“I believe that true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity.”
- Professor Charles Xavier
This piece on the differences of thought between people on the political left and those on the political right brought me back to an argument I’ve been making for a while now.
We are dividing the political spectrum in lateral, convenient ways, but they’re not particularly accurate. Communist regimes and dictatorships aren’t polar opposites – they’re equally oppressive and dominance-focused. Thoughtful Conservatives, Liberals and NDP can come to the same, logical conclusions – it’s the emotional pieces that shaped their politically-oriented policies that polarize them.
By this light, fundamentalist Christian movements are exactly the same as fundamentalist Islamic movements; they use different language and are trying to protect different models, but their approaches are exactly the same.
It’s not left vs. right – it’s selection-of-the-fittest vs. strengthening the collective. Put another way, it’s biological evolution vs. social evolution.
The X-Men franchise provides a great example.
“I will bring you hope, old friend – just don’t get in my way.”
Magneto believes in a coming, inevitable war between mutants and humans. His focus is the differences; only one group can dominate. Obviously, he feels his tribe is the natural party for this. Magneto feels so strongly about his beliefs that he’s willing to sacrifice others – including his own kind – to achieve his goals. For him, peace was never an option.
Magneto’s power? The ability to manipulate the world (metal, but there’s metal in most of our social trappings) around him through sheer force of will.
“There’s good in you too, and you can harness all that.”
Then there’s Professor X. He believes in a collaborative future between mutant and human, with a sidebar thought that, through evolution, mutants will likely overcome humanity through natural processes, just as homo sapiens did Neanderthals. Xavier is a negotiator; he feels there is always room for dialogue and is willing to sacrifice himself to keep the conversation going.
Xavier’s powers are of the mind – control of self and, through that internal control, the ability to control others. Like Loki, he’s a trickster, but unlike tricksters of old, the tricksters of today are seen as the heroes. They want to solve through words, not violence. Killing, says Xavier, won’t bring peace.
If we pay attention, there’s a trend, here – from reactive to proactive, from dominance to manipulation to collaboration.
When you look where we’re headed, it's not away from something, but rather towards a common centre.
Bravo my friend.ReplyDelete
Consider the times when civilizations have come together inspite of ideological differences for the common good.
Consider where humanity can go if we could come together in that way outside of a global crisis.
Now consider what will be the next unifying stimulus?