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A contribution attempt to mutual understanding of people:

FROM TAHRIR TO MADISON, IT'S A GLOBAL WORLD

Contemplating on the Arab uprisings , and the Wisconsin protests, watching the ongoing events
and discussions on internet, I am rejoiced by the peaceful uprising in Egypt and the solidarity of
the whole world people as if they were one. Hope Libyan people succeed too.

While Tahrir square was populated by hundreds of thousands of Egyptians of any color, any
political view, Greek workers went to general strike against budget cut. The question arose then:
What is the difference between those people's behaviors? Egypt people, after thirty years of
repression, and without making many demonstrations , spontaneously gathered at Tahrir square
just after the success of Tunisian people and did not leave the freedom place until they freed
themselves from the sovereign. Greek people were actively protesting, and acting whenever
necessary, and almost logically. I saw a difference: Irrationality versus Rationality.

This couple of concepts, rationality vs irrationality represents one of the main characteristics of the
difference between the Western and Eastern culture. At this moment I feel it's most relevant to
decipher some attributes once again. (Excuse me for neglecting other beautiful cultures
equivalently important, but these two I know and have something to say about.)

Long years ago, when I had a business trip to Germany, and visited a circuit breaker production
facility of a multinational company, I was deeply affected by the details of the processes, the
components, and their coming together. Having had some interest in Western Philosophy in the
university years, suddenly I thought I understood the real meaning of Analytical Philosophy. I
experienced an 'eureka' feeling; 'Modern capitalism would not be possible if not for Analytical
Philosophy.' When I reconsider 'Western Civilization' I find its' essence in this rationality.

To exercise on the comparison of the two cultures let's think of two ten years old boys named
'Western Civilization', and 'Eastern Civilization', and shortly call them Wesc and Easc.

Wesc and Easc are not the best friends because they have different approaches to life, and they
have different 'worlds'. At least they think this is the situation. They both like to play but they have
different games, they both like to search but they search different things, they both like to talk but
they tell different stories. They like eachother, but they are not close friends; not finding the
appropriate ground.

Wesc likes to observe birds for example, and wonder how they fly, and why he cannot. He tries to
understand the mechanism and the structure, so that perhaps he can help himself for flying. He
can not stop himself disecting insects, to find out what's in. He takes the stones and build cities. He
likes to talk about performances, that he considers as good examples.

On the other hand, Easc also wonders about life, and looks at the stars for hours. He can stare at a
river and the tortoises endlessly. He likes to run, to climb, to swim. He usually mentions old tales,
heroic stories, good behaviours, love stories, miracles.

Personally, I like both of them. I believe they are materialising different aspects of life in general.
(It may very well be the case that a coincidence created such a difference. Is it not a reality, that
coincidences turn into our fates, once experienced.)

Life, or more generally the universe is our surrounding. Our intellectual powers create strories to
believe, find facts to solve. On the one hand we have infinitesimal, on the other hand we have the
infinity. Since it is not possible to really be interested in what we can not see, comprehend, or
imagine, we deal with the closest approximate. The first then is called microcosmos, while the
second is macrocosmos.

Wesc is charmed by the microcosmos, while Easc is charmed with macrocosmos. The common
thing is cosmos, and in particular life.
How can you deal with microcosmos or macrocosmos? Can you use the same approach, same
methodology for both?

Living in the sphere of the cosmos inclined to microcosmos, we meet too much details. The details
should be handled by close examination, because this is how we are built up. Close examination
brings many experiences to be classified, to be counted, compared, interpreted, to be verified. One
needs to be and can be positive here; in a sense that reasoning should be based on facts. We can
test our hypothesis. We can develop the knowledge to connect the cause to effect. This brings in
rationality.

On the other hand, living in a cosmos inclined to macrocosmos, we meet little details, but many
generalities. The sea, the sky, mountains, the stars, people not individuals. Generalities should be
handled with imagination based on what we see, what we experience, then what we want. Time
doesn't exist in macrocosmos. Distances, volumes are unproportionally big there. Cause and effect
is almost invisible. We try to understand by our imagination. We take the world as given. We have
no chance to imagine about changing almost anything. We also see changes happening, like big
storms, lightnings, floods. There must be miracles. There must be a big, powerfull will. Irrationality
can come in. All of the main religions emerged from a place belonging to eastern culture, where
rationality did not have a stop.

Wesc, today, is the child of rationality, and Easc is that of irrationality.

Going back to Greek General Strike on 23 rd of February 2011, I think we can pour an alternative
light on rationality in comparence with Egypt uprising. The general strike action is a rational action,
in the sense of being reasonably proportional to the facts. Egyptian uprising, in contradiction with
this, is unproportionaly irrational if we take the fact that there was no 'recent change' in government
policies. What happened was Tunisian successfull uprising, the reason of which also includes an
irrational reactionary element. This introduced the belief for the expected miracle to Egyptian
people, I guess. One could say that thirty years of such a repression was irrationality itself. Yes, the
reason behind that long patience being the same. We take it is as given, but we never loose our
faith in miracles, even if we have to make them.

Rationality produced the repeatable capability for West. Repeatable capability produced capitalism.
Capitalism produced the globalism, inevitably. Globalism produced the global communication.
Global communication is now producing the grounds for Wesc and Easc friendship.

Madison protests following Egyptian upheaval and the globally spread solidarity for the symbolized
meaning of both is the communication just before the understanding era.

Cheers for the friendship of world peoples, which will make life unproportionally more beautiful.

Ömer Haluk Yılmaz


1 st of March, 2011
Yoncaköy, Izmir, Turkey

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