The culture of forgetting

The human brain has a mechanism capable of eliminating the memory of pain.

Over the years, the most decisive events in the history of mankind take on the sepia tint of old photographs. They gradually turn into legends or, at best, isolated events stripped of their impact on current reality. This is how they are taught in history lessons, perhaps in an effort to isolate them in a time bubble to sterilize their importance.

However, these milestones represent times when the road has twisted to mark a new path, but not always a better one. As societies move forward, pressed by the challenges of survival, their moments of pain and loss are left behind in a haze conducive to oblivion, which carries the enormous risk of repeating the cycle again and again, abandoning , along the way, the dreams and ambitions of creating fairer and more humane societies. It is the culture of oblivion, a collective illness which, like a cursed virus, has conditioned us to leave behind the most precious lessons.

One of the consequences of this collective phenomenon is the resurgence of movements marked by racism and fascist violence in the countries that have known the worst of Nazism, during the largest and cruelest manhunts in Europe. history – but which have also spread to the rest of the planet.

It is an exercise in power and perversion whose germ would seem to be present at the very heart of the human species, as evidenced by other hunts, perpetrated according to rules that segment communities between those who have the right to live and those who must be exterminated.

A similar process occurs in the face of resource depletion, the destruction of ecosystems and the deadly indifference of those with the power to intervene to change the course of events. Human communities – which are part of the problem and also part of the solution – only observe, with skepticism and conformism, how their world is being destroyed. Evidence of species extinction as a consequence of the lust for wealth and power goes hand in hand with images of civilians – turned into “collateral damage” amid massive warlike attacks – whose sole purpose is the economic and geopolitical control of those who hold power.

The mechanisms of memory elimination activate as soon as reality begins to interfere in our small daily world and disturb our consciousness. It is the means of driving out of our mind something which we have no means of influencing; it is the mechanism of the crab which looks for an empty shell on the beach to hide from its predators and continue its life. The problem is that we have no shelter to protect us from the destruction of those elusive frameworks of coexistence in which we have based our trust. Among them, the purified and abstract idea of ​​the meaning of democracy.

On the road to oblivion and conformity, we ended up abandoning our active role as members of organized societies. They changed the rules of the game for us and we continue to play without knowing the opponent’s tricks, because we don’t know who he is either. Like the crab, we seek a precarious refuge in oblivion. And, like the crab, we believe ourselves immune to the trained eye of the predators around us.

We are exposed to the effects of the past every time we try to forget it. @carvasar

We would like to give thanks to the author of this post for this remarkable material

The culture of forgetting

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