|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
For the past thirty years humanity has existed only as an animal species. The appropriate science for its study has been zoology. Great advances have in fact been made in that field, notably through the application of genomics. But humanity as a rational and political animal died in 1979, and went to hell. There it did what the damned do: tormented others and itself. The instrument of torment was identity. As some philosopher said, identity politics is zoological. If we don't see our partial struggles as part of a general project of human emancipation, we turn on each other and fight over crumbs.
In Tahrir Square last week thousands of people stood up to a counter-revolutionary mob and fought it back, yard by yard over a long day and night, with sticks and stones. In those few hours they proved in practice that the human being's conscious will can change history. They brought the human subject and human emancipation back into politics. Whatever the immediate outcome in Egypt, this consciousness will not go away. We can all go back to being human. That doesn't mean we will all love each other. It means we can fight each other for good reasons.
As someone said on Twitter: 'Yesterday we were all Tunisians. Today we are all Egyptians. Tomorrow we will all be free.'
And that's your grand narrative, all you post-modernists, rising up and coming right back in your face!