In search of the lost utopia | Opinion

The time for solidarity seems to have been lost forever. We live in times of despair, ignominy and violence. We live crushed by the oppression of authoritarian, secular or religious regimes, or in submission to democratic regimes completely shackled by the dictatorship of the markets. The former oppress individuals without contemplation, destroying their ideas and pretensions of creative or experiential freedom, the latter enslave through poverty. The former create concentration and re-education camps, the latter extreme poverty camps. There is no doubt that life in liberal democracies is preferable, but we must not run the risk of confusing them with true freedom. They are not utopias, they are little more than mirages.

This geopolitical configuration is not new, but rapid socioeconomic transformations have made the balance between these opposing conceptions increasingly fragile. Dictatorships and oppressive regimes use the shackles of neoliberal economics to perfect their submission mechanisms. Neoliberal democracies shamelessly flirt with the authoritarianism of dictatorships. Trump, Bolsonaro and Órban, just to name the most caricatured political leaders of our time, dreamed and continue to dream of the absolute power of a few dictators. In fact, they actively tried to gain full control of their countries and failed due to the lack of Machiavellianism in their plans.

Irreversible damage was avoided but the battle had barely begun. The driving forces of this imbalance are lurking in all neoliberal democracies, perfecting their demagogic and sophist methodology, looking in Nazi-fascism manuals and in the writings of Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong for instruments of collective hypnosis. The aim is always to confuse and create a set of caricatural simplifications that explain most of the problems of existing democracies, without any commitment to the factual truth. What matters is likelihood, the appearance of a causal connection between facts that are arbitrarily and conveniently selected.

In these times, Goebbles’ formula is the oracular maxim: repeat the lie so that the masses think it is the truth. And the specific selling points are well known: austerity is the only credible blueprint for economic prosperity; tragedies and/or pandemics are not, or, when they are, they affect everyone “democratically”; invasions are not wars; Nazis and extremists are others; the aggressors are the saviors and the missiles they launch do not kill, do not injure or destroy; Markets are a superior form of rationality…

The intellectual instrument of these fables is instrumental rationality and the virtuous use of the means of social communication. It is this instrumental rationality that materializes in the “banal evil” discussed a long time ago by Hanna Arendt and in the Eclipse of Reason by Max Horkheimer.

And today there is an endless arsenal of means to propagate all kinds of sophistry and conspiracy theories, dressing them up in plausibility: media under the tutelage of totalitarian states or under the overwhelming pressure of economic interests; social networks devoid of real filters or equipped with shamelessly idiosyncratic filters; armies of volunteers to propagate lies (the ubiquitous “fake news”); artificial intelligence programs to detect rising political trends that are favorable to the powers that be and reinforce them through the concentration of pseudo-news and corroborative facts; a docile, uninformed and alienated public opinion. Listening to Putin is like going back to Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s, just substitute Jews for Ukrainians or Sudetenland for Donbass.

And our local version of the demagogue is no less unspeakable. We can only hope it never has the same power.

How long before we witness a rerun of Cristal Night in a country that we thought was a solid democracy? The murder of citizens by law enforcement agents or by militias has become commonplace in many so-called democratic countries. But it is often heard that these realities are not repeated. In fact, history only repeats itself through gross caricature, observed Marx; however, the present time propitiates the grotesque. The morbid, the violent, the unworthy is the menu of our days. Those who seek the lucidity of universal values ​​can only expect mockery, criticism, the pitfalls that often lead to public lynching.

The international mechanisms and institutions created after the Second World War are totally discredited and unable to solve the most pressing problems. The value system being created only values ​​selfishness and material wealth. It is inevitable that the sense of the basic principles of humanism is lost. The evil that materializes is widespread and irreversible, but we cannot remain insensitive to the scarce gestures of reconciliation and solidarity. We cannot allow the world to crystallize a new international order that does not contemplate the reaffirmation of the values ​​of equality and solidarity. The persistence of memory and conviction in humanist values ​​must guide us through the unhealthy territories of the present. What we learn from the suffering of the past should fix the bright horizon that we aim for the future.

In this sense, it seems urgent to create an international consensus to profoundly reform the United Nations and end the right of veto of the permanent members of the Security Council. And I think it is absolutely necessary that we begin to discuss a new international order based on values ​​and not on an economic system. By abdicating its neoliberal agenda, the European Union can be a starting point for this experience. It would be truly transformative to extend the experience to Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Even the troubled United States of America, China and Russia would be welcome as members, not ruling powers. The equal rights of all peoples demand it.

Leave a Comment

I want to Sell this domain contact at [email protected]