Artists as Intellectuals?

In a society like ours, of consumption, opulent for the few, whose god is the market, the image has replaced the concept. We stopped reading to look, even when we rarely see one.

And so artists, actors, singers, announcers and TV hosts have replaced intellectuals.

This replacement comes from a deeper one; when intellectuals, especially after the French Revolution, came to replace philosophers. It is true that philosophers continued to exist, but the general tone of these last two centuries marks their public disappearance.

Progressivism, that infantile disease of social democracy, is characterized by assuming the vanguard as a method and not as a struggle, as was the case with the old socialism. The old newspaper La Vanguardia still exists in Barcelona.

The vanguard as a method means that for the progressive it is necessary to be, against all odds, always on the crest of the wave. Always ahead; in the vanguard of ideas, fashions, uses, customs and attitudes.

The progressive man always places himself in the temporal ecstasy of the future, neither the present, much less the past, has any significance for him, and if it does, it is always in function of the future. He is not interested in the ethos of the historical Nation, and even goes against this historical-cultural character. And this is so, because the progressive is his own project. He is always installed in the future because he has adopted the avant-garde as his method. No one and nothing can be in front of him, otherwise he would cease to be progressive. This explains why the progressive cannot give himself a project of country or nation because it would be placed in front of him, which implies and creates a contradiction.

And as no one can give what he does not have, the progressive cannot give himself nor give us a political project because he himself is his political project.

The progressive man, being the one who says yes to every novelty that is proposed to him, finds in artists his intellectuals. Today, in our consumer society where images have replaced concepts, we find that artists are, in the end, those who translate concepts into images. And the formation of the progressive consists in that, in a succession of truncated images of reality. The homo festivus, the emblematic figure of progressivism, of which thinkers such as Philippe Murray or Agulló speak, finds in the artist his ideologist.

The artist frees him both from the effort of reading (a habit that is irremissibly lost) and from the concrete world. The progressive does not want to know but only to be informed. He is greedy for novelties. And the world is “his world” and he lives in the glass bell of the old neighborhood stores where the flies (the people and their problems) cannot enter.

Porteño progressives live in Puerto Madero, not in Parque Patricios.

The tactic of the progressive governments is to transform the people into “the public;” that is, into a consuming public, with which the people cease to be the main political agent of any community, to cede that protagonism to the mass media, as ideologists of the masses, and to the artists, as ideologists of their own elites.

This is a mechanism that works at two levels: a) in the mass media, hundreds of journalists and broadcasters, those loquacious cultural illiterates, according to Paul Feyerabend’s (1924-1994) apt expression, tell us what we should do and how we should think. They are the messengers of Heidegger’s “anonymous one” that through the dictator “is,” says, thinks, works, dresses, eats, plunges us into improper existence; b) through artists as translators of concepts into images in theaters and cinemas and for a more restricted public with greater purchasing power: for those who are satisfied with the system.

The artist fulfills his ideological function within progressivism because he sings the infinite themes of vindication: gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, adoption of children by homosexuals, consumption of marijuana and cocaine, the fight against imperialism, the defense of indigenism, immigrants, the reduction of sentences for criminals, a nod to marginality and a long etcetera. But he never sings about the insecurity in the streets, prostitution, the sale of children, pedophile tourism, the lack of employment, the increasing murder and robbery of people, gambling for money, etc. No, that is not what Mastroiani’s film talks about. In short, he does not see the sufferings of society but its joys.

The artist as an actor represents all those plays where political correctness is represented. And in this sense, as Vittorio Messori says, in the first place is to denigrate the Church, to criticize the social order, the bourgeois virtues of moderation, modesty, thrift, cleanliness, fidelity, diligence, reasonableness, making the apology of their opposites.

There is no actor who does not rend his clothes talking about the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, although no one represents the Christian or gypsy women in those same concentration camps.

Thus, if they represent Heidegger as a Nazi and Stalin as a master of humanity. The Pope always as an executioner and the nuns as perverts, but the moneylenders as needy and the pimps as liberators. No more depictions of the Merchant of Venice, nor of Martel’s La Bolsa. The conductor who dares to touch Wagner is excommunicated by the thought police of Jewish aesthetics in classical music.

In the local order, if they represent Martin Fierro, they remove the payada and duel with Moreno. General Belgrano is portrayed as a doctor. Perón as a bourgeois and Evita as a revolutionary. Even when the emblematic figure of every actor is Che Guevara.

All the theatrical hermeneutics is penetrated by psychoanalysis tinged by the logic of Freud and his hundreds of disciples. Logic that is resolved in the rescue of the “other” but to transform him into “the same,” because in the heart of this logic “the other,” like Jehovah for Abraham, is lived as a threat; and that is why in the supposed rescue I have to transform him into “the same.”

The artist is educated in difference; we see it in his outlandish clothing and behavior. He thinks and looks different but his product ends up being one more element for the homogenizing cohesion of all differences and otherness. He is one more agent of cultural globalization.

The pluralism preached and represented ends up in the apology of the sweet totalitarianism of the social democracies that reduce our identity to that of all equally.

Finally, the political mechanism that is at the base of this dissolution of the other, as the distinct, the different, is consensus. In it functions the simulacrum of the Kantian “as if.” Thus, I lend an ear to the other but I do not listen to him. A delayed negation of the other is produced, because, in the end, I seek to bridge the differences by reducing him to “the same.”
This is the ultimate reason why we have been proposing for years the theory of dissent, which is born of the real and effective acceptance of the principle of difference, and has the requirement of being able to live in that difference. And this is the reason why it is necessary to practice metapolitics: a discipline that involves the need to identify ideological diversity in the area of world, regional or national politics, trying to turn this diversity into a concept of political understanding, according to the wise opinion of the political scientist Giacomo Marramao.

Dissent should be the first step in making genuine public policy and metapolitics the philosophical and axiological content of the political agent.

Alberto Buela is an Argentinian philosopher and professor at National Technological University and the University of Barcelona. He is the author of many books and articles. His website is here.

Featured: The Serenade, by Jacob Jordaens; painted ca. 1640-1645.

From the Social Question to the Anthropological Question

As soon as President Néstor Kirchner took office in May 2003, and accompanied by the lawyer of many unions, Carlos Pizzolorusso, I had the opportunity to talk to him for a while at the Casa Rosada and there I told him that the plans for the social organizations or piqueteros had to be administered by the unions, because they know better than anyone else who are unemployed and who are not. I also added that the army and the Church had to participate in the reconstruction of Argentina. At that time, the current president, Alberto Fernandez, was private secretary. I also gave President Kirchner a book, Ensayos de Disenso (Essays of Dissent)—who knows where it ended up.

His answer was clear and forceful: I want the piqueteros in the streets. No more unions. I will replace the army with journalists and the Church with others (he did not tell me by whom). I saw the answer years later on the wall surrounding the Policlinico Bancario in Plaza Irlanda, where an irreverent hand wrote: “Kirchner fights with everyone, except with the Jews.”

Twenty years have passed since this anecdote and today I can verify that Kirchner’s theory is fully valid.

Today, the Argentine army is made up of journalists, those loquacious illiterates who all think the same. 95% of them think, select and explain topics in the same way. The indoctrination received by these people, who are thousands in Argentina and in the world, is truly admirable.

The production of the meaning of the news is born not in them but in the international centers of production of meaning. Almost no one escapes this international vise. Themes are reiterated over and over again until they become established as indisputable truths. For example, “global warming,” for which it is claimed that man and industrial gases are responsible. Today, August 2023, it has just been discovered that 1200 years ago in the Middle Ages, with no machines involved, there was a global warming similar to the current one. And likewise, we can give the example of the Covid vaccines, the war in Ukraine, anti-Christianity, the sugar-coated vision of the millions of illegal immigrants, the exaltation of consumption, the progressive catechism of Agenda 2030 and a whole lot of etcetera.

Semantic warfare is superior to military warfare. The logos prevailed over the polemic.

What happened?

This explanation stems from the observation I made about the sense of the proximate origins of trade unions. The ancient origins go back to the Middle Ages and that is already part of consolidated history.

When the French Revolution takes place in 1789, the first thing the revolutionaries, so praised and pondered in all the history books, do is to cut off the heads of their opponents (e.g., La Vendée: un génocide légal proto-industriel—a legal, proto-industrial genocide)—and this was called Jacobinism: that is when a government only governs for those its own and persecutes all others. One of the Jacobins, Isaac René de Le Chapelier, in 1791, suppressed all the guilds in France, with the reasoning that there could not be intermediate organizations between the individual and the State, because that was against democracy.

This was copied, with variations, by all the European nations; and then we witnessed the period of the most atrocious exploitation of the worker, which went, approximately, from 1790 to 1860. As a reaction to such heartless exploitation, socialism and its communist and Trotskyite variants arose, as well as Catholic social thinkers. Some find their expression in the writings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and many others; while others do so through the writings of Albert de Mun, François-René de La Tour du Pin and the encyclicals of the Popes.

That is to say, the so-called “social question” is raised in politics, which is the relationship between capital and labor, that of the worker and the employer. And this was the main issue that the different governments tried to solve for a century and a half.

The primacy of the social question over politics lasted until the 1970s, when the Welfare State began to crumble. It was then that “the anthropological question” emerged, as a more intense political problem. Its intellectual birth certificate can be traced back to the French May ’68, whose slogan was “forbidden to prohibit.” A purely cultural slogan. And it is from there, when socialism stops thinking about the proletarian revolution in order to think about the cultural revolution. In those same days, the Church of the Vatican Council 1965/68 stops doing theology=saving souls, and to do sociology.

Within this framework of belonging appears what today we call “progressivism,” which is an ideology without ideas; or rather, a mixture of socialism, Christian democracy and liberalism.

An ideology that is no longer focused on changing reality but on changing man; or rather, man’s conscience.

And in this, journalism, the army of loquacious illiterates, fulfills the function of the philosophers of ancient Greece.

Man is no longer a nature; he does not have an essence, but only a historical becoming, a choice.

Progressivism is the ideological presupposition of Agenda 2030, which, since it has not yet been implemented, will be extended to 2050.

Thus, progressivism as liberal, Christian Democrat or social democrat is internationalist—like journalists—and therefore it goes against the idea of nation, which is the contemporary political-cultural form.

The essential of a nation is its ethos, its proper spirit, its moral form. And the political objective of progressivism is to dismantle the historical nation, either by replacing its symbols, its flags, its anthems, its national songs, its language, its native art with its dances and music, its manners, customs and habits. In a word, its values. The nation is what identifies one State with respect to another, which is why the manuals define the State as the legally organized nation. Progressivism ends up going against the nation-States and their sovereign character, in order to go after the establishment of a World State, the ultimate goal of what today we call “globalization.”

Thus, the replacement of “the social question” by “the anthropological question,” as that great Spanish thinker, Dalmacio Negro Pavón, rightly affirms, is the Copernican turn of our time. The government and the nation that resolves it will remain standing—otherwise it will perish.

Alberto Buela is an Argentinian philosopher and professor at National Technological University and the University of Barcelona. He is the author of many books and articles. His website is here.

Featured: Subway, 14th Street, NYC, by Reginald Marsh; painted in 1930.

Metapolitics and the Historical

Every time we have had the opportunity to speak about metapolitics, we have argued that it is interdisciplinary, where other disciplines such as literature, economics, philosophy, theology, history and politics converge in an attempt to explain the major categories that condition the political action of current rulers.

Although there are at least three interpretative currents—those who pretend to make metapolitics without politics, those who limit it to the recovery of public policy and those who interpret it as a metaphysics of politics—all agree on the method: to go to the things themselves and describe them as accurately as possible.

The method is therefore phenomenological in its two aspects: eidetic or essential description and hermeneutic or interpretative.

However, metapolitics and its proponents have developed their own mode of exposition, which we call, festina lente, that is, to hasten calmly, or to be hasty with circumspection, offering quick, prompt answers to the problems that are presented to us but with maximum prudence, sine ira et studio. It is necessary to publish quickly, even fragmentarily, the result of the research (festina), waiting for the intersubjective verification of others, to bring about rectification, clarification or compliment of what has been researched. Today, we are in the age of the Internet and so we have to take advantage of it.

What happened with metapolitics, mutatis mutandi, is what happened with the historical (what is said about history) and historiography in the last half of the 19th century. Humboldt, Dilthey, Droysen and so many others wanted to provide studies of the historical with an agency analogous to that which Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason offered to the physical and natural sciences.

Thus, Droysen states that the method of history is forschend zu verstehen, to understand by inquiring. The difference between scholars of history—according to J.G. Droysen, the philological—and historiography or the historical is that the former is concerned with authentic documents or the chronology of the events of the Lutheran Reformation, while the latter looks into the cognitive orientation and meaning of these documents. The former leads to the preparation of knowledge, while the latter to knowledge itself.

The scholar does not get involved in the human drama he studies, because he lives the placid and restful life of the scholar who has his salary assured month after month. The one who is involved is the one who seeks knowledge itself. The one who wonders about the being of the being of the entity, as Heidegger says. For the meaning of what is.

With metapolitics something analogous occurs; for while the political scientist wonders about the political activity of parties and agents, the one who seeks to do metapolitics wonders about the meaning of these actions—where they come from and where they are going; what are their constraints and what are their freedoms. His method, as we said, is the phenomenological method of dissident hermeneutics whose mode of exposition is the festina lente, to hasten calmly.

As we can see, there is a very close proximity between hastening calmly and understanding by inquiring. But the difference is that the festina lente incorporates the novelty of the Internet by making available to others the concepts to be studied and awaits their answers or verifications in the enrichment of the concepts treated.

In this sense, I am tempted to say that metapolitics finds a very great contemporary ally in historiographic production, both hermeneutic and conceptual; hence authors such as Hans Gadamer and Reinhart Koselleck are recommended reading for the discipline.

We must not forget what Epictetus of old said: “It is not so much the facts that move man, but rather the words about those facts.”

This does not mean, as Nietzsche exaggerated, that there are no facts but only interpretations. No, there are facts that, depending on how we describe them, through political correctness or unique thought, or through the thought police, will produce in the subject’s conscience a preconceived or predetermined reaction by the producers of meaning: basically, the mass media. But there is also another possibility, which consists in working those facts and the concepts that produced those facts, through metapolitics, with the aim of achieving an awakened and incorruptible conscience.


There are different types of hermeneutics—existential, analogical, ontological, discursive, language, classical, etc., so we can justify our proposal of a dissident hermeneutics to address studies on metapolitics. We say “dissident” because we start from dissent as a method of metapolitics, according to which we seek another meaning to the social-political disorder we suffer. Its motto could be, opposer pour penser.

Dissident hermeneutics rescues the existential dimension of the interpreter, who starts from the interpreter, who starts from the preference of himself and his situation in a given ecumene of the world. That is to say, there is no universality, as in Kant-Habermas-Apel, in understanding, since it is done from a genius loci. And it is dissident because, first of all, it dissents with the status quo in force and its great categories that condition political action, offering another sense.

Thus, the approach to these major categories is based on dissidence from them because they are products of crypto-politics and not of public policy. All the mega-categories that make up this globalized world are products and creations of the different lobbies or power groups that exist in the world and that end up governing it. Dissident hermeneutics starts from this presupposition but, at the same time, its criterion of truth is based, no longer on the ideologues of different sorts, but on the different ethos of the ecumenes that make up this world, which is a cosmos, meaning both order and beauty. The world, in its ultimate sense, is an ordered and beautiful set of entities that compose it—in such a way that when man disarranges it, it is transformed into something ugly and unlivable.

Alberto Buela is an Argentinian philosopher and professor at National Technological University and the University of Barcelona. He is the author of many books and articles. His website is here.

Featured: Clio, by Lambert Cause. Print, ca. 1600. The caption reads: “Clio gesta canens transactis tempora reddit” (Clio, singing of famous deeds, restores times past to life), which is the opening line of Ausonius’s poem, “Nomina musarum” (“Names of the Muses”).

The Hispanic: Its Meaning and the Ecumenical

In February 2022, the second edition of my book Hispanoamérica contra Occidente (Latin America vs. the West), which was first published in Spain back in 1996, appeared in Buenos Aires. So, most of my friends did not know it. I added a single final chapter “Notes on the Original Argentina.”

The book came about because of two facts: a) A conference in 1984 at the Versailles Congress Palace together with Julien Freund, Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye and Pierre Vial, which gave title to this book, and b) An epistolary exchange with Don Gonzalo Fernández de la Mora about Hispano-ness.

In France, I argued that Hispano-America, unlike Anglo-America, is the continuation of what is most genuine to the West, based on the notion of “that which non-Western traditions never foresaw or even imagined” (Pierre Aubenque, Le probleme d´etre chez Aristote, p. 13), as well as linguistic, artistic and cultural expression.

And before the eminent Spaniard, I affirmed that Hispanicity in America is not limited to the monarchy and the Catholic religion, as determined by thinkers such as de Maeztu or García Morente, but opens us to all the culture of the Mediterranean that comes through the Hispanic. The Hispanic in us is both vehicle and matrix.

The term “Latin American,” universally accepted, became a politically correct expression used by the Church, Freemasonry, Marxists, liberals and progressives. A term that is strange to us, of us with a false name. The semantic struggle is the first thing that is lost in war—for the denominations of the enemy are adopted.

I say all this so that you will see that my meditation on America and Hispanidad is not born in this conference but comes from far away, from forty years ago.

I read a few months ago (27/3/22) a report by the Spanish professor Carlos X. Blanco in which he affirmed that: “There could have existed a different universal Order, which generalized the values of Greek philosophy, Roman law and the German-Christian concept of the person. But this Hispanic Empire had enemies everywhere. Hispanidad, more than a nostalgia and an “imperial dream” should be reactivated in a geopolitical key. A ‘Hispanist’ pole in the southern hemisphere of the Americas, extending to the entire Portuguese-Spanish speaking continent and the Iberian Peninsula, (to Asia in the Philippines and Africa with Guinea) could play a great role as a counterweight to the poles that rule the world today: the declining Anglo-Saxon, the emerging Chinese, the Eurasian Russian, the Arab, etc.”

I would only correct the verb and instead of saying “generalized” I would have said “populairized” because we are the heirs of those values. Besides, the concept of person is not a German-Christian creation but comes from long ago, at least since Boethius (480-524).

We can have two approaches to the Hispanic: as a vehicle or channel through which the Mediterranean peoples (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Romania, etc.) that reached America express themselves, and as an ecumene, that is, as a great space of land inhabited by men who have and who feel, think and believe in common values. The Hispanic is neither the German Kultur nor the French civilisation, but contains a worldview about man, the world and its problems that is different from both.

In the first aspect (as a vehicle), the eagerness of the millions of immigrants who came to America in search of progress stands out above all—understood in a broad sense as the passage from the worst to the best, as taught by the Greek philosophers. It was also a vehicle for the Indians who incorporated hundreds of Spanish words into their multiple languages, e.g., cow, horse, sheep, etc.

Today, especially from England, the theory of “original peoples” is used to refer to the Indians. However, we Creoles are also native peoples. The difference with the Indians is that they have the “originality” while we have the “originality, because we are neither so Spanish nor so Indian,” as Bolivar said.

One of the traits of the Hispanic American man is the idea of progress, which is not the same as that of the Anglo-American. The latter, after the amazing increase of inventions produced by the interweaving of science and technology, whose product is technology, bought, adopted and assumed the myth of ineluctable Progress, not realizing that progress is good as an ideal but bad as an idea. If progress means to go from the worst to the best, to go forward, it is good; or does anyone not want to progress? But progress is meaningless if we do not know where we are going, and it is dangerous if we go the wrong way. Thus, if we emphasize comfort, which Hegel argued is infinite, progress will always be unsatisfactory. This technological progress ended with two atomic bombings in Japan, causing thousands and thousands of innocent deaths. We know that evil in the innocent is philosophically inexplicable, and that it is produced by a perversion of the cause that commits it.

On the contrary, for the Hispanic man, progress was always an aspiration and not an inspiration. It was an ideal and not an idea, and thus it traveled to America.

All the great progresses of mankind have not been for the sake of progress or for the benefit of the future, but for the sake of a current image, be it glory, the homeland, the welfare of the family, and so many others.

This aspiration to progress is what defines progress for Hispanic man, but his action is not inspired by the myth of progress.

This leads us to a deeper and more essential aspect of progress. “From the point of view of the spirit, progress is only valid when it develops in intensity or depth, never linearly or horizontally. The depth of progress indicates to us the degree of existential interiorization of the subject. And this is the profound meaning of progress, the increasingly intense interiorization of the truths that we know or, better, that we sense. The process of interiorization has successive degrees that contain one another in a hierarchy similar to the celestial one.” That is why we can affirm that in the spiritual life, whether mystical or intellectual, he who does not advance goes backwards (Alberto Buela, Epítome de metapolítica, p. 117).

Manuel García Morente, that great Spanish master of philosophy, posited the Christian gentleman as the archetype of the Hispanic man (Manuel García Morente, La idea de Hispanidad). And he was not wrong. But “this theory of archetypes has two flaws. One, it lacks scientific rigor—we can load it with the greatest virtues as García Morente does with the Christian gentleman, or with the greatest vices as the Argentine liberals do with the gaucho. And, two, it is always ascribed and determined to a temporal moment and to a precise place in the history of a people” (Alberto Buela, Hispanoamérica contra Occidente, p.52). Its validity disappears. It is then necessary to look for its specific features on the other hand.

Hispanicity as “being Hispanic” has been given in history under multiple and varied forms and will be given under many others which we cannot ascertain. It has always stood for the hierarchical sense of life, beings and functions. This hierarchy as a necessity of the inferior with respect to the superior: “What a good vassal he would be if he had a good lord,” affirmed Don Quixote, and not the other way around as the liberal bourgeois world postulates it. Hierarchy that is projected in a total vision, and not that of the specialists of the minimum who lose sight of the vision of the whole. Hierarchy that is based on objective values beyond discussion and not, conversely, on subjective values, arising from the primacy of conscience, the axial axis of the modern world. Thus, the necessity of the inferior, the vision of the whole and the objectivity of values are the expression of the hierarchical sense of being Hispanic.

The second trait is found in the preference of the self and the consequent lack of fear for the loss of identity.

Self-preference is not selfishness but an existential disposition that makes one not afraid of mixing with others. This is what the Spanish and Portuguese had when they arrived in America and what the millions of immigrants who came later had.

I have studied it as the first step of the dissident hermeneutics that I propose as the method of dissent:

Every method is just that, a way to get somewhere. Dissent as a method starts, no longer from the description of phenomena like phenomenology, but from the ‘preference of ourselves.’ It starts from a valuative act as a resounding lie to methodological neutrality, which is the first great falsehood of scientific objectivism, whether that proposed by dialectical materialism or that of technocratic scientism (Cf. Paul Feyerabend, Against Method). It breaks with the progressivism of Marxism for which every negation carries in itself a progressive and constant overcoming. On the contrary, dissent is not omniscient; it can say “I do not know,” and thus, being the method of popular thought, it can deny the validity of something without having to deny its existence.

The preference is made on the basis of a given situation, a historical, political, economic, cultural locus. In our case, South America or the Patria Grande. This requires or demands dissent, a situated thought, as rightly spoke the popular philosophy of liberation with Kusch, Casalla et alii, and not the Marxist philosophy of liberation with Dussel, Cerutti and others, which is a European branch transplanted in America. It has as a principle demand the hic Rhodus, hic salta (This is Rhodes, now jump—a Latin idiom meaning, “Show us what you say you can do”) of Hegel at the beginning of his Philosophy of Right. Only from a determined place can dissent be genuinely raised, because to raise it from an ‘abstract universality,’ for example, humanity, human rights, equality, etc., etc., etc., is worthy of the distrustful criticism of the left in general, which sees in dissent a dangerous reactionary-populist deviation” (Alberto Buela, Teoría del Disenso, p. 32).

The third and last of the features we will deal with here is the existence of a common enemy, the Anglo-Saxon. This is a Spanish heritage that Hispanic Americans, including all those of Mediterranean culture who arrived in these lands, have experienced and suffered since the civil wars of Independence. That great Mexican sociologist Pablo Gonzalez Casanova counted 700 military invasions and more than 4000 Anglo-Saxon interventions in Our America, from the battle of San Juan de Ulua in 1567/68 in Mexico to Grenada in 1983, Panama in 1989 and Haiti in 2004.

These successive and continuous struggles have shaped a certain awareness of the public enemy, the hostis. The one who harasses and opposes me. The one who prevents me from developing according to my own standards and values. In a word, the one who does not let me be by me and for me.

These struggles and experiences tend decades after decades and centuries after centuries towards the search of a Great Homeland, of a Great Space, of an Ecumene as we envision it.

The term “ecumene” (οἰκεομένη) is the present participle of the verb οἰκέω, meaning “to inhabit in one’s own house” and encloses the idea of “a large portion of inhabited land.” For the Romans, the Empire was their ecumene, just as for the Greeks it was Hellada, and for the Christians until the end of the Middle Ages, Christianity. These ecumenes, each in its own time, coincided with the limits of what was considered the world. (Ecumene is also used in human geography, designating the appropriate environment for collective life. And since it means environment, in Spanish, the gender has even been changed and we speak of “the ecumene” in the masculine).

The idea of ecumene is certainly linked to that of humanism, but understood as “a living form that develops in the soil of a people and persists through historical changes” (W. Jaeger, Paideia, p.11). Classical Greco-Roman humanism seeks the realization of man’s being through his formation. The reference to the soil of a people, according to the quotation, shows us the incarnation of ancient humanism, which the greatest of the Latin poets, Virgil, reinforces when he advises to think from the genius loci. A concept that encompasses the ideas of climate, soil and landscape.

This deep-rootedness, which was maintained in Hispanic humanism, is lost in enlightened humanism, which is, with minor variations, the one currently used by liberal and social democratic regimes and the United Nations around the world.

Other ecumenical summaries cover a multitude of countries, even some scattered ones, as is the case of the Arabian one. The opposite is true of the Indian ecumene, which is limited to a single country.

Ecumenes spatially determine not only an appropriate environment for collective life but also a world of values shared by the people who inhabit it. And in this sense the Hispanic or Ibero-American ecumene is an example of homogeneity, because of the common religion, language, law and customs.

The Enlightenment theory that is fully valid today consists in sustaining that pluralism should be considered not only within the cultural ecumenes but also within the national States that compose them. Since we do not share this theory, we ask ourselves: How should the question be posed?

We maintain, on the contrary, that pluralism should not occur within nation-states, as Dalmacio Negro Pavón likes to say, but that pluralism should occur between cultural ecumenicals. The risk of ecumenical pluralism within the nation-state is noted by the famous liberal political scientist Giovanni Sartori when he states: “Gathering many cultures on the same territory is dangerous. Thus, those who are not ready to integrate should not enter a country. For, immigration not followed by integration leads to the death of pluralism and democracy” (Giovanni Sartori, “Pluralismo, multiculturalismo e inmigración,” in Il Giorno, September 15, 2001).

It is the ecumenical cultures that produce the true and authentic plurality of the world, as they are constituted on the basis of shared values, language, beliefs, experiences and institutions.

Thus, cultural pluralism must be understood as an interculturalism where each identity is considered among others, but on the basis of its difference. In this lies the coexistence, or better, concord of communities.

To understand cultural pluralism as multiculturalism; that is, a cultural relativism that simultaneously leads to the exclusion of other cultures to avoid their denaturalization, or what is worse, to value the other for the mere fact of belonging to a minority and not for its merits or value in itself, is the serious mistake made today by cultural anthropologists and multiculturalists or progressives of thought.

(Multiculturalism is based on two stages in the development of cultural anthropology: a) on the cultural relativism of Franz Boas (1858-1942), the precursor of North American anthropology, who maintains that it is not possible to speak of superior or inferior cultures; and b) on the stage of decolonization in the 1960s and 1970s, when the former “objects” of study of the conquest of America and imperialism in Africa and Asia were transformed into “subjects” who studied their own realities).

When in the name of this multiculturalism, which as we have seen is a sectarian and exclusionary relativism, one ecumenical group invades the others, this produces the denaturalization of those groups. Thus the “Americanization” of the European, the “imbecilization” of the Ibero-American, the “terrorization” of the Arab ecumenical, etc., is encouraged. Erroneously, from the invading ecumene it can be thought that a transfer of meaning is produced, even though not all Europeans are North Americanized, nor are all Ibero-Americans imbeciles, nor are all Arabs terrorists.

This transfer of meaning and interference of one ecumenical group in another, as is happening today with the Anglo-American ecumenical group, is of maximum risk, because it indicates the emergence of an ecumenical totalitarianism, by which one imposes itself on the rest. The world would thus lose its richness of varied aspects, its character of beauty, for what it is—a cosmos—to become a single, uniform and homogeneous “orb.”

Alberto Buela is an Argentinian philosopher and professor at National Technological University and the University of Barcelona. He is the author of many books and articles. (This article was given as a paper presented at the Global Conference on Multipolarity, on April 29, 2023)

Featured: Valencia: Las grupas (Valencia: The Hind Quarters, referring to decorations of the horses), by Joaquín Sorolla; painted in 1916.

Concerning Consciousness, with Reference to Franz Brentano

With modernity a Copernican turn occurs in philosophy, as Kant observes, and the metaphysics that until then started from the question of the entity as entity, now starts from the subject. It is thus transformed into a metaphysics of subjectivity, as Heidegger rightly noted.

This metaphysics that is born from Descartes’ ego cogito has a second stage that is inaugurated with the detailed analysis of consciousness. And the first to study it in itself and in detail was Franz Brentano from 1860-1870, until he finally published his The Classification of Mental Phenomena (Von der Klassifikation der psychischen Phänomene) in 1911.

Let us begin with Brentano, a German philosopher of Italian origin who taught in Vienna. José Gaos, a Spaniard living in Mexico, who was Brentano’s first translator of Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (1874), affirmed that Brentano was a heteroclite philosopher; that is, he departed from the ordinary rules of what a philosopher should do or say. Thus, Brentano had as disciples and students important figures, such as Edmund Husserl, Sigmund Freud, Christian von Ehrenfels, Alexius Meinong, Carl Stumpf, Kazimierz Twardowski, Anton Marty and many others—who excelled in phenomenology, psychoanalysis, Gestalt theory, object theory, language theory, logical positivism, symbolic logic, value theory, etc. Moreover, behind the Vienna Circle and the great contemporary studies on Aristotle (Jaeger, Ross, Owens, Zürcher, Aubenque) is the figure of the philosopher Marienberg.

But then why has Brentano not been studied in the universities as his contemporaries have, such as Stuart Mill, Nietzsche, Frege, Dilthey? Because Brentano subjected Kant to a merciless and severe criticism. He called Kant prejudiced by his a priori. He called him ignorant of the history of philosophy and mathematics. And this was not forgiven by the German universities and thereafter by the rest of the universities. Thus, it was that the Catholic universities, where scholastic philosophy is taught, ignored him thoroughly, even though Brentano was an excellent connoisseur of Thomas Aquinas whom he quoted assiduously and knew to perfection. [Without delving further, on the subject of conscience, he often resorts to Aquinas whom he cites in his support. It is a subject that has not been studied, the use of Thomas Aquinas in Brentano. It would be good if someone would do it]. All this explains why Brentano has never been studied. And if he is mentioned in the faculties of philosophy, it is only in relation to the intentionality of consciousness when Husserl and phenomenology are taught.

Let us now turn to the subject at hand.

There are at least two terms to speak of consciousness: consciousness and conscience. The first is closer to its Latin roots and indicates the capacity of the human being to know and perceive reality. And the second, which is in common use, indicates rather a knowledge of what is right or wrong. The former translates the German word Bewussbeit, which alludes to our capacity to have psychic phenomena and to realize that we have them and which refers to that special capacity we human beings have—often manifested in the form of an inner voice—to know what we should do and what we should not do.

Both terms are limited to the phenomena of knowledge in such a way that they do not contribute much to the study of consciousness itself or whatever its meaning may be. Brentano makes his contribution: “I prefer to use the word consciousness as equivalent to psychic phenomenon or psychic act.” Thus, psychic phenomena are those to which something is inherent. Consciousness is always “consciousness of.” As the great Spanish philosopher Xavier Zubiri maintained in his thesis on Husserl in 1921: “Brentano discovered that things are something independent of experience but consciousness is not something empty.”

The experience of psychic phenomena that are the constitutive of human consciousness and of which the rest of reality is the object or intentional correlate are lived as immediate and original evidence.
And these phenomena are true in themselves: “as they appear to be, so they are in reality; a fact attested by the experience through which they are perceived.” That is to say that each psychic act is lived as such before any conceptualization. This way of living the psychic is the true way of experiencing the real. And consciousness lives and experiences it at the same time, representatively, judicatively and affectively. Internal perception is infallible and there can never exist in us a psychic phenomenon of which we have no representation.

Thus, consciousness as a psychic act is composed of three fundamental kinds of psychic activities: representation, judgment and emotion, interest or love. If psychology, psychoanalysis and psychiatry are clear about this Brentanian liminal distinction, which he traces back to Descartes and J.S. Mill, they will advance on a sure step, otherwise they will get lost in a thousand confusing and sterile subtleties. Or worse, be harmful.

[In his Metaphysical Meditations III, Descartes calls “representations” ideae, “judgments” judicia, and “emotions” voluntates sive affectus. Aristotle calls the latter ορεζις, “desires,” and all the medieval philosophers “representations” and “judgments”].

In representing, something always appears to us. Thus, when we see something, a color appears to us; when we hear something, we represent a sound; when we imagine something, a product of the imagination, and so on. The purpose of names is to arouse representations: “We understand by representation not what is represented but the representing. This representing constitutes not only the foundation of judging, but also of craving and willing.”

Those representations, when we accept them as true or reject them as false, bring abouit the judging. And although representing and judging are phenomena of thinking, judgment cannot be reduced to simple representations or combinations of these. If I say “mountain of gold,” I express a representation; and as long as I do no more than that, I express no judgment.

As for the emotions or phenomena of love or interest, they comprise the phenomena that affect our appetite or will. And so, every judgment takes an object to be true or false, every emotion takes an object to be good or bad.

Basically, all three are different modes of reference of the consciousness to the object. The difference between them is that the intentional mode in judgment is to admit if it is true, or reject if it is false, while the intentional mode of reference in the emotions is to like or dislike.

Whereas in representing (the term best expresses the psychic act of representation) there can be no analogy, for I can represent to myself black or white, but I cannot represent to myself, for example, black or white in two opposite ways.

The internal experience of consciousness immediately shows the difference in the content of the three primary psychic activities.

It should be clarified that every psychic act is conscious because it gives itself a consciousness of itself; but at the same time it has a consciousness according to three modes: the representation of it, the knowledge of it and the feeling towards it. “Every psychic act, even the simplest, has a fourfold aspect from which it can be considered.” Thus, we can distinguish, even though the psychic phenomenon is unitary, a primary object (e.g., sound, the act in which we hear), and a secondary object (the phenomenon in which the sound is heard). The object of consciousness is only represented in the first place; knowledge constitutes a second moment, the same as feeling or interest because “representations are also the foundation of craving and feeling.”

Just as the content of a judgment insofar as it is true is admissible and as false rejectable, in the same way, in the case of feeling and liking, of sentiment and will, the good is pleasant and the bad unpleasant: “It is about the value or disvalue of an object.”

All these representations arise from the internal experience of these phenomena. This third kind of activity of the consciousness is not a judgment “this is to be loved or that is to be hated;” but it is simply a loving or hating that the internal perception shows us in an evident way.

At this point, Brentano argued that there is no fundamental distinction between feeling and will as proposed by Hamilton, Lotze, Kant and Wolff, among others, because the term appetite (apetitioI) is not adequate “to cover all psychic phenomena other than thinking,” so that the acts of joy and sadness cannot be considered appetitive acts.

[Brentano states in note 27 of Psychology from An Empirical Standpoint: “Only occasionally do we see signs of an emancipation from this tradition – of designating with the term appetite the psychic phenomena of feeling and will – for example, in Thomas Aquinas (cf. Summa theologicae I, q.37, a.1 and elsewhere) uses the term amare as the more universal name of the class].

To this also contributed the ignorance of the relation between representation and judgment that led to confusion about the relation between feeling and will. And he reproaches Kant for limiting the feeling of pleasure and displeasure “unilaterally to the judgment of aesthetic taste.”

If representation and judgment are psychic phenomena of a different class, and feeling and will are phenomena of the same class when the ideas of the true, the good and the beautiful are applied to them, they will correspond in this way: “The supreme perfection of the representative activity resides in the contemplation of the beautiful, whether through the influence of the object or independently of it”… The supreme activity of the judicative activity resides in the knowledge of truth, naturally and above all, in the knowledge of truths that reveal to us a rich fullness of being more than others… Finally, the supreme perfection of loving activity lies in the free elevation to the higher good.”

The ideal of ideals consists in unity of all that is true, good and beautiful whose representation shows infinite beauty, infinite truth and infinite goodness. “The triad of ideals (of the beautiful, the true and the good) can very well be explained by the system of psychic phenomena.”

We see once again, as it happened with other great philosophers of the twentieth century (Heidegger, Eugen Fink), how the classical theory of the transcendentals of the entity appears, although in a different form from that formulated formerly. In this case through the system of psychic phenomena of representation, judgment and emotional phenomena.

Moral Conscience—it is understood as the instance that deals with our own moral experience. Modern philosophy established it as the main mode of moral knowledge, as opposed to the “prudence” of classical antiquity and medieval prudentia. In introspection it allows us to delve into both our personal life and the life of the historical world. That is why when we speak of ethical questions, we speak at the same time of ourselves, of our experience, especially the older we get.

Moral conscience exists above all as an “inner voice” that guides us in our actions, but we cannot base ethics on moral conscience as Kant and the neo-Kantians tried to do, who, in order to understand ethics, started from the analysis of moral conscience. But this is not possible because we cannot free ourselves from the quantum of subjectivity of our conscience. And science cannot be built on subjectivity.

The philosopher does not draw the norms from himself but finds them in his vital situation; he finds them in that which governs the tasks of an epoch, as the most intimate conscience of this epoch. Of course, he can dissent and propose others, but this is only for a great philosopher who can leap over his time, thus contradicting Hegel’s saying that no one can leap over his time.

If we would like to use moral conscience as a norm, we must necessarily complete it with historical objectivity, with the great cultural systems; that is to say, great effective and affective nexuses that unite men to carry out historical achievements, in order not to keep reinventing the wheel. This explains the tremendous effort made by Hegel, the greatest philosopher of the metaphysics of subjectivity in his Phenomenology of Spirit, as a science of the experience of consciousness (1807), in order to justify the experience of moral and political consciousness.

Moral consciousness emerged as a process of emancipation from theology carried out by the Enlightenment in order to achieve with it an internal subjection of the modern subject. This was known by the term of the “principle of autonomy,” which began from the certainty of internal experience, and ended with the exaltation of the individual over the community, in an exaggerated liberalism: “I look after Number One”—in a society of exorbitant consumption and in a man transformed into a homunculus.

Moral conscience is there, present, it exists and we make daily use of it; but that does not mean that we can transform it into a norm, nor as a principle of freedom, for as Nicolai Hatmann, a former member of the Marburg School, observes very well in his magnificent Ethics: “One cannot make a conclusive argument for the freedom of the will from the phenomenon of the consciousness of freedom. Therefore, neither from the consciousness of self-determination, a more reduced consciousness, but qualitatively equivalent to it.”

And still less to raise it as a paradigm of universal history, as Hegel pretended in that enormous “sulfur factory” in which German idealism ended.

Alberto Buela is an Argentinian philosopher and professor at National Technological University and the University of Barcelona. He is the author of many books and articles.

Featured: “Man repels the Appeal of Conscience,” by Frederic james Shields; painted in 1910.

On the Beautiful and Beauty

To speak of the beautiful and of beauty, we must first briefly provide a little history. The first to deal with the subject in depth was Plato, especially in two of his dialogues, Symposium and Hippias Major, where he states that “beautiful things are difficult” [khalepà tà kalá] (Hippias Major, 304e).

Since, then down to now, many attempts, experimental and practical, have been made to solve this problem, Plato instead places beauty in the hyperuranios topos, in the place of heaven of absolute realities and links it with the idea of good. Beauty is related to being and is founded in it. In the Hippias beauty springs from the splendor of form, and in the Symposium it springs from love, which is also the means to reach it. The beautiful is grasped through successive intuitions that begin with the sensible and rise to the true reality of the world of Ideas or Forms.

Aristotle gave birth to the philosophy of art, an activity that man carries out through intuitive reason, whose function is poetic and penetrating. Thus, for him, art imitates nature, which is where beauty has its seat. He establishes the canon of the philosophy of art with the ideas of clarity, harmony and proportion. Four centuries later came Plotinus (203-270 AD), who in the Enneads continues Plato’s thesis and affirms: “beauty is diffused by entering into matter.”

Then Christian philosophy, with St. Augustine (354-430 AD) in the Early Middle Ages, affirmed that “the infinite beauty and light and life [is] God Himself,” thus following Plato. This continued with Dionysius Areopagite who lived between the 5th and 6th centuries, and who in his much-commented-upon treatise On the Divine Names, in chapter 4 analyzes the beautiful in itself and in its relations with the good, affirming that in itself it has its origin in subsistent Beauty (God). And in its relations, it is a quality that lies in the form and manifests itself as the splendor of the same. Thus, Dionysius follows Plato’s version of beauty as splendor veri = splendor of truth.

It was not until the late Middle Ages that theologians and philosophers recovered the metaphysical treatment of the beautiful with their original theory of the transcendentals. But not all of them. For example, Thomas Aquinas does not take it into account when he enunciates it. Others do, such as, Alexander of Halles, St. Bonaventure, Robert Grosseteste, Vincent of Beauvais, Hugo of St. Victor.

With modern philosophy, the transcendent sense of the entity disappears and becomes subjective. With the appearance of romanticism, and the Sturm und Drang movement with the exaltation of the subjective, the direction in search of the beautiful was oriented neither in the form nor in the idea nor in the entity but in feeling.

Thus, the beautiful in Kant’s Critique of Judgment of 1790 is reduced to the judgment of taste—that which pleases without concept. And the sublime as the beautiful great.

A few years earlier, Baumgarten (1714-1762) had inaugurated aesthetics, a discipline later founded by Kant, and validated at the same time by Benedetto Croce (1866-1952) in his Breviary of Aesthetics (1912), thus reducing the beautiful to the fine arts.

Finally, contemporary philosophy reacted, and in its attempt to reconquer the real, especially from Hartmann and Heidegger, it sought the insertion of the beautiful in being. Thus, the Magician of Freiburg, in “The Origin of the Work of Art” (1952) affirmed: “Beauty is the “shining forth” for the “self-concealing being” in the work [as an increase of being]. Beauty is one way in which truth occurs.”

This analysis of the work of art leads us to ask ourselves how do we discern the beautiful. In the first place, we know that reality is reached on the basis of existence which is enveloped in the light of evidence; and as we know that evidence is that which is admitted without appeal, the beautiful in its singular existence is oriented to the one who is able to apprehend it and take pleasure in it. The sensible apprehension of the beautiful consists in a certain intuition of the internal senses that reflects pleasure as an indicator of beauty. Pleasure, Brentano affirms, is always of something and not in something. This affirmation carries in its essence the transcendence of the purely subjective. This intimate link, between pleasure and apprehension, becomes the detector of the beautiful. Thus, in the perception of the beautiful there is something of knowledge and something of pleasure. Thereby, things please because they are beautiful and not, as in subjectivism, that they are beautiful because they please. “Unlike technical objects,” the Latvian Nicolai Hartmann argues, “the aesthetic object has depth.”

We see how throughout this brief historical sketch the possession of beauty is disputed by three disciplines—aesthetics, philosophy of art and metaphysics. Let us continue with the latter approach.

The beautiful, τὸ καλόν = pulchrum, is the entity itself insofar as it is delectable and this is shown in simple contemplation without more. Thus, a rose is beautiful by itself and that is enough. [The ostensible and manifest concealment of the transcendentals from the consciousness of the great masters of current philosophy can be seen in Hans Georg Gadamer, knowledgeable as the best of classical metaphysics, who in a beautiful book The Relevance of the Beautiful (1987) makes no mention of the subject.] To look for a cause for it is to hide its pristine sense—the entity considered in itself, which pleases the sight and the senses. It pleases the apprehension, while the good delights our affection. There is the beautiful by nature which is independent of subjectivity and the art of the beautiful where the attempt is made to embody beauty. The ratio of the beautiful is clarity: splendor, as Plato said—splendor veri. The dialectical relationship in the work between opus (object) and labor (artist or observer) is the core of aesthetics.

The consequences are that these transcendental properties of the entity, so called because they go beyond any category, form a unity with it, are convertible with the entity. And when I say entity, I say essence, existence, one, true, good and beautiful. But how, if there are things that are ugly, others bad, false, broken or split, non-existent and imaginary? All this is explained by the lack of entity-ness of the entity to which they apply. A fundamental role is played here by the theory of sterēsis, the deprivation of being, according to which the ugly, the bad, the false and the broken are so because they lack being, they do not possess being in fullness.

But the being itself, the το ον η ον, it is a (unum) thing (res) that exists (aliquid), being true, good and beautiful. And this is the proposition that the metaphysics of today has to deal with. Here is our proposal.

The entity in itself is not a genus and therefore cannot receive determinations, but it has manifestations or aspects that become with it (ens et unum, verum, etc., convertuntur) and that allow us to study it, making it more evident.

This can be achieved not by making more scholastic distinctions, which have already been made and well made, but by shedding new light on these old wineskins. For example, how is the one different from the “one world?” Trust from the post-truth? The beautiful from the validation of the ugly? The other from the aliquid? The good from philanthropy? These are questions that the genuine metaphysician must answer. And if he does not, he is not a metaphysician.

Another example is that of existential philosophy (Existentiell in the sense of Heidegger) which aims to arrive at a metaphysics (and not Existentiell in the way of Jasper or Sartre), which wants to start from the singular, existing and concrete reality, through the awareness of each of one’s reality, one’s life, one’s actions and one’s world. And in this reality, one must distinguish between value of being and ways of being. Value = good is one such reality, while the modes are multiple. Entities, being such, are a subsistent whole and not parts of being; but they all participate in the value of being. And so each realizes the value of being according to its particular way. The ontological order is an order of participation.

To explore and exploit these dimensions of being is the task that future metaphysics owes itself and that great philosophers, such as those named above, have sketched but not fully explored. Metaphysics remains a discipline open to investigation, “a science yet sought”—επιστήμη ζητούμενη (episteme zetoumene), as good-old Aristotle asserted 2500 years ago.

Alberto Buela is an Argentinian philosopher and professor at National Technological University and the University of Barcelona. He is the author of many books and articles.

Featured: “Zeuxis Choosing the Models for his Painting of Helen from among the Maidens of Croton,” by François-André Vincent; painted ca. 1791.

On Cancel Culture

Back in the 1970s, Jorge Luis Borges complained that American publishers would not publish his novels and short stories because he called the black man “negro” and not “colored man” and the blind man “stone-blind” and not “visually-impaired.”

Around that time, Yankee intellectuals began to use what is today known as “inclusive language”: the use of invented and repetitive rhetoric like “everyone” for “men and women,” “child and children” for “boys and girls,” “”workers,” for “the working man,” etc. In North America it now no longer needs to be used; but, as usual, it arrived twenty or thirty years later in South America where progressives have adopted it as a novelty.

Progressivism, that senile disease of old ideologies such as Marxism and liberalism, found in this pseudo-language its most successful expression: it speaks without saying anything and defines without defining. Its method is to be always at the forefront of everything. Hence, man cannot have a pro-ject (something moving forward) because he (the progressive) is his own project.

When political analysts ask themselves about this or that project of a progressive government, they are asking a false question, or a question without foundation. It is like pretending to ask the hanged man about the noose or rope he’s hanging from.

This senile disease, a mixture of liberalism and Marxism, supported by the secular religion of human rights, is slowly occupying all the governments of the West, thus establishing a single, politically correct way of thinking.

The common areas of this thought are: concern for humanity and not for the needs of the people; concern for individual well-being and not for that of families; concern for consumption and not for savings; concern for the Earth and not for the land; concern for ritual and not for the sacred; concern for the economy and not for politics; concern for virtual companies and not for work; and so on in all aspects of behavior and thinking.

As early as 1927, Martin Heidegger, in Being and Time (Section 35), spoke to us of the dictatorship of the “anonymous one (das Man)” who “says, thinks and acts [in me] as one says, thinks and acts,” which governs improper being. In nearly a hundred years, the issue has worsened and intensified.

Today the power of progressivism, being hegemonic, is unconditional. This explains why any questioning is considered right-wing, fascist or imperialist. If multiple sectors of society say “no” to erroneous measures, the response is “no response,” silence, ignoring—in short, the canceling of the objector. Canceling has become a mechanism of denying everything that discomforts or questions progressivism. What is particularly serious is that at the same time that cancel culture denies or does not listen to the objections of its opponents, it yet calls for dialogue on the basis of a consensus that does not reach a consensus; that is, by way of a false consensus.

This pernicious mechanism is the basis of progressive governmental action. The philosopher Massimo Cacciari has rightly observed that these governments do not resolve conflicts but only manage them. The lack of a firm ideological definition (President Fernandez of Argentina is both a Peronist and a social democrat, as he has declared) allows governments to swear allegiance to Biden, Putin and Jinping at the same time.

But all this is nothing more than feints; appearances used by progressive governments to join the globalization process that seems to be inevitable in the world.

After two years of Covid, the economy became completely independent of politics. The indirect powers (the lobbies, the mega-corporations and the international imperialism of money), according to Pius XII’s preclear expression, justify their actions in and with progressive governments.

However, the indirect economic powers demand that progressive governments be installed on the basis of the “one man, one vote” mechanism, since they need to have the legitimacy offered by the democratic mask. Democracy, being limited only to the legitimacy of origin, denies any demand for legitimacy of exercise, which is the requirement of good governance. Just and correct actions are what characterize good government, which is why there have been and will be good governments without them necessarily being democratic.

In South America, the ten governments we have are progressive in their different variants: in Argentina a Peronist who defines himself as a social democrat; in Chile a Marxist who calls himself a Peronist; in Bolivia a Marxist who calls himself a nationalist; in Uruguay a liberal who defines himself by Agenda 2030; in Paraguay, as usual, nothing; in Brazil a nationalist who lets multinationals do business; in Peru and Ecuador Marxists subjected to the crudest capitalism; in Colombia a liberal partner of the United States (now, a former FARC guerrilla converted to green ideology is taking office); and in Venezuela a Marxist with a calling to be rich, to the torment of his people.

Who governs South America? In reality, the international imperialism of money with all its ramifications, although nominally the ten progressive governments that with their disregard for a legitimacy of exercise facilitate the work of anonymous imperialism that has neither hands nor feet.

In this sense the great corruption of the ruling class counts a lot. To give an indisputable example, a thousand kilos of gold and ten thousand kilos of silver leave Argentina every year for Europe and the USA, practically without paying taxes. In the ports on the Paraná River, from where the grain production, worth millions (wheat, corn, soybean, sunflower), is shipped out, the annual tax evasion comes to 10 billion dollars. Fishing depredation in the South Atlantic by hundreds of Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Norwegian and English ships is uncontrolled.

Cancel culture has ensured that these and many other issues are not talked about. The title of Marcello Mastroianni’s movie, De eso no se habla (I Don’t Want to Talk About It) is the rule.

When Perón returned from exile in 1974, he stated that the Argentine man is broken and it will be very difficult to recover him. Since then, no attempt has been made to systematically recover our system of civic values, such as savings, hygiene, conduct, etc. Such values have been left, more and more, to their own devices, without any restraint. Those institutions that made Buenos Aires great (la piu grande cita italiana del mondo, as Franco Cardini said), such as the neighborhood clubs, the libraries and the popular swimming pools, the schools that gave on to the streets, the parishes with their festivals and tents—all them disappeared. The support for that Argentine man, who is all of us, was null. And so, teachers who do not read, professors who do not study, priests who do not take care of the soul but of food, librarians who do not invite to readings, clubs where drugs and not sports are the main focus; the combination of all this ended up with the promotion of the mediocre. And that mediocre, today between 40 and 60 years old, is the one that is holding office in the progressive governments of South America.

What to do with a subcontinent like the South American one that covers nearly 18 million square kilometers; that is, twice the size of Europe, or twice the size of the United States. It has 50,000 km of navigable waterways in its interior that take us from Buenos Aires to Guaira in Venezuela; or from the Atlantic in Belém do Pará in Brazil to Iquitos in Peru (San Martin, when he was governor of Peru in 1823, donated his salary to build a ship to stem the advance of the Bandeirantes, by sailing the Amazon from one end to the other). This subcontinent has minerals of all kinds, forests still impregnable, oil, gas, electric energy, and the largest reserve of fresh water on the planet in the Guarani aquifer. And above all, the subcontinent has a diverse human type (about 440 million) but with similar customs, habits and traditions, and speaking the same language as the Hispanic man, according to Gilberto Freyre, the greatest Brazilian sociologist, who speaks and understands without difficulty four languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Galician and Catalan. This extraordinary advantage has never been promoted as a State-policy by any of the ten countries that integrate it.

Anyone who studies us should not underestimate the order of these magnitudes. Hegel has readily taught that the order of magnitudes, when it is immense, transforms them into qualities.

The disadvantage of this great space is that anti-Hispanic colonial powers, such as England (in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Malvinas), Holland in Aruba and Surinam, and France in Guyana are still installed in it. (All plans for subcontinental unity since the time of San Martin and Bolivar have been aborted by the contrary intervention of these three countries).

I proposed in the Social Forum of Porto Alegre in 2002 the theory of the rhombus, with its vertexes in Buenos Aires, Lima, Caracas and Brasilia, as protection of the South American heartland. But this idea did not succeed. Chávez surrendered to Cuba, and the latter, as it has been doing for 70 years, sterilizes any Hispano-American nationalist project.

I invite European and Yankee researchers to study sine ira et studio the process of Cubanization of Our America as the source of all the failures of regional integration attempts.

Lenin’s question returns: What must we do? To dissent, which is nothing more than to raise, to propose “another version and vision” to that established by the single thought. To practice dissent in all its forms and ways is to stop being the mute dog of the Gospel. Dissent is not a negative thought that says no to everything. It is a propositional and existential thought that starts from the preference of ourselves. It rejects imitation and relies on our genius loci (climate, soil and landscape) and on our ethos (customs, experiences and traditions). You may consult my book Teoría del Disenso (published in Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Porto Alegre and Santiago de Chile).

Finally, you may note that I never spoke of “Latin America” because it is a spurious, false and misleading term, created by the French to intervene in America. The Italians know it very well because none of them call themselves Latin except those from Lazio. And in the USA, they are Italian Americans, never Latin Americans. Latin excludes the Basques who have done so much for America since the time of the conquistadors. The concept of “Latin America” is clearly a politically correct one, as it is used by everyone: the Church, the Freemasonry, the liberals, the Marxists and, obviously, the progressives—and also the clueless nationalists.

When we speak of Hispanic in America, it is not like in Spain, which is limited to the monarchy and the Catholic religion. Here, the Hispanic opens us to the whole Mediterranean culture (Italy, France, Portugal), the Arab world (Syria, Lebanon, Morocco). This explains why the millionaire Italian, French and Syrian-Lebanese immigration to South America has been comfortably welcomed.

The first thing to be lost in a cultural struggle is the semantic war, when one adopts the enemy’s denominations. We are Hispano-Creole, neither so European nor so Indian, as Bolivar affirmed.

Alberto Buela is an Argentinian philosopher and professor at National Technological University and the University of Barcelona. He is the author of many books and articles.

Featured: “Daniel Defoe in the Pillory,” by Eyre Crowe; painted in 1862.

Francis: An Unintended Slip-Up

Since the beginning of the 21st century, to use an emblematic date, thanks to all the mass media, we can obtain immediate information about almost everything that happens in the world. This becomes more evident with the great characters in vogue today; such is the case with Pope Francis, who was disguised as an Indian in Canada when he went to ask forgiveness for the crimes committed by the Church between 1910 and 1945. The worst of them all was to have taken children from the arms of their Indian parents to indoctrinate them in Catholicism and the French language, in asylums and schools for the poor.

The greatest achievement of the anti-Christian propaganda, which has been going on for a long time, is to make the Catholic conscience believe that it is responsible for all the evils of the modern world: pedophilia, perversions, corruption, exploitation, violence against women, etc. And it has just obtained from the Pope himself an international pardon for regrettable, but relative, not absolute, facts.

After asking for such a pardon, in that same act, he should have spoken about the word of eternal life which is Christ as salvation of every man (Indian, or not). However, he abandoned his function and task and joined the worldwide anti-Catholic propaganda. There was not even a word about the holy Bishop Laval who converted that country.

It is true that no one can give what he does not have, and this poor Pope, lacking a solid theological formation, behaves more like a sociologist, while he ignores the world of the sacred. Surely, he must have continued to speak of Christ in private; but that conversation did not reach the immense mass of the world’s population. And therefore, it does not exist.

Canadians in particular will have been left thinking that the Catholic Church is crap, that the priests are a bunch of rapists and the nuns are perverts; that the Indians are a marvel, and that Argentinian are moron, who come out to ask for forgiveness for acts they did not commit. Or is the Pope not Argentinian?

When Bergoglio was elected Pope, I wrote an article and recorded a video entitled, “An Argentine Pope mamma mía.” And I was not wrong.

He can ask for forgiveness from the whole world—from the Wailing Wall in Israel, to the concentration camps, to the Indians in Canada; he can bless homosexual marriages; he can shut his mouth to Catholic Joe Biden who is a blatant abortionist, and he can give communion to a divorced president, abortionist and habitual liar—all of which will give him credit in the mass media. But what he cannot do is to recover the sacredness of the Church. That he cannot do, because he ignores the sacred; and as I said before, no one can give what he does not have.

The Church has entered into a process of decadence which, in order not to go too far back, can be traced back to the end of the pontificate of Pius XII (1958). She held a council, Vatican II (1962-1965), which was intended to be pastoral and which ended up being dogmatic. The old liturgy, the old dogmas and the old customs disappeared, giving way to indeterminate principles, uses and customs, to a relativism that allows anything to be done. In short, it has become a kind of great “orange grove” where each Catholic chooses the orange he prefers. The Yankees call it “Catholic cafe,” and that is probably more appropriate than the phrase “orange grove.”

Catholics are convinced that nothing can happen to the Church because the Holy Spirit assists her. And in the meantime, as they say in Spanish, ajo y agua (a joderse y aguantarse)—you got screwed—deal with it.

Alberto Buela is an Argentinian philosopher and professor at National Technological University and the University of Barcelona. He is the author of many books and articles.