Europe Edition

2023 number 3

Resilience - Cultural magazine


Of abandonment

and of fear

Nobody’s neighbor’s teeth hurt, it was more or less, what Wittgenstein said, alluding to the non-transferable pain of others.

This does not mean that we cannot sympathize with the sorrow and sufferings of others, understanding that consolation, tenderness, understanding, and mercy are the only things we can offer to those who suffer. We participate in the pain of others, and we do so voluntarily. Fear, on the other hand, assaults us, floods us and it often happens that our will fails to prevent us from succumbing to it.

The last century, and what goes from the actual, does not invite to optimism.

Back to make an inventory of the events in which violence and barbarism have made a clean sweep of what Humanity has built since time immemorial, to make coexistence between men possible. From Norway to Israel; from Syria to Mexico; from Pakistan to Paris, everywhere and in the name of different beliefs and prejudices, murderous hands sow death and terror among the defenseless people. Meanwhile, armies, regular and irregular, martyred the civilian population of the Near East by virtue of unconfessable government strategies, or insane fundamentalisms. In other latitudes, in distant and near times, the Reason of State has been imposed, by blood and fire, condemning entire nations to material and cultural misery, a situation that lasts beyond what is tolerable.

How is it possible that the radical evil Prevails, sustains itself in time and continues its expansion throughout the world?

How can we not attract ourselves before the imminence of an unknown danger, whose irruption can destroy our daily existence?

Alejandro Trejo and Pablo Krögh, as Don Tirso and Martinez.

“Evil and fear are Siamese brothers,” says Zigmunt Bauman, and continues: “… it is impossible to meet one without meeting the other at the same time. (1)

The question: what is evil?, Bauman affirms, is unanswerable, because what we tend to describe as “bad” or “evil”, is the kind of element or negative fact that we cannot understand or even express clearly, and even less explain satisfactorily. We call “evil” to what challenges and smithereens that intelligibility that allows the world to be habitable. (2)

Against violence nothing can, neither the most sophisticated discourse nor the most structured argument. Opposing radical evil is an eminently practical matter, whose first and most important action is aimed at overcoming the paralysis generated by fear.

“Horror and evil are not refuted. Against violence, cruelty and barbarism, we need more courage than foundations. And regarding ourselves, we need less foundations than exigency and fidelity … fidelity to what humanity has made of us.” (3)


(1) Zigmunt Bauman, Liquid Fear, contemporary society and its fears, p. 76. Paidos, Buenos Aires, 2008.

(2) Ibidem

(3) André Comte-Sponville, Presentation of the Philosophie, p.25 Albin Michel, Paris, 2008

Gabriel Salinas / Sociologist. Doctor of Social Sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. PhD study in philosophy at the University of Chile. Collaborator in the APCH (Chilean Association of Psychoanalysis).

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