S.C. Hickman has written about images of the refugee crisis for darkecologies.com–an exceedingly relevant topic for those of us bothered by images of dead child refugees washing to shore. A familiar fight has erupted on social media: Should we share these grotesque images to fully confront the reality of the refugee crisis, honoring the dead; or should we suppress these images out of respect for them? Hickman’s thoughts are in full here.
In Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (1982), Julia Kristeva describes the process of abjection as a form of expulsion and rejection of the Other. Neither subject nor object, the abject, or the state of abjection, is articulated in, and through, grotesque language and imagery. The process of abjection is, then, associated with deformed bodies and oozing bodily fluids: blood, pus, bile, faeces, sweat and vomit break down the borders separating the inside from outside, the contained from the released. Abjection is a state of flux, where ‘meaning collapses’, and the body is open and irregular, sprouting or protruding internal and external forms to link abjection to grotesquerie (ibid.: 2).1
The body of Europe is porous and the boundaries between the inside and outside have collapsed, the ideological, cultural, and political realms have formed new and unstable zones of containment to expulse and contain the Other in their midst. The refugees have become pawns in a deadly game of ideological and virtual/actual terror. The forces of the Left and Right use these human casualties of war to further their own grotesqueries. The Refugee has become the political “other” who is trapped in the blame game between a populist message that enforces messages of salvation or hate and expulsion into the mix.
Inept leaders and psychopathic bureaucrats with cold reptilian gazes ponder the chaos and seek gated curtains to hide behind while their minions put up barbed wire fences, use tear gas and water cannons to repel the others they fear and stave off the grotesque horde of barbarian invaders in their midst just like their ancestors did before them. Reports of police brutality, tear-gas, water cannons, and barbed wire among other measures ensure a world of real terror not for the nations involved but for the refugees who thought they’d succor a safe and democratic haven from the civil strife of their dark imploding homelands.
The Leader of Syria now blames the West. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is blaming Western nations for fueling the refugee crisis by supporting opposition groups in his country’s bloody civil war. “If you are worried about them, stop supporting terrorists,” he said in an interview with Russian news organizations. “That’s what we think regarding the crisis. This is the core of the whole issue of refugees.” The stupidity of this statement belies the fact that Assad used chemical weapons to wipe out thousands of his own citizens. So now he wants to blame the West. His communist friend, Putin, gave him this message. Assad isn’t intelligent enough to ponder global politics.
The interior ministers of France, the UK, and Germany, stressed the need to set up “hot spots” in Greece and Italy by the year’s end to ensure refugees are fingerprinted and registered, allowing authorities to quickly identify those in need of protection. Let the Gulags enter a new age. Darkness returns and the human animal falls into old patterns of fear and hatred. Yet, its not all the EU’s fault. The refugee and earlier immigrants are demanding religious changes to the secular worlds they find themselves inside. This in itself has become an opening for the fascist New Right and other organizations to roused the masses with populist rhetoric and bring back a realm of hate and fear we’ve not seen since the early 20th Century.
DW provides current updates of refugee crisis. For now EU is stalemated and decaying into chaos. EU interior ministers have failed to reach a unanimous agreement to relocate 120,000 refugees across the bloc’s 28 nations and take the strain off Greece, Italy, and Hungary. Police in Hungary’s Roszke border crossing have fired tear gas and water cannons to scatter asylum seekers wanting to cross over from Serbia. Budapest has closed down its borders to keep new arrivals out.
As Hungary, Austria, Germany close their borders refugees are now heading toward Croatia where mine-fields that were left unattended from previous wars still exist. An official at the Croatian Demining Centre told Reuters that police asked the organisation to supply a team to the border area in eastern Croatia. Thousands of landmines are left over from Croatia’s independence war that followed the collapse of federal Yugoslavia in the early 1990s and have killed more than 500 people over the past 20 years, according to IRIN News.
The forces of repression and reaction are coming to the fore as this crisis thickens. A world of hate, bigotry and fascist martialing seem inevitable in the madness of the moment. As rationality and the rule of law recedes the force of mysticism and fear, religion and political neoreactionaries everywhere are hell bent of bringing about total collapse of democracy. The folly of nations is a tissue of stupidity, inaction, and leaderless contamination and cowardice in the face of the inevitable truth of modern human institutions to surmount their own global terror. For that is the truth the West has itself brought on its dark and Hegelian night of the world, a world where reason falls into the grotesque and macabre and the demons of the underbelly of neo-reaction rises out of its ancient regime of death and chaos. In a world where leaders fail to act the voice and gambol of populism comes to the fore and topples the inanity of law. What we are seeing the failure of nerve of the EU to act, to do anything substantively to change things in the world. It will pay the price.