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Rob Riemen: Culture or Civilisation. The Return of Political Extremism in the 21st Century
April 27, 2015
MAISON DU FUTUR Serail Bikfaya, Bikfaya

CULTURE OR CIVILISATION. THE RETURN OF POLITICAL EXTREMISM in the 21st CENTURY

A Lecture and Conversation by

Rob Riemen

Founder and President of the International Nexus Institute

MAISON DU FUTUR, Bikfaya

[April 27, 2015]

Good afternoon everybody!

I feel extremely privileged to be invited by “Maison du Futur” and also to be able to share my thoughts on what I think is an extremely important topic.

I am afraid that I am an old fashioned European intellectual, so I prepared a very serious lecture. I hope that after my lecture we can have a discussion on my views. 

I wanted to tackle the return of political extremism, but I gave it a new title which is “Culture or Civilization”, and I decided to speak and share with you my views on culture or civilization because as you may remember in 1993, Samuel Huntington, one of the most important political scientists predicted what he called “a clash of civilizations”. The idea that we are facing a clash of civilizations still has a strong political impact because, especially, in my part of the world it still dominates many people’s view on Islam and the region which is dominated by Islam. 

I think it is very unfortunate, as the idea of the clash of civilizations is the main cause of wars, and political extremism is in my opinion fundamentally wrong. Huntington should have made the distinction between culture and civilization, and the reason for not making this distinction is that he forgot or was not aware of the fact that the term culture has a double and even a contradicting meaning. 

The original meaning of culture comes, as many of you shall know, from Cicero’s expression “cultura animi” which means “the cultivation of the human soul”. Of course, this idea of Cicero is the translation of Socrates’ idea of Phaedo which is the Greek expression for the idea that every human being carries the spiritual principle inside him or her which is the image of our true being, and that our life is one ongoing effort to educate ourselves to live according to who we should be instead of who we are.

So culture in its original meaning is a moral concept, it is a critical notion. As my friend Georges Tinabel said , “culture is about coming to our better selves.” Culture, in this meaning, is indeed indispensable for any form of civilization. However, culture also has another meaning which is more often used ; therefore culture is longer a normative concept, but it is descriptive. It is the anthropological description of customs, beliefs, tradition, etc, according to which a certain group lives. Not every culture is compatible with the notion of civilization ; in fact some cultures clash with civilization. So the future will not be deterred by hunted guns, clash of civilizations but by the clash with civilization. I identified three cultures which are dominating our society and will always clash with civilization. The three cultures are :

1- The culture of religious fundamentalism.

2- The culture of fascism in each dominated mass       democracy.

3- The culture of high tech, scientific world view

These three cultures have their own characteristics. On one hand, they are completely different from each other, but on the other hand they have four characteristics in common. All three different cultures, and based on their four characteristics, will clash with civilization because all four incorporate :

a- The denial of human nature

b- The denial of human freedom 

c- The denial of human excellence

d- The denial of the grammar of life

Those four denials combined make clear what the ultimate denial always is, the denial of human dignity. Human dignity is the celebration and cultivation that makes the essence of any form of civilization. You cannot have civilization without the celebration of cultivation and human dignity. These three cultures are not everywhere on the globe but are becoming more and more dominant. Civilization in the civilized world and its citizens is in retreat everywhere. In the variety of crisis which are manifest everywhere, the financial, social, economic, political, democratic, religious and environmental crisis are no more than different expressions of the world crisis we are facing, which is the crisis of civilizations. Yet, we are facing this crisis again ! So we will find out what the consequences will be when civilization indeed collapses, and that’s always violence, war, destruction and self-destruction. As we are now living in the nuclear age, it is even imaginable that we are facing the  destruction of mother earth herself. For instance, we are all part of mankind and we have no choice but to accept the obligation to act wisely and decisively. 

This starts by understanding what these cultures are about, why they are attractive to many people, although they are so destructive, and last but not least, what’s to be done ?

Let me start with the first culture, the religious fundamentalism. In nowadays media culture, religious fundamentalism is mostly associated with Islam extremism, in particular the Islamic State. Obviously, religious fundamentalism exists in all times and all religions : Christianity with its crusades, the Klu Klux Klan in the U.S. has its own legacy of men burning and beheading. All of these actions are done under the pretext that the others are heretics and represent the incarnation of the devil, etc. What lies behind this horror and why religious fundamentalism will always clash with civilization is their denial of human nature ; their denial of the fact that we human beings do have a physical nature ; that we have our senses, that we have a sexual instinct, and that there is something like female beauty. They try to deny it as much as possible in favor of men’s spirit, which has to remain pure. There is nothing wrong with a pure soul, but among religious fundamentalists this purity of a soul is based on a profound lie, and it’s due to the worst transgression. A transgression occurs when a man starts to believe to be in possession of the absolute truth and absolute justice. Any form of theocracy is the worst form of idolatry. Religious fundamentalism is a Prescott, and priests act as if they are God. They have an absolute knowledge ; they know everything about right and wrong, and they believe that they want to purify mankind of whoever is not like them. With this view of human nature, they are in denial of the sense of life ; they do not know what compassion is ; their world view is tribal ; there is no tolerance, nor any understanding for the unity of mankind. 

Religious fundamentalist can exist because of a deep fear of freedom for only a tiny minority is always part of the priest class ; the rest are followers. They follow those people out of fear of freedom. The famous legend of “The Grand Inquisitor”, which is part of the novel of Dostoevsky, “The Brothers Karamazov”, where he has a beautiful picture of the Islamic State 400 years ago which was then the Christian state. The novel explains that everybody was thrilled by the fact that there will be a burning of ten heretic, that everybody wanted to be part of it. While waiting for the big event, abruptly from the back of the square a stranger appears, and suddenly people who are blind can see, and an ill child recovers immediately etc. and people realize he is back… Jesus is back !

“The Grand Inquisitor”, who is a cardinal, also recognizes that Jesus is back, and he orders his guards to put Jesus in prison immediately. Trying to obey, the guards put him in jail. That evening, the Cardinal visits the jail. Jesus doesn’t say anything, but the Cardinal tells him : “What a kind of bastard are you for coming back. Don’t you realize that we, the church, are busy to redo your work ! You did something very silly 70 centuries ago, when you wanted people to believe that they should be free, but that is a serious mistake ; you never understood human nature. People are afraid of freedom because it puts responsibility on them, and the church have taken that responsibility from them. In exchange, we will give them miracles, authority and wonders, hence, people are happy. If people have to make the choice between being happy or free, everybody will choose happiness, so next morning, we will set you on fire as well.”  That is the end of the famous legend of “The Grand Inquisitor.”

Religious fundamentalism has always existed, in all religions, and unfortunately, Christianity had its own share of it. Religious fundamentalism always celebrates the cult of death. They have no clue about the grammar of life. Again, because it is tribalism, and its mission is to purify mankind. Their mission is to make what is sacred and absolute their own. They can only aim for destruction, and they will never aim for any form of construction. According to their logic, they always have to prefer death over life ; it will always be their choice.  

The second culture which will always clash with civilization, is the culture of fascism in each dominated mass society. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is occurring in Europe right now. All over Europe, much to my embarrassment in my country the Netherlands, there are new fascist parties, and of course many people are in denial of their existence, but they are there in the Netherlands, in Belgium, in France, in Italy, in Spain, in Hungary, in Romania, etc… 

What is fascism ? Fascism is a political phenomenon that started to manifest itself at the beginning of the 20th century, and it is something inherit to a mass democracy. It can be described as the politization of the mentality of a society that is totally fooled by resentment. It is a form of politics used by democrats whose only motive is the enforcement and extension of the wrong power to which end they will exploit resentment, use scapegoats, insult others, incite hatred and hide their own intellectual emptiness. 

When Ortega y Gasset first analyzed mass democracy and the rise of fascism at the end of the twenties beginning of the thirties, he summed up in one sentence in his analysis, that the mass society on line : “It comes out to defect that Europe no longer has any morals.” Again, this relates to the denial of human nature. Why ? Because we human beings are the species that have a double nature. On one hand, we have our physical nature ; our body needs our instincts and it drifts in many ways we are equal to animals, but we also have our spiritual nature. We do have an awareness of ideas about failures ; we know about truth, beauty, justice and freedom, but the mass man does not want to be confronted let alone be burdened with intellectual or spiritual failures, because he believes the truth will restrict him. 

Life for mass man must be easy and abundant everything must be permitted, for there are no constraints. The mass man does not think and without any spiritual guidance, he clings to the weight of masses, which will lead him to life. In this nihilistic society, spiritual failures are replaced by greed and fear, and spiritual life is replaced by kitsch. The need for kitsch is there because we need a cover for our spiritual emptiness and the pointlessness of life. 

This said, it is very important to understand what is going on in Europe and in the United States of America. For example, if you go to the airport here in Beirut, and then fly to any other place you will discover that the magazines ad are everywhere the same. In every shop the magazines you will find are dealing with computers and technology, and because our faith in engineering and technological progress is enormous, you will always find sports, cars and motor racing magazines, for we do have this deep faith that fast is better, speed became a value. Bill gates became tremendously rich by windows 7.0 and 8.0 because everything is 20 seconds faster. Of course there are always the shares of money, we also find the lifestyle, celebrities and sex magazines because we cannot imagine a life without amusement. Commercial TVs and internet will only confirm how dominant these values are in our culture.

Therefore, since we are living in the 21th century, why does the modern world give so much value to technology, to speed, to money, to fame and to sexual pleasure ? 

200 years ago, Socrates said, “Your lifestyle is only focused on pleasure and you ignore the best.” This is one of the most beautiful definitions of kitsch, which is based on pleasure and the ignorance of the best. 

Please do understand the political societal consequences of kitsch for there are no longer any spiritual values, there isn’t any objective measure to our actions because everything became subjective, and you can hear it in the language. The only thing that counts is what I feel, what I think, my taste and that my opinions are respected, otherwise I will be offended because the sensitive ego is the master of all the things and cannot stand any form of criticism or deal with self-criticism. 

Human identity is no longer based on an expression of who you are but rather on materiality, what you have, what you look like, you can literally now buy your identity, adapt it and change it. So our permanent drive to buy and to own is not so much an expression of greed and consumerism, it is based on our deep identity ; you have to have this car ; you have to have this watch, or you have to have this whatever thing because then you can say this is my identity, and you post it on Facebook hoping to get many likes. The spiritual life is no longer relevant ; it is about feeling good. You feel best when everything is pleasant and therefore fun. Fun is the ultimate measure for all things you invest in : your friends must be nice, your school, your studies, your work, and in your free time you want amusement. Mass media, sports, games, everything has to be nice ; the mindset must be nice, and you also have to be nice. However, if things go wrong, you take some pills because you have to feel good again. If you watch American television, you will learn so much about our society since all the commercials are about feeling good.

When nothing is absolute, when everything is transitory everything goes down to the now, to the moment, and that is the fundamental reason that we are no longer having time anymore, everything has to happen now ; and then we call it multi-tasking. In politics, it is no longer about having a serious discussion about the best and good society. It is about people who want to gain political power and hold it in their slogans and their image. Forget political substance, nowadays in politics, they have no ideas. Fascism exploits these crisis, these fears, and these instincts of men. The fascist politics is based on crude materialism ; it’s a politics of resentment and hatred and based on permanent lies. Fascists are the best liars ever ; they always have to have scapegoats ; the Jews, the Americans, the Muslims, the poor, whoever abuses the fear of freedom, it’s an anti-democratic strategy, that’s why they will never engage in a serious discussion. It’s nationalistic, and it’s build on tribalism.  You can even hear it in the language of Mme Le Pen, and Mr. Putin is the greatest fascist we are having now. Our ignorance of history is huge ; we are not even capable to recognize that Mr. Putin is the new fascist leader of nowadays.

The famous American historian, Robert Paxton, wrote a wonderful book on fascism in which he says that fascism is beyond definitions, because it has no intellectual content at all, so you will always recognize it by the characteristics which are prevalent in every situation. 

Fascism is spreading all over Europe because after World War II, we cultivated the fantasy of eternal economic growth. This is also how we created the business leaders and the heroes of our time. The business leaders are interested in everything expect society ; they created a mass society, a kitsch society, and we are now facing the consequences.

The third and last culture, the culture of high tech, scientific world view, is our culture and is in many ways the biggest threat. As we are facing the barbarism of the Islamic State and religious fanatics, it is terrible to see that Europe is again getting into the grip of fascism, but on the long term, the biggest threat is scientism ; it is this holy faith in high tech and scientific culture. In his book “Brave New World”(1935), Huxley created “Utopia”, an island where everybody was happy. The point is no longer science fiction, it is here already ; you can go to Oxford or any other very serious universities, where they already have the department of so called transhumanism. In America, the most powerful university is a singular University in California. They are working on the fusion between computer and men ; it is based on the exponential growth of technology and the creation of the perfect man ; cloning is already possible, and if you have enough money and you want to have a specific child you can go to L.A where according to the cult of neuroscience, you are your brain. Neuroscience is the idea that we don’t have any free will because we are completely determined by our brains, by our genes. There is no free choice. Everything is based on how your brains are wired, and of course, the wiring can be changed through technology, and yet through it change our behavior. 

Two years ago, Nexus held a conference tackling this matter. People were honest and very explicit about what they can do. The first element of this culture is embraced by all of us, and what we still do not realize is that with Google and Facebook, privacy is gone, but privacy in Georges Orwell’s 1984 is the essence of freedom, when there is no privacy anymore you can never be free. Therefore, there is no free pace anymore ; there is no free time ; we are connected all the time, and the old idea of philosophy is now replaced everywhere by a tsunami of data. The next step, and it’s already there, is becoming like robots, this is the idea of the Silicon Valley. The whole idea of human dignity is replaced by efficiency, transparency, and robots. In Japan, there are already hospitals more cost efficient, where nurses were replaced by robots.

This culture is completely null of human nature ; there is no freedom, and human excellence in terms of virtue and creativity is already replaced by technology ; a kind of English techno bubble and smileys are replacing true human interaction. It was Ludwig Wittgensteinand old fashioned intellectual who wrote in 1921 ; “We feel that even if all possible scientific questions are to be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all”, but in our age of science, we don’t want to engage with those questions as we think we are no longer having any problems in life because everything can be fixed by technology.

We are not only living in the age of science, but we are living in the age of fundamentalism. They also think that we don’t have problems in life because they have already answers given by God, and through magic the priest will know all the answers, and he will tell you what to do. The only thing you have to do is obey. So yes we are living in the age of capitalism also the age of kitsch and fascism. The simple but horrifying truth is that the West in particular has lost its ideal of civilization. Why ? How could this happen ? I want to quote briefly something very important written by poet Fernando Pessoa who lived at the end of the19th, beginning of the 20th century. He was one of the very few writers who was not interested in any form of recognition. He wrote the most beautiful poems and prose. Only 60 years after his death, they found a book called the “Book of Disquiet”and instantly became a world classic for all the good reasons. My quote from the “Book of Disquiet” is something he wrote around 1920, “The generation I belong to was born into a world where those with a brain as well as a heart couldn’t find any support. The destructive work of previous generations left this world with no security to offer us with regards to religion, no anchor with regards to morality, no stability with regards to politics. We were born in the middle of a metaphysical and moralaguish, more anxiety and more political disquiet. Drunk on external formula, on the mere processes of reason and science, the preceding generations destroyed the foundations of the Christian faith because their Biblical exegesis, which shifted from the textual to the mythological, reduced the gospels and the earlier hierography to a collection of hypothetical myths and legends, to mere literature. Under the influence of a vague theory, they called “positivism” these generations criticized all morality and scrutinized all the rules of life. All that remained from this clash of doctrines was uncertainty and the pain of that uncertainty. He goes on and on about the scientific positive views ; it became impossible for us to be connected to the great narratives, to the great stories that explain something about the meaning of life and its dignity. He concluded with “In today’s life, the world belongs only to the stupid, the insensitive and the agitated. The right to live and triumph is now conquered almost by the same means by which you conquer internment in an asylum : the inability to think, amorality and nervous excitability.”

We got disconnected, Nietzsche predicted it and many other philosophers and writers like Camus mentioned it too… 

So what’s to be done ? To quote our friend Lenin, the first thing to be done is to remind ourselves what it means to be civilized, and how to celebrate and cultivate the dignity of men. Being civilized has everything to do with the four phenomena, which are denied by the mentioned cultures : the    nature of men, freedom, human excellence and the grammar of life. And these 4 phenomena are interrelated and cannot be disconnected. As I already stated, we may never forget that the human being is one single creature with a double nature, and this fact is part of the secret of the human existence. Yes, we are equal to animals, and often we behave like animals, but the dignity of men is the human spirit. This is the essential difference in religious fundamentalism. Although the image of our true being (according to the bible we are created in the image of God), although that true image is given to us because we know about truth, about love, friendship, freedom although these failures are absolute and transcendental, nobody can claim to be in full possession of them. So our whole life is one effort, one permanent practicing education to live according to the spiritual principle of our soul, in order to develop intuition and consciousness for what has quality, what’s good and what is evil, to acquire wisdom for the experience of life, to have compassion to keep our senses open for the so often hidden poetry of life, and to practice an open dialogue with all those people who have different backgrounds and different views. This attitude, this process of lifelong learning to become whom we should be, again Socrates called it Phaedo which means to speak and to act based on the grammar of life because freedom and truth, friendship and loyalty, wisdom and courage, love and poetry, justice and harmony form the basic grammar of our existence, because these are the qualities that give life to our life, that inspire us, that make what is meaningless meaningful, that can transform what is transitory into the intransitory, and this is what art is doing, and this is exactly because these life values are absolute, and we cannot own them ; we cannot manipulate them or instrumentalise them. It is in these words that we see the image of whom we should be, and in these words we are confronted with the standards.

In the mirror of these values, of this grammar of life, all wealth, fame, power no longer matter and neither do birth, tradition or position or agenda. There is only one question asked in all serious religions : how do you live ? Do you live as a just human being whether you’re famous or not simply doesn’t matter, so it is not for nothing that Spinoza finished his ethics with : All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. Because the grammar of life is difficult, it is extremely difficult to live accordingly because we cannot do it our physical nature and the gifts of our senses. There will always be our desires, our fears and our prejudices and our aggressions and our stupidity and our mortality. The fact that you are  human beings says you are limited, but we are free ; we have to be free it is a moral imperative method to give up the notion that we are free because it is only based on our freedom that we will have a chance to become that person whom we should be. Again, this is the big lie of religious fundamentalists because they take away our freedom and say you just have to obey. It is also the big lie of fascism which has the similarity of just follow the leader, and it is the big lie of the high tech science because they deny your freedom. We cannot give away our freedom because it will turn us into slaves or robots. At the end, we pay the price of our own dignity, and the society which is not free ; the society where the dignity of life and all freedom is not cultivated, where the grammar of life is being spoken, there will never be a civilized society. 

Which brings me to my last point, the responsibility of the ruling class, the responsibility of power elites. Since a long time our spiritual and cultural elites have been completely marginalized in western society and as an example the Time 100 list of world influencers, we don’t find a single writer, not one artist, not one poet, they are not considered to be influential in any way. So our current elites are nowadays representatives of an entire different world. It is the world of money, business, politics, media and sports, but these are not true elites in the true sense of the word because rather than being the best which is the original meaning of elite, and strive for the best, they are not characterized by being the best ; they are characterized by acquiring the most money, the most power, the most influence, the most awards. Instead of quality, quantity reigns within the power elites. How these power elites and their values dominate our society and how little relevance of value are attributed to culture and arts is evident in the state of our educational system. Universities and institutions where younger generations can acquire their knowledge of life may satisfy the hunger for intellectual information through the study of philosophy and the classics in order to form a cultural and moral consciousness, hardly exist anymore. Completely indoctrinated by the material values of the common power elites, our universities all over the globe are completely corrupted and reducing the focus of education to what is useful, cost effective, practical, commercial or amusing only. Culture and intellectual building progressively has to make way for data size and entrepreneurship, and it is completely illustrative for the structure tendency of power elites to only consider the now to engage short term thinking, and for their inability to open their eyes to real crisis which again is not the economic crisis but the crisis of civilizations right at the heart of the western society. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I consider this “Maison du Futur” as not only a “lieu de mémoire mais c’est un lieu de futur” and I count on you to be that place where you will become a counter weight to nowadays power elites, wishing you success in your civilized mission. Thank you !

""ثقافة أم حضارة. عودة التطرف السياسي في القرن الواحد والعشرين
 
""ثقافة أم حضارة. عودة التطرف السياسي في القرن الواحد والعشرين
 
محاضرة وحوار مع روب ريمن، مؤسس ومدير معهد ناكسيس الدولي

 27 نيسان 2015 ، الساعة الخامسة مساء
بيت المستقبل، سرايا بكفيا، بكفيا

استضاف بيت المستقبل في بكفيا مؤسس ومدير معهد ناكسيس الدولي روب ريمن الذي ألقى محاضرة حوارية بعنوان:
"ثقافة أم حضارة، عودة التطرف السياسي في القرن الواحد والعشرين؟"
اللقاء الذي انعقد باللغة الانكليزية وتخلله تفاعل ومداخلات من المشاركين باللغات الثلاث، العربي والفرنسي والانكليزي، شارك فيه النائب الدكتور فريد الخازن، وسفيرة الإتحاد الأوروبي في لبنان انجلينا ايخهورست، وممثل مؤسسة كونراد اديناور في لبنان بيتر ربميليه، والنائب السابق مصباح الأحدب، والسفير رياض  طبارة، والسفيرة ميشلين ابي سمرا،  وحشد من أهل الديبلوماسية والثقافة. وأدار اللقاء الدكتور حسن منيمنة.

منسى

بداية تطلع مدير اذاعة صوت لبنان سام منسى الذي ألقى كلمة باسم "بيت المستقبل"، الى مستقبل واعد للتعاون بين "بيت المستقبل" ومعهد ناكسيس الدولي وقال:" هذا النشاط هو الأول في هذا المكان، والثالث لبيت المستقبل بعد غياب طويل جراء الحرب الرهيبة التي عصف بلبنان. النشاط الأول كان في واشنطن، والثاني في فندق لوغابريال الأشرفيه، وهذا اللقاء يشكل الخطوة الآذنة بافتتاح المركز رسميا . واعلن عن تنظيم  المؤتمر السنوي الأول لبيت المستقبل في شهر ايار المقبل .

ريمن

وعالج المحاضر الدكتور روب ريمن الأحداث التي تشهدها المنطقة، والممارسات التي ترتكب على يد تنظيم الدولة الاسلامية في العراق وسوريا (داعش)، وما تشكله من تحدٍ صارخ للقيم الإنسانية.
وتطرق الباحث الى ارتدادات هذا النهج الأصولي في القارة الأوروبية التي تشهد بدورها استهدافاً للقيم الانسانية ولو بوتيرة أقل حدّة.
واستعرض المحاضر كل الفرضيات التي تكمن وراء عودة التطرف من الباب الواسع ومنها الظروف الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والضغوط الثقافية.
كما عالج سلة من التساؤلات وأدرجها ضمن السياق التالي:
١. هل ما يشهده العالم من عودة للتطرف يندرج في إطار الخطأ في التقييم السابق الذي افترض أن مرحلة ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية قد حققت إحياء للقيم التنويرية، وهل تفرض الوقائع الخطيرة إعادة النظر بهذا التقييم؟
٢. الى أي مدى يمكن اعتبار التماهي الفكري بين الطروح التعسفية في العالم العربي وأوروبا على السواء من قبيل ردة الفعل الدفاعية، أم هو انعكاس لشروخ أعمق في ثقافتنا العالمية المشتركة؟

واعتبر ريمن ان المسألة ليست صدام حضارات كما تنبأ صامويل هانينغتون، بل هي صدام الثقافات الثلاث التي عددها وهي الأصولية الدينية، والشعبوية الإستهلاكية، والعلماوية. واستفاض في الحديث عن العلماوية. وأشار الى اربع سمات مشتركة لهذه الثقافات تشكل مجتمعة الدافع لمواجهة الحضارة، وهي انكارها لطبيعة الإنسان، ولحرية الإنسان وللإمتياز الذي يسعى اليه الإنسان ولقواعد الحياة.
وتحدث باسهاب عن قواعد الحياة وهي القيم والحب والصداقة والحرية والحقيقة والجمال والعدالة، مستنداً الى قراءة سبينوزا بهذا الخصوص وخلاصتها  ان كل عمل ممتاز صعب وفريد. 
 واعتبر ان هذه الثقافات الثلاث تتفق على أن تطوير الإنسان يكون من خلال القضاء على حريته وتنمية روح الطاعة لديه، كما والقضاء على حب التفوق لديه، وهذا سلوك يعارض الطبيعة البشرية وحرية الإنسان وقواعد الحياة.
وشدد المحاضر على اهمية الكرامة الأنسانية التي هي بمثابة الروح لدى الناس، داعياً الى تمرين الذات على الحوار المنفتح والتلاقي مع جماعات من خلفيات مختلفة .
وحذر من الوضع الراهن الذي يعمل على اقصاء النخبة الفكرية والثقافية من المجتمع، وتمكين نخبة بديلة هي جماعة المال والسلطة والرياضة والإعلام، والأقوى فيها هو من يملك أكثر.

وتوقف اخيرا عند مسؤولية الطبقة الحاكمة وعلى تغليبها الكم على النوع والكيف، وسعيها وراء الربح السريع.
وراهن على دور بيت المستقبل كحاجة للمستقبل في إنشاء النخب الفكرية والثقافية والمجتمعية.                    
 



MDF
by Amine Gemayel President of the Republic of Lebanon, 1982-1988
Dr. Philip A. Salem
Since the creation of Greater Lebanon, Lebanon has been struggling to define its identity and to...
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