“Laws are like women, they are there to be violated”.
José Manuel Castelao, Spanish official (who had to resign after this statement).
- Transgression is something human. Everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, transgresses (who writes this, and who reads it). Who doesn’t tell a lie sometimes, cheat on a test, keep a change, do some “little trick”? We must not forget that the motels, although they talk about marital fidelity all the time, are always busy…, and not precisely with official couples. The question is to determine the limit of that trap. Private propertyfirst robbery in history” Proudhon would say) today it is legal. Violating it is a crime. The laws stipulate this. But we must not forget that the law is an order made from power, from whoever holds a position of dominance over the dominated. The millionaire’s half-million-dollar Ferrari is legal, the corrupt public official’s is questionable. There is a lot to cut through there: by working every day, can someone buy one of those cars? It is clear that neither the businessman nor the corrupt public official bought that luxurious model with the sweat of their brow. “Work is the only source of wealth”Marx will say. The question is how that wealth is distributed.
- Whoever commits a crime, that is, who breaks the laws, is a serious offender. Now, depending on the amount of power held, this infraction may be more or less tolerable or despicable. In short: what substantial difference is there between a cell phone thief with a knife and a public official who defrauds and keeps several million? Actually, in terms of psychological structure: none. The difference is given by the social place that both occupy. One will have more social “highness”, perhaps a doctorate (which he may have usurped, even plagiarizing the thesis), better clothes, he will have traveled more around the world perhaps, more access to satisfiers, but nothing differentiates him in his roots from the thief who he steals for the meal of the day, or for the dose of drugs. Both are, psychically considered, the same.
- According to the International Classification of Diseases, in its tenth edition (ICD 10), of the World Health Organization -WHO- “psychopathy”, framed in the field of “Asocial personality disorders”, is characterized by: “1) neglect of social obligations and cold feelings towards others, 2) an important difference between the person’s behavior and current social norms, 3) the impossibility of learning from experience, even through punishment, 4) low tolerance for frustration, because if you suffer it, you can resort to violence or aggression, 5) the tendency to blame others for your own mistakes, showing a personality without moral standards, without feeling of guilt”. In other words, the subject with this psychological structure presents “a pattern of behavior characterized by contempt and violation of social norms and the rights of others, lying repeatedly, being impulsive, irritable and aggressive”. Just to illustrate with an example all of the above: why would a bisexual person fill his mouth talking about defending the “sacrosanct” heterosexual and monogamous family, lambasting abortion, if in his life he transgresses the same values (questionable, obviously) that defend tooth and nail?
- We all break some rules, we get into mischief. The human being is the only animal that lies; the other species, no. We can do these “little tricks”, but always with an associated feeling of guilt, afraid of being discovered. There are some, however, who fully enjoy knowing that they are breaking those social regulations, always protected by impunity, which they feel infallibly on their side. Psychopathology, as we saw in the previous paragraph, calls them “psychopaths”. Common sense, popular culture calls them differently, remembering their parents. Who has these characteristics? In general, that population that, ordinarily, ends up in prisons. Or, many times, running the countries: the so-called “professional” politicians.
- In the modern world based on capitalist industry, the State became a key piece; Its complexity and specialized division of functions increasingly requires efficient technocrats. That is why there are what we could call “professional politicians”, those who, through popular election, manage the levers of that State by making decisions, aided by specialized technical personnel. In that sense, politics, understood in this way, began to have a preeminent place in modernity, becoming almost a closed caste with its own logic. Bridging the gap between “corrupt” politicians from the South and transparent ones? of the North, it seems that everyone, or the vast majority at least, are cut from the same cloth. That is to say: they respond to the characterization of the psychological profile described above: manipulators, liars, freeloaders, Machiavellians, unreliable… to say the least. If it is true that cases of corruption occur daily in the global South, is the North developed? is not far behind: there are bribes and financial crimes by public officials everywhere, in Sweden and Japan, in Italy and Spain. In fact, influence peddling, which can be considered a despicable, highly corrupt, nepotistic practice, is legal in the United States, as there are many lobby, lobbying. This leads us to think: what is a professional politician in the framework of capitalism? A liar who claims to govern for the good of the country, but he favors, above all, the powerful, those who financed his campaign. And that, many times, he does his own “business” with the public treasury.
- In Guatemala, several years ago a political group with the characteristics of a corrupt mafia took the reins of the State, basically considering it a spoil of war for their personal or sectoral desires. The State, in any capitalist country, is the mechanism of class oppression, the instrument with which the economically dominant class subjugates the majority, passing off that situation as “normal”, as natural. The true power factors of the country on Guatemalan soil: senior business and the United States embassy, tolerate this current mafia pact for various reasons. In short, because they do “good work” with the dominant sectors, they enact the necessary laws to keep everything the same, and they repress the “poor” if there is popular protest. And at the international level they guarantee a favorable vote for Taiwan in UN votes. All of this is worth letting a little (or a lot) be stolen, so that both the rich, the traditional and the upstarts, can buy the Ferrari. In short: owners are owners, no matter how the fortune was amassed. And, of course, he never did it with his own work (remember the previous quote from Marx).
- That group, popularly known as the “Corrupt Pact,” thought that in the last elections it would once again place one of its operators in the presidency and continue the party. But it was not like that. The voting population, in an act of fed up with so much rampant corruption, issued a punishment vote, with which the Semilla Movement, in the runoff, won the Executive without objections with a 20% distance over its opponent. Of course, this corrupt and mafia pact does not want to hand over power under any circumstances, so it is doing everything possible to block Bernardo Arévalo’s arrival at the presidential seat, knowing that there may be an attempt to oxygenate so much stale air. Hence, he is implementing a virtual technical coup d’état, currently operationalized through the Public Ministry, seeking the most absurd legal tricks to stop the new president from coming to power. With this, in an act of arrogance and discredit of the popular will expressed at the polls, it is breaking the rule of law, becoming a virtual dictatorship disguised as democracy. But the president-elect, who enjoys popular favor, at least in the mass vote, is well seen by other sectors of power, those who have the last word: the government in Washington.
- For some time now, the media bombardment of the Western capitalist press has placed corruption as the evil evil that would be the primary cause of human hardship. And it is not like that! Even an ultra-neoliberal like Olav A. Dirkmaat, a staunch follower of von Hayek and a bastion of the ultra-neoliberal Francisco Marroquín University of Guatemala, can say that “Corruption is universal and has existed at all times; Furthermore, it is inherent to any political and bureaucratic system. In developed countries corruption still exists, but it becomes more “sophisticated” and less “blatant.” There is no relationship between corruption and savings, corruption and development, nor corruption and social honesty. “The fundamental cause of poverty in Guatemala is not corruption, but the lack of savings and investment.” Perhaps poverty is not due to the lack of savings and investment but to the unfair way in which national wealth is distributed, but it is undeniable that some “cheat” by a venal official – do not forget that these people come from the same Guatemalan population. , does not come from another planet – it is not what causes the rates of exploitation and social exclusion. In any case, it should be considered differently: why can some (historical millionaires and new rich people) have the half-million-dollar Ferrari, and the vast majority ride a bicycle, or on foot, and will continue to do so for their entire lives?
- From all this, several conclusions can be drawn: 1) In capitalist countries, the exercise of “professional” politics requires people with a manipulative disposition and not a lover of the truth, willing to do anything; 2) the representative democracy of these countries does not confer real power to the citizens; The final decisions that affect the great majorities do without suffrage, they are taken behind closed doors between the great power factors; 3) in Guatemala, the final power continues to be held by the traditional high-ranking business community (in some cases, heirs of the colonial past) and the United States embassy; the “new rich” who, with mafia-like actions, have developed fortunes, are tolerated by the historical powers, and in some cases, walk together; 4) the current game of powers is not clearly inclined in favor of the Pact of Corrupts, although it has virtually all state structures taken over. In the name of democracy (the weak representative democracy, let’s clarify) important political actors such as the European Union and the OAS – “Washington’s Ministry of Colonies”, as has been said – criticize the quasi-criminal procedures of the current administration, supporting the decision popular that the polls reflected in the second round, to have a new president on February 14, 2024; 5) Bernardo Arévalo’s search for support in the United States to be able to take possession shows – grotesquely – who has the last word in Latin American countries, even though it is now the month of independence?