Dear Chile, you're so hard to grasp. You were supposed to be a pinche dwarf country at the end of the world, and now Chile you are planetary. You are everything. If you were like a walnut, you are now a giant. Here I try to start expressing myself, which my heart needs. I promise to make this a fuller writing soon.
Just a few moments ago I was deeply moved by listening to The Dance of those left-out (El baile de los que sobran). How is it possible that we leave people out? How sad that reality of our civilization. Not only the Chilean one, by the way, but the global one. And in that sadness, there is a small but precious joy: the liberating truth of expressing it, of knowing together that life is not supposed to be like this, that the world is supposed to be for everyone. No one is left out. That feeling is something that unites us, that has truth, that's why it moves us so deeply: we know that we all know it, without the need to say it. The world, life, is for everyone.
The world where all worlds fit, as the Zapatistas say. We need no world left out, no human being left out.
We don't have too many. We all lack. Here in Mexico we lack the 43 of ayotzinapa, I name them among many only because of the meaning in the heart.
I sang that song, the dance of those who are left out, at the top of my lungs in my adolescence or even when I found myself in Chicago with Chileans drinking piscola while I was studying my doctorate in economics. You could say, I was never left out by society: I had all the conventional education I wanted. If I wanted to I would have (at least in principle) access to a salary many times over the minimum wage. On October 22, when the social movement had barely burst, I was "demonstrating" with my family from a hotel near the airport eating smoked salmon and ceviche. (Actually, desperate to get out of Chile).
However, I have long realized that I have always been left out. In fact, I haven't had a salary in almost 10 years. What I want to do with my life, legitimately, doesn't fit into the conventional schemes of the possible. To the society of the exigency, of the adulthood of rationality, all those of us who want to be as we are, human as only children know how to be, are left out. We don't fit in.
The voices of the left, of the people, also leave out all the "bad guys" on the other side. All of us who think we are "good" have too many "bad" ones. And to top it all off, I myself am left out more than ever: how can I say these unacceptable things that I say? That the separation between good and bad is absurd?
Dear fellow Chileans, do you realize how our speeches always exclude someone? Do you realize that as you express your feelings, emotions, truths, you always have a mood that others should feel or see the truth as you do? No one should "feel" in any way, let's start there. Everyone feels the way they do. I have felt excluded, silenced, with less and no more, permission to be as I am and with less and no more space to express myself. I am referring specifically to the voices of the left-wing anti-whatever-it-is, which force like a dictatorship that there is only one truth, only one permitted way of seeing things. In the world you propose, not all worlds fit, know that mine doesn't fit there. It's not that I'm interested in giving permission to the "adversary", with whom I don't identify for the same reasons either. I am interested in a world where there are other ways of telling things, less absurd than separating between good and bad.
CHILE WOKE UP
Something's happened and it's still happening, true. If you want me to get emotional with you because we are finally going to win the war against the "bad guys", I'm sorry, I'm not invited by that emotion. It is true that we have been trampled on so much... that when we could finally win a battle or war against power, it would be so wonderful, it would be a tremendous relief of justice to what we have been waiting for centuries.
Chile, let's wake up, we're not going to win any war. It's an illusion. There is no war in which someone really wins.
If Piñera resigns, then do we win? Really? Absurd. I'm interested in the space where we've all lost, where there's no hope, for its veracity. That's how radical holism is: hope is not a muscle, it's not an achievement, it's something that simply is. Hope that arises from the death of all expectations.
Dear Chile. I offer to accompany an atrocious death, that's why maybe nobody wants to listen to me. If one deeply understands the conventional economic system, one understands that inequality is an endemic phenomenon, the natural cause of money issued as debt, and not the result of greed or corruption.
Some point out that Chile was the laboratory of the Chicago boys, as if inequality and injustice only occurred in Chile. Not at all. Neoliberal capitalism occurs everywhere, even in Cuba. The differences, if you look with perspective, are minor. Neoliberal capitalism is actually a natural consequence of conceiving life in separation, as argued at length in my essay The Space for a New Way of Thinking Economics. If some had not intellectualized it, others would have done it: it is a natural part of the evolution of our history, and that is why it continues to colonize every corner of the planet.
That a few countries are extremely richer, and a few people in each country are extremely richer than most, is mostly a luck phenomenon. Those who are already rich will continue to be richer and richer, because money and property of all kinds rents. If they were not some, they would be others. See Understanding money for more information. In a context where economic growth is increasingly difficult (and painful), the economy works just like the game of musical chairs. Listen carefully: there is no public policy to solve inequality. There are only possible mitigations, all squalid. There is no solution inside the box of the possible. There is a solution in the change of script, of narrative.
Happy day of death.
I tell you that much more than I can express, is dying. It has a lot to do with the personal, with the intimate.
(originally published on facebook on November 1, 2019)