Vargas Llosa, the irresponsible deicide – 08/05/2021 – Latinoamérica21

The business of thought is consubstantial with the history of humanity. First linked to all that is transcendent and which inspired the attempt to know the very meaning of existence and its ultimate goal, he first flirted with the magician and then moved on to theological.

However, in our cultural sphere, a special space has been created for those who have made thought a way of life. Athens and Rome were strongholds for the practice and laid the foundation for what quickly became Western tradition. If the philosophers of the time only pursued the ideas that had germinated centuries before in the East, their assumptions were fundamental to give way to the Renaissance and, later, to the Enlightenment.

It was in the 18th century that the masters of thought fashioned a new image which filled the halls of the aristocracy, and which the consolidated bourgeoisie could validate. Later, at the end of the 19th century, the new figure of the intellectual is essential in the public space. At that time, a triple accord coincided: the affirmation of the nation, the entry of the masses into politics and the emergence of new mechanisms for the dissemination of ideas.

The newcomer soon realized that his actions had an undeniable effect on reality. In addition to his innovative attitude, in which it became imperative to speak the truth to power, he became aware of an unusual public responsibility. Usually linked to the world of creative writing, intellectuals are recognized for their commitment to the very task of thinking.

Today, they are people whose projection can be media or linked to more stable communicative media. They carry out actions which are expressed in a punctual and spontaneous way or which have a calm and constant cardinality. Pure squeaks that evaporate in everyday noises, sudden shocks that temporarily awaken consciousness, or whose influence is deep and permanent. Sometimes, the public figure ends up hiding by his work, whether it is an explosion, an image or a dense thought treaty.

We even confuse authorship with the work, or rather we come to forget the first to the detriment of the second. A consequence of all this is the role they play in the promotion of secular religions and the consequent establishment of dogmatic fanaticism.

Mario Vargas Llosa is the quintessential example of one of the most important intellectuals of the Spanish language. His recognition at the highest level as a novelist, his weekly presence as a columnist in the main media, his work as a speaker and his dynamism in the cultural world constitute his symbolic-cultural capital. On the other hand, his notoriety fills sixty years of creation, happy moments, relevant controversies, love and hate. He’s also a great example of a public figure who at one point had political ambition and then told the story. From his podium, he covers a multitude of subjects.

For decades, Peruvian politics have stalled after overcoming attacks by one of the region’s most aggressive guerrilla movements a quarter of a century ago. Every president in the country from 1985 until very recently had problems with the justice system. The party system practically disappeared from the 1990s and was replaced by clicks from candidates. The relations between the legislative power and the legislator are complex, even unhealthy. However, among the different dimensions of democracy, such as electoral democracy, the ratings of its performance are correct.

Thus, the country has continuously organized presidential and legislative elections every five years with acceptable and internationally validated results. From 2001 to 2021, elected presidents came from different political positions and the margin of victory was narrow, tending to get smaller and smaller. Thus: Alejandro Toledo won in 2001 over Alan García by 6.2%, the latter over Ollanta Humala in 2006 by 5.3%, the latter over Keiko Fujimori in 2011 by 2.9%, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski over Keiko by 0 , 3% in 2016 and now Pedro Castillo on Keiko, again, by 0.2%.

In his weekly column of June 20, Vargas Llosa wrote: “My impression, from far away Madrid and through the multiple and contradictory information that reaches me, is, more and more, every day, that there has been serious irregularities ”. Three weeks later, he affirmed: “The presidency of Castillo seems to have been consumed, in spite of the fraud perpetrated by Free Peru which accompanied these elections, by a national Jury of the elections which resists without fear all the contrary demonstrations.

In doing so, the famous novelist makes two serious slip-ups.

The first has to do with your fall into the current craze for wearing alternative costumes. Confronted with the existence of a reality assessed and managed by those who are institutionally appointed to do so, it presents an allegedly different truth, ambiguously defined and of precarious consistency. His proclamation is immediately taken as proof by the defeated party.

The second is more worrying because it falls into irresponsibility against humanity. Among the many facets that the public performance of an intellectual brings, there are two that form a link whose common thread is the idea of ​​responsibility. There is a commitment on the part of the actor to the implications that his actions generate for others, and there is a certain level of demand when it comes to maintaining consistency with his actions over time.

However, this is very difficult to sustain over a lifetime of so many profound ideological changes. Vargas Llosa, who wrote in 1971 the essay on García Márquez titled “La historia de un deicidio”, while fervently supporting the Cuban revolution, now, to paraphrase Max Weber, exclusively embraces the ethics of conviction, distancing himself from the ethics of responsibility, which requires taking into account the foreseeable consequences of his opinion.

Peru does not deserve it.

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