Monday 21 March 2016

Poem: “Then … Forget It!”

The Democracy Complex of the Arab Spring 
Posted by Chengde Chen*

Love Letters by Jiang Zhi

Democracy is to follow the will of the majority,
but the will is divided into the ideal and reality.
When you poll the Arabs about the Arab Spring,
the result develops organically, from a Yes to a No.

If you ask, “Do you want to get rid of dictatorship?”
the majority will say yes, like seeds wanting to sprout.
If you ask further, “What if it has to be through war?”
the majority will say, “Then forget it.”

Compared to the devastation of bombing and ruin,
a life without a ballot box is nevertheless a life.
War turns the majority into refugees rather than heroes;
fleeing from it is voting with their feet for peace – any peace.

Democracy is a beautiful but cowardly dream.
Please get it right what the real democratic wish is.
Man is an animal for whom bread weighs more than ideals,
so he’d rather have sex-without-love than love-without-sex.

* Chengde Chen is the author of Five Themes of Today, Open Gate Press, London.


Chrissy Philp said...

I would prefer love without sex if I had to make the choice - is that a problem?

Chrissy Philp said...

Because if we lost the abilty to have sex we could use other means to make a new generation but love is a feeling that cannot be reproduced artificially. Compassion, kindness, the desire to please the other, these are depedent on the feeling called love. Let's have both love and sex. (Please.)

Unknown said...

Although man differs from animals by having ideals, ideals weigh less than bread. The same goes to love and sex, though there are exceptions.

Thomas O. Scarborough said...

There is a local saying: "Krag na kruis." Power after the cross. That seems to encapsulate the poem. And I wonder, if we avoid the cross, whether we have to return to it anyway.

Tessa den Uyl said...

Ciao Chengde,

Love placed into a concept of property?

"Democracy is to follow the will of the majority," might we say mediocrity? Why desire the latter?

Human being has become a merchandise, the refugee is a merchandise in excess?

docmartincohen said...

I believe psychologists find agender difference in attitudes towards sex.. precisely the sex-without-love / love-without-sex divide. But I don't actually believe everything (anyting) psychologists come out with.

As far as revolutions go, it is the idealists who drive them, isn't it? The love-without-sex tendency?

Unknown said...

That’s very true. The issue is whether the idealists can claim that their revolution represents the will of the majority (or “mediocrity”, as Tessa called) who indeed don’t want it to happen.

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