By William Markiewicz
Between the extreme solutions of hermetic closure of frontiers and free flow of immigration there was, in the past, an unwritten formula here and there which worked naturally, so naturally that nobody really bothered to learn and draw conclusions:
In Poland before the war and probably even up to now, there were non-Polish villages: German, Czech, Armenian, Tartar, which in general had neighbourly cordial relations. As I've mentioned in Vagabond on several occasions, cordial neighbourhoods can exist and prosper in the Darwinian Universe because they are ready for self-defence; the authorities cannot be everywhere all the time. This didn't mean that individuals had to live in ghettos, but as in the kibbutz, they were free to go back and forth. Individuals have a better chance to assimilate than crowds. And what happened to those who stubbornly chose to live under a common roof: in Lebanon, Christians and Muslims ended in civil war after a thousand years of coexistence. In Europe, living under a common roof ended in Holocaust for the Jews and Gypsies.
Krishnamurti said: "When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind." --J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp.51-52
What is more important than the child's memories that form one's soul? Did Krishnamurti forget his earliest souvenirs of folkloric, religious, historic festivities at his parents' house, without which he would have been empty as an adult? If you belong to nobody, "mankind" is an abstraction. Wrong vision is as bad as lack of vision; it's like abandoning something for nothing. Alexander the Great, Trotsky, King Alexander of Yugoslavia who wanted everybody to be "Yugoslavs," Che Guevara, all those universalists failed, some lost their lives on the road.
I always thought that the difference between politics and business was that business operates on the basis of immediate profit while politics contains vision. When we look around us we see clearly that current politics joins the business mentality in lack of vision. For immediate interests, governments sacrifice the planet provoking environmental catastrophes. They don't have any demographic policy to avoid either persecution of defenceless minorities or to avoid the growth of an aggressive power that would try to permanently change the very culture of the host.
In nature we see antelope and zebra grazing together but that's because each of them, in the same field, grazes different grasses and they "know" it. In America, millions of horses died from hunger because the stronger Bison pushed them out of the pastures.
The shock of cultures may be the main initiator of future world struggle. On the New Continents the common roof is unavoidable and irreversible, I would suggest that the consequences could be minimized if ethnic communities were encouraged to absorb their newcomers within their own cultural boundaries, especially in regards to lodging and employment. Each individual will, of course, be free to quit the hospitable cradle when he feels ready to do so. The name of the game will be to make the transition as easy and efficient as possible.Back to the index of the Vagabond