How to strengthen the quality of democracy in Paraguay

Christian Roig Gonzalez, Paraguay

Paraguay, a devalued area, descends downhill towards plains of robbery and null institutionality. As long as we continue to be a kaleidoscope of political conflicts as unnecessary as the persistent tendencies of the community towards fleeting fashions, the fence that was erected in part by a people executioner of itself will never disappear. This barrier separates us from that long-awaited meta-legal value, takes us away from the supposed foundation of any legal system, we are leagues away from having the haven of peace that may lead to exquisite statements. An exercise in abstraction is not even necessary to realize our deplorable situation, the dire circumstances are presented to us with objectivity:

We go out to our daily movement and involuntarily we run into situations that bring us closer to a kind of Roman amphitheater.

The ways to channel our indignation towards certain attitudes assumed by those who exercise public power are the same ways that these despots use with a clear objective: to assault us “refined”.  We wield fallacies and take for granted that a statement is implausible, we only attribute a stigma to the issuer, we seek in passing, to discredit without understanding what is happening and in this way with clearly savage overtones we shout expletives without even knowing the true background of the situation.  How many similarities with the fights that gladiators fought in rugged chapters of the history of mankind!  The beloved Paraguayan poet Luis María Martínez already made a release in his verses: They see but don’t feel, they feel and they don’t understand!

What is worth more in this civilization of the spectacle? Firm convictions and unwavering principles that ensure the survival of institutions or the relegation of virtue to the background in order to achieve short-lived benefits?  Is a table crammed with prebendarism and lack of judgment worth more than a bare ground free of scourges?

For those who, deep down, harbor the desire to prosper, it is not difficult to answer the questions raised above. It is so daunting to know that for years the entire globe has been reeling without stopping. The opacity and secrecy are feeding devastating scourges that relentlessly plague the pseudo-democracy in which we develop with great regret our legal, political, social life, etc.

The men who govern us (for the most part) are faithful reflections of the model of the “mediocre man” that José Ingenieros so meticulously described, those who in their accommodating life are debased and cowed, those who do not have a trace of critical judgment,  Those who are always accompanied by an entourage of genuflexes who for small gifts are capable of shouting denunciations of an innocent child and those who, after having hidden under a dark curtain the embers left by their illegality, proceed to give grandiose speeches pontificating to be the great  change’s agents.  We are far from the Aristotelian paradigm that exhorts to give flutes to the best flute players.

That the political scene is crammed with corrupt is not something new.  Fortunately, what was once a chimera in the hearts of the righteous in short steps is becoming a reality.  Observing united civic factions, struggling to contain the darkness used by politicians in their actions is encouraging;  seeing politicians held accountable is even more so.  At a gradual pace we are achieving the subjection of political decisions to citizen control, step by step we understand that the civic surveillance tool is given through transparency.

One of the cardinal issues to access full levels of development is the primacy of dialectics in the respective minds in charge of legislating, only then can a conclusion be reached whose base is enriched with reasonable dissent.

To start a debate unscathed on expressions of power, the love of wisdom is essential.  Banishing pristine phenomena of dominance is a job that very few men are empowered or willing to do, perhaps because this skill presupposes a flexible mindset, above all a predisposition to learning (despite the rhetorical devices used to persuade the “adversary”  are ineffective; one should not vociferate complaints if the probative force of the arguments of the other party involved in the discussion is greater).

The lack of a culture of debate leads to an outrage on a right enshrined in our democratic system, a means to express disagreements and present ideas. Satanizing a person for lack of ideological agreement is as wrong as trying to grow sesame sprouts on the top of a frozen mountain, attributing bad intentions to those who give their approval to a proposal and those who disapprove of it with the typical terse unfounded answer (“  because yes ”) it is also.

We must consider the consequences that an idea can bring and overcome our judgment on simple impetuous and visceral anger.  If what we are looking for is that our actions are in frank consonance with the democratic precepts that constitutional democracy theoretically defends, dialectic should prevail, a healthy confrontation of ideas that allows us to strengthen public debate and thus improve our democratic quality.