knowledge-flogging, inheritors of the original sin which is deeply rooted in us. Our culture is the culture of hell and torture which is engraved in our minds and desires, a culture built over time to become firmly established in its doctrines and traditions and immutable concepts. It would not refrain from the criminalization of any effort or attempt aiming at softening its coarse and rough teachings. It aims the arrows of masochists who refuse any form of change or renovation at all forms of criticism. Our culture teaches us to submit to humiliation, to fight science and knowledge and to belittle ourselves so that we practice repression in its individual and collective forms. But what is the main reason behind the development and growth of such a repressive culture?
There is no doubt that the group has played an important role in the education of individuals within the framework of laws and traditions taking shape over time and transformed into religious concepts which curb any rebellious attempt so that it preserves its existence and very essence. It does so by ignoring individual desire. In order to restrain these desires, the group strives to plant the seeds of fate and punishment in the minds of individuals. This creates a psychological discrepancy between self-satisfaction and images over laden with the sentiment of fear and terror which linger in the individual’s unconscious. This inner struggle cultivates the feeling of guilt. Each time the individual wants to realize his/ her needs, she/ he finds him/herself overwhelmed by a deterring tendency emanating from inner images accumulating since an early age. It takes its hold on her/ him totally and leaves her/ him incapable of understanding the true extent of the problem. One feels paralyzed in front of these images. In the beginning, these feelings have been reflected in myths and then they materialized in the guise of divine religious texts. This projection of inner fears gradually solidified in an external force which restrains individuals and represses any individual attempt to think or behave outside its repressive framework.
The group has undertaken upon itself this mission and we see it fighting all individuals who emancipated themselves from collective shackles and chains. It is wearing the mantle of the executioner who is ignorant about all sciences and knowledge and historical events. This tendency is projected in ourselves in the shape of another crisis which confuses concepts and morality. The individual spends all his/ her life behind fake masks practicing his/ her moral deprivation in secret, upsets the natural balance of things and forges his/ her history which is full of defeats to turn it into imaginary glorious victories. I believe that the main problem in these societies resides in their fear of confronting themselves and in their inability to reconcile individual desires with the collective good.
The collective Arab culture is built on the fuelling of individuals with irrational reactions and mindless violence. Our understanding is incapable of first detecting sentiments in an organized way to translate them at a later stage into a meaningful output. Our acts are expressions of random feelings mixed up and confused, lacking the ability to organize the individual and collective behavior. But when we try to put things into order, we find ourselves subject to accusations and insults.
I am doing my best to determine the reasons behind these reactions which are closed upon themselves and perpetually scared of an attack from the outside threatening to uproot them from their complacent foundations. I am trying to be understanding towards these feelings but at the same time I am compelled to know the reasons behind the conspiring of the earth and the universe against this cursed part of the world from so long ago and I find myself lost into a hopeless search for exceptional inventions to find nothing other than failure, I try to look for ethics and I am met with their total inexistence, and I delude myself about the need to search further, perhaps we belong to a culture which can pride itself on its wonderful scientific achievements and I hear nothing other than crying and moaning and self-flagellation about a bygone history which left no trace. We are the ones who destroyed our human achievements and annihilated our accumulating experiences. We clang to a single mask we invented for ourselves, a mask emptied of any content or meaning which would give us a reason to carry on living.
We are gripped by our fears and we resort to fighting among ourselves and to violence towards the other. We are ever-ready to make a judgment so quickly and to pronounce ready-made verdicts we pull out of our cultural drawers. How can we claim any affinity with knowledge and science when we are incapable of understanding ourselves and analyzing internal and external facts? If we study our ambiguous condition, one inspired by a culture built on brain-washing, the distortion of information and the forging of truths, we should not find it strange that individuals are transformed into machines incapable of nothing other than the uncritical storing of information not knowing how to process it. We are the sons of a culture which copies the other, incapable of transforming its potential into a creative output.
Ours is a struggle between the individual aspiring to practice her/ his human right to individual freedom, to freedom of thought, to independent behavior; and the repression and oppression of the group seeking to erase her/ his individuality and humanity in the crowdedness of the flock; seeking to tame him/ her like chicken following its moulds so that it feels secure from the dangers of her/ his emancipation.
Individual freedom constitutes a constant threat and danger to the immutable principles, traditions and beliefs of the group. It is the story of the eternal struggle between the group’s tendency towards enslaving the individual body and mind and the individual’s hope to emancipate itself from the oppressive domination of the group.