Sense of Belonging / Fernando Dámaso

With the establishment of the socialist system, the sense of belonging is diluted in the so-called masses, an abstract entity without personality of its own and, therefore, able to be used in whatever way, according to political expediency. The masses, always ready for whatever action the demagogue requires, provide a simple sounding board that mechanically and increasingly repeats whatever sound it has been given. In reality the masses neither think nor analyze nor decide, although they are supposedly granted such abilities. Lacking individuality, the masses are an amorphous amalgam, whose unique feature is its quantity, although not a mandatory requirement: the masses is a generic everything without limits. It may consist of ten, a hundred, a thousand or a hundred thousand people. For the purpose of its use it’s all the same.

In opposition to the exist individualities and the sense of belonging. Each individual is different from the others, although there may be features that are common. The difference is precisely what makes them valuable and important. Each individuality tends to cluster in what we call a sense of ownership, without losing its own distinctive features. The first group is familiar characters, and therefore we say a sense of belonging to the family. Then follows a sense of belonging to the neighborhood, school, society, recreation or social club, the workplace, religion, profession, social class, city or town, and so on until reaching the sense of belonging to the country, which some mistakenly coincide with the patriotic sense, exalting it too much, leaving aside all the previous ones, which are actually the most important and lead to the latter, within national boundaries.

The existence of the sense ownership ensures that each of them can defend something that can be partially or completely different from that of others. Thus, having a sense of belonging to the family makes to prioritize and defend the family interests, as opposed to those of others, to possess a sense of belonging to the neighborhood makes you want to fight for its improvement, and so on. This sense of belonging is what allows individuals grouped within it, naturally, to become involved in the process of development. It doesn’t exist and is diluted in the concept of the mass, you lose the sense of concrete and daily struggle, which is replaced by a generic sense, regarding plazas and platforms, impossible to quantify and, worse still, to perform.

Thus one hears to the point of tedium about the masses struggling for peace, justice, freedom, equality, and fraternity, and so on. Magnificent slogans for public policy billboards, pamphlets and speeches lacking any essence, true social deceptions, designed to avoid at all costs the participation of individuals, with their sense of belonging in the social and historical realm.

To revive the sense of ownership existing in the Cuban nation since its foundation, is an unavoidable step for solving the accumulated national problems accumulated, as the solution is only possible, by successive solving of the problems of the family, neighborhood, school, work, and so on, or that is, by the fruitful exercise of the sense of belonging.

May 29 2011