It is well known that human beings have a rational and an emotional intelligence. Perhaps a good definition of happiness is living in perfect harmony between them, but, unfortunately, conflicts between the two are frequent and perhaps inevitable, which Pascal synthesized wonderfully when he stated that “the heart has reasons that reason does not know ” However, despite how difficult it is to achieve a balance between both intelligences, there is no other choice but to live trying because the way to become dehumanized monsters is always to silence and atrophy one to exalt the other. The elimination of emotional intelligence is the cradle of the assassins, the executioners, the tyrants, and from it Machiavelli drew his Prince and Shakespeare his Richard III. The elimination of rational intelligence, for its part, is the matrix of fanatics, terrorists, drug addicts, and from it came Othello and the Ku Klux Klan.
To make matters worse, the atrophy of some of these human intelligences can be induced from the outside to achieve a certain behavior from the individual. It is what you do when you want to get a good executioner or a good professional murderer and, at the other extreme, a good terrorist willing to kill himself. When that was discovered, techniques began to emerge to massify these atrophies or hypertrophies, some more innocent than others. What is marketing and propaganda if not the art of exalting our feelings and cushioning our reason to get us to consume what we don’t need or pay more for a perfectly replaceable product because it has a certain logo?
The dangerous ground begins, however, when persuasion techniques are used to inoculate dogmas or achieve disruptive social behavior. The power that can be achieved for this purpose is beautifully illustrated by the comparative history of religions. Examining them, it is discovered that all of them expanded, awakening the emotional flank of the crowds, exalting their piety, their fears, their sufferings, their goals in life. It is only after their expansion that they begin the effort to reconcile human reason with elaborate theologies and cosmogony that mysteries often have to be resorted to in precarious accommodation.
But the height of danger is faced when persuasion techniques are applied in the political arena, where the gamut ranges from “selling” the placid conformity to destructive fury. Proof of this is that every government that has existed in the history of humanity has used propaganda and each war waged was always presided over by an effort of popular exaltation of which harangue and even music have always been part.
But the one who transformed the hitherto empirical techniques of manipulating reasons and emotions into exact science was Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda. He was the one who discovered that, if he managed to have an overwhelming propaganda apparatus with a generous slogan that, however deceitful and illogical they were, they would all point to a handful of simple and direct ideas (the Reich of a thousand years, the messianic leader , the superior race, the Jewish enemy, etc.), a people could be led as a flock to any extreme. And such was his success, that he managed to make one of the most educated and sensitive peoples in the world a silent accomplice of the worst atrocities and follow his messianic Führer to a final holocaust as only Wagner had managed to imagine in his Twilight of the Gods.
Goebbels was buried under the rubble of the same hell he helped unleash, but his show of efficiency did not die with him, but was well used by the victors, most particularly by Marxist communism in the Soviet Union. It seems paradoxical, but it is not because all the conditions of the Goebbels recipe were met there: absolute control of the media, a utopia under construction, an enemy to hate and destroy. The basic postulate of Marxism, such as historical materialism with its consequence of permanent class struggle, is condemned to use hatred and resentment as fundamental tools for its diffusion, so that Goebbels’s recipe could even adapt it to the use of the Communist parties still inserted in societies in which they coexist with other political currents and must fight to obtain quotas of power. That adaptation marked, up to our times, the strategies used by all the PCs that remain in the world.
In more than some previous reflection I have affirmed that Marxism has more characteristics of religion than of a traditional political party, and that similarity is evidenced in several characteristics: dogmatism, eminently emotional diffusion, incapacity of true reconciliation with other people, exclusively dedicated apostolates, Praxis that seeks encompasses the complete existence of the human being and not only his public behavior, uncompromising particular ethics, etc. Certainly, these shared characteristics point to completely different objectives, and this, in what is most noticeable, is in the exalted feelings for the diffusion: in the religions, they are the positive ones (piety, kindness, charity, commiseration); in Marxism they are the negatives (hatred, resentment, frustration, etc.). That is why Marxism could be classified as a religion without God, as a negative copy of them.
Although the subject of the comparison between communism and Christianity exceeds the terms of a short reflection, it is necessary to take it into account to understand the attitude of the CP in the crisis that our country is currently experiencing. For this, we must accept the premise, which is obvious, for the PC, prolonged periods of prosperity and social peace are fatal. The last decades have cost the Chilean PC the loss of 80% of its electorate, as if half a century ago it managed to capture one vote out of every four voters, in the last parliamentary election it received less than one vote for every twenty voters. The conclusion is unequivocal: the PC tends to disappear in prolonged periods of accelerated development and, therefore, its policy seeks to hinder them as much as possible while it does not have the fullness of political power. And this is very logical because its growth depends on the sowing of hatred and resentment, and this is more difficult and less fruitful when everyone is busy sharing progress rather than detesting the one who does it best. In the current conditions of the country, the PC already knows that it will have a very favorable terrain to grow under the misery and unemployment that will reign after the appalling health crisis we are experiencing, so that its entire strategy will focus on taking advantage of those circumstances.
But, in the short term, a great danger looms over him, which is that the gravity of the current situation generates a new Democratic Concentration of National Unity that stabilizes a period of social peace and economic solidarity reconstruction. If this happens, it would face another period of political isolation with serious electoral consequences and with no other perspective than to grow at the expense of the Broad Front. However, this scenario seems unlikely, because in Chile today there is no leadership capable of successfully summoning a great national salvation front and the current government lacks that power.
All in all, one thing is certain and that is that the PC, in the next stage, will thoroughly use the Goebbels recipe. The result may be the Currency, but it may also be Pisagua.
Note: Pisagua was the place of reclusion of the communists when the Defense of Democracy Law was approved under the government of Don Gabriel González Videla.