1. The only thing that a human being truly possesses is his present. The past is something that already occurred, for better or worse, and the present itself, with the passing of seconds, continually becomes the past. The future is what might or might not be, in whose roots the present is found. Seen this way, in all of its simplicity and objectivity, the present is to live, the past that which was lived, and the future that which is to be lived. The future, upon becoming the present, also starts to turn into the past.
2. The majority of politicians on the left consolidate their programmatic platforms by questioning the past and proposing a future, skillfully evading the present, be they communists or recalcitrant socialists, moderate or recycled, populists, nationalists, nativists and even Islamists, that new category so in vogue these days.
3. Once power is taken, be it through violence or peacefully, their first and greatest task is to painstakingly revise the past: land has been ill-distributed, economic development has been unfair, signed treaties have undermined sovereignty, foreign policy has been wrong-headed, school curriculae programs have been ill-conceived, the health system has been badly organized, public transit has been ineffective, and so on, covering the entire political, economic, and social spectrum. They dedicate time and effort not to the present, but rather to criticize and readjust the past, categorizing the previous presidents as bad or moderate, according to political convenience.
Usually, they start with the redistribution of land: it must be distributed among the farmers and poor, as if it were a dogma, even if it brings as consequences chaos in the agriculture sector and lack of productivity. It doesn’t matter, for this comprises the first obligatory step in obtaining massive popular support, before proceeding to nationalize large farms and cooperatives, which are also unproductive. The following measure is for financial reform: the state must monopolize and control all capital in order to squander it and plan a future. Other reforms follow: education reforms, healthcare reforms, urban reforms, justice reforms, etc…
5. The center of attention, as is easy to observe, is concentrated on changing the past, but in reality, the past is impossible to change, unless it’s in the rhetoric of speeches and history books, by new writers, which exist independently of our present. These changes and attempted changes are carried out against all logic, they are carried out to insure the future. As we can see, the present is again excluded, for these leaders live distantly from it.
6. In revising the past, the scalpel is applied deeply and an attempt even made to remove traditions and customs: a people without a past or with a mutilated past are easily manipulated. The future is offered up as a panacea, whose cost is defrayed by today’s sacrifices. Except the future has no palpable limits or measurable time: everything is placed in the limbo of things to come, which with every passing day moves further away, as unreachable as the horizon.
Translated by: Yoyi el Monaguillo
August 24, 2010