05 November 2019 ~ 20 Comentarios

EL GRAN DESCUBRIMIENTO

Por Fernando Londoño

Más de ciento veinte indígenas asesinados después, más de ochenta muchachos del ejército y la policía mutilados después, más de decenas de miles de desplazados después, más de otras decenas de miles, pero de barriles de crudo vertidos en las selvas después, más de miles de niños campesinos reclutados después, el señor Presidente Duque acaba de descubrir que el narcotráfico es el combustible de todas las guerras que Colombia padece. ¡En buena hora!

Este doloroso y costoso aprendizaje lo hubiera hecho el señor Presidente, no en quince meses sino en quince minutos, si no hubiese tenido pena de preguntarle a su gran y único elector, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, qué pasaba en este país que iba a gobernar. Ese pudor ha resultado muy caro.

Pero ya en el plan sincero en que andaría el Presidente de preguntar, vale la pena intentar otras economías de tiempo, recordándole qué hizo Uribe para derrotar ese “combustible de todas las guerras” que se acaba de descubrir.

Lo primero, Ilustrísimo Presidente, fumigar, fumigar y fumigar. El glifosato está disponible en todas las llamadas agrotiendas del país, con el nombre de Round Up. Los aviones se consiguen, en compra o en arriendo, sin dificultad. No faltan pilotos experimentados y valerosos que hagan la tarea. Agréguele a la fórmula un par de pantalones bien amarrados, que Uribe le puede indicar cómo se consiguen, y ya está. Es el  imprescindible comienzo.

Decídase enseguida por la tarea inaplazable e inevitable de quitarle los bienes a los narcos, porque ellos no usan el “combustible” de que hablamos por honor, ni por pasión política, ni por maldad, sino por plata. Para quitárselas, en esa faena que usted llamaba en su campaña la extinción de dominio express y que de Presidente, tan ocupado como anda en tantas cosas, olvidó del todo, busque una persona ideal, la primera experta que hay en América sobre el tema, la doctora Sara Magnolia Salazar. Ella anda ocupada, recorriendo todos los países de este continente, explicando el asunto y poniéndolo en marcha, pero le aseguro que preferiría hacerlo en Colombia.

Si usted llama a la doctora Sara Magnolia y le da esa responsabilidad, las sentencias no se demorarían 15 o 20 años como ahora, sino ocho o diez meses como cuando ella era juez de la materia. Y llame también al Coronel Alfonso Plazas Vega, quien le indicará cómo se maneja, verdad para Dios, una Dirección Nacional de Estupefacientes que funcione. No se arrepentirá.

No olvide otro condimento esencial de la receta: la extradición. No se deje de la JEP, impóngase y demuestre eficaz su alianza con los Estados Unidos y con los países del mundo que quieran acabar con la tiranía de los narcotraficantes. Acá se mueren de la risa de sus jueces y de sus cárceles, señor Presidente. Allá se les interrumpe el circuito multimillonario de sus intereses malditos.

Los narcotraficantes que se han tolerado como miembros del Congreso, andan muy dedicados a sacar otra ley que los consagra, que tiene por objeto dizque favorecer a los pobres agricultores que no tienen más remedio que sembrar, cultivar y venderle coca a los carteles para sobrevivir. No crea ese cuento, como no lo creía el señor Uribe Vélez, a quien usted por vergüenza no le pregunta cómo gobernar. Esos supuestos pobres campesinos son eslabones indispensables de la cadena del desastre. Muchos se fueron a las zonas cocaleras, llegados de otras partes de Colombia, solamente para enriquecerse. ¿Se ha preguntado usted dónde andan los jóvenes de las regiones cafeteras de Colombia? Metidos en el ciclo mortal de la cocaína, Presidente. Dígales que se acabó el juego y que si se obstinan en mantenerse en campamentos cocaleros les va a ir muy mal, porque en Colombia no quedará espacio para los traficantes de la cocaína. Pero dígalo en serio, no en esos discursos tan bonitos, o así le parecen, que pronuncia en todas partes y que todos olvidan, usted el primero. Pregunte cuántas hectáreas de coca quedaban en el Catatumbo cuando se fue Uribe y cuántas de palma de aceite se sembraron allá mismo mientras Uribe fue Presidente. El propio Uribe Vélez se lo dice y le agrega otros detalles.

La receta es sencilla, pero costosa, Presidente. Quien la aplique tendrá el odio de muchos que jurarán y practicarán crueles venganzas. Sus amigos ponen bombas y bombas que matan. Sus simpatizantes escriben columnas indignadas en los periódicos y las revistas. No habrá día que no lo calumnien y no le inventen algún proceso en las Cortes, que les pertenecen y dominan.

Usted verá qué hace. Si después de descubrir lo que acaba de descubrir se resuelve a cumplir su deber, tome el camino del sacrificio y del heroísmo. Si no se resuelve, el combustible de que hablamos seguirá incendiando esta Patria que amamos. Usted dirá.

20 Responses to “EL GRAN DESCUBRIMIENTO”

  1. Manuel 5 November 2019 at 8:34 pm Permalink

    “Liberalism made the modern world, but the modern world is turning against it,” an article in The Economist lamented last year, on the occasion of the magazine’s hundred-and-seventy-fifth anniversary. “Europe and America are in the throes of a popular rebellion against liberal élites, who are seen as self-serving and unable, or unwilling, to solve the problems of ordinary people,” even as authoritarian China is poised to become the world’s largest economy. For a publication that was founded “to campaign for liberalism,” all of this was “profoundly worrying.”
    The crisis in liberalism has become received wisdom across the political spectrum. Barack Obama included Patrick Deneen’s “Why Liberalism Failed” (2018) in his annual list of recommended books; meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has gleefully pronounced liberalism “obsolete.” The right accuses liberals of promoting selfish individualism and crass materialism at the expense of social cohesion and cultural identity. Centrists claim that liberals’ obsession with political correctness and minority rights drove white voters to Donald Trump. For the newly resurgent left, the rise of demagoguery looks like payback for the small-government doctrines of technocratic neoliberalism—tax cuts, privatization, financial deregulation, antilabor legislation, cuts in Social Security—which have shaped policy in Europe and America since the eighties.
    Attacks on liberalism are nothing new. In 1843, the year The Economist was founded, Karl Marx wrote, “The glorious robes of liberalism have fallen away, and the most repulsive despotism stands revealed for all the world to see.” Nietzsche dismissed John Stuart Mill, the author of the canonical liberal text “On Liberty” (1859), as a “numbskull.” In colonized Asia and Africa, critics—such as R. C. Dutt, in India, and Sun Yat-sen, in China—pointed out liberalism’s complicity in Western imperialism. Muhammad Abduh, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, wrote, “Your liberalness, we see plainly, is only for yourselves.” (Mill, indeed, had justified colonialism on the ground that it would lead to the improvement of “barbarians.”) From a different vantage, critiques came from aspiring imperialist powers, such as Germany (Carl Schmitt), Italy (Gaetano Salvemini), and Japan (Tokutomi Sohō). Since then, Anglo-American thinkers such as Reinhold Niebuhr and John Gray have pointed out liberalism’s troubled relationship with democracy and human rights, and its overly complacent belief in reason and progress.
    Yet the sheer variety of criticisms of liberalism makes it hard to know right away what precisely is being criticized. Liberalism’s ancestry has been traced back to John Locke’s writings on individual reason, Adam Smith’s economic theory, and the empiricism of David Hume, but today the doctrine seems to contain potentially contradictory elements. The philosophy of individual liberty connotes both a desire for freedom from state regulation in economic matters (a stance close to libertarianism) and a demand for the state to insure a minimal degree of social and economic justice—the liberalism of the New Deal and of European welfare states. The iconic figures of liberalism themselves moved between these commitments. Mill, even while supporting British imperialism in India and Ireland, called himself a socialist and outlined the aim of achieving “common ownership in the raw materials of the globe.” The Great Depression forced John Dewey to conclude that “the socialized economy is the means of free individual development.” Isaiah Berlin championed the noninterference of the state in 1958, in his celebrated lecture “Two Concepts of Liberty”; but eleven years later he had come to believe that such “negative liberty” armed “the able and ruthless against the less gifted and less fortunate.”
    Because of this conceptual morass, liberalism has, to an unusual degree, been defined by what it wasn’t. For French liberals in the early nineteenth century, it was a defense against the excesses of Jacobins and ultra-monarchists. For the free-trading Manchester Liberals of the mid-nineteenth century, it was anticolonial. Liberals in Germany, on the other hand, were allied with both nationalists and imperialists. In the twentieth century, liberalism became a banner under which to march against Communism and Fascism. Recent scholars have argued that it wasn’t until liberalism became the default “other” of totalitarian ideologies that inner coherence and intellectual lineage were retrospectively found for it. Locke, a devout Christian, was not regarded as a philosopher of liberalism until the early twentieth century. Nor was the word “liberal” part of U.S. political discourse before that time. When Lionel Trilling claimed, in 1950, that liberalism in America was “not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition,” the term was becoming a catchall signifier of moral prestige, variously synonymous with “democracy,” “capitalism,” and even simply “the West.” Since 9/11, it has seemed more than ever to define the West against such illiberal enemies as Islamofascism and Chinese authoritarianism.
    The Economist proudly enlists itself in this combative Anglo-American tradition, having vigorously claimed to be advancing the liberal cause since its founding. In “Liberalism at Large” (Verso), Alexander Zevin, a historian at the City University of New York, takes it at its word, telling the story not only of the magazine itself but also of its impact on world affairs. Using The Economist as a proxy for liberalism enables Zevin to sidestep much conceptual muddle about the doctrine. His examination of The Economist’s pronouncements and of the policies of those who heeded them yields, in effect, a study of several liberalisms as they have been widely practiced in the course of a hundred and seventy-five years. The magazine emerges as a force that—thanks to the military, cultural, and economic power of Britain and, later, America—can truly be said to have made the modern world, if not in the way that many liberals would suppose.
    In terms of its influence, The Economist has long been a publication like no other. Within a decade of its founding, Marx was describing it as the organ of “the aristocracy of finance.” In 1895, Woodrow Wilson called it “a sort of financial providence for businessmen on both sides of the Atlantic.” (Wilson, an Anglophile, wooed his evidently forbearing wife with quotations from Walter Bagehot, the most famous of The Economist’s editors.) For years, the magazine was proud of the exclusivity of its readership. Now it has nearly a million subscribers in North America (more than in Britain), and seven hundred thousand in the rest of the world. Since the early nineties, it has served, alongside the Financial Times, as the suavely British-accented voice of globalization (scoring over the too stridently partisan and American Wall Street Journal).
    According to its own statistics, its readers are the richest and the most prodigal consumers of all periodical readers; more than twenty per cent once claimed ownership of “a cellar of vintage wines.” Like Aston Martin, Burberry, and other global British brands, The Economist invokes the glamour of élitism. “It’s lonely at the top,” one of its ads says, “but at least there’s something to read.” Its articles, almost all of which are unsigned, were until recently edited from an office in St. James’s, London, a redoubt of posh Englishness, with private clubs, cigar merchants, hatters, and tailors. The present editor, Zanny Minton Beddoes, is the first woman ever to hold the position. The staff, predominantly white, is recruited overwhelmingly from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and a disproportionate number of the most important editors have come from just one Oxford college, Magdalen. “Lack of diversity is a benefit,” Gideon Rachman, a former editor who is now a columnist at the Financial Times, told Zevin, explaining that it produces an assertive and coherent point of view. Indeed, contributors are not shy about adding prescription (how to fix India’s power problems, say) to their reporting and analysis. The pieces are mostly short, but the coverage is comprehensive; a single issue might cover the insurgency in south Thailand, public transportation in Jakarta, commodities prices, and recent advances in artificial intelligence. This air of crisp editorial omniscience insures that the magazine is as likely to be found on an aspirant think tanker’s iPad in New Delhi as it is on Bill Gates’s private jet.
    Zevin, having evidently mastered the magazine’s archives, commands a deep knowledge of its inner workings and its historical connection to political and economic power. He shows how its editors and contributors pioneered the revolving doors that link media, politics, business, and finance—alumni have gone on to such jobs as deputy governor of the Bank of England, Prime Minister of Britain, and President of Italy—and how such people have defined, at crucial moments in history, liberalism’s ever-changing relationship with capitalism, imperialism, democracy, and war.
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    A capsule version of this thesis can be found in the career of James Wilson, The Economist’s founder and first editor. Wilson, who was born in Scotland and became the owner of a struggling hatmaking business, intended his journal to develop and disseminate the doctrine of laissez-faire—“nothing but pure principles,” as he put it. He was particularly vociferous in his opposition to the Corn Laws, agricultural tariffs that were unpopular with merchants. The Corn Laws were repealed in 1846, three years after the magazine first appeared, and Wilson began to proselytize more energetically for free trade and the increasingly prominent discipline of economics. He became a Member of Parliament and held several positions in the British government. He also founded a pan-Asian bank, now known as Standard Chartered, which expanded fast on the back of the opium trade with China. In 1859, Wilson became Chancellor of the Indian Exchequer. He died in India the following year, trying to reconfigure the country’s financial system.
    During his short career as a journalist-cum-crusader, Wilson briskly clarified what he meant by “pure principles.” He opposed a ban on trading with slaveholding countries on the ground that it would punish slaves as well as British consumers. In the eighteen-forties, when Ireland was struck with famine, which was largely caused by free trade—the British insisted on exporting Irish food, despite catastrophic crop failure—Wilson called for a homeopathic remedy: more free trade. With Irish intransigence becoming a nuisance, he advised the British to respond with “powerful, resolute, but just repression.” Wilson was equally stern with those suffering from rising inequality at home. In his view, the government was wrong to oblige rail companies to provide better service for working-class passengers, who were hitherto forced to travel in exposed freight cars: “Where the most profit is made, the public is best served. Limit the profit, and you limit the exertion of ingenuity in a thousand ways.” A factory bill limiting women to a twelve-hour workday was deemed equally pernicious. As for public schooling, common people should be “left to provide education as they provide food for themselves.”
    The Economist held that, “if the pursuit of self-interest, left equally free for all, does not lead to the general welfare, no system of government can accomplish it.” But this opposition to government intervention, it turned out, did not extend to situations in which liberalism appeared to be under threat. In the eighteen-fifties, Zevin writes, the Crimean War, the Second Opium War, and the Indian Mutiny “rocked British liberalism at home and recast it abroad.” Proponents of free trade had consistently claimed that it was the best hedge against war. However, Britain’s expansion across Asia, in which free trade was often imposed at gunpoint, predictably provoked conflict, and, for The Economist, wherever Britain’s “imperial interests were at stake, war could become an absolute necessity, to be embraced.”
    This betrayal of principle alienated, among others, the businessman and statesman Richard Cobden, who had helped Wilson found The Economist, and had shared his early view of free trade as a guarantee of world peace. India, for Cobden, was a “country we do not know how to govern,” and Indians were justified in rebelling against an inept despotism. For Wilson’s Economist, however, Indians, like the Irish, exemplified the “native character … half child, half savage, actuated by sudden and unreasoning impulses.” Besides, “commerce with India would be at an end were English power withdrawn.” The next editor, Wilson’s son-in-law Walter Bagehot, broadened the magazine’s appeal and gave its opinions a more seductive intellectual sheen. But the editorial line remained much the same. During the American Civil War, Bagehot convinced himself that the Confederacy, with which he was personally sympathetic, could not be defeated by the Northern states, whose “other contests have been against naked Indians and degenerate and undisciplined Mexicans.” He also believed that abolition would best be achieved by a Southern victory. More important, trade with the Southern states would be freer.
    Discussing these and other editorial misjudgments, Zevin refrains from virtue signalling and applying anachronistic standards. He seems genuinely fascinated by how the liberal vision of individual freedom and international harmony was, as Niebuhr once put it, “transmuted into the sorry realities of an international capitalism which recognized neither moral scruples nor political restraints in expanding its power over the world.” Part of the explanation lies in Zevin’s sociology of élites, in which liberalism emerges as a self-legitimating ideology of a rich, powerful, and networked ruling class. Private ambition played a significant role. Bagehot stood for Parliament four times as a member of Britain’s Liberal Party. Born into a family of bankers, he saw himself and his magazine as offering counsel to a new generation of buccaneering British financiers. His tenure coincided with the age of capital, when British finance transformed the world economy, expanding food cultivation in North America and Eastern Europe, cotton manufacturing in India, mineral extraction in Australia, and rail networks everywhere. According to Zevin, “it fell to Bagehot’s Economist to map this new world, tracing the theoretical insights of political economy to the people and places men of business were sending their money.”
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    “And, for being careless with the environment, put tiny, hard-to-remove stickers on all their fruit.”
    The pressures of capitalist expansion abroad and rising disaffection at home further transformed liberal doctrine. Zevin fruitfully describes how liberals coped with the growing demand for democracy. Bagehot had read and admired John Stuart Mill as a young man, but, as an editor, he agreed with him on little more than the need to civilize the natives of Ireland and India. To Bagehot, Mill’s idea of broadly extending suffrage to women seemed absurd. Nor could he support Mill’s proposal to enfranchise the laboring classes in Britain, reminding his readers that “a political combination of the lower classes, as such and for their own objects, is an evil of the first magnitude. ”Not surprisingly, The Economist commended Mussolini (a devoted reader) for sorting out an Italian economy destabilized by labor unrest.
    Nonetheless, by the early twentieth century, the magazine was groping toward an awareness that, in an advanced industrial society, classical liberalism had to be moderated, and that progressive taxation and basic social-welfare systems were the price of defusing rising discontent. The magazine has since presented this volte-face as evidence of its pragmatic liberalism. Zevin reveals it as a grudging response to democratic pressures from below. Moreover, there were clear limits to The Economist’s newfound compassionate liberalism. As late as 1914, one editor, Francis Hirst, was still denouncing “the shrieking, struggling, fighting viragoes” who had demanded the right to vote despite having no capacity for reason. His comparison of suffragettes to Russian and Turkish marauders—pillaging “solemn vows, ties of love and affection, honor, romance”—helped drive his own wife to suffragism.
    As more people acquired the right to vote, and as market mechanisms failed, empowering autocrats and accelerating international conflicts, The Economist was finally forced to compromise the purity of its principles. In 1943, in a book celebrating the centenary of the magazine, its editor at the time acknowledged that larger electorates saw “inequality and insecurity” as a serious problem. The Economist disagreed with the socialists “not on their objective, but only on the methods they proposed for attaining it.” Such a stance mirrored a widespread acceptance on both sides of the Atlantic that governments should do more to protect citizens from an inherently volatile economic system. Since the nineteen-sixties, however, The Economist has steadily reinstated its foundational ideals.
    In the process, it missed an opportunity to reconfigure for the postcolonial age a liberalism forged during the high noon of imperialism. The emergence of new, independent nation-states across Asia and Africa from the late forties onward was arguably the most important development of the twentieth century. Liberalism faced a new test among a great majority of the world’s population: Could newly sovereign peoples, largely poor and illiterate, embrace free markets and minimize government right away? Would such a policy succeed without prior government-led investment in public health, education, and local manufacturing? Even a Cold War liberal like Raymond Aron questioned the efficacy of Western-style liberalism in Asia and Africa. But The Economist seemed content to see postcolonial nations and their complex challenges through the Cold War’s simple dichotomy of the “free” and the “unfree” world. In any case, by the seventies, the magazine’s editors were increasingly taking their inspiration from economics departments and think tanks, where the pure neoliberal principles of Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek were dominant, rather than from such liberal theorists of justice as John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Amartya Sen.
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    “Uh-oh—we can’t both be dreaming.”
    In the nineteen-eighties, The Economist’s cheerleading for Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan’s embrace of neoliberalism led to a dramatic rise in its American circulation. (Reagan personally thanked the magazine’s editor for his support over dinner.) Dean Acheson famously remarked that “Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role.” No such status anxiety inhibited The Economist as it crossed the Atlantic to make new friends and influence more people. After the Second World War, when the U.S. emerged as the new global hegemon, the magazine—despite some initial resentment, commonplace among British élites at the time—quickly adjusted itself to the Pax Americana. It came to revere the U.S. as, in the words of one editor, “a giant elder brother, a source of reassurance, trust and stability for weaker members of the family, and nervousness and uncertainty for any budding bullies.”
    This meant stalwart support for American interventions abroad, starting with Vietnam, where, as the historian and former staff writer Hugh Brogan tells Zevin, the magazine’s coverage was “pure CIA propaganda.” It euphemized the war’s horrors, characterizing the My Lai massacre as “minor variations on the general theme of the fallibility of men at war.” By 1972, following the saturation bombing of North Vietnam, the magazine was complaining that Henry Kissinger was too soft on the North Vietnamese. A policy of fealty to the giant elder brother also made some campaigners for liberalism a bit too prone to skulduggery. Zevin relates colorful stories about the magazine’s overzealous Cold Warriors, such as Robert Moss, who diligently prepared international opinion for the military coup in Chile in 1973, which brought down its democratically elected leader, Salvador Allende. In Moss’s view, “Chile’s generals reached the conclusion that democracy does not have the right to commit suicide.” (The generals expressed their gratitude by buying and distributing nearly ten thousand copies of the magazine.) Zevin relates that, when news of Allende’s death reached Moss in London, he danced down the corridors of The Economist’s office, chanting, “My enemy is dead!” Moss went on to edit a magazine owned by Anastasio Somoza, Nicaragua’s U.S.-backed dictator.
    After the fall of Communist regimes in 1989, The Economist embraced a fervently activist role in Russia and Eastern Europe, armed with the mantras of privatization and deregulation. In its pages, the economist Jeffrey Sachs, who was then working to reshape “transition economies” in the region, coined the term “shock therapy” for these policies. The socioeconomic reëngineering was brutal—salaries and public services collapsed—and, in 1998, Russia’s financial system imploded. Only a few months before this disaster, The Economist was still hailing the “dynamism, guile and vision” of Anatoly Chubais, the politician whose sale of Russia’s assets to oligarchs had by then made him the most despised public figure in the country. In 2009, a study in The Lancet estimated that “shock therapy” had led to the premature deaths of millions of Russians, mostly men of employment age. The Economist was unrepentant, insisting that “Russia’s tragedy was that reform came too slowly, not too fast.”
    “Who can trust Trump’s America?” a recent Economist cover story asked, forlornly surveying the ruins of the Pax Americana. The political earthquakes of the past few years perhaps make it lonelier at the top for the magazine than at any other time in its history; the articles celebrating last year’s anniversary were presented as a manifesto for “renewing liberalism.” Ten years before, when the financial crisis erupted, the magazine overcame its primal distrust of government intervention to endorse bank bailouts, arguing that it was “a time to put dogma and politics to one side.” It also continued to defend neoliberal policies, on the basis that “the people running the system, not the system itself, are to blame.” Now, finally chastened, if not by the financial crisis then by its grisly political upshot, the magazine has conceded that “liberals have become too comfortable with power” and “wrapped up in preserving the status quo.” Its anniversary manifesto touted a “liberalism for the people.” But soul-searching has its limits: the manifesto admiringly quoted Milton Friedman on the need to be “radical,” resurrected John Mc-Cain’s fantasy of a “league of democracies” as an alternative to the United Nations, and scoffed at millennials who don’t wish to fight for the old “liberal world order.” A more recent cover story warns “American bosses” about Elizabeth Warren’s plans to tackle inequality, and revives Friedmanite verities about how “creative destruction” and “the dynamic power of markets” can best help “middle-class Americans.”
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    The Economist is no doubt sincere about wanting to be more “woke.” It seeks more female readers, according to a 2016 briefing for advertisers, and is anxious to dispel the idea that the magazine is “an arrogant, dull handbook for outdated men.” Whereas, in 2002, it rushed to defend Bjørn Lomborg, the global-warming skeptic, this fall it dedicated an entire issue to the climate emergency. Still, The Economist may find it more difficult than much of the old Anglo-American establishment to check its privilege. Its limitations arise not only from a defiantly nondiverse and parochial intellectual culture but also from a house style too prone to contrarianism. A review, in 2014, of a book titled “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” accused its author of not being “objective,” complaining that “almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains. ”Following an outcry, the magazine retracted the review. However, a recent assessment of Brazil’s privatization drive—“Jair Bolsonaro is a dangerous populist, with some good ideas”—suggests that it is hard to tone down what the journalist James Fallows has described as the magazine’s “Oxford Union argumentative style,” a stance too “cocksure of its rightness and superiority.”
    This insouciance, bred by the certainty of having made the modern world, cannot seem anything but incongruous in the rancorously polarized societies of Britain and the United States. The two blond demagogues currently leading the world’s two oldest “liberal” democracies bespeak a ruling class that—through a global financial crisis, rising inequality, and ill-conceived military interventions in large parts of the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa—has squandered its authority and legitimacy. The reputation, central to much Cold War liberalism, of England as a model liberal society also lies shattered amid the calamity of Brexit.
    For the young, in particular, old frameworks of liberalism seem to be a constraint on the possibilities of politics. It should be remembered, however, that these new critics of liberalism seek not to destroy but to fulfill its promise of individual freedom. They are looking, just as John Dewey was, for suitable modes of politics and economy in a world radically altered by capitalism and technology—a liberalism for the people, not just for their networked rulers. In that sense, it is not so much liberalism that is in crisis as its self-styled campaigners, who are seen, not unreasonably, as complicit in unmaking the modern world. ■

    • Manuel 6 November 2019 at 4:46 am Permalink

      Disculpen si me extendí un poco 🙂

  2. Manuel 6 November 2019 at 10:08 am Permalink

    es gracioso como hay billones pensando si cuba, venezuela, bolivia, norcorea, nicaragua, vietnan, rusia, arabia saudi, china y demas totalitarios estan venciendo, o pueden vencer. Todos esos fascismos, totalitarismos, estan derrotados, todo lo impuesto y antidemocratico esta derrotado; ya, desde el momento en que se impone la voluntad de un grupo sobre todos los poderes, ese pais, ese pueblo, esta derrotado, vencido, se autoderroto.
    Los que vivimos en los paises libres lo sabemos muy bien. Triste ver a tanto iluso creer que estan venciendo, a no ser que para ellos vencer sea el sometimiento organizado y sistematico de todos los poderes a la voluntad de unos pocos elegidos que deciden y medran a sus anchas, sin que se les pueda oponer efectivamente poder alguno dentro y fuera de sus paises-hacinda, paises-finca, reino: reino no es felicidad, reino es incompatible con “vencer”; vencen los pueblos, la gente, ejerciendo su poder: no los grupusculos que se sostienen por la fuerza del poder totalitario. Hablar de “vencer” en dictadura, en esos medios totalitarios es situarse en el grupo que ha ocupado todos los poderes, y seguirles el juego, el tema que conversan en sus mesas repletas, en sus mansiones repletas, en su pais-finca; y aplaudirles la gracia que tanto asqueaba y de la que siempre huia Jose Marti (Jose Julian Marti Perez, Heroe Nacional de Cuba)

    • Manuel 6 November 2019 at 10:16 am Permalink

      como se autoderroto Victo Lopez desde que viene a repartir insultos y frases vacias como las que suelen salir de boca de los pobres locos: aca se les llama la policia y son ingresados, Baker Act se llama aca en Florida, cuando se sospecha que pueden estar poniendo en pelibro su vida o la de los demas. Por ahora solo Cuban opina que Victor esta matando con su agricultura a miles de personas, pero hasta que eso no sea ley, el tipo seguira haciendo dano, oficialmente, solo con sus palabras que algunos sufren, leen, masoquistamente

      • Victor 6 November 2019 at 10:17 am Permalink

        hoy estas “por la goma!” 🙂 🙂

        saludos!

  3. Cubano-Americano 6 November 2019 at 10:17 am Permalink

    Disculpen si me extendí un poco

    =============
    …un poco dijiste??!!!WOW!!

    • Manuel 6 November 2019 at 10:19 am Permalink

      me parecio muy bueno y lo traje completo, usualmente solo traigo fragmentos. Y como a veces hay publicaciones que desaparecen por un motivo u otro, no quise que esta sufriera ese destino. Aqui esta para CAM, y todo el que tenga paciencia de ponerle asunto.

      Saludos Cubano!

  4. Manuel 6 November 2019 at 10:23 am Permalink

    es gracioso como hay billones pensando si cuba, venezuela, bolivia, norcorea, nicaragua, vietnan, rusia, arabia saudi, china y demas totalitarios estan venciendo, o pueden vencer. Todos esos fascismos, totalitarismos, estan derrotados, todo lo impuesto y antidemocratico esta derrotado; ya, desde el momento en que se impone la voluntad de un grupo sobre todos los poderes, ese pais, ese pueblo, esta derrotado, vencido, se autoderroto.
    Los que vivimos en los paises libres lo sabemos muy bien. Triste ver a tanto iluso creer que estan venciendo, a no ser que para ellos vencer sea el sometimiento organizado y sistematico de todos los poderes a la voluntad de unos pocos elegidos que deciden y medran a sus anchas, sin que se les pueda oponer efectivamente poder alguno dentro y fuera de sus paises-hacinda, paises-finca, reino: reino no es felicidad, reino es incompatible con “vencer”; vencen los pueblos, la gente, ejerciendo su poder: no los grupusculos que se sostienen por la fuerza del poder totalitario. Hablar de “vencer” en dictadura, en esos medios totalitarios es situarse en el grupo que ha ocupado todos los poderes, y seguirles el juego, el tema que conversan en sus mesas repletas, en sus mansiones repletas, en su pais-finca; y aplaudirles la gracia que tanto asqueaba y de la que siempre huia Jose Marti (Jose Julian Marti Perez, Heroe Nacional de Cuba)

    Todos los totalitarismos que han habido, y hay, se dedican a medrar y a sembrar. Que siembran? semillas, cuyos retonos son cortados por los totalitarios, y vueltos a cortar, y estan en ese negocio, en el de corta-retonos; hasta que una madeja los toma por sorpresa y los expectora de la Historia como debe ser, y como siempre ha sido.

    • Manuel 6 November 2019 at 10:26 am Permalink

      quiere decir que como “estan derrotados” no hay nada que hacer?

      No, no quiere decir eso, si eres uno de los retonos debes tener cuidado de no ser cortado, y debes poner mucho cuidado en como dar Jaque Mate en una madeja

  5. Manuel 6 November 2019 at 12:00 pm Permalink

    .
    J

    volviendo a los conejos iracundos, para borges la ira es “intensidad”, el no ve ira, ve “intensidad”; la encuentra en en Dante, y la encuentra en shakespeare, sobre todo en Macbeth

    cual es el tabu de llamar a las cosas por su nombre?

    por que no reconocer que hay ira (“intensidad”), porque a algun escritor hace 16 siglos decidio colocar a la ira entre los 7 grandes pecados?

    • Manuel 6 November 2019 at 12:04 pm Permalink

      “El origen se remonta al siglo IV, cuando el asceta Evagrio el Póntico -también conocido como el Solitario- fijó en ocho las principales pasiones humanas pecaminosas: ira, soberbia, vanidad, envidia, avaricia, cobardía, gula y lujuria. Un siglo más tarde, el sacerdote rumano Juan Casiano redujo la lista a los siete ítems que conocemos: lujuria, gula, avaricia, pereza, ira, envidia y soberbia. Fue el papa San Gregorio (540-604) quien los oficializó definitivamente con el orden que aparece arriba, el empleado también después por Dante en su Divina Comedia. Según Santo Tomás de Aquino, el calificativo capital no alude a la gravedad de estos pecados, sino a que de ellos emanan todos los demás.”

      • Julian Perez 7 November 2019 at 8:28 am Permalink

        Manuel

        Recuerdo que a un gurú hindú una vez le preguntaron que era la ira y respondió: ¨Es el castigo que nos damos a nosotros mismos por errores cometidos por otros¨ 🙂

        Yo diría que el problema no está en un sentimiento en sí, sino en la medida en que se ejerce. Cualquier medicina tomada en sobredosis hace daño. El veneno de serpiente en pequeñas dosis puede ser medicinal.

        Hasta el supuestamente más elevado de los sentimientos, el amor, llevado a extremos es nocivo. La valentía está bien, fuera de medida es temeridad. Y así sucesivamente. El control de las emociones no consiste en suprimirlas, sino en moderarlas, mantenerlas en el rango en que no se convierten en contraproducentes.

        ¿Es la ira algo provechoso? Sí, dentro de ciertos límites y en dependencia de hacia qué esté dirigida. La envidia, pasión favorita de las diatribas de Ramiro, también produce ira, pero una ira malsana.

        • Manuel 7 November 2019 at 9:13 am Permalink

          tan basico como sentir hambre J:

          Feeling angry is a universal human phenomenon. It is as basic as feeling hungry, lonely, loving, or tired. —-Theodore Rubin

          “A thought murder a day keeps the doctor away.” What this quote emphasizes is that feeling one’s angry thoughts is a healthy manifestation, whereas the denial or suppression of angry feelings has a pathological effect. In my experience as a clinician, I have observed that suppressing angry feelings inevitably has destructive consequences.

          I postulate four major ill effects of bypassing the feeling of angry emotions. They are (1) developing psychosomatic symptoms; (2) turning the anger against oneself; (3) projecting anger outward onto others; and (4) acting out hostile, negative behaviors.

          1. When we shy away from our angry emotions, they tend to become somaticized, causing varying degrees of harm to the body. Holding back angry feelings creates tension, and this stress reaction plays a part in a wide range of psychosomatic ailments, such as headaches, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. As reported by the College of Nursing, University of Tennessee: “Such low scores suggest suppression, repression, or restraint of anger. There is evidence to show that suppressed anger can be a precursor to the development of cancer, and also a factor in its progression after diagnosis.”

          2. When people internalize feelings of anger, it causes them to turn against themselves and become self-critical and self-hating. If this process reaches serious proportions, it plays a significant role in feelings of depression and worthlessness. It can lead to self-defeating, self-destructive, and at times, suicidal behaviors. Psychoanalysts have traditionally understood depression as being primarily due to anger directed against the self.

          3. People who avoid or suppress anger frequently externalize their anger by disowning it in themselves and projecting it onto other people, thereby perceiving others as being angry or hostile. This causes them to experience the external environment as alien and dangerous. They then react to these perceived enemies with counter-aggression or paranoia, often triggering a dangerous downward spiral of progressive maladaptation and misery.

          4. When people cannot tolerate angry emotions, they tend to act out their anger inappropriately. They find it difficult to control and are hurtful or abusive to themselves and others. Often, they act against their own best interests.

          Those who stifle their anger are apt to express it indirectly through passive-aggression or by becoming withholding. Withholding behaviors, such as being forgetful, habitually late, procrastinating and otherwise provoking, alienate others; in particular, they create distance between partners in intimate relationships and bring about problems in the workplace. In general, passive-aggression is dysfunctional, drives people away, increases guilt feelings and has a bad overall effect on the perpetrator.

          Lastly, when people find it difficult to acknowledge anger directly, they instead tend to justify the reasons for their anger, which leads to feeling misunderstood, victimized, righteously indignant or morally wronged. This often causes the anger and victimization to become obsessive, and the angry thoughts not only persist for long periods but build and eventually take their toll on one’s overall happiness and adjustment.

          Anger is perhaps the most misunderstood of human emotions. There are many misconceptions about it. Some people perceive anger as bad or immoral and feel that becoming angry makes them a bad person. Others believe that anger is the opposite of love and feel that expressions of anger have no place in close, personal relationships or in the family. Another common, yet incorrect, belief is that being angry at someone implies that one is accusing that person of wrongdoing.

          Anger is a natural and inevitable response to frustration or stress. The degree of anger is proportional to the degree of frustration experienced at the time, whether or not one’s feelings of anger are rational and appropriate to the situation or irrational and entirely inappropriate. As the Dalai Lama rightly noted, “If a human being never shows anger, then I think something’s wrong. He’s not right in the brain.”

          In this regard, it is beneficial to understand that anger is a healthy emotion, and it is ideal to feel the emotion fully. Critical, vicious thoughts and attitudes are entirely acceptable, morally speaking, whereas actions must be judged on moral grounds, and even a sarcastic or superior tone or an insensitive act can be considered hurtful.

          In my book, The Ethics of Interpersonal Relationships, I emphasize that it is essential, in terms of our mental health and well-being, to give all of our feelings free reign in conscious awareness and experience, whereas, in relation to our actions, we must make a rational decision about how to express our anger that involves both moral concerns and reality issues.

          I describe two salient points in relation to acting on our anger: Is it consistent with our values and would it be in our own best interest? Regarding the latter, it would be foolhardy, for example, for a person who values his or her job to blow up at the boss; instead, it would be more productive to simply acknowledge and feel the hostile feelings without acting them out.

          For the most part, overreactive emotional responses in adults, including intense anger or rage, contain a primal element based on early experiences that were threatening or traumatic. Becoming sensitive to the types of situations that arouse overly strong reactions of anger is useful in making a distinction between present-day and primal emotions.

          Whereas the anger in the current situation may be justified, the intensity is often not appropriate to the personal significance of the event. An awareness of the primal components of one’s anger not only helps defuse the level of anger but also allows time for rational self-reflection and a more thoughtful consideration of one’s thoughts and actions.

          Bear in mind that it is crucial to be able to express anger, and at times it can have a remarkably positive effect in personal, vocational or political situations. It is generally best to state one’s anger directly and in a calm tone of voice, rather than in an angry or rageful manner. For example, saying “I felt angry at you when you did thus and so,” matter-of-factly is more effective than expressing it angrily, which will usually provoke an immediate angry retort. However, if you are further annoyed by the response to your anger, or it fails to achieve your purpose, you can always state things more strongly and forcefully. In general, this escalation should be gradual and controlled to achieve the best results.

          In summary, when we deny or suppress hostile emotions, our anger is likely to be internalized, turned against our bodies or our selves, or externalized, distorting the world around us. In addition, we are more likely to lose control and act in ways that are detrimental or destructive to ourselves and to others.

          The acceptance of anger and the ability to tolerate angry feelings brings anger under our control and regulation. Indeed, when men and women are able to experience angry feelings and are comfortable with them, they become stronger and more self-possessed. In addition, they tend to be more accepting of anger in their children and more likely to encourage their child’s movement towards positive self-expression, while discouraging passive-aggressive or manipulative behavior. In this way, they teach their children important lessons about anger management, such as when and how to express it, that are so critical in later life.

          For all the reasons noted above, psychotherapists work hard to help their clients recognize, accept and fully experience their angry emotions and learn to express them when appropriate.

          Read more from Dr. Robert Firestone at PsychAlive.org

          • Julian Perez 7 November 2019 at 9:44 am Permalink

            Lo cual es consecuente con la tendencia actual: que, no solamente la ira, sino las emociones en general no se deben “reprimir” y que lo importante es ¨como uno se sienta¨ respecto a lo que hace. Es algo con lo que no estoy de acuerdo y sé que otros tampoco, pero no cabe duda de que es el signo de los tiempos.

          • Manuel 7 November 2019 at 11:04 am Permalink

            hay situaciones en los que uno no debe expresar lo que piensa, siente; la sabiduria debe ayudarte a determinar cuales son esas situaciones; pero lo que aconsejan los profesionales de la salud mental es hacerlo siempre que sea posible para alcanzar todos los beneficios que esto tiene y que fueron enumerados por el Dr. en el articulo que puse arriba (del Dr. Robert Firestone)

            no comprendo bien cual es su punto, amigo J

          • Julian Perez 7 November 2019 at 12:54 pm Permalink

            Creo, amigo Manuel, que entenderás mejor mi punto cuando lo relacione con un tema que sé que te preocupa: la educación.

            ¿Cómo son llevadas esas recomendaciones a las aulas? Pues dejando que los muchachos ¨se expresen¨. Lo importante no es que aprendan o no. Lo importante es que ¨se sientan bien¨. ¿Que un profesor imponga autoridad y dicte reglas? ¡Oh, no! Eso es reprimir los impulsos naturales. Parte de la educación consiste en el control de las emociones y en aprender a respetar ciertas reglas cívicas. Eso se está perdiendo.

            Decía un amigo mío (y lo vas a perdonar por la inclusión de los médicos en la lista, pero comprenderás que se refiere al poco respeto que se le suele tener al juramento hipocrático, Cubano dice que la mayoría de los médicos de hoy en vez de curar matan) que las siete plagas modernas son:

            -Los políticos
            -Los abogados
            -Los periodistas
            -Los sicólogos
            -Los médicos
            -Los mecánicos
            -Los críticos de arte

            Cuando le dije que se olvidaba de los dentistas me dijo que estaban incluídos en la categoría de los mecánicos

  6. Víctor López 6 November 2019 at 2:45 pm Permalink

    Lo importante es “hacer parecer” que se combate el narco, Londoño. No es posible, ni siquiera conveniente, su desaparición de la geografía colombiana ni tampoco latinoamericana, y en ese menester sí ha obtenido éxito el señor presidente Duque y los señores magistrados.

    La guerra pasaría inmediatamente a ser guerra total (como se evidenció en Culiacán), costaría miles o cientos de miles de vidas, y esto no es aceptable por los cánones de derechos humanos actuales. Fumigar tampoco es opción, las organizaciones amparadas por estados afines, utilizarían Stinger y armas similares que abundan por miles en los arsenales de países como Nicaragua.

    Pablo, que también estableció la guerra total, no fue derrotado por “el grupo de búsqueda” (que le dio el tiro final) sino por los irregulares (antiguos socios y competidores) que aplicaron a Pablo y a los suyos el mismo tipo de guerra. Hoy el negocio se ha multiplicado y su poder militar también. Han hecho excelente diplomacia y cuentan con gobiernos afines en el continente y buena disposición de muchos otros a nivel global.

    “Dejá el mundo como está, que esta hecho a la medida”, Londoño.

    https://youtu.be/iwhq9FuFaag

  7. Manuel 6 November 2019 at 3:24 pm Permalink

    el dia 11 de octubre publique esto:

    “Manuel 11 October 2019 at 12:57 pm Permalink

    un sanguijuela gasta en chupar, espias, pero una sanguijuela solo puede vivir de eso, no conoce otro modus vivendi, no sabe de producir, de crear, de insertarse en el libre mercado con entes infinitos trayendo riquezas sin limites a su gente en la isla; una sanguijuela sabe de chupar, punto, nada mas, y la primera fase de chupar es envenenar y adormecer a la victima, ofrecerle enorme beneficio, gobierno vitalicio, seguridad; luego que la victima ha sido drenada hasta los tuetanos, como hoy Venezuela, se le desecha y se parte a colonizar a todo el que se pueda chupar, secar.

    Chile es un peligro y le van a ir con todo; ya lo estan haciendo. Ojo.”

    5 DIAS DESPUES REVENTARON LOS BANDALISMOS EN chile

    • Manuel 7 November 2019 at 11:13 am Permalink

      “… Intergenerational economic mobility in America has indeed fallen. Political spending has soared and is dominated by the very rich. In 2016 the top 1% of the top 1% accounted for 40% of campaign donations. These financially astute people surely expect a return on their money, and indeed research suggests that elected leaders are more attuned to the interests of the rich than those of people further down the income scale. Other aspects of political capitalism are creeping in, too. One is corruption, from the pay-to-play proclivities of the Trump administration to the tendency of both Democrats and Republicans to leap from government service straight into lucrative private-sector jobs.
      Behind this, Mr Milanovic suggests, is an erosion of liberal values. Within capitalist systems, money is the ultimate measure of worth. The pursuit of narrow self-interest is held to lead to the greatest good. People who forgo profit for ethical reasons could thus be seen as harming society, because they are preventing resources from being used at maximum efficiency. Moreover, their restraint creates an opening for less ethical rivals. The elite in such a system increasingly consists of individuals who are willing to do anything not outright illegal that increases their wealth.
      Value at risk

      There is something to be said for an amoral approach to business. As Mr Milanovic points out, people all over the world understand the pursuit of self-interest. Amoral commerce can be engaged in by people from many cultures and backgrounds; recent hyperglobalisation would not have been possible without it. But the costs are becoming apparent—when firms bow to Chinese censorship in order to retain access to lucrative markets, for example, or when governments accept flagrant tax avoidance as the price of unimpeded capital flows.
      The ugly aspects of today’s capitalism, like those of the 19th-century version, may be merely an awkward bump on the road to a better world. But it is also possible that the apparent march of progress, from coarser versions of capitalism to better ones, was not a historical inevitability. It may instead reflect the painstaking cultivation of liberal values, such as honesty and the duty to treat others fairly. If so, capitalism alone, without the moderating influence of those values, could reach its own historical dead end. ■

  8. Manuel 9 November 2019 at 12:18 pm Permalink

    The Washington Post

    “ By Editorial Board
    November 8, 2019 at 1:31 PM EST
    IN HIS many videos on social media. José Daniel Ferrer appears as a robust and determined activist for democracy in Cuba, heading a group named the Patriotic Union of Cuba, or UNPACU. But in a short prison visit on Thursday, more than a month after Mr. Ferrer was detained Oct. 1 by authorities, his family says they saw a broken man, hunched over, having lost half his weight, covered in bruises. He was barely able to speak but told them hastily he has been threatened that he will not leave prison alive.
    This horrific scene is cause for alarm, outrage and international protest. Mr. Ferrer is a leading opposition voice to the Cuban regime. He previously served several years in prison after the 2003 Black Spring” arrests of the followers of Oswaldo Payá, champion of the Varela Project, a citizen initiative calling for a referendum on democracy in Cuba. Mr. Ferrer founded UNPACU in his hometown of Santiago de Cuba after his release, and he has been tireless and unrelenting in his pursuit of human rights and in his criticism of the authoritarian regime established by Fidel Castro six decades ago.
    After his arrest, along with several others in his movement, Mr. Ferrer was held incommunicado, with no word about his situation. Then, in the past week, a handwritten letter appeared in which he wrote that he had been beaten and tortured and his life was in grave danger. In a statement Thursday, Mr. Ferrer’s family said he confirmed that he had written the letter and had it smuggled out.

    In the brief meeting with his family, conducted in a prison office, Mr. Ferrer said he is on a hunger strike and has repeatedly torn off his prison uniforms in protest, which were forcibly put back on him. He showed his family bruises on his body. He was hunched over and could barely embrace them. Mr. Ferrer reported that he is being held in a cell in chains with a common criminal who has attacked him repeatedly.
    No one should have any doubts why Mr. Ferrer is being punished: to silence his outspoken demands for an end to despotism in Cuba, a system that is now run by Fidel’s brother Raúl, from the shadows, and President Miguel Díaz-Canel. Mr. Ferrer’s family quoted him as saying he is now ready to die for his principles, telling them, “Freedom, dignity or death.” He must be released and given medical treatment immediately — and his ideals must not be allowed to flicker out in a dank prison cell”


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