As in his previous books, the paradigm of the committed Latin American writer, and above all the paradigm of Eduardo Galeano, seems to be reconstructed once again: If we were to remove the ethical code with which each text is read, Mirrors would shatter into brilliant fragments; but it would reflect nothing. If we were to remove the aesthetic mastery with which this book was written it would cease to be memorable.
Like myths, like the mythical thought redeemed by the author, there is no way of separating one part from the whole without altering the sacred order of the cosmos. Each part is not only an alienated fragment but a tiny object that has been unearthed by a principled archeologist.
The tiny object is valuable in its own right, but much is more valuable due to the other fragments that have been organized around it, and these latter become even more valuable due to those fragments that have been lost and that are now revealed in the empty spaces that have been formed, revealing an urn, an entire civilization buried by wind and barbarism.
The first law of the narrator, to not be boring, is respected. The first law of the committed intellectual as well: Even though his conception of the world leads him to think structurally, it is difficult to imagine Eduardo Galeano skipping over any detail. Like a good jeweler of the word who polishes in search of every one of his different reflections, he is equally careful in the publication of his books as works of art.
With each new contribution, this icon of Latin American literature confirms for us that additional formal prizes, like the Cervantes Prize, should not be long in coming. Translated by Bruce Campbell. Someone asks me whether I believe in God and indicates that a one sentence answer will do.
Two at the most. If you are truly interested in my response, you will have to hear me out. If not, good day to you. The question, like so many others, is tricky. It demands of me a clear yes or a clear no. I would have one of those very clear answers if the god about which I am being asked were so clear and well-defined.
Η δωρεάν φιλοξενία έφτασε στο τέλος της
Do you like Santiago? Excuse me, which Santiago? Santiago de Compostela in Spain or Santiago, Chile? Santiago del Estero in Argentina or Santiago Matamoros? Okay, look, my greatest desire is for God to exist. But not just any god. It seems like almost everyone agrees that there is only one God, but if that is true then one must recognize that this is a god with multiple personalities, from multiple religions and with mutual hatred for one another.
The truth is that I cannot believe in a god who inflames the heart for war and who inspires such fear that nobody is capable of making even the slightest change. Which is why dying and killing for that lie is common practice; questioning it a rare heresy. I cannot believe, and much less support, a god who orders people massacred, who is made to the measure and convenience of some nations above others, of some social classes above others, of some genders above others, of some races above others.
A god who for his own entertainment has created some men to be condemned from birth and others to be the select few until death, and a god who, at the same time, is praised for his universality and infinite love. How does one believe in such a selfish, such a mean-spirited god? A criminal god who condemns greed and the accumulation of money and rewards the chosen greedy ones with greater material wealth. How does one believe in a god who instead of liberating subjugates, punishes, and condemns?
How does one believe in a small-minded god who needs the minor politics of a few of the faithful in order to gain votes? How does one believe in a mediocre god who must use bureaucracy on Earth to administer his business in Heaven? How does one believe in a god who allows himself to be manipulated like a child frightened in the night and who every day serves the most repugnant interests on Earth? How does one believe in a god who draws mysterious images on dank walls in order to announce to humanity that we are living in a time of hatreds and wars?
Ir a las entradas
How does one believe in a god who communicates through street-corner charlatans who promise Heaven and threaten Hell to passersby, as if they were real estate agents? Which god are we talking about when we talk about the One and All Powerful God? Is this the same God who sends fanatics to immolate themselves in a market, the same God who sends planes to discharge Hell on children and innocents in his name?
Because we already have our hands full with our own human wickedness. A God who allows his manipulators — who have no peace in their hearts — to speak of the infinite peace of God while they go around condemning those without faith.
Condemning those who have no faith in that tragic madness attributed every day to God. Those terrorists of the soul who go about threatening with Hell — sometimes softly and sometimes shouting — anybody who dares to doubt so much madness. A God, creator of the Universe, who must fit between the narrow walls of consecrated homes and buildings uncursed by man, not so that God has a place but so that God can be put in a place. In a proper place, which is to say, privatized, controlled, circumscribed to a few ideas, a few paragraphs, and at the service of a sect of the self-chosen.
Of course, the classic accusation, established by tradition, for all those who would doubt the real attributes of God is arrogance. The furious preachers, in contrast, do not stop for an instant to reflect upon the infinite arrogance of their claim to belong to, and even guide and administer, the select club of those chosen by the Creator. The only thing I ask of God is that he exist. The chieftain asked if white men could be found there. Then, if God is that being who walks behind his followers in a trance, in all truthfulness, I cannot believe in him.
Why would the Creator confer critical reason on his creatures and then demand of them blind obedience, hallucinatory trembling, uncontrollable hatreds? Why would God prefer believers to thinkers? Why would enlightenment mean the loss of consciousness? Could it be that innocence and obedience get along well? The Bible relates the story of how the teachers of the law brought before Jesus an adulterous woman.
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They intended to stone her to death, as they were required to do by the law of God, which at the time was said to be the law of men as well. The teachers and Pharisees wanted to test Jesus, from which one can induce that Jesus was already well known for his lack of orthodoxy with respect to the most ancient laws. Jesus suggested that whoever was free of sin should cast the first stone.
Thus nobody was able to execute the strict law. In this way, and in many others, the Bible itself has continued transforming itself, despite being a collection of books inspired by God. Religions have always been considered to be great conservative forces which, faced with reformers, became great reactionary forces. The paradox is rooted in the fact that all religion, all sects, have been founded by some subersive, by some rebel or revolutionary. It is not for nothing that history teems with those martyred, persecuted, tortured and assassinated by the political powers of the moment.
The men who were persecuting the adulteress retreated, recognizing in the turn of events their own sins.
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But over the course of history the result has been different. The men who oppress, kill and assassinate the alleged sinners always do so with the justification of some law, some right and in the name of some morality. In his time he was not the only rebel who fought against the Roman Empire. Not coincidentally, he was crucified together with two other prisoners. By association, this was intended to signify that he was just another prisoner being executed. Not even a religious dissident. Not even a political dissident.
Invoking other laws, they eliminated the suberversive who had questioned the Pax Romana and the collaborationism of the aristocracy and of the religious hierarchies of his own people. Everything was carried out according to the laws. But history recognizes them today by their methods. All of the wars and violations of national and international law were committed in defense of the law and sovereign right.
By its sectarian interests, history will judge it. By its methods, its interests shall be known. In Latin America, the role of the Catholic Church has almost always been the role of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who condemned Jesus in defense of the dominant classes.
Now, in the 21st century, the method and the discourses are repeated in Honduras like a crack of the whip from the past. By their methods we know them. The patriotic discourse, the complacency of an upper class trained in the domination of the poor who have no formal education. A class that owns the methods of popular education, which is what the main communication media are. Censorship; the use of the army to carry out their plans; repression of the popular demonstrations; the expulsion of journalists; the expulsion by force of a government elected by democratic vote, its later demand before Interpol, its threat to jail dissidents if they return and its later denial by force of their return.
This stage continues with variations up until the absolutist kings of Europe, passing through the feudal era. In all of these regimes, religion is a central element of cohesion as well as coercion.
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But in the modern period humanist thought includes the idea of universality, of the implicit equality of every human being, the idea of history as a process of reaching toward perfection instead of inevitable corruption, and the concept of morality as a human product relative to a determined historical time. And perhaps the most important idea, from the Arab philosopher Averroes: This period of representative democracy was the most practical form for bringing together the voices of millions of men and women in one house, the Congress or Parlament.
If Humanism pre-exists the techniques for popularizing culture, it is also empowered by them. The printing press, the paperback book, the low-price newspapers of the 19th century, the necessary literacy training of future workers were decisive steps toward democratization. Nonetheless, at the same time the reactionary forces, the dominant forces of the previous period, rapidly conquered these media. Thus, if it was no longer possible to further delay the arrival of representative democracy, it was possible to dominate its instruments.
The medieval sermons in the churches, functional in great measure for the princes and dukes, were reformulated in the media of information and in the media of the new popular culture, like rade, film and television. In the 21st century the renaissance humanist wave continues. And with it continue the instruments to make it possible.
Like the Internet, for example. But so too the contrary forces, the reactions of the powers constituted by the previous stages.
And in the process of struggle they learn to use and dominate the new instruments. While representative democracy has not yet matured, already one see emerging the ideas and instruments necessary for passing on to a stage of direct democracy , participatory and radical. In some countries, as today in Honduras, the reaction is not against this latest stage but the previous one. A kind of late reaction. Even though in appearance it suggests a smaller scale, it has Latin American and universal significance. First because it represents a calling to attention of the recent democratic complacency of the continent; and second because it stimulates the modus operandi of those reactionaries who have always sailed against the currents of history.
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Earlier we noted the proof of why the deposed president of Honduras had not violated the law or the constitution. Now we can see that his proposal of a non-binding popular referendum was a method of transition from a representative democracy toward a direct democracy. Those who interrupted this process reversed it toward the prior stage. The fourth stage was intolerable for a Banana republic mentality that can be recognized by its methods.
The dialectical dispute over the legality of the violent process of removal from office and expulsion from the country of the president of Honduras has not reached closure. Months ago we explained our point of view, according to which there was no violation of the constitution on the part of president Zelaya at the moment of calling for a non-binding poll on the question of a constituent assembly.
But at base this discussion is moot and rooted in a different problem: The main argument of the authors of the coup in Honduras is rooted in the fact that the Constitution does not allow changes in its wording articles and and establishes the removal from power of those who promote such changes. The Law of Citizen Participation of , which promotes popular consultations, was never accused of being unconstitutional.
On the contrary, popular participation is prescribed by the very same constitution article All of which reveals the scholastic spirit of its drafters, nuanced with a humanistic language. Nonetheless, no modern constitution has been dictated by God, but by human beings for their own benefit.
A constitution that establishes its own immutability is confusing its human and precarious origins with a divine origin; or it is attempting to establish the dictatorship of one generation over all generations to come. If this principle of immutability made any sense, we would have to suppose that before the constitution of Honduras could be modified Honduras must first disappear as a country. Otherwise, for a thousand years that country would have to be ruled by the same wording.
The orthodox religious have tried to avoid changes in the Koran and in the Bible by counting the number of words. When societies and their values change but a sacred text cannot be altered, the text is salvaged by interpreting it in favor of the new values. This is clearly demonstrated by the proliferation of sects, isms and new religions that arise from the same text. These pretensions of eternity and perfection were not rare in the Iberoamerican constitutions which in the 19th century attempted to invent republics, instead of allowing the people to invent their own republics and constitutions to their own measure and according to the pulse of history.
If in the United States the constitution of is still in force, it is due to its great flexibility and its many amendments. Otherwise, this country would have today three fifths of a man in the presidency, a quasi-human. The result of a constitution like that of Honduras is none other that its own death, preceded sooner or later by the spilling of blood. Those who claim to defend it will have to do so with force of arms and with the narrow logic of a collection of norms that violate one of the most basic and undeniable natural rights.
For centuries, the philosophers who imagined and articulated the utopias that today are called Democracy, State and Human Rights said so explicitly: And if such a thing were attempted, disobedience is justified. Violence does not originate from disobedience but from he who violates a fundamental right. Politics is for everything else. Negotiation is the concession of the weak. A convenient concession, inevitable, but in the long term always insufficient.
A mature democracy implies a culture and an institutional system that prevent breaks from the rules of the game. But at the same time, and for that same reason, a democracy is defined by allowing and facilitating the inevitable changes that come with a new generation, with the greater historical consciousness of a society.
A constitution that impedes change is illegitimate in the face of the inalienable right to freedom to change and equality to determine change. Against another rival I might have won," Almagro said in Buenos Aires. It goes to show how well David is playing. He went up a gear and I couldn't counter that. However, despite their efforts, both players dropped a place in the ATP ranking published Monday. Leer poesia Spanish Edition. To ask other readers questions about El progreso improductivoplease sign up. Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Refresh and try again. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.
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