Saturday, March 03, 2018

Warszawa

After a surprisingly revealing day in Lund yesterday, we took the first LOT flight down to Warsaw this morning where we were warmly greeted by my childhood friend and man-about-town Gabriel. As always, returning to the great cities of Central Europe is a bit like being catapulted back into an alternative universe, one that for many years used to be my playground but now feels strangely less familiar as national conservativism has taken its sinister toll.

While the fading graffiti may still assert that “no one is illegal”, there is little doubt that the momentum, at least for the time being, is with those who want to build walls rather than tearing them down. Maybe it is a false hope, but rather than just despairing at the state of affairs, Gabriel pointed out that as reactionary voices have increasingly come to appropriate the language of equality (for instance in their sudden interest for women’s freedom in relation to Islam), they have also inadvertently inserted a logic that may ultimately end up undoing their own political project. After all, every suggestion that other people may in fact be our moral equals is highly destabilizing for those who seek a world of permanence and fixed identities.

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