we're drifting.

we're drifting.

We cannot deny that technologically, Western industrial society has advanced to levels that we could not have imagined a few years ago. We feel and define ourselves as an advanced society, but if we measure our society by how we take care of the weak or the disadvantaged, or the planet and ecosystems, by how we welcome, integrate and learn from other cultures, by how we listen to experience and wisdom of the elder, if we measure it by how we relate to our neighbors and our abilities to cooperate instead of compete, we might be in for a surprise and realize that in many aspects we are an underdeveloped society and that in these aspects many of what we call the Third World are much more advanced than us. Even in how we make decisions, we are much less advanced than we think.

We live in a society where it is easier for people to imagine the extinction of humanhood than to imagine that capitalism will end or that the system will change and politics will once again be everyone's business. A society that has focused on producing, exploiting natural resources at an unbridled pace and that has not even stopped to think about where this is taking us. A society where money and profit dictate what needs to be done and the pace of our lives. We seem to have lost the north and the debate of whether having more, producing more or earning more makes us happier or better people is not even on the table.

The command center of our society are the public institutions and those who command them are the politicians. Let's stop to think how we choose them, because they decide the course.

I not only understand but share the political disaffection of the public. If we think about it, we could say that the politics we have has become idiotic, because in the end, we have parties where politicians are professionals, pursue personal careers and increasingly defend private interests.

Maria Montessori said that if we truly want to educate for peace, we must educate in cooperation and not in competition.

However, capitalism and a society focused on production and consumption have made people less and less mature, critical and cooperative. Individualism and competition have undermined the values of cooperation and community that we have in our culture.

We have normalized individualism, struggle and contests, promoting the examples of the winners and forgetting everyone who loses, that there are always many more of us and in most cases we have worked as much or more than those who have won.

We have normalized giving votes, giving likes, and that this defines who is better or who is more valid. In contests, referendums, participatory budgets or elections, the vote is what decides the result and the course to be taken.

But let's ask ourselves seriously:

What are we measuring with the votes?? The best option? The fairest? The most viable? The wisest? The most conciliatory or peaceful or the one that respects people's rights?

What influences the vote?? The propaganda? The promises? Friendship or belonging to a group as if it were a football team? The pretty face of the candidates? Populist or simplistic speeches?

If we people who vote are not mature, critical and aware, neither are our votes, leading us to a competition where we measure who mobilizes more friends and supporters, regardless of whether the choice leads us to a worse society, where we face the real problems, and where we even go towards the hatred of the different, the destruction of the territory and the pollution and annihilation of life.

Looking at it from a distance, yes, it's scary: we're drifting.


Pere Vidal - increiblesostenible.org

regidor de la CUP per l'ajuntament de Valls.

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Have we become idiots?

Have we become idiots?

Look where we are: a society that destroys the planet it lives on, that lets people die at sea and others of hunger, and that extinguishes species that have taken millennia to develop. How did we got here? Who made the decisions?

Romans and Greeks already had a representative democracy like we have now, where they chose representatives to take decisions. It seems that we have made little progress on the issue of democracy and we continue to use the same system as when messages were sent on paper,taking days for a person on horseback to deliver them.

The word Politics comes from the Greek 'Politikos', with the root Polis meaning City, meaning that 'of citizenship', that which has to do with the life of the city. On the other hand, in ancient Greece, personal and private interests were called idiotikos, so over time, people who prioritized their personal interests over those of the city were called idiotikos or idiots.

I not only understand but share the political disaffection of the public. If we think about it, we could say that nowadays politics has become idiotic, because in the end, we have parties where politicians are professionals, pursue personal careers and increasingly defend private interests.

Now, right now, in a period of crisis, emergency and collapse, is when it is most necessary to make the right decisions, the wisest, from consensus and from participation.

People need to be engaged by making them part of politics, from below, from weekly assemblies, from making decisions between, with and for all.

Citizens must be able to participate in important decisions, not just in 1% of the budget in a process called participatory, competing for a few scraps. Are you telling me that we can only participate by voting every four years as the Romans and Greeks did?

The CUP stems from social movements that are working day by day, we are politicized people in the real sense of the word politics: of the people and for the people. Bertolt Brecht already said it almost a century ago, that "the worst illiterate is the political illiterate", because it is from politics that the decisions that affect us all are made.

 This decision-making mechanism cannot be hijacked in the hands of a few whom we vote for every four years. We must mature this archaic and burdensome system of participation, politicize our society and make accessible to everyone the opportunity to face this crisis to which this lack of direction has brought us, this autopilot of capitalism that is guided only by economic profit .

The CUP comes from below, and we are there inside and outside to change everything, because we don't have planet B, because the longer we continue with the same system, the harder it will be to overcome this crisis. We need to put politics back in the hands of the citizens, because otherwise, from a society of idiots governed by idiots, I can assure you that collapse is assured. If you aim to put politics where it belongs and make a real change, see you on the 28th voting, and also in the streets.


Pere Vidal - increiblesostenible.org

Regidor de la CUP en el ayuntamiento de Valls.

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The other Valls violence

Valls local police car burning

It's been a few days where violence and criminal acts in Valls are in the news day in and day out.

The security approach through police pressure and cameras has not solved, as was to be expected, problems that come from a long time ago, and which should have been focused on from the very beginning from the social and prevention side. Many people are already talking about this violence, and this is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the violence exercised by the part of the population that does not live in poverty or need to go to social services to make ends meet. The part of the population that does not live in marginality and that is assumed to have a higher cultural or educational level than marginalized people.

I'm referring to all those voices that come out to ask that "this shit" not be allowed to enter the city, that it be "cleaned up" and criticize the call effect of helping people. This is also violence and is just as reprehensible as the other. Well, maybe it's worse because it comes from people who have had tools and opportunities to be better people, and with this violence they add more fuel to the fire, more marginalization and close the doors that should always be open, those of inclusion , dignity and those of a way out of the difficult situations experienced by people with few resources.

A violence that feeds racism and aporophobia and that starts from a collective blindness, because it seems that we do not see, or do not want to see, what is in front of us.

That the root of the problem lies in poverty and marginality, and in this type of crime, the person who commits it is both a victim and how to prevent these victims and stop the causes that push them to commit crime is the real and long term solution.

That not letting in, kicking out, controlling, monitoring, recording with cameras, belittling, starving, degrading or insulting the people who find themselves there has never, I repeat, never, been a solution. At most it moves the problem from one place to another and in many cases increases it.

Let's not forget that no one chooses to be poor or marginalized. These are conditions to which people are pushed and which are at the root of many people who are driven to drug addictions and crime. Another issue is criminals with ties and those who commit crimes despite being integrated. But these are a separate issue, and are not affected by the violence I am talking about.

Among this two violences, I can tell you that the one that scares me the most is the second one, which pushes us into a racist, unempathetic, vindictive society where people are not cared for but punished. A society where the fear of the other moves people to close themselves off, exclude, insult and not help those who need it most.

Demonstration in Valls

It is precisely in these moments that we have to choose where we take steps, whether walking towards an inclusive society that cares for all people or one where everyone only cares about their own problems and the fear of the other does not let us see the human drama behind each person.

We have to choose whether to put resources into police or social workers, whether to put them into cameras or education, whether we bet on further oppressing the oppressed or do the not-so-easy exercise of putting ourselves in the other person's shoes.

It's easy to be a pacifist in peace times, to be conciliatory when there is no conflict, to be an environmentalist when I don't have to give up comfort, to be a feminist when I don't have to give up privileges. But where we show that we are really committed to a culture of peace is when in the midst of conflict, in the midst of violence, we decide to be non-violent, when we stop straining and oppressing and start working to integrate and care for everyone.

Let's stop our violence, let's not get lost in populist visions based on fear. It is necessary to rethink the society model from its root, a capitalist society that does not care of people but of capital, and which is at the root of great economic and social inequalities.

We should never forget the fact that our enemy is not the criminal but crime, it is not the poor but poverty, and only by helping people to get out of it can we say that we live with dignity and decency.

Article's author: Pere Vidal - Councilor of CUP de Valls

Opinion article published in different newspapers in the context of insecurity and crime in Valls.


About armed conflicts...

It looks like now everyone will be an expert on the Russian situation and will give their opinion on the conflict, just as two days ago everyone was an expert in virology.

It is worth remembering that PEACE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF WAR, and that we must work for social justice and understanding between cultures EVERY DAY.

Armed conflicts are the tip of the iceberg and usually come from afar.

The present is the place to work to avoid future wars.

Let’s focus on our reality arround us,  let's encourage the inclusion of people from other cultures and dismantle the extreme-right hate speech.

We must no longer follow the path of hatred, prejudice, racism and xenophobia. We must sow concord, empathy, understanding, respect and listening.

Only in this way will we do everything in our hands to prevent conflicts from becoming armed.


Article author: Pere Vidal - increiblesostenible.org

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Security, What security?

When we face a situation of insecurity, that is, where our integrity or our home or belongings is in danger, it is normal that we tend to think of measures to protect ourselves. We can find all kinds of systems and companies that offer us technological means for this. Cameras, sensors, alarms, locks, video surveillance, ....

This security, which we could call “defensive”, acts to stop the problem, but does not help to solve its cause. It even isolates us from the root problem, making us carry on from day to day without facing the root of the lack of security. In addition, it is also individualistic, and only makes the problem move somewhere else.Càmera al carrer de la Cort de Valls

When I speak of "defensive security" I know what I am talking about, because I lived for a while in Israel, where the issue of security is taken to the maximum. In airports, on buses, but also in shopping centers ... Detectors, armed policemen ... If you go to a settlement, it is even more extreme: cameras, watchtowers, minefields and electrified fences, and those who live are armed. And yet it is not the place where one feels the safest.

I explain it because the elements of defensive security give us a false peace sensation, but they remind us every day that we are in danger, causing us to live with an internal fear that we are often not even aware of, and the same bars that protect us are the ones that make us live in our own jail, being able to continue our day to day oblivious to the real cause of insecurity.

Real security is not having enemies, and if you do, your main task should be to understand the other part, respect them, and try to make peace. I heard from a Palestinian that if what Israel spends on helicopters and military oppression was spent on cooperating with them, the situation would be very different ...

So, on insecurity, if what we prioritize is to analyze the root and cause of insecurity and we work on it, we will be walking towards a security that I call empathic security . In this we don’t focus only in our problem of insecurity but we try to understand the problem of the people who cause us insecurity, and we try to solve it for everyone. That is why this security is more real since we are going to solve the root causes.

Part of the problem is also the dichotomy to which it all is reduced. Good and bad, aggressor and victim. In the movies there are some bad guys, very bad guys to defeat or put in prision. The reality is different, we are all people, and the aggressor is often a victim at the same time. Neither the good ones are so good nor the bad ones so bad. Too often someone who commits a crime is someone who has problems and needs to be helped.

The security I want is knowing that I live in a city that cares for all people, especially the most vulnerable, not one that stigmatizes and marginalizes those who have fallen into a hole or are experiencing difficulties.

I don't want to live behind bars and with a door with three locks. The security I want is not to have a good lock to tie the bicycle but to have the security that I can leave it untied and nothing happens, a safe environment that is achieved by taking care of people, not by putting bars and cameras.

Written by: Pere Vidal - Regidor de la CUP de Valls