Thursday, May 26

Either all or none | The weekly country

Today I had a very attractive idea to make an article, but I have not dared to use it. As veteran readers know (sorry to repeat myself), for printing reasons I always write this article 15 days before publication. Which means that, as I type this, we are experiencing the backlash of the agonizing assault on Ceuta, with thousands of people deceived, dehydrated and exhausted; with dying children like the baby that the civil guard Juanfran took out of the water (what a boring picture, it made a hole in my retina); with hundreds of minors stacked in warehouses as if they were lost and found (somehow they are). Within 15 days, that is, in your present, the crisis will have passed and it will even be forgotten, because we do not want to remember. But today I don’t feel capable of talking about anything else. The perversity of the Moroccan regime, capable of using all these people as cannon fodder for its interests, leaves me stunned. And the outdated and deeply unjust world order that allows or even encourages all of this breaks my heart. It is an obsessive subject because of how painful it is. The fingers go alone to the words.

World tragedies, the paroxysms of Evil, have a strange effect on people. There is Adorno’s famous phrase about the impossibility of writing poetry after Auschwitz, an opinion that has always seemed wrong to me, starting because, unfortunately, there have been many other exterminations before Auschwitz. Like, for example, the destruction of Carthage in the second century BC: after killing 450,000 people, the Romans sown the ruins with salt so that in that blood-soaked land the grass would not sprout. Not a shred of life in the realm of death.

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From Adorno’s words it seems to be deduced an idea that I do not share either: that, in the face of absolute suffering, the search for beauty is an aberration. When I believe, on the contrary, that this is our most effective weapon to fight the darkness and try to be better than we are. I suppose the phrase was a scream of agony, a reflex movement in the face of horror. He had to live the atrocity of the Holocaust, and it is true that there are examples of Evil so colossal that one feels them like a punch in the stomach, a blow that leaves you gasping and unable to speak. Perhaps the most difficult thing to cope with is the irremediable feeling of guilt before the victims. When part of humanity is being tormented, how can you calmly enjoy the wonderful luck of being safe? You have done nothing to deserve it and you could have been one of them. I think we have invented myths like heaven and hell or reincarnation to endure the nonsense of this colossal injustice. To be able to tell us: they suffer because they are paying for something they did in another life. Or: now they suffer but they will go to paradise.

Then there are individuals, the most brutal, the most miserable, who defend themselves from uneasiness by despising the victims. They are those brainless people who, in a crisis like Ceuta, act funny saying: “If they worry you so much, take them home.” Or that they brag about being born on this side of the border and not being, say, famished Sub-Saharan Africans, as if they had some personal merit in genetic chance.

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These ferocious fools also ignore that the world has changed forever; that we can no longer divide it between ourselves and others; that, for our own convenience (I am not even talking about empathy and ethics), developed societies have to help economically the weakest; that we must put this item in the GDP as something necessary for our own survival, and establish control and pressure mechanisms to prevent the tyrants on duty from squandering the money. All of which is extremely complicated, I know, but also urgent.

As for the madmen who insulted Luna, the Red Cross volunteer who hugged an immigrant, I would like to tell you that all your hatred and stupidity is not going to save you from the debacle that is coming. In this global world, either we are all saved or none of us. When I see behavior like this, in short, I regret not believing in hell: it would be comforting to think that all that evil will receive a punishment.

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