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October 6, 2022

The violence of paradoxes

Violence is both the product and the genesis of all kind of aggressions that not only trouble the Romanian public conscience, but also turn us against each other. We are the country with the highest number of traffic accidents, often fatal, most of them caused by reckless drivers, some of them even without a license, while policemen sometimes “turn a blind eye”, not for free, at such violent infringements of the law. Recently, during just one afternoon, a policeman assaulted a peaceful motorist but apparently did not notice several others, who were speeding; an illiterate pretending he is a sports manager, but more expert in cursing and brawling, assaulted some journalists; a drunkard who did not want to pay for what he drank smashed everything in the restaurant. And such scenes of violence, sometimes degenerating in blood spilling and death, are encountered even among the ranks of pre-teenagers, who often turn schools into boxing rings or bullfight arenas.
On TV, newscasts are full of such discouraging images and the only excuse of authorities is to invoke the general crisis, whose end nobody can predict.
But what is violence, in essence? The word “violence” has such a complex explanation in dictionaries that it cannot be defined synthetically, like other terms. The difficulty pertains to the complexity of the phenomenon of violence, with different roots and manifestations in the human behaviour. Some of these manifestations come in contradiction with the very notion of human being. A logical conclusion can however be accessed with more precision: Violence results from the lack of control upon the instinctive-biological tendencies and is propagated especially in collectivities dominated by serious internal contradictions. Not just drugs and alcohol, but also social factors like hunger, cold, unemployment, the prospect of a gloomy future, discrimination etc. can unleash the vilest instincts.
And this primitive content of violence explains the fact that it manifests mostly in persons with a poor level of education, or who are just beginning their education. The fact that violence, in its various forms of propagation, starts being manifest since early childhood is explained through the lack of education preoccupation, along with a weaker influence of school. And when violence escalates in terms of frequency and seriousness, along with the aging process, the reason includes big social contradictions, besides the insufficiency of the two aforementioned educational factors. And, today, one of these contradictions, manifest with priority in our country, is the little respect for the law. This absence of respect is explained also through the delayed enforcement of the law, or even by it being eluded.
Criminal cases initially surrounded by much hype rapidly fade away, or take many years of trials in courts, without a convincing end result, while other very serious ones are simply ignored by justice. A justice that – we know – is overburdened and subjected to many pressures, but whose “definitive” verdicts are sometimes recused by EU structures. Even the legal initiatives of the Parliament, justified and well-intended, sometimes have a lamentable end. Why? Because they are conceived of a contradictory, unilateral manner, without the whole picture in mind, thus opposite to other similar initiatives – well-intended too, but undermined by the same deficit. Hence the increasing egocentrism of our politicians, which prevents them seeing the unitary and organic character of human society. The major deficit of our politicians today is precisely the absence of national solidarity, the lack of the ability to see beyond group interests and the tendency of placing strategic interests under the imperative of petty clan spirit. This is the source of the violence – whose consequences are much more serious – against national-strategic interests while recusing the fundamental role of the state and with the fracturing opposition of central to local. The ideal of complementing the efforts through solidarity is undermined precisely through this violent and inhuman political selfishness.
This is the source of the violence of street protests, sometimes even by trade unions. Terrified by the despair which makes people take up to the streets, with accusations of an antique drama, such as “out with you, ordinary pooch,” the whole community wonders: How did we reach such contradictions? Where are the means of dialogue capable of preventing violent social conflicts? Such interrogations are acutely felt today in Romania. Recently, the medical-sanitary corps warned that it will soon start an acute general strike. Why? As a protest against the fact that the government finds money to pay some arrears, but is unable to raise the very small wage of resident physicians. And such protests, socially justified, but with very grave consequences, take place precisely at a time when the incidence of various diseases goes up, along with child mortality that reached a painful top position in the EU.
In the education sector too, the numerous social protests threaten delaying the new school year 2013-2014. Trade unions justly accuse the contempt of all governments for the observance of the collective work contract and their refusal to enforce wages of RON 1,000 for each employee in the system that is a higher education graduate. The trade unions’ protest is thus conceived to prevent the frequent refusal of young university graduates to get a job as teachers. Because of this refusal, determined by the very small salary of a young teacher, many educational jobs – especially in rural areas – are filled with improperly trained people. This results in a deep discrimination in an environment of vital importance, which is preparing all work resources at a superior level of social creativeness.
In today’s Romania, a country of violent paradoxes, either general salvation or collapse can also result from the fact that trade union structures are so disunited that, not once, their protests can reciprocally negate each other. The time period we are going through, with acute contradictions at the level of both power and opposition, diminished the range of ways in which one can manifest solidarity with the national ideal. And in this climate of various antagonisms, the Romanian trade union movement experiences a fragmentation that goes all the way down to hostility between its components.
And such a paradox can transform the entire contradictory climate into an outburst of social protest that cannot be controlled either by union leaders, or by the government. Could it be that the tacit, shadow arrangement between trade union leaders and government is a sign that both sides feel they are losing control?
May God forgive us of such a paradoxical… paradox!

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