Politics keeps calling for ethics. He needs it to be legitimized and validated against citizenship. This seems obvious, in practice and in practices It’s not. Certain forms of politics use methods that would not pass the scrutiny of the most common ethical sense. In an earlier column we alluded to necessary values and sensitivities and, given the context in which we live, urgent. We talk about compassion and care. We could certainly refer to other virtues that the policy has been leaving «in a folder» due to imposed parameters and supposedly unquestionable hegemonic visions.
Contextual Political Theology, the one concerned about social movements and impoverished people, the one that is developed as its own thinking in Latin America, has had to deal with diverse forms, practices and political systems and, there, has tried place a humanistic and personalistic view on the discussion. Visions, no doubt, debatable. Current policy continues to challenge the policy itself. Raising the substantive questions: What ways? What institutionality? For what and for whom? We are just interested in going back to those issues.
It seems that from the right we are governed by policies of maximisation, where numbers prevail over the collective. Statements that do not tire of delaying individual freedom and maximum benefits, without explaining or specifying what are or what the costs are to carry them out. Premises on premises. Hasn’t the specific person, with his problems and hopes, disappeared? Have we not soured, over and over, behind data, figures, revenue and speeches?
Such Political Theology has not ceased to seek that human face and defend it at all costs. His documents, from decades and the most recent, repeat time and time again, the horror of devastation, the forgetfulness of the poor and denounce policies where solidarity, sharing and dedication take place. «Free competition» has devoured social practices and public policies linked to donation, surrender and resignation. Fearsome words that are not understandable outside the realm of the private. It could be summed up in a » «within your home be generous, but in the public sphere be competitive». However, leaders such as Clotario Blest and Anita Gonzalez said and showed quite the opposite. A meaningful life goes far beyond market, profit and success.
We live on a lame table. The new – which are never really new – right-wing political discourses take a highly dangerous stance. As a closed circle, the ideas that underpin such discourses do not let in; they don’t host, they don’t talk. They’re not speeches, they’re exhortations. They don’t tell us about projects, they tell us about agendas. They do not encourage the new, but seek to restore tradition and power. They’re domesticating speeches. And it seems that the interlocutors are their pets. It is a domestication through fear and uncertainty. Some of it was the «chilezuela» who triumphed. Some of that is in the domesticating political speeches of Trump, Bolsonaro, VOX in Spain and José Antonio Kast, in Chile.
In the face of clouds of non-knowledge and the escalation of the violent and uncontrolled; the heroes of order appear. Those who, with two contraptions – hard hand – and novel languages – public performances and religious neopopulism – promise what we have not been able, as a society, to achieve. Economic stability and citizen security. Rhetorical and ambiguous promises, as they remain in the abstract, again. Security, for whom? Economic stability, for whom, where, to do what? These promises, which are otherwise neither sustainable nor sustainable from an ecological or even moral perspective; they want to put the agenda on eco-social justice, equal opportunities, quality education for all and decent health.
Conservative policies that gradually show off their aprioris Religious. His right-wing political theology. But perhaps, and there we have been naive, it is more about gadgets and tricks of power; flags to add to climb positions and win adherents. In other words, that Bolsonaro appears with a T-shirt that says «Jesus 2019», together with a group of shepherds in an Evangelical March or that José Antonio Kast repeats several times (tweeting it also) that he did not celebrate Piñera’s triumph because he preferred to go and give thanks at a Mass; they are not believing confessions, but political confessions; they do not correspond to well-meaning spiritual manifestations, but to «well-meaning» political resources. God accompanies Kast, so he walks in His benevolent hand. Nothing we can miss. Actually, and it has to be explained; these neo-conservative policies have very little theology. They do not build a political project of Christian roots, but the other way around. Using New Testament slogans (such as the defense of the family; Which? Which? based on what?), they seek to position themselves in spheres of political power, to develop figures and movements, which have little or nothing to do with service, justice and Fraternity. His preachings are more similar to a judge’s opinions, than to words and silences proper to who is at the table as the one he serves. And how important it is to say, for the figure of the Judge has nothing to do with the Christian. Jesus himself turned away from this figure (Mt 7:1; Jn 3:17) announcing mercy and the «other cheek». Christianity is not about making judgments or sitting in the judge’s seat. Jesus, explains successively that his message speaks of inclusion (of all the different and different) and not of verdicts or blunt impositions on the other. How far away from hate speech, violent messages and nationalist promises!
And we haven’t weighed that seriously. A false innocence is revealed in these discourses and practices. A kind of funny ignorance (as in the Lavín of the artificial beaches in the center of Santiago). Communication ingenuities that are rather a strategy. A strategy so good that it has Trump and Bolsonaro leading towns and channeling stories. Let us not forget that language creates reality and power produces the real (Foucault). Strategy that feeds – awkwardly – piñericosas. Aren’t they funny? They’re so funny, we forget they’re real and rule us. New strategies, from the show, the «torpeza», the «involuntary error» (sic), to tame consciences and appease social forces. A theo-politics of the ridiculous.
Another aprioris immutable for these discursive elucubrations is private property. The complicated here falls in the second rather than the first, namely, in Private. The culture of the private, as it encompasses much more than economic or legal; expressed in existential terms. Mine’s worth more than us. Own is more important than yours. Again, we must not be naive; the freedom and autonomy of the subject are great conquests of modernity. However, from an ecological and social perspective, they have been exacerbated and absolutized to the point of having thousands in misery, of generating what Achille Mbembe calls a «political necro», that version of neoliberal and neocolonial policy, whose by-product it’s death. Economic death for millions of debt slaves, social death of entire peoples mired in poverty and abandonment, ecological death of biodiversity, fruits of unaware extractivism. Death of ecosystems called and targeted as slaughter zones.
It is worth distinguishing because not everything is a consequence of concepts or ideas. Life in society is neither simple nor simplistic; but we must certainly be alert to some religious use and manipulation in favour of inadequate, intolerant and ankylized political constructs in this also dangerous equation between economic power, political power and communication power. We must not tire of talking about solidarity, justice, social peace, dialogue, public debate, citizen participation, donation, dedication, care, hospitality and equity in all aspects. We can’t build politics and society from hate and spectacle. This will only continue to fuel this «political necro.»
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