In recent weeks we have endured what is becoming a fairly normal set of events. Waves of affinity and compassion shift to herds of dissolution and neglect over-night; our values have become so institutionalized that our concept of humanity has become rather treasonous.
When considered in the context of global terror attacks throughout the months of June-July these events represent a mere eight of three hundred and sixty-two global attacks; largely occurring in the Middle-East and Africa. The question however remains; why do they perpetuate?
‘Pas En Mon Nom’ was the message of many Muslims in 2015 following the Charlie Hebdo attacks as they sought solidarity with the French and outlawed the attacks in the name of Islam. However, since the Hebdo attacks eighteen months ago there have been four accounts of ethnically motivated terrorism. The recent vehicular attack on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais last month was certainly characteristic of the conflict breeding throughout the nation. Tragically 84 innocent people were killed and 303 were injured as the lorry drove heinously along the stretch of promenade taking with it anyone on course; as they innocently celebrated Bastille day. Following the incident, the driver was identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel'; and the symptoms of ethnic conflict in France intensify. The French case is an interesting reflection of the value system disorder which is reinforced and perpetuated globally; specific nonetheless to cases of ethnically motivated violence and structural racism. Natalie Nougayrède of the Guardian understands this sustained conflict from a historical perspective suggesting France must “come to terms with its colonial past in order to build an inclusive and prosperous future for its citizens.”
The historical perspective is certainly important when we think about contemporary affairs because it is perhaps our failure to make changes to our social realities; such as the “coming to terms” Nougayrède mentions, which accounts for the perpetuation of a divided society. If our basic goals are to eradicate violence and inequality then we must firstly understand that the social is composed of subjective agents. Likewise; “to take away our expression, is to impoverish our existence” (Enter Shikari, Radiate). Therefore, we must master expression as a trait of our subjective agency and use it according to our goals for the future. By perpetually using it to energize egoistic means and justify manufactured hate, we are doing nothing but corroding ‘our social’ into groups of ill minded individuals.
Concerned by current affairs, I suggest a period of self-reflection is due from us all. If we can take time to assess our collective goals in a more objective manner we may have a chance. Moreover, we should allow our expression to become something of a collective existence rather than using it to segregate what we share.