Guatemala y la Rebelión en la Granja

Una vez más, estamos a las puertas de la intensificación de la crisis política que arrancó con las capturas e investigaciones del MP y la CICIG. Guatemala sigue luchando por su independencia mientras los dueños de la riqueza y del poder buscan controlar los medios, acallar a los opositores y someter a quienes aún estamos libres. Hoy recordaré la Rebelión en la Granja escrita por George Orwell, esta obra se imprimió en mi pensamiento político y me ha hecho reflexionar en repetidas ocasiones sobre la naturaleza de nuestra democracia.

Cambiar una ortodoxia por otra no supone necesariamente un progreso.[i]

La Rebelión en la Granja  fue escrita por George Orwell para cuestionar el avance de la historia política tomando como ejemplo la corrupción del sistema socialista después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. En la obra, Orwell criticó el orden socialista de la URSS en forma de una fábula con animales que eran liderados por cerdos.

En la granja habían distintos animales como el cuervo, que representaba la religión ortodoxa y obedecía intereses paralelos, las gallinas que representaban a los seres más ignorantes del territorio soviético y que no tenían una educación política, económica y social; las ovejas que representaban al pueblo capaz de decidir, con voz y voto pero que, por engaños y trampas obedecían en silencio; los caballos y el burro que representaban a la clase media que obedecía servilmente a la causa de sus amos; los perros que representaban el ejército creado por los cerdos para suprimir cualquier intento de protesta y subversión. Todos estos animales estaban bajo el gobierno de los cerdos, la clase dirigente y los ases bajo la mesa con los cuales sus líderes Napoleón (José Stalin) y Snowball (León Trotsky) dirigían las labores de la granja.

El Cerdo Napoleón escaló rápidamente en los puestos dirigentes hasta tomar el control de la Granja. En su ascenso, actuó con astucia para eliminar a su oposición y prontamente se deshace de su principal aliado y opositor el cerdo Snowball, acusándolo de traición.

Esta fábula fue escrita como una elocuente y voraz fotografía de nuestra sociedad. Y de acá podemos hacer muchas analogías para entender lo que está sucediendo en nuestra sociedad guatemalteca actualmente.

Hemos visto cómo nuestros líderes de distintos sectores han caído víctimas de la avaricia, el poder y la ostentación. Se consolidó un Pacto de Corruptos en septiembre de 2017 y se ha fortalecido con la elección de una cuestionada Junta Directiva del Congreso de la República. El año 2018 será un año decisivo para la continuación o fracaso de la lucha contra la impunidad que la CICIG y el MP han realizado en los últimos años contra viento y marea.

Nuestro país, al igual que en la Granja de Orwell, ha caído víctima de los cerdos que desean proteger su poder y privilegios a toda costa. Detrás de bambalinas la lucha entre los cerdos también ha aumentado y hay facciones en la elite del Estado Paralelo respecto a quién debe controlar qué pedazo del país. En Guatemala, como en la Granja, los ideales han sido suplantados por la “normalización de la corrupción”, la protección de intereses económicos corporativistas, el despilfarro del erario público, la prepotencia del garrote por quienes controlan el gobierno y las amenazas a quienes nos atrevemos a escribir y pensar distinto a ellos.

En la Rebelión de la Granja Orwell explica, al igual que hicieron los griegos dos mil años antes, que hay dos factores fundamentales para destruir cualquier sistema democrático: la ignorancia del pueblo y la falta de virtudes de los líderes que llegan al poder.

¿Por qué la ignorancia es un problema en las democracias? Simplemente porque a una persona ilustrada no se le puede engañar tan fácilmente como para que acepte cambiar su estatus quo y, mucho menos, que acepte entregar su protección a líderes que carecen de los principios éticos y jurídicos de una sociedad de hombres libres.

Como segundo punto, en la Rebelión se menciona la falta de virtudes de los líderes como uno de los peores problemas de las democracias. Ese es el caso de nuestra Guatemala donde nuestros líderes, tan pronto llegan el poder, lo manejan a su conveniencia y hacen de él lo que les place. Manejados siempre, como los cerdos, por sentimientos de arrogancia, avaricia y arribismo.

No hay mejor fotografía de un cerdo que la figura del arribista Jimmy Morales que ha sido incapaz de responsabilizarse de los sobresueldos, compras y lujos que ha recibido. Como él, los líderes políticos, se rodean de oportunistas que les permiten enriquecerse ilícitamente y hacen a un lado a las personas éticas que desean hacer un cambio justo y merecido para los animales. Como en la Granja, a todos los que nos oponemos al régimen nos acusan de “vulgares” y, tal como ocurrió con el cerdo Snowball, nos buscarán acusar de traición.

En la obra de Orwell se ejemplifica en repetidas ocasiones como es que los cerdos se distancian poco a poco del resto de los animales y se sitúan en un lugar preferencial. Mientras tanto, el abuso de poder de los cerdos se acompañaba de la supresión violenta y silenciosa de la oposición para establecer un nuevo régimen. Al respecto, las palabras de Henry Kissinger son elocuentes porque todo cambio o revolución trae consigo la “ley de hierro de las revoluciones: cuanto más extensa sea la erradicación de la autoridad, tanto más deberán basarse sus sucesores en la fuerza bruta para establecerse”[ii].

Los momentos que vivimos en Guatemala son de una fuerza impresionante y como no hemos visto en muchos años. La libertad de los guatemaltecos para construir y perseguir nuestros sueños está siendo amenazada por un gobierno corrupto que es apoyado una elite económica que se ha enriquecido en muchas ocasiones ilícitamente. Este es un momento muy importante para que continuemos siendo críticos ciudadanos de nuestro gobierno. A quienes no han leído la Rebelión en la Granja los invitó a hacerlo y a quienes ya la leyeron, las invito a reflexionar sobre cómo podemos rescatar a nuestra Guatemala de la tiranía de los cerdos. ¡Aún estamos a tiempo!

[i] “Orwell, George (1978). Rebelión en la Granja. España: Ediciones Destino. pp. 42

[ii] Kissinger, Henry (1995). La Diplomacia. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica.  pp. 648

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February 26: The day the Communist Manifesto was published

These are some of the most used words in The Communist Manifesto
“WordCloud” of some of the most used terms in The Communist Manifesto

26 February, 1848: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, a political theory that has become one of the modern world’s most influential documents and a source of inspiration for most of our political leaders.

The Communist Manifesto changed the face of the twentieth century beyond recognition, inspiring millions to revolution became an ideological source for millions of deaths (at least 94 million people according to Werth et al. Margolin‘s The Black Book of Communism).  This book has become the basis of political systems that dominate countless lives and continues to ignite violent debate about class and mixed systems of economic and political government today.

If you have never read this book (as most of its advocates have surely not done so) I encourage you to read it and study it attentively.

communist manifesto karl marx book cover

In countries where modern civilisation has become fully developed, a new class of petty bourgeois has been formed, fluctuating between proletariat and bourgeoisie, and ever renewing itself as a supplementary part of bourgeois society. The individual members of this class, however, are being constantly hurled down into the proletariat by the action of competition, and, as modern industry develops, they even see the moment approaching when they will completely disappear as an independent section of modern society, to be replaced …” Manifesto

Table of Online Contents for the Communist Manifesto:

Preamble
I:   Bourgeois and Proletarians
II: Proletarians and Communists
III: Socialist and Communist Literature
IV: Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties

Other Free Versions for Download: AudioWordepubprcPDF, Kindle.

For All the Tea in China

22 February, 1784: The first American trade ship to China weighs anchor in New York City. The history of trade between China and the West is fraught with conflict and cultural complications, as demonstrated by the audacious 19th-century attempt by the British to steal China’s tea crop and transplant it to its own plantations in India. The caper is recounted in Sarah Rose‘s FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA.

In the dramatic story of one of the greatest acts of corporate espionage ever committed, Sarah Rose recounts the fascinating, unlikely circumstances surrounding a turning point in economic history. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the British East India Company faced the loss of its monopoly on the fantastically lucrative tea trade with China, forcing it to make the drastic decision of sending Scottish botanist Robert Fortune to steal the crop from deep within China and bring it back to British plantations in India. Fortune’s danger-filled odyssey, magnificently recounted here, reads like adventure fiction, revealing a long-forgotten chapter of the past and the wondrous origins of a seemingly ordinary beverage.

22 February, 1784: The first American trade ship to China weighs anchor in New York City. The history of trade between China and the West is fraught with conflict and cultural complications, as demonstrated by the audacious 19th-century attempt by the British to steal China's tea crop and transplant it to its own plantations in India. The caper is recounted in Sarah Rose's FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA: http://bit.ly/Zn5SltIn the dramatic story of one of the greatest acts of corporate espionage ever committed, Sarah Rose recounts the fascinating, unlikely circumstances surrounding a turning point in economic history. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the British East India Company faced the loss of its monopoly on the fantastically lucrative tea trade with China, forcing it to make the drastic decision of sending Scottish botanist Robert Fortune to steal the crop from deep within China and bring it back to British plantations in India. Fortune's danger-filled odyssey, magnificently recounted here, reads like adventure fiction, revealing a long-forgotten chapter of the past and the wondrous origins of a seemingly ordinary beverage.

The 55th Anniversary of Atlas Shrugged

“My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists—and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the ruling values of his life: Reason—Purpose—Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge—Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve—Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man’s virtues…” Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged

55 years ago was published the book Atlas Shrugged written by Ayn Rand.  I love this book because it tells wonderfully Ayn Rand’s philosophy of life in the form of a psychological thriller. As many of my usual readers know, I have been a student of Objectivist Philosohpy for many years and I apply her ideas in the understanding of Global History.

At the core of Objectivism is the morality of reason.  It is because of this approach to morality, that the book Atlas Shrugged is more than amazing fiction for me. I consider the book one of the most valuable instruments I have to guide my life, my writings and my decisitions.  If you have not read Atlas Shrugged today would be a great day to begin the journey.  If you have already read it, I want to congratulate you for having found out Who was John Galt?

New book!!! Living Economics by Peter J. Boettke

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Living Economics:
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
By Peter J. Boettke

The passion of the teacher is often the inspiration for the student. In Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Peter J. Boettke illuminates how economics affects all walks of life, whether in the marketplace, voting booth, church, family, or any human activity. Boettke believes that economics is not merely a game to be played by clever professionals, but a discipline that touches on the most pressing practical issues at any historical juncture. The wealth and poverty of nations are at stake; the length and quality of life turns on the economic conditions individuals find themselves living with.Economics provides a powerful framework for understanding what goes on in the marketplace, the voting booth, the family, the community, and every other sphere of social activity; indeed, the application (or misapplication) of its principles shapes the fate of nations. So teaching and learning economics are high stakes ventures. Living Economics introduces us to major thinkers: from Smith, Say, and Bastiat of the Classical School, to Neoclassical and Austrian scholars (Menger, Mises, Hayek, Kirzner, and Rothbard) on to New Institutional economists (Alchian, Coase, Demsetz, North, Ostrom and Williamson) and Public Choice theorists (Buchanan, Tullock, and others). This engaging and reasoned book is a must-read for economists, students, and everyone else who wishes to better understand economics.
» Read the Full Summary

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Praise for Living Economics:

Living Economics is a superb book. . . . It is vintage Boettke: engaging, witty, and chock full of insight. This book should be put in the hands of every first-year student of economics!”
Bruce Caldwell, Research Professor of Economics and Director, Center for the History of Political Economy, Duke University

“Boettke’s extraordinary intellectual generosity and unmatched intellectual enthusiasm [are] rare qualities which have enabled him to discover nuggets of valuable theoretical insight in the work of a wide array of economists, many of whom are generally thought to be far away from the Austrian tradition which Boettke himself splendidly represents.”
Israel M. Kirzner, Professor Emeritus of Economics, New York University

Living Economics is a solid book that counters the excessive simulations of modern academic economics while, at the same time, avoiding the temptation to extend application of the logic beyond reasonable limits.”
James M. Buchanan, Jr., Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, Advisory General Director of the Center for Study of Public Choice, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics, George Mason University

“Boettke’s passion for economics and the clarity of his vision make Living Economics a pleasure to read. No reader will fail to benefit from his broad and deep insights.”
Steven E. Landsburg, Professor of Economics, University of Rochester; author, The Armchair Economist

Living Economics is inspired by Boettke’s students and great teachers, such as Boulding and Kirzner, and the central theme that economics has strayed dangerously from a ‘mainline’ emphasis on process and rules, as opposed to outcomes. The mainline sinew is rooted in Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments extending to Hayek, Ostrom and other moderns whom Boettke examines with deep understanding of their relevance for our time.”
Vernon L. Smith, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences; George L. Argyros Endowed Chair in Finance and Economics, Chapman University School of Law

“Loaded with content well worth reading and carefully arrayed gems from the history of thought. . . . But be careful as you read, Boettke’s love affair with economics is contagious. You will find yourself cheering for more.”
Bruce Yandle, Professor of Economics Emeritus, Clemson University

“Boettke’s deep scholarship, serious reflections and passion for economics come through on every page.”
Steve H. Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics, Johns Hopkins University

Living Economics is a spirited, passionate, and exciting tour of free-market economics. I enjoyed every page!”
Andrei Shleifer, Professor of Economics, Harvard University; Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research

Book Review: Free Will

Free Will

Harris explores the notion that free will is an illusion in this nimble book (which, at 83 pages, can be read in one sitting or a couple of Metro rides), amiably and conversationally jumping from point to point. The book’s length is one of its charms: He never belabors any one topic or idea, sticking around exactly as long as he needs to in order to lay out his argument (and tackle the rebuttals that it will inevitably provoke) and not a page longer. Go to article

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Review of Austrian Economics—The Full Collection! (e-book format)

Review of Austrian Economics, Full Collection - Digital Book

This are great news for those of you interested in reading and learning more of the ideas that enabled a revolutionary development of new understandings on Economics and Human Action.

Murray Rothbard had long dreamed of an Austrian academic journal. In 1986, his dream came true. The Mises Institute published it, and it changed everything. Now they can be conveniently read on your digital device!

The individual issues have been nearly impossible to find, until now. Today you can own the entire set, learn from the pioneering articles that Murray and his co-editors saw as crucial, and see what gave the modern Austrian movement its scholarly momentum.”

GET THEM HERE