The "Intermediary" / Fernando Dámaso

Photo: Rebeca

I am not going to write about the magnificent John Grisham novel of the same title. My intermediary corresponds to one of the dictionary definitions, the one that defines him as the mediator between the producer and consumer. His origin dates back to the emergence of trade between humans, even before the emergence of money as having value, as way to make exchanges between different products. If for centuries he has demonstrated the need for him, I don’t understand why it is that here he has been disallowed by the authorities, and even placed on the list of antisocial and criminal elements, and is being pursued with a vengeance, creating a certain animosity toward him in the common citizen.

Being an intermediary has become synonymous with parasite, living off the work of others, and so on. There have been the groundless persecutions, with the absurd goal of eradicating him, without realizing that, in removing him, we have also lost one of the main links between production and marketing. Maybe that’s why everything here works so badly!

However, what is striking is that the State, his main detractor and persecutor, is saturated with intermediaries. What is the state wholesale agency but a lousy intermediary? What are the officials, administrators, ministers and even politicians, but merely intermediaries between themselves, starting from the ordinary citizen? What are the different national networks of trade, but intermediaries? What happens is that these are state intermediaries and the war is against private intermediaries who, despite difficult operating conditions, have proven much more efficient and accountable than those of the state.

Among the many things to update in the model, one of them is the complete rehabilitation of the intermediary, enabling him to act. While the producers and consumers have no intermediaries to work with their initiatives, efforts and legitimate interests, they will lose the crops in the fields and the products will never reach the hands of the population. Here, as in many other places, the state solution has been a resounding failure. Here, as in many other places, a private solution is needed to solve problems and untie the many bureaucratic knots that still exist, despite the speeches and resolutions.

To keep thinking that anyone who obtains wealth from his work — and that the work of an intermediary is as worthy and necessary as any other — are antisocial ideas, is to continue supporting the absurdity that, to maintain social equity, we all have to be poor. There is widespread evidence that this is a simple fallacy, that only leads to misery, as human beings are stripped of initiative and desire to work and progress, to watch and enjoy the results of their efforts. I think it is time to abandon these unceremoniously extravagant views, they have failed wherever they have been implemented. The present and future has nothing to do with them, if we really want to move forward and develop the nation. Examples abound of what his abandonment has meant to progress! There are also overflowing examples of what it means to maintain him!

April 20 2012