domingo, 30 de septiembre de 2018
The blindness of the totalitarian
In societies that feel, and are reasonably well organized, what are known as open societies, individuals often willingly accept the relative situation in which they find themselves. They know that, although their situation is not entirely due to their merits and effort, they can choose to adapt to what is there and try to be happy, but also try something, improve, change, try to be different.
To the extent that we have evolved towards highly competitive societies, it is evident that we will always find a higher than desirable number of people who are unadapted and dissatisfied with their destiny, and that this situation will not always be due to factors that these people could have overcome. For those cases, undoubtedly, we must foresee solutions that rationalize solidarity and that guarantee a sufficient level of subsistence and decorum resources.
Among the reasons that can make a person feel unfairly treated, we can distinguish those of an objective nature and those that respond to exaggerated expectations. For example, a scientist may consider that he has failed if he does not get the Nobel Prize, but he could hardly argue that this is a reasonable criterion for estimating the success of an investigator. The causes of supposed failure that deserve a more objective examination are those that affect larger groups. There needs to be something more consistent than a hazy feeling of dissatisfaction to think seriously about a bad target that should be remedied.
When we debate whether we live in a better world than in the past, it is often confused with regrettable carelessness, objective data (life expectancy, educational level, effective freedoms or economic development) with much more objectionable perceptions ( as regional differences or forms of inequality) that respond more to unfulfilled expectations than to objective deficiencies. This happens, above all, because both capitalism and technology have accustomed us to want without limit, to think that we have a kind of right to any conceivable good.
The blindness of the totalitarian consists in his inability to recognize that not all inequalities are unjust and that not all satisfied demands produce contentment. But, above all, his voluntary blindness consists in systematically and maliciously ignoring the relationship that actually exists between the evils that they seek to combat and the goods and advantages that their policies effectively seek.
The attempt to turn democratic politics into a gigantic mechanism capable of providing all kinds of free and inexhaustible goods is what legitimates, supposedly, the recourse of these new revolutionaries to an integral politicization of our civic conscience, to sustain a vision according to the which the origin and the cause of all the conceivable evils is found in the democratic system itself, because it does not seem to them but a false democracy everything that means pluralism and separation of powers, the Constitution and the set of laws that can not be submitted to discussion without a serious risk of causing the collapse of the rule of law.
The absorption of everything by politics is essential to totalitarianism, the ideology that promises to free us from any conceivable misfortunes, from all envy and resentment through universal equalization in misery, although it usually hides that it pretends to do so while preserving only the welfare of the few calls to administer the new paradises.
This totalitarianism of the universal and timeless causes intends to steal our privacy and expropriates our beliefs, precisely because it pretends that the unique citizens, with their stories, merits and lacks on their shoulders, become pieces without awareness of a new and wonderful political contraption.
Totalitarianism does not admit limits, it is pure antipolitics, and for that reason it resorts without stopping to remember the past, systematically ignoring what in the present exists of overcoming, attributing to the now the worst vices of yesterday, those that really existed and those that invented and it explodes with absolute impudence.
Of this class of politicians Ortega said that tend to turn off the lights for all cats turn brown, simply because all these deliberate confusions catalyze the tendency to disaster that always threatens societies in which there are a minimum of freedoms, some fractures and weaknesses that constitute the true hope of the totalitarian, the illusion of those who, among them, are fools and the criminal of those who aspire simply to be our tyrants.
Excertp of La ceguera del totalitario by J.L. González Quirós, published on Disidentia.com