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.


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

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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Will we come out of this one poor or rich?

 We all know that the current situation supposes a change in society. What I do not see so clearly is the image that many have of this change and how many people will return to seek the same profit oriented approach as soon as economy and western life style gets active again ... I also wonder how many people thought that we lived in an ideal society that needed no change...

 For those of us who have traveled and lived in other cultures and countries and have had the gift of seeing our own culture from outside, the image that many have that we live in an advanced country or first world, is seriously questioned. Of course, we call ourselves advanced because we use only economic and technological criteria.

The question that arises is that if the criteria was how we value care, either to the weak or to the disadvantaged, either to the planet  or to ecosystems, if the criteria was how we welcome, integrate and learn from other cultures, how we relate to the neighbours and our abilities for cooperation instead of competition, perhaps we would have a surprise and we'll realize that in many ways we are in the third world and that in these aspects, a jungle tribe is much more advanced than us.

 The paradox is that we also live in the third world if we use humility as a criteria, and it is difficult for society to be mature enough to accept that we are less and that we can learn a lot from those people that we allow to drown in the sea. Yes, regarding humanity, we are also in the third world, this society that has resources to end hunger but not only allows people on the planet to starve to death, but also exploits and steals natural resources of the wrongly-named "Poor" countries.

 And applying simply these economic / technological criteria to value our environment now turns against us. It is a double edged sword. If we continue to maintain this vision, the situation that we will find in our post-confinement society already looks bleak ...

 It is but an opportunity to change the criteria that we use to measure society and our own lives. We are in a society that lives ignoring death, when facing death helps us to put real value on things. The most important things in life are not measured in money terms, you don't need to wait to have the breath of death on your nape to think about it. We are in a society where happiness is sought through consumption, putting hope of being happier in buying or consuming, when this has actually led us to constant unhappiness and to planet destruction with excessive and abusive consumption. We are in a society focused to educate consumers and workforce to produce, not conscious mature people with own criteria.... Is it that difficult to see that it is not about having more but being better? To be a good person, you don't need money but humility and many other things not based on money.

 If there is anything we can learn from this situation, it is that we can live with less, and we can do lots of meaningfull things without money.

If we change the criteria that we use to measure our life, we can get out of this rich and continue to be rich for the rest of our lives:

  Rich in relationships, in growth and personal knowledge, in cooking skills, in cooperating and helping each other, in quality friends ...

 Rich in having a less polluted, more fertile nature with more diversity. This spring is the most fertile ever I can remember.

 Rich in knowing how to supply ourselves, cultivating, repairing, and living in a more simple way.

 Rich in knowing how to use time in a different way, in finding happiness in attitude, not in objects.

 Rich in deeper conversations, in less superficiality, in knowing how to listen to others, in humility, wisdom and maturity.

 Rich in leaving our planet better than how we found it, in feeling satisfaction of doing what contributes to others and to ourselves.

 Rich in knowing that the best wealth is having an environment of friends and people who you love and love you.

 Rich in giving meaning to life and knowing that when you face death you will do it calmly, with a smile and with the certainty that your stay in this world has contributed to you and to others, that you have used your time to nourish yourself and at the same time contribute positively arround you.

  Let the poor be the ones who accumulate money and dedicate all their time to accumulate more because the criteria that marks their lives is economic profit ... I am saddened when I think that perhaps in the last moments of their lives they will realize that everything they have accumulated in money or belongings is useless to them because life is measured in time and in what we have put time into, and they have dedicated their time to sell it in exchange for money ...

 Now what Eduardo Galeano said comes to my mind: "poor people, what would really be called poor people, are those who don't know that they are poor."


Author: Pere Vidal- increiblesostenible.org

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