Additive vs Substractive

Seeking Roses in Every Garden

I first wrote this post in Arabic, in the good days wherein I was writing in my beloved mother tongue before I decided to shift to English for complex reasosns. Mr. Tareq Amr in Global Voices had elected the post and translated it to English to be published there. He saved me the effort to trnaslate it myself now. Therefore, the text below, is Tareq's translation to my original post. To him I owe all grattitude.

Getting to the subject, we all know, addition is a mathematical operation that leads to growth by the accumulation of its components. Subtraction, on the other hand, leads to decay due to becoming less. Based on this logic, additive thinking tends to add the various morals we meet in our lives to each other. We may see many positive attributes in many societies and characters - for sure not everyone has such positive attributes, as some are like flies which are totally useless. Anyway, additive thinking is the opposite of the subtractive one that tends to divide people into either absolute good, or absolute evil, and nothing in between, absolute light and absolute darkness, while life by nature is a mixture of this and that. Through additive thinking, you can love two men or role models who were enemies themeselves. However, you can find in each a positive attribute that can inspire you.
People who believe in subtractive thinking will sure refuse and hate Abdel Nasser because they believe he was a dictator. They will hate Guevara because he was a womaniser and will hate Hassan Nasrullah because he is Shiite (nearly all the Egyptians are Sunnis) and will hate Muhammad Abdou because he was against Salafism, and will hate Martin Luther King because he ignored the teachings of the old church, and will hate Gandhi because he gave priority to his Indian nationality more than his religious doctrines, including his Hindu religion, and will hate Muhammad Ali - he ruled Egypt in the 19th century - for his personal ambitions to become an emperor, and will hate Mao Zedong for the side effects of his economical vision. At the end of the day, they will not get any benefits from any of the experiences that mankind has passed by, as they prefer to ignore all the ideals just because they see some negative aspects there. This is really dangerous, and that's why I believe in the additive thinking and I'll try to mention the positive sides and the negative ones I see in the characters mentioned previously. Those characters that despite my great respect to them - I still believe that I have the right to criticize them.
I love Gamal Abdel Nasser as a person and a leader. I agree with him in his vision towards national dignity so the people can live happily. I agree with him that the ultimate solution for our society is socialism. I also believe in the importance of strategic cooperation and the coordination between the Arab nations, like that between the members of the EU and the United States, which is not based on nationalism. I like his honour and his lack of corruption when it came to the State's coffers and his insistence on representing the middle class he belonged to. I love his strength and strong will, which enabled him to liberate the nation and end Royalty when he was younger than me. I also like the way he liked Arabs and how they liked him back. And for all this I like Gamal and always put him as an ideal hero and person … While I disagree with his policies of repression as Dr Mossadegh's experience in Iran unfolding in front of him was a scary obsession, when the Americans were able to foil his revolution. What Gamal didn't see what that Mossadegh did not enjoy the support of the Iranian masses like he did on the Egyptian street after the war of 56. Gamal did not need to resort to repression to maintain the strength of the revolution and safeguard it. I also disagree with the way he implemented his revolutionary socialism, which sought to ensure that he got the support of certain classes at the expense of society as a whole. I also disagree with his emotions that affected his choices and led his friends to occupy leading positions in Egypt, which represent his downfall, such as Abdel Hakim Amer, who ruined all the military achievements of the revolution, and Anwar El Sadat, who destroyed all its other achievements.

I like Guevara as a person and a revolutionist who left the ministry and the governmental position after liberating Cuba and preferred to die fighting his enemy. I like his establishment of the Guerrilla War strategy which is considered the cornerstone of the wars between the weak groups and the tyrants - a strategy that marketing books borrowed and made Marketing strategies based on it without giving credit to him. I also like his bias toward the poor.I disagree with his communist vision, which I believe is not compatible with the human nature that is eager to excel. And I prefer practical socialism which gives people a chance to excel while guaranteeing the minimum levels necessary for human life like food, clothing, medicine and shelter to citizens to it.

Similarly, I loved Nasrallah the freedom fighter, while I did not agree on the clergy role in civil life according to "Welayat Faqih" role of Shiites. I like Muhammad Abdu for his reform trial, while I disagree with him in many details. This is what I meant by additive thinking, we can criticize while keep getting inspiration of almost all historical figures and leaders, as well as contemporary leaders. Adding is maximizing, while substracting is zeroing, and we shall choose for ourselves.


Amre El-Abyad said...

Dear Eyad,

Excellent, insightful, easy and fun to read piece as usual.

Regarding Nasrallah, however, I would like to mention that Welayet Faqeeh is not an essential part of the shiite Juriprudence; it was invented by Khomeini mainly to fulfill the Irani nationalstic eveil plans for the Arab world.

The former leaders of Hisbollah didn't believe in It. Mnay Iraqi shiite clericks dont believe in it, and it is those that their followers are being brutally killed by Iranians.

check the following clips:



Also it is wrong on behalf of Nasarallh to seek help from Iran while it is systemtically killing Iraqis and occupying Iraq in collaboration with the U.S.. For god's sake the man claims to be an idealist!

Iran is the strategic enemy of the Arab world, and there its interets convrerge with Irani ones, especialy in dividing Iraq and diluting the Arab identity of the region.

On that, you can rely on Israeli papers and online staregic studies. They pose Egypt, formerly Iraq and Arabs as their main eternal enemy, with Iran they share a love hate relationship as they are aware of what brings them together

Also, he should have supported the all sorts of resistance, instead he stated that Occupation of Iraq has rid the region of an evil!!!!!

As for turning Hisbollah into a a political entity for all Lebanes, well, that is impossible. Hisbollah,s vision of Iranian dominated Middle east is one of its founding principals

Tarek said...

Dear Eyad,

This article is really great, and if you don't I've translated and published parts of it on Global Voices Online.


د /إياد حرفوش said...

Dear Amre,
Thank you for your delighting valuable comment. As for Iranian matter and Nasrallah, you know as far as I have an overt enemy I do not really focus on who is occult so far.

About Welayat Al-Fakih as a term I know it was invented by Khomini, yet its seeds are really deep in Imamism thoughts. Best Regards to your valuable inputs

د /إياد حرفوش said...

Dear Tarek,
It is a real honor and pleasure. Your translation is really expressive. I do not think I was able to make it as efficient you did. Thank you and please accept my cordial thanks.

coca said...

مقال اكتر من رائع
من اكتر الحاجات اللي بتعجبني في موضوعاتك انها بترتبلي افكار في دماغي مش عارفه اقولها بالشكل الصحيح
دا غير اني بتعلم اسلوب راقي في الكتابه وفي الفكر

Amre El-Abyad said...

But dear Eyad that is not an occult one. the Iranian ethnic killing gangs in Iraq and collaborators are all well sustained, well documented well sourced facts.

The Irani role in the occupation is admited by Iranian themselves, they don't deny it. Moreover, those in powwer in Iraq are not Iraqis they Iranians! they took refugee in Iran during the war of aggression the terrorist Khomeini launched gainst Iraq and Arab people because of either their Iranian lineage or belief in political shiisim which in turn makes them subordinate to the enmy of their country the terrorist Khomeini .

Iran supplied intelligence and logistics to Americans according Khatamy!!! later on, Americans put the Iranian elemnts in power who are financed, trained by Iran as well supported by elemnts of the revolutionary guards to wipe out Iraqi secualrs and human resources- both sunnis and shiites- or anyone who opposed the Iranian occcupation of Iraq.

havent you heard the clips online by the resitance groups on iraq ppublished on Aljazeera or the following blog"reclaiming sapce" clearly staing that the Iranian occupation s more dangerous than the America one?

ايوية said...

من الطبيعى اننا نختلف ونتفق مع من نجلهم من العظماء فهم فى النهاية بشر لهم وعليهم

اليعقوبي said...

هؤلاء الاشخاص اشخاص ضحوا من اجل اوطناهم وخدموا افكارا لهم ولكن مع هذا يجب تنبيه الناس اتجاه العقائد التي كانوا يعتنقوها والتحذير في جزء العقيدة انما نضالهم فهو مشكور في بلادهم وانا لا اقصد الشيخ محمد عبده ولا عبد الناصر رغم اختلاف علي شخص عبد الناصر ولكنها امور وقتية
انا اقصد جيفارا وغاندي وحسن نصرالله

فلا مانع من نصرتهم ان كانوا مظلومين مستضعفين مالم يتعدوا علي وهكذا تعلمنا من الاسلام ولكن العقائد يعني ميجيش واحد اعجب بجيفارا ويبقي شيوعي هذا غير مقبول نهائيا او يبقي بوذي زي غاندي
بس انت نسيت الاهم من كل هؤلاء
محمد صلي الله عليه وسلم
الرجل الذي كان وحيدا ونشردعوته الي وصلوا الف ومئتان مليون نسمة
اعتقد انه سبق

د /إياد حرفوش said...

عزيزتي كوكا
شكرا لك يا عزيزتي ، أنا أيضا تعلمت منك و من ايمي ان الامل كبير جدا في مستقبل هذا البلد لو كان هناك مثلكما و بمثل نضوجكما في جامعات مصر
تحياتي و تقديري

د /إياد حرفوش said...

Dear Amre,
You can say in general that the Iranian matter is not my obssession now, I am more concerned about the internal issues in our society that turns it into small fragments. Regards

د /إياد حرفوش said...

عزيزتي أيوية،
نعم ، نختلف معهم و نحاول أن نأخذ من كل منهم زهرة ، بعض الناس ليس بهم زهور بل مجرد أشواك ، هؤلاء لا خير فيهم، لكن ما عدا ذلك فأهلا به
تحياتي و تقديري

د /إياد حرفوش said...

عزيزي اليعقوبي
عندما أتحدث عن مجاهد قومي أو وطني لا يشغلني ما هو دينه ، فالدين لله و الوطن لمواطنيه ، الجنسية هي الاساس الوحيد للمواطنة ، جيفارا كان أرجنتينيا يحرر أمريكا اللاتينية ، غاندي كان هنديا يحرر الهند ، و نصر الله لبناني يحرر لبنان ، و لكل منهم دينه و لي دين

ثم من حق من يريد أن يصبح شيوعياً أن يصبح ما يريد، طالما لا يفرض علي اختياره

أما عن رسول الله (ص) فأنا ضد ضم الأنبياء للعظماء الاخرين من البشر ، لان الانبياء كان لهم مدد الهي يتنافى مع تصنيفهم مع عظماء البشر العاديين ، فالحديث عن عظمة الانبياء يكون منفصلاً

حتى تكون الصورة العددية التي طرحتها أكثر موضوعية دعنا نتممها، انتشار الاديان في العالم هو كالتالي

المسيحية: 1,9 مليار مسيحي
الاسلام: 1,2 مليار مسلم
الهندوسية: 785 مليون هندوسي
البوذية: 325 مليون بوذي
السيخ: 19 مليون سيخي
اليهودية: 14 مليون يهودي
البهائية: 6 ملايين بهائي
الكونفوشية: 5,3 مليون كونفوشي
الجينية: 4,9 مليون جيني
الشينتو : 2,8 مليون

أما باقي الديانات فهي أقل من مليون تابع، ما قصدته أن لنا أن نفخر بأننا ثاني الاديان انتشارا في العالم و نعتز بنبينا الكريم، و لكن حذار من الانكفاء على الذات و تصنيف العالم الى المسلمين و غيرهم ، فهذا منطق يهودي دخيل على الاسلام ، الدين القيم الذي أراده الله خاتما للأديان السماوية

تحياتي و تقديري

Fantasia said...

What a post, eyad! Such a good piece. I have many many comments, though. I'll keep them brief cause it's the first once after your comeback.
I believe that egypt rose's question is well-justified. You tend to know about the mentality of a person through his/her general views. Talking about icons can give a clear indication as well.
It is not judging people, or divinging them into black and white teams, but you certainly develop a mental image about certain people through what you know about them.
You are right that we shouldn't utterly reject a person for committing mistakes or the opposite. But if you take one side of a person and reject the other, he/she doesn't become a personal icon anymore. You can say, I like this certain quality about this certain person.
For example, I agree with almost all of the ideas of Darwin, yet I can't consider him one of my icons. There are a few, but serious, objections that drives him outside my list. I can recommend his books, admire his genius, but I won't refer to him as my idol. That's where I'm clearly giving a message to others to include Darwin's mental image, into the mental image they form of me.
Bardo I wrote a lot mafeesh fayda.
Another interesting post. Welcome back :)

Anonymous said...

الأشياء الجيدة جدا.