“Extremes meet” – this little piece of popular wisdom may come in handy more often than not in many a conversation today. Everyone seems to be ready not only to give their own opinion (regardless of whether it has been asked for or not), but to defend it down to the last bullet. Very often a simple suggestion is responded to with an outburst of emotional arguing rather than with a logical response related to the original statement.
If all this happens in private, daily life in interactions with classmates, colleagues, relatives or passers-by in a pub, what happens in the international geopolitical scene? Just a few examples, though not necessarily innovative ones: the Brexit “thing”, pro-independence claims in Catalonia, populism and neofascism in western Europe, ISIS and other religious extremists, and the Trump administration, among others.
|Barcelona, Spain – La Sagrada Familia – Claudio Testa|
However, the savvy reader might have been thinking at this point: “But extremism is all about terrorist attacks and the like, isn’t it?” Well, according to the UK’s Counter Extremism Strategy of 2015, the definition of extremism would be something like: “… the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and respect and tolerance for different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.” So, if someone goes against “our fundamental values”, or threatens respect or tolerance, they are being an “extremist”. But the question is do we all, not only as countries, but as individuals, respect the other’s rules and values? Are we really so tolerant?
Millennials are said to be, by far, the most oversensitive generation ever and it is very interesting to consider whether there is some truth in this claim. The current generation has grown up in an over protective environment in which the individual is said to be “special”, “different”, and therefore, why should the slightest discrepancy be allowed, especially if it questions your values or hurts your feelings? You are the “special” one.
|Torrox, Spain – Sheltered – Hector Martinez|
Allegedly, younger generations have greater concerns about social or environmental issues than previous ones. That’s cool. But being brought up in the notion of their own uniqueness, many youngsters, apparently seem to care about those issues but, especially when they affect them, there is a certain tendency to overreact to the offenses. It is very hard to live if you take offense at the slightest criticism that you receive.
There seems to be a dictatorship of the “politically correct”, a constant exaggeration of inclusive language or a fundamentalist preaching of gender ideology. All of these tendencies can be in themselves “extremist” as they take values originally considered to be positive too far. As they fall into exaggeration, these values get diverted from the purpose they were originally designed for. One of the most famous cases took place when Netflix began broadcasting the classic TV series “Friends”, which enjoyed great success when aired for the first time almost 30 years ago. The new audiences considered the series to be homophobic, misogynist and contrary to LGTB rights. Particularly controversial was the episode in which Ross’s lesbian ex-wife marries her partner; many of the jokes about their sexual choice angered the youngest Netflix audience.
|Barcelona, Spain – Is there another option – John Fornander|
The fact that at that time everyone laughed at that kind of humor may be arguable, but the real point is that not a soul thought by any means, at that time, that silly jokes of this sort could be offensive to anyone. No one would have thought this to be such a big deal back then. That being said, is it that we all were brutally homophobic at that time? Or is Gen Y overreacting to this issue? This is just one example. The fact is that increasingly more experts on psychology and sociology are beginning to suggest the latter. And this is again where we see the “snowflake” phenomenon mentioned above: if you are “special” yourself, your feelings are more important than anybody else’s, your views matter more than anyone else’s… indirectly you are two inches above the rest of mankind.
This is at the heart of extremism because if you take offence so easily and your reactions are so violent (critics, please check any comments section of youtube, Twitter or any other social network), then you are surely provoking an at least, equal reaction in your counterpart. Everybody seems to believe they have the right to pontificate on any subject, no matter how complex it might be. There is a serious danger in believing that mind-bending, long-lasting problems may have simple, straightforward solutions. Here is where the “bad guys” come into play. The populists, nationalist, or just simply professional manipulators that try to gain some sort of profit from general uncertainty or social unrest.
|Tocon, Spain – The light chain – Mariano Nocetti|
The media are particularly relevant in this issue. They seem to have dropped independence, neutrality, objectivity or simply essential ethics long ago. Taking Spain as an example – although it seems to be a general tendency everywhere – there are no “normal journalists” any more. You only get left-wing journalists and media or right-wing journalist and media. “Wisdom is always in the right middle,” Aristotle said, but that does not seem to apply any more. When we hear these journalists’ mean, selfish, one-sided, if not simply false reporting, we feel like we are being transported to our darkest past.
Obviously, there had to be consequences sooner or later. The surge in populist parties like Podemos or CUP, independentism (we always had a little bit of this though) and, worst of all, the appearance of a far-right party, for the first time in more than forty years, are due to this two-sided phenomenon of extremism-polarization. One could have thought that Falange, the Franco regime’s party, would become this strong far right party at some point, but that does not happen to be the case. National Catholicism is difficult to market in a time in which fewer and fewer people seem to care about religion in western countries. There is a renewed, “fresh” and “normal guy looking” for this new version of fascism, which is called VOX, and he succeeded in gathering an audience of 10,000 at Vistalegre Arena in Madrid. This audience is “massive” for the social standards of a “leftie” country like Spain and no far right party had managed to achieve this in the last forty years.
|Marbella, Spain – It’s fun – Quino Al|
Their ideology can be quickly summarized in “Spain for Spaniards” (immigrant deportations), the abolition of Autonomous Communities (centralization of the country) and “Make Spain Great Again”… whatever… Doesn’t it sound familiar to you? Old imperial nations such as Austria, Germany, the UK or Spain are especially vulnerable to this kind of “ideology”, but this delusional return to a “brighter past” is even triumphing in smaller nations. Otherwise you couldn’t explain the success of such bizarre characters as Orban, Farage, Le Pen or the Kaczýnskis.
When you surf the Internet, open a newspaper, listen to the radio or watch TV it really feels like we are in the 30s again. Watch out. Most people who lived during that time are long gone now, so what happened in those years has become a “not so serious” account performed by Hollywood, the History Channel and history books. Finally, as most educational systems in Western Europe have abandoned humanistic disciplines, this creates the perfect background for a new surge in these dark ideologies of the past. The effects of fascism and communism are a foreign experience for most millennials, who are at risk of repeating more than just an environment of polarization and extremes.
Photo 1: Caldes de Montbui, Spain – Green – David Monje (Unsplash)
Photo 2: Barcelona, Spain – La Sagrada Familia – Claudio Testa (Unsplash)
Photo 3: Torrox, Spain – Sheltered – Hector Martinez (Unsplash)
Photo 4: Barcelona, Spain – Is there another option – John Fornander (Unsplash)
Photo 5: Tocon, Spain – The light chain – Mariano Nocetti (Unsplash)
Photo 6: Marbella, Spain – It’s fun – Quino Al (Unsplash)
Cinemblem: Perypatetik youtube channel
The Syncretion of Polarization and Extremes
Alencar, Joana. Lack of Social Trust – Brazil. January 2019.
Baccino, Alejandra. Polarization within Ourselves – South America. January 2019.
Cordido, Veronica. Hanging by Extremes – Venezuela. January 2019.
Montano, Osvaldo. Progress in the Face of Polarization – Bolivia. February 2019.
Romano, Mavi. Censorship and Cultural Survival in a World without Gods – Spain. January 2019.
Sepi, Andreea. A World of Victims and Perpetrators? – Germany and Romania. February 2019.
Wallis, Toni. Walls and Resettlement – South Africa and Angola. February 2019.
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed
Alencar, Joana. Uncertainty – Our Spirit – Brazil. November 2018.
Awdejuk, Pawel. Niepewność – The Road to Freedom – Poland. July 2018.
Bell, Sarah. The Bushfire Drive – Australia. July 2018.
Bondarenko, Evgeny. Twenty Plus Years. August 2018.
Cajoto, Christina. The Trajectory of Life – España. August 2018.
Castañeda, Martha Corzo. Worried Workers – Peru. February 2018.
Cooleridge, Tweeney. Uncertainty in the Abstract – Slovakia. March 2018.
Cordido, Veronica. The Crib of Uncertainty – Venezuela. January 2018.
Dastan, S.A. Uncertain Waters – Turkey. March 2019.
Deiana, Sara. The Dark Side of Perfection. September 2018.
Electra P. Aβεβαιότητα: The Enemy of Romantic Relationships – Greece. February 2018
Escandell, Andrea da Silva. Compromise – Uruguay. March 2018
Fischer, Kristin. Talking about Cancer – Germany. September 2018.
Gómez, Javier. Uncharted Bliss. October 2018
Goumiri, Abdennour. Uncertainty Is All There Is – France. February 2018.
Guerrero, Marilin. Crossing the Uncertain Path of Life – Cuba. February 2018.
Guillot, Iuliana. Preparing for Change – Romania. June 2018.
Huihao, Mu. Going the Uncertain Way. July 2017.
Husaini, Maha. Inshallah – Jordan. December 2018
Israyelyan, Mania. 30 Years of Anoroshutyun – Armenia. December 2018.
Julber, Lillian. What Will Tomorrow Bring? – Chile. July 2018.
Kanunova, Nigina. Metamorphoses in Modern Life. June 2018.
Kingsley, Anastasia. Expect the Unexpected. November 2018.
Konbaz, Rahaf. So You Say You Want A Revolution – Syria. March 2018.
Korneeva, Kate. One We – Russia. April 2018.
Krnceska, Sofija. No Name Country – Macedonia. May 2018.
Lassa, Verónica. The Old Eastern Books of Uncertainty – Argentina. May 2018.
Lozano, Gabriela. El cuchillo de la incertidumbre : Piercing Uncertainty – México. January 2018.
Marti, Sol. A Thought Falling – Spain and Germany. December 2018.
Pang, Lian. Now or Later? October 2018.
Phelps, Jade. Healing Journey Pulls Us Apart – America. June 2018.
Protić, Aleksandar. Environmental Uncertainty. August 2018.
Romano, Mavi. An Uncertain Democracy – Spain. April 2018
Ranaldo, Mary. Incerto or Flexible: Italia and UK. March 2018.
Ray, Sanjay Kumar. Once upon a Time in a Queue – India. November 2018.
Çakır, Peren. Building a Future in Times of Uncertainty – Argentina and Turkey. May 2018.
Sanmartín, Virginia. Qué Será, Será – Spain. June 2018.
Samir, Ahmed. Uncertainty in Personal Life. January 2018.
Sariñana, Alejandra González. A Brighter Future? – Mexico. December 2018.
Skobic, Aleksandar. Genetic Code Name: Unique – Bosnia and Herzegovina. December 2018.
Sekulić, Jelena. Nesigurnost of the Past, Present and Future – Serbia. June 2018.
Sem, Sebastião. Vagrant Poets. September 2018.
Sepi, Andreea. Uncertainties Galore – Germany. April 2018.
Sevunts, Nane. From Uncertainty to Newness. November 2018.
Sitorus, Rina. When Uncertainty Reaches the Land of Certainty – Indonesia and the Netherlands. May 2018.
Trojnar, Kamila. Ephemeral. October 2018.
Quintero, Jonay. The Fear of Not Knowing – España. January 2018.
Uberti, Alejandra Baccino. Adventure – Uruguay. September 2018.
Vuka. Lacking Uncertainty in Political Culture – Serbia. April 2018.
Wallis, Toni. Living for Today – South Africa. October 2018.
Younes, Ghadir. Economic Uncertainty in Life – Lebanon. Part 38.
Zakharova, Anastasiya. LGBQT – Russia. August 2018.
The Anthology of Global Instability
Alvisi, Andrea. Political and Social Instability: The Brexit Mess. May 2017.
Bahras. Unstable Air Pollution – Unstable Solutions: Mongolia. June 2017.
Bichen, Svetlana Novoselova. Mental and Cultural Instability: Russia and Turkey. February 2017.
Bondarenko, Evgeny. Hybrid War: Ukraine. December 2018.
Borghi, Silvana Renée. Living in Inestabilidad. September 2017.
Caetano, Raphael. Instabilidade emocional: Brazil. February 2017.
Çakır, Peren. On the Road in Search of Stability: Argentina and Turkey. June 2017.
Casas, Marilin Guerrero. Emotional Estabilidad: The Key To a Happy Life – Cuba. December 2017.
Charles-Dee. Social Onstabiliteit – South Africa. December 2017.
Cordido, Verónica. Instability, a Stable Reality: Venezuela and America. April 2017.
Dastan, S.A. The Stability of Instability: Turkey and Syria. March 2017.
D’Adam, Anton. Psychosocial Instability in Argentina and America: El granero del mundo and The Manifest Destiny. January 2017.
Delibasheva, Emilia. Political Instability: Electoral Coups in America and Bulgaria. December 2016.
Ellie. Angry Folk: Korea. June 2017.
Farid, Isis Kamal. Stability Is Not An Option – Egypt. August 2017.
Friedrich, Angelika. Introduction: The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Fondevik, Vigdis. Unstable Nature: Norway and Denmark. October 2016.
Ghadir, Younes. Political Instability – Lebanon. September 2017.
Gómez, Javier. The Way of No Way – Argentina and the UK. December 2017.
Gotera, Jay R. In Flux Amid Rising Local and Regional Tensions – Philippines. November 2017.
Guillot, Iulianna. Starting and Staying in Instability – Moldova. October 2017.
Gjuzelov, Zoran. The Нестабилност of Transition – Macedonia. November 2017.
Halimi, Sophia. Modern Instabilité: Youth and Employment in France and China. March 2017.
Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Embracing Instability – Spain. February 2017.
Kelvin, Sera. The Stability in Expecting Emotional Instability: Brazil. April 2017.
Konbaz, Rahaf. The Castaways: On the Verge of Life – Syria. August 2017.
Korneeva, Ekaterina. Instability… or Flexibility? July 2017.
Kreutzer, Karina. Hidden Instabilität – Ecuador and Switzerland. December 2017.
Krnceska, Sofija. Decades of Economic Instability – Macedonia. September 2017.
Kutscher, Karin. Inestabilidad in Interpersonal Relationships – Chile. October 2017.
Larousse, Annabelle. Legal and Emotional Instability in a Transgender Life – Ireland. August 2017.
Larrosa, Mariela. The Very Stable Spanish Instability. April 2017.
Lobos, José. Political Instability: Guatemala. May 2017.
Lozano, Gabriela. Estructuras Inestables: Vignettes of a Contemporary, Not Quite Collapsing Country – Mexico. November 2017.
MacSweeny, Michael. A House on a Hill – America. October 2017.
Mankevich, Tatiana. The Absence of Linguistic Cтабiльнасць: Does the Belarusian Language Have a Future? December 2016.
McGuiness, Matthew. Loving Lady Instability. November 2017.
Meschi, Isabelle. Linguistic Instabilité and Instabilità: France and Italy. November 2016.
Mitra, Ashutosh. The Instability of Change: India. January 2016.
Moussly, Sahar. The Instability of Tyranny: Syria and the Syrian Diaspora. December 2016.
Nastou, Eliza. Psychological Αστάθεια and Inestabilidad during the Economic Crisis: Greece and Spain. December 2016.
Nevosadova, Jirina. Whatever Happens, It Is Experience. May 2017.
Olisthoughts. Stable Instability – Moldova. October 2017.
Partykowska, Natalia. Niestabilność and адсутнасць стабільнасці in the Arts: Polish and Belarusian Theater. January 2017.
Payan, Rodrigo Arenas. Impotence – Venezuela and Columbia. September 2017.
Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.
Pranevich, Liubou. Cultural Instability: Belarus and Poland. March 2017.
Protić, Aleksandar. Demographic Instability: Serbia. July 2017.
Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016.
Sekulić, Jelena. Нестабилност/Nestabilnost in Language – Serbia. August 2017.
Sepa, Andreea. Instabilitate vs. Stabilität: How Important Are Cultural Differences? – Romania and Germany. September 2017.
Shunit. Economic Instability: Guinea and Gambia. April 2017.
Shalunova, Marina. Language Instability: Russia. June 2017
Sitorus, Rina. Instabilitas Toleransi: Indonesia. May 2017.
Skrypka, Vladyslav. National нестійкість: Ukraine. July 2017.
Staniulis, Justas. Nestabilumas of Gediminas Hill and the Threat to the Symbol of the State: Lithuania. July 2017.
Sousa, Antonia. Social and Economic Instabilidade: Portugal. January 2017.
Vuka. My Intimate Imbalanced Inclination. March 2017.
Walton, Éva. Historical and Psychological Bizonytalanság within Hungarian Culture. January 2017.
Yücel, Sabahattin. The Instability of Turkish Education and its Effect on Culture and Language: Turkey. July 2017.
Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.
Zakharova, Anastasiya. Instability in Relationships: Russia. April 2017.
CW 9 – Indonesia – Rina Sitorus
CW 10 – Mexico – Alejandra Gonzalez Sarinana
CW 11 – Armenia – Armine Asryan
CW 12 – Serbia – Vuka Mijuskovic
CW 13 – Peru – Monica Valenzuela
CW 14 – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Aleksandar Skobic
CW 15 – Argentina – Julieta Spirito
CW 16 – Italy – Mary Ranaldo
CW 17 – Lebanon – Ghadir Younes
CW 18 – Cuba – Marilin Guerrero Casas
CW 19 – Ukraine – Evgeny Bondarenko
CW 20 – Uruguay – Andrea da Silva Escandell
CW 21 – Spain – Jazz Williams
CW 22 – Armenia – Mania Israyelyan
CW 23 – Poland – Pawel Awdejuk
CW 24 – Balkans – Aleksandar Protic
CW 25 – Italy – Daniela Cannarella
CW 26 – Serbia – Jelena Sekulic
CW 27 – Tajikistan – Nigina Kanunova
CW 28 – Portugal – Nuno Rosalino
CW 29 – Uruguay – Lillian Julber
CW 30 – Argentina – Javier Gomez
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed