“Schadenfreude”

Following his trip to Rome and his visit to the Colosseum, Lord Byron, in his pilgrimage to seduce the imagination, assumed in a poem that the gladiatorial slaughter games were but an opportunity for a Roman festivity, the occasion where the mind finds its entertainment in the spectacle of the suffering and misfortune of others. The term “Roman Holiday” was born, but not the meaning sought by the film of the same name, featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The film is a delight.

In French, it is described as a “malignant joy”. Do we not say “to rejoice in the misfortune of others” or even “to experience a malicious pleasure in”? In English, the term chosen, derived from the ancient Greek, is absolutely tedious: “Epicaricacy”. So it was the German term that was adopted, “Schadenfreude”, which best describes “the pleasure felt by one person drawn from the misfortune of another”, and by extension of a clan, a community, of a tribe in the face of the misadventures of an opposing group. Is it not Voltaire who would have issued the well-known formula: “The misfortune of some makes the happiness of others”, without going too far in the underlying analysis of this human pathology, so prevalent in all cultures? , but even more harmful when it infiltrates all the indentations of consciousness and arms itself with the intricacies of politics?

Dostoyevsky had recognized the collective dimension of this bipolar feeling when, in Crime and Punishment, he describes the scene of the crowd around an accident victim. But it was Arthur Schopenhauer who delivered the most categorical judgment on this moral flaw as being “a malicious pleasure in the misfortunes of others, which remains the worst trait of human nature. It is a feeling which is closely related to cruelty and which differs from it, to tell the truth, only as a theory of practice. In general, it can be said of it that it takes the place that pity should take, which is its opposite and the true source of all real justice and charity”.

While some level of ‘Schadenfreude’ is common and acceptable as a sign of the times, the frequency of this ‘malignant joy’ may indicate mental disorders or personality disorders. When he joins politics, the “Schadenfreude” finds its fulfillment in the dissemination of fake news and accidental or provoked misfortunes.

In its three distinct forms – aggression, rivalry, justice – with the arrest of the bishop and the ensuing investigation, the double harassment within Parliament, the “Schadenfreude” manifested itself with incomparable brilliance. , pitting all the communities against each other in a deafening and jerky sonic waltz, confirming the multi-faceted nature of this moral deficiency, so close ultimately to a psychopathy curable only through divine generosity. The individual reaction of certain protagonists decked out with a tribal or religious responsibility, dominated by a geopolitical imbroglio, with an enemy turn, but with a moral allure, with a guilty appearance, but with unmistakable intentions, accompanied by a rhetorical muddle , believed to be a heavenly saying, inspired by a cherubic visitation, had disrupted the electromagnetic waves to such an extent that they had shaken minds and hacked consciences. The result would be the same: an intentional dehumanization of adversity, consistent with the trajectory of the stages of “Schadenfreude”, resulting in the explicit expression of sadistic and harmful tendencies.

The stripping of society or the individual of their humanity opens all doors to the justification of a victimization manipulated by religion, ideology or the obsession of an enmity, the spirit of the victim losing all interest to be taken into consideration. Contact is no longer possible not because the dialogue takes place at two different levels, but simply because of a mental disharmony and the absence of a humanitarian motivation. Irreversible social disintegration is not far from following this moral nonchalance.

Deconstructing “Schadenfreude” may not be simple or immediate. Controlling the passion of men is not easy, especially when it is connected to metaphysical itch, inaccessible to human reason. But stripping it of its fury and weather would be the necessary start. The geopolitical repercussions of this pathology which feeds the discourse can never be measured in an objective way, but let us have no doubt that Lebanon will continue to suffer as long as it is subjected to the imponderable dialogue of a political horde and a media class. preaching a utopian and dangerously incoherent discourse, and who seek to inflate their authority through defamation and depreciation of otherness as well as through the contortion of reality. “Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they,” Yoda had told Luke Skywalker.

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Following his trip to Rome and his visit to the Colosseum, Lord Byron, in his pilgrimage to seduce the imagination, assumed in a poem that the gladiatorial slaughter games were but an opportunity for a Roman festivity, the occasion where the mind finds its entertainment in the spectacle of the suffering and misfortune of others. The term “Roman…

“Schadenfreude”