In search of a system of government?

Luis Beltrán Guerra G.

By: Luis Beltrán Guerra G. - 08/05/2024

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It is difficult to deny the appreciation that we are not doing well with governments, when we could be better. Ailments, like a sick person, for some “labyrinthitis”. It is read that the Mercedarian Alonso Remón wrote in the 17th century a political treatise to describe a symbolic toy organized by wheels of concepts that visually explain the functioning of the state to rulers and lords who, precisely, due to the occupations of their position, do not have of time to read the voluminous studies written by writers. The policies advanced, consequently, are erroneous. And for others the disease would be "the plebiscitum", used in ancient Rome to designate decisions made by the plebs. In the context of the less optimistic, it has practically fallen into "anarchism" in the face of the debacle, given the disenchantment, not only with the governments themselves, but also with the methodologies they offer and that are usually described as "programs." It is read that a few countries are under the threat of anarchy from many points of view. With apparently buried a possibility of real dialogue between the Government and the opposition, we find ourselves in the scenario that aims to lead us to the dismantling of statutory powers and complaints regarding the delegitimization of governments and the remaining powers. The disappointment is so acute that it is not. It is exaggerated to speak of “attempt republics”. The process has been long and in regards to Latin America and other continents as a result of trying to move away from the “colonies” movement, derived from the assumption by the conquerors as owners of land. discovered and without owners. An atmosphere is in which even the very existence of the State is questioned, in search of greater freedom for those of us who are its inhabitants.

This is precisely why it is worth asking: Are we close to anarchism or do we already suffer from it? It is read that it is still a pertinent question, since there are plenty of voices related to the suppression of governmental power for the sake of a presumed individual freedom, as absolute as possible. It is still maintained that “individuals are the best judges of their own interests and that State intervention only contributes to distorting their decisions.” Consequently, the role of government, as Milton Friedman alleges, must be limited to maintaining: 1. Law and order, 2. Stable currency and prices, and 3. Protecting the property of individuals. Concluding that the opposite would generate alterations, of course, counterproductive both in the market and with respect to the citizens themselves.

It is not an exaggeration if we say that very few nations escape the imperative of defining a typology of efficient government. Regarding Venezuela, “The Bolivarian Republic”, as defined by the Fundamental Charter of 1999, has been in conflict for the last 25 years, not only internally, but also with regard to the rest of the countries. The initiative, for professors Carlos Mascareño and Egom Montecinos, of “a participatory democracy”, which was also called “revolutionary and socialist”. Going to the academy we observed that “participation” is conceived “as an act that seeks to redeem society from the deficiencies of political representation, whose reviled institutions are almost condemned to the corner of memories in Latin American democracies.” And that approach has penetrated the collective consciousness of our societies. Evidence that the popularity of “participatory democracy”, undoubted, incessant and growing, ends up being linked to citizen discontent with “representative democracy”. Thus, the academics add, each criticism of representation is expected to be resolved with “participation.” It is about facing an anti-representation record, without realizing that the participation option also has a limit, in the desire to resolve social inequalities, and most seriously, in the name of it (participation) threatening fragmentation processes are strengthened. against the possibility of creating common and collective references. Hence, the outlook for “democratic redemption” through participatory processes is not as useful as the enthusiasm of those who proclaim it (Participatory Democracy Vs Representation. Tensions in Latin America, Universidad de los Lagos and CENDES).

In the real context there can be no doubt that in the most recent decades “making governments more efficient” has been considered unforeseeable in the interests of: 1. Real freedom and 2. Social equality that is as sincere as possible, a problem that, if To be honest, it has been present throughout the centuries and practically from the very beginning of humanity itself. Today's examples include the dilemmas of Javier Milei in Argentina, Gabriel Boric in Chile, Gustavo Petro in Colombia and Lula Da Silva in Brazil, who seems to have dismissed the so-called "socialism of the 20th century" from the land of soccer. XXI” and the “Sao Pablo Forum”, once flying as the flag of a justified and necessary trend, for its mentors, with a revolutionary air. Particular mention must be made regarding “the Bolivarianism of Hugo Chávez and his successors”, as well as the newly elected president of Panama, for “the average” right-wing person. The conflict between efficient democracies and opposing ones is becoming more latent every day. And without doubts.

The case of Venezuela, where we are from, is still emblematic. An “agreed democracy” with its source in the so-called “Punto Fijo Pact” of 1958, whose reiteration occurred years later through “The Broad-Based Agreement” before a republic already shaken by “the “misnamed revolutionary” interference of the Cuba of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara", a document that provided feedback to the political system, until its stumble with the so-called "socialism of the 21st century", still in the exercise of power and awaiting the popular verdict in presidential elections called for July 2024. It will be feasible for us to overcome “the crisis and the hollowing out of politics, the collapse of democracy and the collapse of the public sphere, an approach formulated by Luigi Ferrajoli, professor of General Theory of Law at the University of Rome. Countries with difficulties will be able to adhere to the rules of Former Italian Senator Norberto Bobbio, in his work General Theory of Politics, namely: 1. All citizens have the right to vote, 2. The vote must have the same weight, 3 All those who enjoy political rights will be free to vote, 4. They must be free to choose under diverse conditions, 5. The numerical majority rule must apply and 6. No majority decision must limit the rights of minorities. (Luis Salazar Carrión, Democracy or post-democracy, Mexico). Coulin Crouch, prestigious British sociologist, also treats post-democracy as a probable route, emphasizing the determining influence of social crises, the solution of which is embedded in the political system. He recognizes that “a massive escalation of destabilizing acts” is undeniable, but he also wonders, “if we will be able to sufficiently counteract the lucrative plans of globalized capital, to seat its representatives at the negotiating table, determining if we can stop the evils that really afflict us, among them, the brutal difference between rich and poor. But, also, child slavery, the pollution that destroys the atmosphere and the waste in the use of non-renewable natural resources. The sociologist concludes by stating that these are issues that constitute the greatest challenges to the health of contemporary democracy.

It is not bold to say that people, tired of broken promises, demand concrete solutions. As far as Latin America is concerned, it is a desire that has been present throughout its history. Much has been done and in certain countries it is even proposed to start with the institutional aspect, which leads us to think that people even feel the need to condition the State itself for the task of reform, an issue with respect to which it is commendable reading of Gerardo Fernández's book “The Search for a New System of Government for Venezuela, with the particular mention, which is also interesting, “From Exacerbated Autocratic, Unstable and Ineffective Presidentialism to a Semi-Presidential System”. A definitely important text for the present and future of Venezuela and other Latin American countries. God grant that “Let's get to work” can be shouted and that the maxim really comes true. A prosperous Venezuela. Will it be probable? No lose faith. But let us remember that from Cristóbal Mendoza to Nicolas Maduro we have had 3 dozen Presidents, including Simon Bolívar, José Antonio Paéz, José María Vargas, Antonio Guzmán Blanco, Cipriano Castro, Juan Vicente Gómez, Eleazar López Contreras, Rómulo Gallegos, Marcos Pérez Jiménez , Rómulo Betancourt, Raúl Leoni, Rafael Caldera, Carlos Andrés Pérez, Luis Herrera Campins and Jaime Lusinchi. But, we also read: “Venezuela since its independence in 1811 has formally had 25 constitutions, if we include our Act of Independence of July 5, 1811 and the Constitution of Gran Colombia of 1821. The Acts of Independence are usually not qualifies them as constitutions, however, in pure theory, in our case it is, since it is what constitutes us as an independent people, it is our will and original political decision as a people, manifested even before independence was a reality and As such a decision is the foundation of all other constitutions, which presuppose it as the basis of all their regulations” (Gustavo Planchart Manrique, Manuel Caballero, Marianela Ponce, Manuel Pérez Vila, Nikita Harwich, Fundación Empresas Polar). The latter is a manifestation of optimism that God wants us to maintain in the present and future of the Homeland.

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