Few years ago, when my dear grandfather was still alive with relief he proclaimed racism and xenophoby to be finally dead. He said, with true conviction, that such hatred had its roots in people's ignorance and simple lack of education, and will never find the place in modern world where people travel and have first-hand experiences with other cultures. Unfortunately for my late grandfather, with the whole love and respect I cultivate for him, I have to admit he could have not been more mistaken.
It is worth saying that the world my grandfather remembered, with all its possible cruelty and divisions, was the world which more than anything valued education. Although it was an often biased education, vastly preaching injustice and white supremacy, it also opened the door to the old science of ethics and philosophy, encouraging the whole generation to rebel and stand up against what they once learned. It is no wonder that for a person of such background it was difficult to accept the values of the new world, where science and philosophy have been successfully replaced by politics. One can argue that the renaissance of the old Greek term of polis reflects the awakening interests of individuals in public life and brings up private units to the true engagement in social change. It might have been long obvious that politics, no matter how distant they appear from the daily lives of the commoners, has direct influence on the course of our destinies, as unveiled by author Milan Kundera, who often presented his characters as heroes of their own 'small histories', sooner or later interrupted by the 'great history', which has no consideration for individual's agenda. Nevertheless, the opportunities to connect with different platforms of experiences and opinions, have led us to a live confrontation with such matter, making us not only feel swallowed up by a global machine of world's political systems, but also aware of the benefits we might draw from it as vital parts of those systems. It would be too much of a conclusion to say that the Internet bears sole responsibility for the expansion of our private matters onto a global platform, especially after decades of the modern world driven by the idea of political and systematical unity, but the accessibility of mass media is, at least partially, certainly to blame. Never before an entity had so much connection with decisive process of political order of the world as it has nowadays. Even if such connection in reality remains only an illusion, it is still enough to give another dimension to the political side of our lives. The accessibility of opinion-sharing plaforms and switch from private to social are essential agents in shaping whole new range of definitions of qualities until now existing only within comfort zone of the individual, juxtaposing our systems of beliefs next to the global political system, which for a private entity becomes nothing else but a ladder.
I am straying from open evaluation whether the globalization of our private lives is right or wrong for humanity (this is a job for ethics, sociologists and media experts and I am neither), but I stretch that it brings a whole new quality of political activism and exposes us to social involvement in a way we have never experienced it before. Especially that wide spread politicization of our private matters corresponds with underlying needs of millennials- our ancestors vastly had opportunity to gain first hand experience of the 'great history', by fighting the wars and engaging in revolutions, while our generation has been long forced to accept the role of the history mostly through struggle with economical crisis and instability. Modern media, being so easily within reach, brought us opportunity to have our piece of cake of the real force driving the world, even only by sharing our opinion on social media, which replaced the famous spot in Hyde Park. But even if we can envy our ancestors their vital involvement in shaping world's history, in reality they remained mere participants of the events determined by real players. For us, unjustly treated and forgotten by the great mother history, it is a matter of standing face to face with our new god- the mighty order, the Olympus of decision making, offering us a principle role in the process, and fulfilling such role is another step on the ladder. The milestones of our lives no longer stand for private achievements, as the meaning of the individual is strongly connected with their position in global political order. Hence the politicization of our beliefs and terms, which in a private space might be seen as universal.
Once the global politics start driving our life through a promise of social advancement, temptation of catching a finger of the 'great history' replaces the value of retriving to a personal space and political dictionary is being adopted in place of terms describing individual freedoms and beliefs. Revealing our private persona requires political statement and creates definition, which further exists to be associated with sub-terms and sub-definitions, to later contribute to a creation of new, political being which is meant to maintain their integrity while living within reality of chants, statements and slogans. (At that point I start wondering if being an anarchist does not stand in conflict with living in Islington.) Such political creature will now measure their value against other creations, to whom they apply other qualities and definitions approved by global political system. These qualities are based on certain criteria agreed by the sides of the system: personal documents of the individual, educational and ethnic background as well as material status. Based on that criteria, political beings are divided into teams, where the strongest team will defend the global system which allows them to proceed further up the ladder. The engagement in system soon will create strong sense of 'us' against 'them'- enemies of the system, which by now has already replaced the system of beliefs. This kind of division is nothing new: in past it had successfully evolved into slavery, apartheid and Holocaust to name the few and has been widely practised during colonialism and civil wars across centuries. The modern engagement in political system is different because the globalization of our lives gives us the illusion of participation in creative process and, maybe first of all, the illusion of choice. Staying connected and having the opportunity to see contemporary political agenda from different angles brings us to the point when we choose to participate in the system in exchange for the benefits it proposes, which seem to be rightly deserved by someone who remains a faightful participant of the global system and, as it seems, actively helps shaping it. A political being, once convinced they form the part of the strongest team, is no longer bothered to rewrite once accepted categories. They will continue climb the social ladder, empowered by empty terms from political dictionary, which are telling them that it is exactly what they deserve. And that is why my poor grandfather was so wrong.