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Harmony and Exchange

Toward a Legoic Society

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Nick Mehrdad Loghmani and Ramin Jahanbegloo

This book examines two main concepts – harmony and exchange – in relation to the social, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of human life. As such, what differentiates humans from other living species are the possibility of understanding a context and the willingness to collaborate and create complex models of exchange. Specifically, emotion and intellect are established as fundamental dimensions of our being which play key roles in exchange with others and dealing with our environment.

This text provides a new perspective that examines «being and becoming» in a multidimensional exchange framework, concentrating on the analysis of a utilitarian society which reduces human beings to operators and servants of techno-scientific machinery. This approach to validity demands conformity to social and political norms which have lost touch with the intellectual and emotional expressions of the citizens of the world, resulting in an environment of alienation, violence, and subordination of humans to meaningless institutions and positivistic ideologies. The quest for true harmony and collaborative exchange in contemporary societies requires the recognition of multiple sites of subjectivity, self-certainty, and global domination of techno-scientific rationality. This book’s primary application towards a Legoic society is built on a critical pedagogy committed to dialogue and exchange, and is an environment that is accompanied by the process of development of a critical consciousness based on new systems of agency, moving toward a fundamentally non-reductionist praxis of the socio-political dimension of living together.

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Chapter 7. Peace and Harmony

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PEACE AND HARMONY

Humanity no longer believes in peace. We obviously go on talking about peace and how it is preferable to war, but our hearts are no longer in it. The reason is simple: peace is considered by many traditions of thought as the absence of war and not as perpetual harmony. In the world of twenty-first century, peace continues to be considered as a momentum, not as a continuum. However, establishing peace in the present climate, in contrast to war-making, is proactive, creative and requires deliberate efforts to move away from forms of narrow, one-dimensional thinking towards openness and affirmation of positive possibilities. Peace, therefore, is not only a value that pertains to an end, but it is also a transformative means for change and exchange. In other words, a fuller understanding of peace underlines the conditions for coexistence and flourishing of harmony.

Historically, human beings first discovered peace when they discovered its impotence and not its power. When we speak of the impotence of peace and the limits set on the will to make peace, we are reminded by what St. Augustine said in his Confessions, “For the will commands that there be a will, it commands not something else but itself … Were the will entire, it would not even command itself to be, because it would already be.” This articulation is ultimately rooted in the Greek verb arche, which is to begin and to lead, and...

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