This is the world we created. Each time I listen to Trump, Le Pen, Maduro (and/or Chávez), Uribe (and/or ad laterae), Kirchner (the whole gang)… etc, I get angry. I admit it. But never so much, nor with the same astronomic astonishment as when I hear their actual supporters. A venezuelan philosopher used to say that Chavez’s regime was one that did not repress, but rather depressed its oponents. Four years later, Mr. Maduro does both: that’s how anger becomes a public health problem. I have uribist, chavist, madurist (and now suppose also trumpist) friends. I even used to have a taliban friend, who I met in Paris. A decade ago I also met the leader of the “bolivarian circle” of that lovely city. Yes, you read well, in Paris, at such a comfortable place. In the time they jumped from one ideology to other: talibans to lepenists, chavists to trumpists and so on. I think they had no concern, nor a an infinitesimal shadow of contradiction. We don’t argue; we haven’t and we will not. I lost some of my oldest friends in that way, so at some point I just decided to not honour their questions with an answer. But now it has arrived the time for me to say some things, I’m going to vent my heart.
Fear overwhelms us. It is normal. We are human, we have blood in our veins. An old friend of mine, musician by the way, initially antagonized the regime. We lived in a country where political dissent became a crime. Oppositioners began to be prosecuted and banned of public works through a perverse discriminating device: the Tascón list. He needed to survive, and he realized he could make some money by producing short TV programs and other “chavist stuff” with “chavist thinking” (this is neither an oximoron nor a villain joke, thouhg it might sound so). He married a girl, they had a daughter. With a family to care about, he made his decision. He was asked to enter to the chavist side of the border. Progressively he did so, untill he became a “content producer”, which is a double-thinking euphemism for a publicist whose job is to make propaganda or, more clearly, an editor of lies. In the following years, institutional lies through broadcast media turned into a huge machine. The only industry which works better is drug traffick, it moves more money than the now decadent oil industry. To summarize: he had weak points, they exploited them and, in the time, they got him. Would it have been different with me? I don’t think so: that’s why I got away.
This is the world we created. When we vote from our deepest fears, we let Palpatine senators kidnap our republics and countries, hijack our values and hack our cultures. We have seen hordes of fanatics bombing schools and shooting women who want to study; armed civilians supporting Latin American banana dictatorships, who threaten and shoot at elders, women and children without discrimination; gangs of stupids harrasing some people due to their ethnic origin or gender choice, crying at them “Raise the wall!”.
The swastikas that appeared in US this year have the same racist substratum of the antisemitic agression in the Mariperez sinagogue (Caracas, Venezuela) on January 2009, and the bombing of schools in Pakistan. The abusive speech of Mr. Trump is making american politics to fall down the cliff of evil banality. As Mr. Chávez did to latin american democracies, now it is the first-world’s democratic societies of Europe and north america which are being empoisoned on their core values. Whatever is the end, it will be faster if we do not resist. Civilizations dissappear. Species extinguish. Why should it be different with us? But if this is our fate, shouldn’t we just away by a different reason than our own stupidity?
This is the world we created. Thinking on “no conflict” strategies, while there is a contendor looking for our total anihilation, is not realistic. Might it be primitive to say we are good and they are evil; the civilized imposture of negotiating in such conditions is a nonsense. We must stop being tolerant, specially towards intollerants, racists, and other groups with similar antidemocratic agendas. We must stop the academic and intellectual charade, to admit we are dealing with really bad guys: dictators, massive murderers, war criminals, mafia bosses, gun-runners, terrorists and drug dealers, all them disguised as democrats. They are blowing up institutions worldwide. They sabotage the courts and the laws, misprize the congress and despise each single democratic value. From Iran to Russsia, from China to Nicaragua, from Venezuela to Spain and France, from th US to Argentina; they are doing their work very well. While you negotiate, they are are looking how to kill you.
I read the daily comments of a well known academic professor who is a political scientist. He uses to remark that Venezuela is a dictature which should be defeated by democratic ways. His main points are these: (a) If you do not defeat a dictature by votes, then you have to defeat it by gun shots. (b) If you ask a dictator for democratic guarantees before runing any election, he only has to deny you whatever you ask so you don’t run and loose another space. He is right, and I mostly agree all this, which has been the center of the political debate in Venezuela during the last years. I do not live in Venezuela; so I would not instigate anyone to look his/her own death by fighting individually against a regime which does not respect any human right.
Having said all that; I still think that there are a few details which have been lost in the landscape. In Venezuela, negotiations between the regime and the opposition are as naive as those between prime minister Chamberlane and chancellor Hitler. One of the sides argues in bad faith, because it’s not interested on arguments. They are professional provocateurs: that’s the kind of people you are trying to talk to. The venezuelan regime is a more complicated thing than just a simple group of militar fellows decided to hold on to the power at whatever consequences. There is still some opposition but each single person spends more time looking for food or medicines than he/she is able to work daily. The oppression of venezuelan regime on people is absolute: it does not let you think, you have no time. While you try to do so, someone else gets the food. While we discuss with this kind of people; these guys sign contracts, buy weapons, kill students, exile oppositioners, prosecute dissidents, massacre minorities, influence presidential elections in foreign countries, build walls along frontiers with their neighbours.
Totalitarianism is not only identified or diagnosed by the total absense of opposition, which certainly is a major feature. There are other sings such as: (a) The psychological and moral oppresion of all citizens up to the point where everyone thinks that nothing can be done; (b) The indiscriminated violation of everyone’s human rights (political apartheid, absence of medical care for political prisoners); (c) The absolute disparition of collective moral references wich can provide an individual with a hint of his/her own ethical decisions; (d) The systematic incitement to violence against minorities which are labelled as agents of the enemy; (e) The deshumanization of dissidents. All these signs have been noted, from writers as George Orwell to philosophers as Hanna Arendt. All these are happening in the Venezuela of Chavez&Maduro. They happened in the USSR of Stalin, and the Germany of Hitler. But, of course, the Soviet Union had Solschenitzin and nazi Germany had Hans and Sophie Scholl. So neither these nor the venezuelan case are, “strictly speaking”, totalitarian regimes “but just militar dictatures”. Does this make sense? When a public academic decides to assume such a reductive criterion, when he/she refuses to call such regimes by their name, this is not an intellectual imposture but a political decision with consequences.
This is the world we created. When I was a kid, the president of the US was Ronald Reagan. People talked a lot about the Star Wars, not the film by George Lucas, but the military program which intended to carry a preventive nuclear war against the russians.
Everybody had the paranoia of a fool nuclear physicist pressing the red button and destroying the planet in a few seconds. Also, and maybe because of that, an important number of people were living for today, as would say John Lennon. After all, we were in the road of the 3rd WW, a nuclear one. It was not an arcade game. Somehow it is perversely funny that 40 years later we have a real risk of nuclear war between North Corea and the US, but we don’t pay much more attention. We are busy enough with Twitter and Whatsapp. These guys do so because we let them. We decided to sit down and look the moovie while they destroy the world of tolerance, human rights and equality of opportunities. It is a tragedy for humanity that the countries of the allied forces, which fought the 2nd WW in order to preserve democratic values, are now letting the poison raise inside them.
There are millions of children, women and young men who will not know democracy, as we did. We are now in the same point of our grandfathers. Democracy is too much important to be left to politicians. War is too much important to be left to military. I would not send anyone to war, nor would I encourage it. But, if you need me, you know where to find me. Not to fight is not an option. Not to resist is inmoral.
By doing or by letting go, this is the world we created.