By Hedi Ben Abbes
Since the advent of culture, which dates back to the first attempts to control the natural state, all human societies, all civilizations, have functioned according to a structuring reference system. Without this frame of reference, we would have committed a “state of nature,” whether it was peace or war. The depot is never a fixed anchor point. Rather, it is in motion and testifies to the collective will – in itself an amalgamation of individual wills – to create the most peaceful living conditions possible, according to the optimistic version of the state of nature. All the norms, orders, laws, rules, traditions, habits, and customs that structure a society constitute a system of references that influence the individual’s daily practices.
That’s what Pierre Bourdieu calls it habits. This disposition of the individual to act in accordance with all these standards. It’s also a passionate bondage as Spinoza says, or obsequium according to its expression, which recalls that individuals act in accordance with the determinism of the affects or more simply the emotions that evoke the desire for transformation. Although at the root of every desire for change is a habitus (Bourdieu) or an Obsequium (Spinoza), it is nonetheless that the will as a tool of power contributes to the transformation of reality as soon as a collective will is organized for to deconstruct the norm and promote a norm that better suits the collective desire. In other words, all living societies proceed according to two seemingly conflicting axioms, with on the one hand habitus or obsequium and on the other hand the desire to go beyond the established order. It is admitted, according to Spinoza, that precisely this will is the result of a determinism that precedes it. Under these conditions, a value as justice can only be attained if individuals and the amalgamation of their respective affects converge toward a common goal that goes through the deconstruction of the law, as Derrida says.
Between conquest and subsumtion
It is in this relationship of obedience, of voluntary bondage, of habitus, of obsequium on the one hand and the will to exceeds that frame of reference is born and develops. The depots then represent all the norms that organize the life of a society at any given time in its history. The collective will of a community, even the amalgamation of individual wills, presides over the development of frameworks of reference towards a better collective “being”. The degree of courtesy in this community is measured by the scale both for respect for the reference systems and for going beyond them. A fixed community attached to an unchanging frame of reference, despite the changes brought about by individuals (economic, political and social changes) or changes introduced by external factors (climate, geographical changes), this fixed community cannot be insensitive to these changes . It can only respond to two opposing models. The first model is the willingness to transcend and adapt to change with the willingness to improve the conditions forbecalls it the progressive model that seeks the expansion of possibilitiesbe individuals. The second model is the inverse will, the one that contributes to regression, to the subsumption ofbe which voluntarily reduces its field of activity through resistance to change. Expansion and overcoming on the one hand, shrinkage and subsumtion on the other.
Multiculturalism vs monoculture?
First and foremost, the structuring frame of reference in societies where the desire to overcome is at work contains keys that are able to provide answers to the challenges posed by the economic, political, technical and social development of these societies. The more the repository is open to the world and its developments, the more keys are available to manage these developments. A brief example can allow us to see a little clearer.
If we take the golden age of art and letters and sciences that Baghdad lived through in the time of Caliph Haroun Arrachid (765 – 809), we see that human, scientific and artistic development during this period was due to a number of influences and confluences. who have watered Mesopotamia for centuries. Chinese, Greek, Indian and Persian influences have converged and thus multiplied the references and provided the keys needed to understand and master the phenomena that govern city life. Apogee and the beginning of the decay of a civilization that wanted to be “one whole world” according to Edouard Glissant’s expression. The multiplication of prisms and frames of reference presided over this dazzling development of a civilization liberated from the ideological and theological straitjacket. But also the beginning of the decline as the depots narrowed.
We thus go from an “all-world” to a “small world,” whose leaders have been won over by monody, uniqueness, and dogmatism, by obstructing all possible sources of irrigation. Life had gradually disappeared as the books burned and the depots disappeared with it. The clock thus turned upside down, and instead of ensuring continuous expansion by multiplying the reference points, the abbasids restricted themselves to seeking an increasingly reduced reference point. Subsumtion was therefore at work and resulted in internal strife that gave rise to assassinations and a constant diminution of intellectual spaces that went from knowledge to unique knowledge, from books to unique books, from influences to rejection of diversity, from multicultural to monocultural / monocultural.
This is how civilizations die when they withdraw from the world and lose the keys needed to understand this world. No more citizenship for Ibn Roshd (Averroès), this incarnation of pluriculture / pluridisciplinary, alternating doctor, surgeon, pharmacist, philosopher, poet, theologian, mathematician, jurist. Heteropraxia gives way to orthopraxia and dogmatism, the heterogeneous to the homogeneous, the rational gives way to the ritual. Books and depots burned, thrown in jail until his death (1198) by a caliph (Al Mansour) won by orthodoxy and the occupation of the unique and indisputable truth.
Freedom and creation give way to oppression and repetition. It was necessary to eradicate everything, beginning with language, in order to ritualize everyday life according to rigid and unchanging codes in order to make the references disappear and keep only one and unique. It does not matter if it is obsolete, unfit for change in the world. The standard of the standard and not to increase the possibilities ofbe. That reason dismissed, make room for psalms and facial expressions. The field of interpretation is closed, knowledge closed, the way is now open to rites and repetitions. Dress ritual, language ritual, gesture rite, the whole of everyday life is characterized by rites that have become a way of life. It is enough to look at the streets of all the countries covered by the conquered civilization, known as Arab-Muslim, to realize the extent to which the uniform has taken over from the diverse.
Page 12e century of our era until today, the frame of reference has not changed. This civilization, which has been crippled, defeated, too late, continues to shrink, and with the shrinkage a gap is created which is increasingly difficult to fill. Between a world where speed has taken over, where human ambitions no longer have any limits either in time or space and a world that is unable to access new reference systems and that in the absence of will overtaken decided to turn the movement. We dig up the dead, we honor them, we raise their words to a higher standard, we push obsequium at its highest until it no longer exists.
What can Ibn Taymya do today to help us understand the world and give us the keys needed for the development of Industry 4.0? This is not a question of a judgment on Ibn Tyamya’s inherent qualities, but of the obsolescence of his thoughts as a reference. Today, it does not provide any key that is able to meet the challenges that a world in perpetual motion poses. It is the law of obsolescence that affects both objects and ideas if these do not open up to the principle of transformation.
A civilization that has only the dead to honor, which welcomes embalming, cannot create life nor contribute to its preservation.