Between leaders, idols and other deities?

Luis Beltrán Guerra G.

By: Luis Beltrán Guerra G. - 19/04/2024

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Stating that humanity is the same as that of ancient times is still a mendacious assessment. But it is not so if we stop at the revealing traces of the achievements to be achieved since then. And much more if we think about the individual and collective happiness in whose materialization we continue and generation after generation, to date and quite a few. Something as important as our own existential cycles. The methodologies have been diverse and even contradictory but “individual and collective well-being”, the invariable goal. And, furthermore, of the same essence.

A perfect world, the maximization of desire, quite distant, a chimera. The universal geography almost described in the popular song “María, one, two, three, One step forward and one step back.” A livable humanity? For the optimist, yes, but for a few pessimists. Without a doubt the majority. The study of genes and the alleged transfer of characteristics from parents to children, a circumstance for some scientists that has affected the human conformations of conquered peoples. In the Americas they have tried to find the causes in colonization by the Spanish. And the emergence of the so-called "castes", among others: 1. Individuals born in Spain, commonly called gachupines, 2. Creole Spaniards, or white Europeans born in America, 3. Mestizos descended from whites and Indians, 4. The mulattoes, heirs of mulattoes and blacks, and 5. The zambos, descendants of blacks and an indigenous American woman (The latter were called “cafuzo in Brazil, lobo in Mexico and Garífuna in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize”) . With regard to Venezuela, one usually resorts, among others, to the books “Los amos del Valle, The Perennial Footprint and The Travelers of the Indies”, by the writer and psychiatrist Francisco Herrera Luque and “From the Good Savage to the Good Revolutionary, Myths and Fallacies”. about America and Marx and real socialisms”, by historian Carlos Rangel, but also, “The terrible revolutions”, by law professor Ángel Bernardo Viso. It is in this context that it seems to be imposed that the world is a labyrinth and that Venezuela does not escape from it, nor from its consequences. Reference is made regarding the colonial era to the monopolization of political institutions having family relationships as a source, becoming oligarchic groups and a privileged class, whose internal contradictions, including economic ones, were the path for the struggle for political power. And in extremis it is still noted that the war of independence was not against the Spanish, but between castes.

In the prologue to “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” by Hannah Arendt, we read what was written in 1950: “Never has our future been so unpredictable, we have never depended so much on political forces, forces that seem pure insanity and in which we have no It can be trusted if one sticks to common sense and one's own interest. It is as if humanity had been divided between those who believe in human omnipotence (Those who think that everything is possible if one knows how to organize the masses to achieve that goal) and those for whom helplessness has been the most important experience of their lives. lives. An irrefutable truth would seem, if one wanted to conclude something, is that, despite the efforts, “our differences continue. And in some places more intense than others. And that humanity has generated leaders, idols and other deities. And among them he shelters to this day.” Will he do it well? The difficult answer.

The Spanish writers José Luis Corral and Antonio Piñero leave us a few pages related to the tyrant "Herod the Great", whose death generates in the Court of Israel a gruesome story of passions, perfidy, violence and betrayal to rise to power. And in the middle of it appears Jesus of Nazareth, who revolutionizes the Jewish people by questioning the plans of Augustus, the transferee of power and whose plan to remedy the world, like his death, are well known. However, we continue to wonder if he was “the messiah or not, the one sent by God or just another Zealot,” of those who relatively frequently appeared to compose the world. The pages of Corral and Piñero illustrate, however, that even one of the last expressions of Jesus, “My God, My God”, Why have you abandoned me? It was interpreted by some as “the painful and frustrated realization of his failure.” And for others, that Jesus does not lose confidence in the God of Israel, who will avenge his death and carry out the work started by him. But a great truth derives from his short life and his executions, yes, that of an anarchized world. It would be enough to look at the subsequent chapters in the pages of such an interesting book (Cursed Throne), concerning the “world after Christ”, among them: The Fate of Enemies, The Adventures of Julius Agrippa, Agrippa before Tiberius, The Decision of Caligula , The End of Pilate, The Ambition of Herodias and The World of Ruth, with respect to which it seems to return to the teachings of the Nazarene, particularly, if one takes into account that for a few the expression “He is not dead” prevails. He has only left to live eternally with the Lord.” And from there he will ensure a better humanity.

We do not doubt that the considerations of this essay, in addition to being surly, transcend what could be described as “usual assessments.” But, perhaps not, regarding the universal acceptance that the development of an “equitable humanity” has depended and continues to do so on the leadership, not only political, but also on that present in the various areas related to the development of peoples. , in order for its materialization to become a reality and in the most consonant way possible. And particularly, in a climate of democracy and the freedom that serves as its foundation. As an illustration regarding this statement, we find the question: What is the difference between an idol and a leader?, but also, with the answer: An idol is someone you admire, a leader is someone you follow. the path he traces! Regarding other “deities”, the Dictionary of the Spanish Language (DRAE) is illustrative, in whose pages it is written that the word comes from the Latin “deitas, -atis and denotes “divine being or divine essence”. Likewise, the synonyms of deity are “god, divinity, divo.” A pending question, both for readers and for the writer, have we had leaders, idols or deities? The criterion to specify? The level of development achieved during different eras and from ancient times until now.

We cannot, as has been written, “continue ascending and descending in the distressing situations generated by political crises” (Juan Rivas, El Repitiente, Cyngular, Caracas, 2015). A look at the world leads us to think, at least as far as this writer is concerned, if it could be that we are pessimists and that in the immediate future, as God wants us to live, we will face the opposite species, that is, with “the optimists”. And that in that kind of swing our lives will develop.

It is hard to repeat it, but “the Latin American ups and downs” forces us to state, as academics Peter Hakin and Abraham F. Lowenthal do, that “the reality is that it will take years of struggle to ensure the stability of democracy in the majority.” of Latin American countries. In some places there will be setbacks, even outright failures. Even though progress is made, democratic institutions will remain vulnerable for decades to come.” And they continue, “the democratic idea has been gaining important ground in the Western Hemisphere, as in other regions of the world, but a vigorous and consolidated democratic government has yet to be achieved.” They conclude by pointing out that “this must be the goal of the 1990s” (The Global Resurgence of Democracy, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1993). Thirty-four years have passed and hopelessness reigns.

The reader, please give your opinion first. An invitation to read together the pages of the book “Leaders”, by Richard Nixon, may be a good idea, since the former President of the United States, despite what may be criticized, gathers in its pages the achievements that distinguished Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Douglas Mac Artur, in a duo with Shigeru Yoshida and with the mention for both of them “The meeting of East and West”, Konrad Adenauer (The Iron Curtain of the West), Nikita Khrushchev (The Brutal Will of power), Zhou Enlai (The revolutionary mandarin). A decisive chapter in the work “A new world. “New leaders in times of change.” And the question: Do we depend on ourselves or on those who lead us? And on the other hand, will they be leaders, idols or other deities?

Comments welcome.


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