Hegemony

By Melese Birmeji

It is one of the characteristics of political struggle that it involves a “we” who oppose a “they,” and always, they commit crimes while we make mistakes. Ultimately, of course, every crime is an error, and results from an error in thinking; the difference is that a criminal act stems from a failure to examine one’s motives (and usually a strong inclination not to do so based on one’s material interests), while a mistake is a failure to implement the right strategy when we know we are right to want what we want. Underlying our ability to make such a distinction is the very possibility of politics and political struggle, which is the modern form of politics. Either there are only warring groups with their opinions which merely represent their interests, or there is truth and universality (truths by definition are universal and not merely particular; otherwise, they are opinions and as such are essentially of private and not public significance; and as such, they are “idiotic” according to the original meaning of the term; private languages are nonsense, like speaking in tounges). But as long as there are social conflicts, the truths that represent universality have to be constructed; this is called hegemony.

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