Twelve days have passed since the tragic events in Paris and, in spite of the original commotion, we are gradually going back to our routines after a nasty nightmare. However, far from the apparent normality, the causes (multiple) that led to those terrorist acts are being studied over and over again but we are paralysed in this analysis and no steps are being taken to solve the conflicts.
Our dear Josetxu Villacorta would say that whoever says that any explanation is simple knows little about reality and, trying to avoid Manichaeism, we would like to focus on the small roots that reach great depths and occasionally lead to violent explosions here and there. The lack of prospects for many young people in several regions of a globalized world is creating a society of disenchantment that is nourishing fundamentalism. Fundamentalism that, as Cantwell Smith says: “is not the answer to a problem, but the reaction of those who cannot stand the fact of not being able to solve it”.
Josextu reminded us in his interview in the “Building Human Capital” blog of the words of Boualem Samsal, when he was awarded the German booksellers’ Peace Prize in October 2011.
“Living in absurdity weakens one; you stumble from one wall to another as if you were drunk. For young people with a future, who need to have a clear direction, it is dramatic and heart-breaking to hear them howl like wolves in the darkness of the night”.
Furthermore, the absurd takes many shapes but one of them, a dramatic one, is the lack of prospects when we look at extremely high unemployment levels.
This drifting is also experienced in western countries, not only among the general population but, in certain suburbs where unemployment, uprooting and cultural clashes are a dangerous combination: France has dramatic precedents that are not very distant in time.
In 2005, Paris was set alight after the death of two teenagers who were fleeing from the police; a reaction of rage to that terrible event, but also a way of expressing frustration caused by unemployment and police harassment in an area occupied by many immigrants from Northern Africa, which contributed to the ethnic and religious tensions.
Txomin Bereciartúa reminded us not too long ago that overcoming such fundamentalisms is not easy but that we have to try and, therefore, we must start by taking the first step right now and trying to change our inner selves.
“We must not forget that behind the good and bad that happens in the world, there are always people. And we should not look at others when we say this because, if the ones who have influence do not change and we do not change, everything will carry on the same.
It is not about a momentary wish or euphoria, it is something that requires dedication, creativity, decision-making and a long time. Reaching out of oneself and opening up to others in order to define, among all of us, what has social value; interacting in a creative win-win situation, looking for new social values and building them together, is a process that takes time and can only be developed on a daily basis with shared leadership, greater involvement by all and with the support and knowledge provided by human and social sciences”.