Lev Shlosberg: On resisting barbarism

30 May 2024

Source: Facebook 


During public disasters, a person’s inner world enters a special state when inner resistance has to withstand outside pressure. This is not a matter of political struggle, although the ability to resist and a capacity for political struggle are indissolubly linked. It is a matter of maintaining one’s inner identity—ethical and cultural above all.

All global changes in politics and, ultimately, in history are based on culture. The culture of leaders and the culture of society both. The ability to withstand outward pressure is essential as well both to preserve oneself and to preserve the human community’s opportunity to make the historical choice of culture over barbarism.

The inner world of someone under outward pressure experiences constant overloads, but resisting barbarism necessitates finding opportunities not only for opposition but also for creative self-fulfillment.

A fighting person must not bury himself in opposition as the chief component of moral costs. Preserving one’s inner forces is impossible without maintaining oneself in the natural human condition that allows a person to love, create, and take pleasure in life.

The natural state of a person’s inner world requires constantly defending his human sustenance, and this is impossible without bringing out the genuine self, without developing the self, without personal creativity—and this is a matter not of art but of culture, which is always the product of inner production.

Outward pressure is aimed at breaking the person internally, stripping him of his inner supports, invading the dimension of the individual and incinerating everything living there with the napalm of hatred and lies, to dehumanize.

Resistance to this pressure lies in one’s own constant humanization. Reproducing what is human in the human being is the very best defense against barbarism and makes it possible not to come to a standstill in life, even when society has gone off course and demands that dissenters repudiate themselves.

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Translated by Marian Schwartz

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