The only hope of recreating the centre now is to make it the entire earth

“Every migrant knows in his heart of hearts that it is impossible to return, because he himself has been so deeply changed by his emigration. It is equally impossible to return to that historical state in which every village was the centre of the world. The only hope of recreating the centre now is to make it the entire earth. Only worldwide solidarity can transcend modern homelessness. Fraternity is too easy a term; forgetting Cain and Abel, it somehow promises that all problems can be soluble. In reality many are insoluble – hence the never-ending need for solidarity.

Today, as soon as early childhood is over, the house can never again be home, as it was in other epochs. This century, for all its wealth and with its communication systems, is the century of banishment. Eventually perhaps the promise, of which Marx was the great prophet, will be fulfilled, and then the substitute for the shelter of a home will not be our personal homes, but our collective conscious presence in history, and we will live again at the heart of the real. Despite everything, I can imagine it.

Meanwhile, we live not just our own lives but the longings of the century.”

John Berger, And our faces, my  heart, brief as photos

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