For the sake of not being too dull, I came by this term while looking up some architectural theories. Simply put, I would define “Hegemony” as rule via implied power, rather than direct force. Sadly, there was no Wikipedia page in Arabic for Hegemony.
Wiktionary defined Hegemony in a more cultural scope (wiktionary source):
“Dominance of one social group over another, such that the ruling group or “hegemon” acquires some degree of consent from the subordinate, as opposed to dominance purely by force“
And another sociological definition of hegemony I found was this (source):
“‘Hegemony’ in this case [cultural hegemony] means the success of the dominant classes in presenting their definition of reality, their view of the world, in such a way that it is accepted by other classes as ‘common sense’. The general ‘consensus’ is that it is the only sensible way of seeing the world. Any groups who present an alternative view are therefore marginalized.”
Interesting idea, no? Anyway, this is such a defining idea of how our lives are being run right now, and probably quite easily so. It kind of makes you reconsider everything you know and what created it, especially the current state in which Amman’s culture stands. In Amman (the way I see it), we have two very strong contestants for the title of “hegemon”. The very conservative, and the very liberal, and then there are those swept by the flow who are just everything in between. Thus, there is no king and slave, there are just contenders; two sides who have a different agenda for what the “culture/common sense/right path/truth” should be. Discipline vs. , security vs. risk, coffee vs. beer. It is like the mess before everything settles down, and a common culture is finally born.
And if you read the second part of the last quote, you can find that it can be applied Amman’s society that is marginalizing the other part. The “nawar” who are uneducated and prevent our growth are marginalized by their fellow countrymen, and the “fafi” who are ruining our culture as Arabs are also marginalized by their fellow countrymen.
If you think about that even more, you realize that each of these groups are led by some other “hegemon”:
The “fafi” who are led by western brain-numbing media and blindly follow the newly developing trends within the constantly growing globalized culture, via the internet and other media.
The “nawar” who are led by brain-numbing extremist preaches and blindly follow the laws within the rigid constant, time-proven framework of a long-surviving dogma.
[Disclaimer, I am not trying to say I am with or against any side, I am merely trying to organize them such that it’s easy to understand the perceived extremes]
“According to Gramsci’s view there are on the one hand the dominant classes who seek to contain and incorporate all thought and behaviour within the terms and limits they set in accordance with their interests. On the other hand there are the dominated or subordinate classes who attempt to maintain and to further the validity and effectiveness of their own definitions of reality.” (source)
Thinking about the subject actually, the divide and conquer strategy could also be easily defined via reference to Hegemony. A place/country without a hegemon is more easily controlled (just like that straws-banding-together story from when we were kids) due to the lack of stability in culture. That, in turn, allows those who struggle to become the hegemon in that country’s scale, and those who await the resulting culture are the subordinates; i.e the struggle itself is the hegemon, and the subordinate is peace. This then creates a confused society, in which the struggle to survive is the norm that the culture is defined by, since no side wins and gets to create a solid ground for a consistent culture. Selfish thinking hoping only to survive, and greed when it comes to wealth and materials due to the inconsistency. Sound familiar?
It’s the war economy that dominates such a place. The fact that it is an economy pretty much points to a designed system. And that’s how you divide and conquer; give them weapons, allow the culture of struggle to sustain, and prevent the growth of peaceful thoughts. Then give a facade to the rest of the world to assure them that they are doing their best and that they should not worry about such “god-forsaken” lands, and that it’s out of their control as petty, money-less pawns.
I think that is exactly what confuses/bothers people and prevents any small itch of rebellion to rise. The countless facades that exist, the many that are revealed, and those that are not. People do not know what to believe anymore, further breeding apathy and helplessness.
Well anyway, that was just a small rant that came to mind after reading a bit about “Hegemony”. You could choose to believe that the world is run by people or that it is just a free-flowing system just like everything in nature. But whatever you end up thinking it is, I disrespectfully agree.