Not a day is passed without coming across the term “national interests” used in official statements, analyses and commentaries. It is one of the most favorite terms of global leaders while explaining their dealings or disagreements with other countries.
Countries discuss geopolitical issues at various international platforms keeping in view their much-trumpeted “national interests.” During such meetings, all sides gather around the table with calculated moves against each other. Such gatherings are usually fruitless because these political gambles never produce the desired results serving any party’s interests in true sense.
The 50-year-old Cyprus issue is a key example of such bureaucratic negotiations. Amid all the calculations of population, land, water and other resources, the impasse is growing greater by the day. The land issue has become so intractable over the last 40 years that there are now 22 categories of property requiring a solution. Due to this horrendous land problem, some Turks have to hand their homes over to Greeks and vice-versa. It appears that projects of “unification” or “living together” are based solely on land calculations.
The concept of national interests, taught for years as the most effective weapon of realpolitik, is in fact the application to politics of materialistic and self-centered mindset that results in social collapse. Materialists have not only sought to impose their self-centered approach on communities but also to implement it in international relations. Immediately after the emergence of the concept of realpolitik, the thesis of clash of civilizations was put forward and the desired infrastructure was made ready. According to this thesis, countries must protect their own interests and fight to that end. The materialist perspective, based on the thesis of the survival of the fittest, thus came to occupy a place within societies. As disagreements persist, as communities fall apart and as wars break out, the greatest civilizations will benefit from all this and the weaker ones will be eliminated.
It is true that living beings fight for survival but we cannot ignore the true humanistic tendencies. They usually have no hesitation in risking their own lives for those they love. Animals do not, therefore, represent ruthless examples of the struggle for survival as the materialists hope. Moreover, we are not animals programmed to destroy to survive. Human nature is based on love, self-sacrifice, friendship and peace. One can be happy only when the society in which he lives abides by these values. It is not surprising that people are so unhappy in a world of unending killings, where people have to put barbed wires around their homes for protection, where they have to go through X-ray devices to enter buildings and in which high walls are erected between countries. National policies are in conflict with human nature.
This is where the error inherent in the cold, self-interested and egoistical system known as “national interest” emerges. This phenomenon that contradicts the purpose behind man’s creation will always be rejected by the human systems. Egoism will always destroy the love that people try to live by and incite hatred. Official delegations will come and go and meetings full of official statements will be held, but problems will never be resolved. Because they all say “I come first.”
To return to the Cyprus problem, for all the reasons outlined above, the days ahead are not too promising for Cyprus. The latest talks have disregarded the love and brotherhood that the people of the region need more than anything. If the peoples on the island are to live together, then the focus has to be on love between the masses, rather than frigid political statements such as land distribution, administrative rights and social status. The people on the island are brothers who have lived together for hundreds of years, adopted one another as friends, share the same cultures and traditions, who have shared the same history and destiny and will again share the same future. Competing with one another for being the one who will sacrifice is the characteristic of such peoples. This is their way. Peopled raised up in such a culture would want to make the sacrifices they make to their friends and guests they welcome to their homes, to the people they live together with, on their lands. They do not enjoy fighting over “yours or mine.” These people are allergic to the materialistic, self-interested policy adopted by politics.
Love is not a utopia that people enjoy talking about but is impossible to live by in practice. Without love, life dies, the world dies, political systems atrophy and economies collapse. Love is not an impractical luxury but our life’s blood that has been forcibly taken from us.
For these reasons, if we are genuinely seeking a solution for Cyrus, we must first concentrate on the friendship between the two peoples. The emphasis must first be on brotherhood. In the same way that a guest who comes to our homes would not be thrown out, we must also oppose the idea of people who have lived in those lands for hundreds of years being turned away after being branded as “occupiers.” When it comes to friendship, problems of land, negotiations over assets and calculations over majority populations will all become meaningless. Who in the right mind would ever make such calculations while enjoying a life with love and friendship?
The same applies to other disputes between brothers, such as Armenia and Azerbaijan, India and Pakistan and all the rest. A policy must be developed based on unconditional love instead of a self-seeking understanding that is the “national interests.” We need to see how the materialistic mindset harms both people and countries. Love that some people regard as utopian is in fact the solution to all problems.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Arab News: