وزیر تنهایی

Minister of Loneliness

Mohsen Farmani

۲۰۲۱ March

Japan is the second country to have a “Minister of loneliness” in the government. The United Kingdom did this three years ago. 

What got us here? At first glance, we can be pleased that the government cares so much about the situation of its citizens. It is even possible to predict that we will see the Minister of Love, Minister of Peace, the Minister of Friendship, the Minister of Kindness and the like in the future. But the situation is not so simple and good. When the Minister of Loneliness comes, it means that Ministers of Economy, Welfare, Labor, Health, Education and beyond, the whole government, and even more, the world system has not done its job properly. This means that human beings are not well.

The idea was sparked by the high suicide rate in these two countries. Reports say 9 million of the UK’s 67 million feel lonely. The country has changed ministers three times during this period, and some reports mention that the people are still “alone.” After searching for how people’s loneliness is measured, we find that questions such as “Do you feel lonely?” And “Do you relate to others?” and the like were asked. But human loneliness is far more complex and profound than it can be recognized by counting suicide or asking such questions. It is not unlikely that “loneliness meter” devices will be invented from tomorrow that will weigh the loneliness of people and sell them at a good price! I help them: Smiles or the volume of cosmetics can be weighed!

But what is the duty of the government in principle? Is loneliness related to the government? It is good that the government is paying attention to such an issue and recognizing it as a symptom. But is that the case? Should the government free off man from loneliness? Doesn’t this phrase itself make a person lonelier? Isn’t interfering in human privacy? The solitude that he has chosen for himself to escape from the unhealthy situation of the surrounding world. Does he want to take the same safe corner from him? Albert Camus says: “the tragedy is not that you are alone, but that you can not be alone.”

Let’s separate three meanings of this word. The first is the concept of existential loneliness, which is the natural consequence of human being thrown into the realm of existence and is as incurable as death. The second is loneliness and solitude, recommended by thinkers such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and is an opportunity for thinking and reflection. But the third, in fact, is a kind of loneliness, which is more in the sense of being unrelated to others and isolation, which is considered anti-value in the modern world. The theorists of the Ministry of Loneliness refer to the last definition. They consider this loneliness as a disease and intend to fight it. There is a lot of sadness and depression in this type of loneliness and it is thought that the root of suicides is in this type of loneliness. 

Some have linked the recent loneliness to Covid-19 quarantine. But the quarantine just enlarged the existing cracks and crevices to make them more visible. It caused many unrests be visible that had been hidden until now.

Why did man become lonely in the third meaning? Man realizes he is alone, basically in the crowd. No one feels lonely in private. This feeling of loneliness is actually self-alienation. It is the result of slavery in the modern world. Governments that are themselves promoters of consumerism and this slavery can not get rid of this sad feeling. Man is released from this sorrow only if he returns to his state of freedom and nature. This iron cage does not hold such promise. 

In Third World countries the situation is not better, but much worse. Because the Third World man, in addition to the loneliness of this iron cage, also bears the burden of the economic, political, social and inefficiency of governments.

The interventionist government makes things worse. He will take this little solitude from him. Hatred, insecurity, or feeling of insecurity have caused this loneliness. A collection of all kinds of borders must be removed. Geographical, racial, gender, ethnic and religious boundaries have led to isolation. The border does not create security, but on the contrary, it creates a feeling of insecurity. This is the border between countries that extends between provinces and cities and finally, individuals. Human loneliness is along the border.

In a world where people have to work long hours to make ends meet, or whose desire for more money and dreamier means and well-being has taken away their ability to perceive and see, human beings are undoubtedly lonelier. In “In Praise of Idleness”, Russell states that the reduction in working hours around the world not only leads to more people spending more time together, but also to more productive production in all areas of the arts, crafts, and entertainment. In a world where competition is consuming more and creating new needs, it is clear that we all feel lonely until we all become Jokers with artificial smiles. In a world that is more like a racetrack or the Colosseum of Gladiators than the Garden of Epicurus, one does not feel at ease. As long as gunpowder is produced, the trade of fear prevents the feeling of security; And as long as there is no sense of security, the minister of loneliness can do nothing.

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