Before I begin with my thoughts on the Goddess Eris, I would ask that you read the following from Hesiod:
Hesiod, Works and Days 11 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
“It was never true that there was only one Eris (Strife). There have always been two on earth. There is one you could like when you understand her. The other is hateful. The two Erites have separate natures. There is one Eris who builds up evil war, and slaughter. She is harsh; no man loves her, but under compulsion and by will of the immortals, men promote this rough Eris (Strife). But the other one was born the elder daughter of black Nyx (Night). The son [Zeus] of Kronos (Cronus), who sits on high and dwells in the bright air set her in the roots of the earth and among men; she is far kinder. She pushes the shiftless man to work, for all his laziness. A man looks at his neighbour, who is rich: then he too wants work; for the rich man presses on with his ploughing and planting and ordering of his estate. So the neighbour envies the neighbour who presses on toward wealth. Such Eris (Strife) is a good friend to mortals.”
It is the Eris that is the friend to mortals that I would like to discuss in light of today’s world. With all of the strife that is in the world, there is a lot of emphasis on the first Eris, but the Eris that prompts us to better ourselves, no matter our situations, is often ignored.
Yes, she often manifests in the form of social movements towards justice as these movements CAN cause discord. However as things like the Women’s March and Climate March demonstrate; Eris IS acting to stir people to action on things that benefit both themselves and others. Eris is also acting to create more public interest in our systems of governance. This is important because many people had become complacent in the major Democratic and Republican nation-states in the world. Things like the elections of Trump in the United States and Macron in France demonstrate the differing world-views that have come to the fore in our discourse.
Also, the way that nations are coming together in the struggle against Da’esh is one of the ways that BOTH Erites are in play at once. This struggle is one that I feel is a positive one as it illustrates the struggle against an ideology that can be dangerous to the peoples of the surrounding nations — regardless of religious affiliation — and I think that is important too.