Brief with paragraphs of eight themes.
-Individually and collectively, all over the planet there are expressed tense attitudes and conducts of very diverse nature and often contradictory, provoked by the fear of the future, by the fear of losing economical comfort, by the mistrust in the difference and the repulse of the stranger, by the physical or psychological violence exercised by the political and economical powers to achieve their own privileges, by the loss of quality of the natural systems, by the fear of loss of cultural or religious identity, or by the abusive behavior of many men to girls, women or children.
-Recently, the fact that a sixteen-year Sweden girl, Greta Thunberg, has become the most powerful voice of all to stop the heating of the atmosphere, reflects the low level of responsibility of the public powers; both the economical and the political; but also that of the scientific community and the whole planet’s adult citizenship.
-The animals, by only smelling they have enough, and without mistakes or tricks. A male donkey, cat, dog, lamb, etc, will be able to identify its descendants even if it has never seen them.
Male humans, deprived of this sense, we have instituted and applied really complicated and severe conditions to women, in order to assure and protect our paternity sense.
-Many other industrial products have been severally regulated and even forbidden after having caused great damage to the people or to the whole biosphere. And for all of them their obtaining techniques had given enough information to avoid or limit their production and commercialization.
-Even though we can hear all over that we are a technological culture, because of vital and biological imperatives, we are mostly an agricultural culture. And the worst consequence of the climatic change is not the rising of the sea level; but the disability of the plants to keep giving fruits, when the meteorological parameters which they are adapted to, change. Climate change means this, and no one is able to preview a map of the world climate from this perspective.
-When feminism vindicates power seats in the enterprises, the male misogynist answer is that women are less doted than men for competing. The reasons they give are diverse, and all of them of a justifying and kind-hearted: women want to bring children to the world, they want time to look after them, and also to care for the persons who need attention in the familiar ambit. And about the women who don’t take to the road of maternity nor to the responsibility of a home, even though they won’t have the same limitations of time and attention, of course with exceptions, they say that they are not up to the level of the hard and accelerated dynamics to which competitiveness obliges. Summarizing, women are not enough male to compete among males.
-When the beating starts –there’s always someone in disposition− and keeps growing in dimension and velocity, what appears as the behavior definer is that if you slow down, you’ll be eaten alive. The dynamics of the conflict is getting to seem like a violent avalanche or a real war, and it can’t be stopped, even though the end is predictable: one, or few, will become the winners, and all of the rest, just losers. Everyone wants to believe that they will be the chosen by fortune and will become the alpha male.
-Also by Sophocles, in the work Tyreus: “But now put apart from my home, I am nothing, Often, taking into consideration the feminine nature, I have to conclude we are nothing. As young girls we live in our father’s home... But, when we get to adolescence and we are conscious, we get thrown out and we get sold very far, some to strangers, some to barbarians, some get to sad houses, some to homes full of violence. And once that in the first night we have got coupled to our husband, our only duty is to praise him and to believe that everything he does is what’s best it be done.”
-Thucydides puts in the voice of the governor Pericles, in one of his discourses in the assembly, this following phrase: Us, the Athenians, those citizens who don’t take part in the public matters, we don’t take them for quiet, but for useless instead.
-The universities, yet with their big authority, don’t orientate well, don’t criticize in the right way and don’t denounce with severity the threats and problems which are of scientific evidence. The degradation of the natural systems can’t be understood without the silence of the public university system.
-One can say that the freedom of opinion and expression exists, not when anybody can say their own in loud voice, but when the people who work as reporters in the public communication media can do it.
-Men submitted women because they found the way to substitute –except for being mothers– the vital functions that up to that time had been exclusively feminine: the orientation of the group for finding food, water and shelter. A new model of society: the harvest, kept in the city and men protecting it, and also the cultivating space and women working on it.
And the new patriarchal model entered in history. The figure of the alpha male winner of the combat to have all the females, changed to the one of the absolute autocrat.
-But very strangely and very fortunately, not all of the societies did take the same road to the patriarchate, and in different places of the planet women integrated the agricultural culture and the city but without getting submitted to men.
They are recognized as matriarchal societies, they exist in all of the continents and they keep wise balance between men and women. The matriarchate is not the same as the patriarchate but with the women ruling.
-The survival of societies with matriarchal culture demonstrates that the patriarchate is not really the spontaneous and natural result in the differentiation process of our ancestors in the evolution scale. The change into patriarchal societies, is quite sure that had to be imposed with physical violence, perhaps step by step, or all of a sudden. And this violence against women, with the exception of the matriarchal societies, has been and still is a constant.
-I’ve mentioned lines above that the African matriarchal societies live geographically near to, and in some places live together in the same cities with societies that maintain the ritual of genital mutilation of the girls.
-2,400 years ago, Socrates himself –by the way, a misogynist– gave his opinion, after thinking about it a lot, that he got to the conclusion that the best of the women could get to be as a man.
And the panacea of the parity is not a different thing that the conformity with that so mistaken opinion of one of the great thinkers of history.
-The power of the women must be, not the objective, but the mean to establish the full democracy, since the full democracy is the priority of the general interests and the common comfort, the freedom of expression and the protection of the vulnerable.
-And only the feminism can explain with clarity, detail and compromise which are its objectives, what is what will be done when it has the necessary majorities in the legislative and executive institutions to make new laws, in a world map in which every different state presents particularities.
-The world will be much better if the women are who decide where to go, at which rate and which risks must be assumed. The serious actual problems need important paradigm changes which the patriarchate never will be able to face. If it was able, we wouldn’t have got to this actual disaster. One doesn’t need to be very smart to understand it; one only has got to open the eyes.
-Children learn almost everything of the behavior and the words of their parents. But when they perceive that they don’t correspond, they feel painfully cheated. Greta was the first one to denounce it in a loud voice.
-I finish this text with a phrase of an exceptional person, Josep Anselm Clavé :
Join together and you will be strong; acquire knowledge and you will be free; love each other and you will be happy.
Francesc Ventura Sala
English translation from catalan, by Ramón Tomàs Aymerich
» Download a Brief of a Feminist Manifesto
Amongst all of the animal species, we are the most intelligent, the most sensible, the most creative and the most cruel. And progress can only mean to improve or at least to maintain the three first characters and to reduce the last one down to the extinction. There are other adjectives to define us; both positives and negatives; but polarity is always present.
But the challenge, even though the general trend goes in this direction, as is being verified everyday and from the most remote historic evidences, is a hard road to go. So hard that, even, in very ancient times, imaginative minds have predicated that this polarity is precisely what best characterizes and defines us: the fight between the good and the bad, the great eternal battle between God and the Devil as an explanation and justification of the very same existence of the human race.
So, according to this philosophy –or should we say theology–, no matter how much we try as individuals or as a collectivity to improve our social life together and eradicate violence, human nature is subject to this duality. And this way of understanding and interpreting history and individual life itself, has been the dominant one since remote times, or at least since we have historical recordings.
We know that, amongst the great ancient empires, the Assyrian and the Roman did built and maintain theirs by using very violent systems of domination; and that by the same age the Egyptians and the Persians were comparatively more pacific, and also that the Republic of Athens of the ancient Greece, 600 years before the Christian Era, had forbidden torture and physical punishment of the slaves, and applied the death penalty in a very restrictive way, only when the judged behaviors seriously damaged the general interest.
Closer to us in time, the quite violent political systems and the not so violent have been appearing going through paths determined by varied causes; some of them well identified and others up to now yet without enough information and distance to be comprehensible. But what shows up as a fact is that understanding history in meanings of the good and the bad leaves aside a lot of aspects without enough space for interpretation.
We need more perspectives, and we’ve got some well enough known and tested without margin for error.
It can be said that there is a hard solution paradox: us human beings can fly to the moon but we are unable to manage correctly those subjects that affect our life in the planet; from life together in the personal and familiar and also global levels up to the quality of the natural systems. In order to go to the moon, well tested physical and chemical principles are applied. But there is a lack of valid principles to work for society, even though this challenge has been undertaken by various disciplines. But without enough success; apart from the democratic system, still today blamed by many people. Marxism was one of these attempts, the one more successful for some decades.
There have been a lot more of attempts. I’ll mention two of them quite original and interesting : one formulated by the psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich in the psychological perspective based on sexuality; and the other one by Ludwig von Bertalanfy about his general theory of systems, faced from biology. None of both has been well accepted, but in their favor it must be said that it’s not the case of utopian formulations, but of scientific works.
It’s obviously easier to understand the individual mind than the collective one. And the second one can only be understood if the first one has previously been understood. The new perspectives that incorporate absolute certainties based on scientific observation refer to individuals. It’s in this field where psychiatry and neuroscience have brought new elements of knowledge, capable of explaining attitudes and behaviors.
These scientific branches certify that such binary and simplistic interpretation –the good and the bad as categories– is mistaken. The right perspective, also binary, is comfort and discomfort. Or to say, one category, called welfare, and its misfunction, discomfort, as means of a provisional state meanwhile the welfare is restored.
This cellular behavior, known as homeostasis, is in the base of life and is the own and fundamental of each one of the cells in all of the living organisms. When a cell finds itself affected by any factor that complicates its normal functionality, the alarms turn on to wake the subjects up and give them the necessary elements for the restoration of the welfare state. But, when those elements are not available, the cell must adapt to a discomfort situation. And the discomfort situation may have its limits, like death, but there are also adaptations to discomfort, which may become chronic and incorporated to personality and character, or to the way of breathing, or walking or so. In common language, we call them traumas.
In relation to people as individuals, since late XIX century, scientific research keeps advancing in a continuous way. But in relation to collectivities, there are few clear an certain ideas about which are the elements, and up to which measure the family, the school, the cultural, economical and social environment, the geopolitics or the climate, conform the way of thinking and the cultural, political and social behavior of the nations, the states and the world society as a whole.
A popular phrase suitable for hard moments finds out the problem and says: “What goes on goes on in the world, because we don’t know what’s going on about ourselves.” This means that the problems we’ve got are the straight consequence of the lacks in our own character and personality.
The terrible paradox is that the same humanity capable of creating and sending artifacts and people to explore the outer space, is unable to work out the most determinative elements of any collectivity of living beings: its comfort and its safety.
Individually and collectively, all over the planet there are expressed tense attitudes and conducts of very diverse nature and often contradictory, provoked by the fear of the future, by the fear of losing economical comfort, by the mistrust in the difference and the repulse of the stranger, by the physical or psychological violence exercised by the political and economical powers to achieve their own privileges, by the loss of quality of the natural systems, by the fear of loss of cultural or religious identity, or by the abusive behavior of many men to girls, women or children. And in all of them there’s somebody who feels like threatened by the same cause that makes their neighbor feel a great advantage. Or, the other way round; what makes someone happy may enrage someone else.
In the later decades, technology has allowed a large part of the humanity to be informed about a lot of the aspects which conform the problems that affect them, and so there appear requests and exigencies which the public powers assure they make efforts to satisfy. But, to the real big problems, those which generate a major discomfort, it seems like, even though we’ve got knowledge about them, we can’t find a solution, at least to the level that allows us making projects of future in acceptable terms. It seems like all the devils have woke up in few years. And we’re pretty scared.
Recently, the fact that a sixteen-year Sweden girl, Greta Thunberg, has become the most powerful voice of all to stop the heating of the atmosphere, reflects the low level of responsibility of the public powers; both the economical and the political; but also that of the scientific community and the whole planet’s adult citizenship.
Is it that we’ve got to talk about the failure of human race ? Or perhaps about the fact that god’s work goes through mysterious ways and now it's our turn for a hard time ? Or should we assume the incompetence and the failure of the model of civilization, and make the decision of reforming it ? I’d bet for the third, but: how is a model of civilization reformed ?
But the problem is bigger, bearing in mind that the result accumulated by this model is a real disaster, fulfilled of urgent problems and of a large dimension. Have we got to correct the model ?, or should we change the model ?
We’ve got the great problems well identified and quantified, and we know which have to be the solutions, but we are unable to apply them. In the later times, there are sailing among us ideas like the end of history, the end of ideologies, or the silliness and irresponsibility of some noticeable ones when they talk about that the only way for our group’s preservation is an emigration to another planet.
Discomfort is an individual sensation that, when it affects a lot of persons becomes social discomfort. And this one, in a classic feedback process, acts as a multiplier of individual discomfort.
In this personal research to find an explanation to so much lacks, apparently without solution, I’ll approach the reader to some observations taken from the animal behavior that could help to get a major comprehension of our individual and collective behavior.
It’s always easier to understand an animal than a human being, and animal ethology helps us comprehend some of the human behaviors. This strategy shouldn’t shock anybody, because a lot of animal species have got identical characters to the human beings, and not only in those very basic aspects as to say feeding, running away from detected dangers, reproducing or fighting inside or outside the group, but also in more elaborated behaviors which we can recognize, since we feel them just like they do, just as jealousy, love, recognition, confidence, rejection, racial identity or solidarity. Obviously, each animal species has got its own psychological characters well defined, and each of them manifests behaviors susceptible of being analyzed and interpreted with certainty. Animals neither cheat nor create strange justifications in order to explain their behaviors.
Ethology is the part of science which studies behavior. It was born in the beginning of the XXth century, dedicated exclusively to animal behavior. The success in finding explanations was enormous and immediate, up to the point that just a bit later, the same observation techniques have been applied to human behavior.
Here I will focus in animal ethology, and I will refer to behavior observations that give us information about how animals act and react in various circumstances. I understand that this may be a questionable strategy, since using comprehension of animal behavior because of the fact that I can’t find it in human behavior may seem an easy and superficial way out.
But, my worry for understanding our incompetence as human beings, drives me to the need to understand my dog and my kitten, provided that doing so might help me understand a bit more my city, my country and my world. I haven’t had a political office and I’m not what is known as a man of letters or a man of science, and neither I live in a country with wars or basic lacks. Simple as it is, I’m a very worried and afraid person –just as thousands of millions more of us– because of the dangerous derivations of the society, which are not new... But the planet has gone small for us, and now we can’t go and exploit another continent.
I will expose some evident and easy to detect animal behaviors, common to various species of mammals.
One of these, to be observed in domestic herbivorous, is that they never fight in a violent way for the pasture. They eat side by side to each other and pacifically share the vegetation until they totally consume the piece of ground which they are confined in.
But, when it’s about the food that the breeder gives to them, then they violently fight for it, no matter if there’s even too much food for them all.
In the flesh-eating animals, the fight for food is always present.
Another behavior that can be observed, this one with tragic results, is that when they are confined in a reduced space and without nourishment for a certain time, in the case that the animals come from different herds, they join in groups according to their origins and they violently eliminate those who are in minority. They may have spent years together and in perfect harmony, until a constant situation of stress turns into rivals to death those individuals with different origins. Horses, cows, sheep, goats, etc. have got this behavior of protection of their own ethnic group against the other.
Another behavior refers to the sense of smell. About this, the human beings have lost the capacity that the animals keep for identifying other individuals and most of all for recognizing the members of their own biological family. Among the animals it happens to be the equivalent to our documentation, what does us credit as this or that person.
The animals, by only smelling they have enough, and without mistakes or tricks. A male donkey, cat, dog, lamb, etc, will be able to identify its descendants even if it has never seen them.
Male humans, deprived of this sense, we have instituted and applied really complicated and severe conditions to women, in order to assure and protect our paternity sense.
I will describe a scene of a herd of any species of herbivorous mammal, no matter if savage or domesticated, even though in the second case the intervention of the shepherd over the males of the group distortions the group’s general behavior.
Let’s start by a herd of any species, in the time of the parturition of the females. In some species, in the time of giving birth, the mothers move a bit away from the herd, and in others they give birth surrounded by the other females. Few males are seen, and they, on the contrary to the females, don’t show interest for the breeding that they keep bringing to the world. Total indifference of the male about the birth of his own descendants.
During the early time of life, no difference of behavior can be perceived among the young animals, yet male or female, and sucking, grazing and playing are their only activities. The changes come by the time of the generation of sexual hormones.
Whenever a shepherd separates the young males and keeps them apart from the female herd, they spent many hours at beating, and, though it may seem to be a violent game, it is in fact a regulated game. The battles are always between animals of the same size; never a big one against a small one, neither in weight nor in age. Two of them cross the sights and later on begin to charge hitting each other head to head.
It’s among the adults where there are seen violent confrontations which in some species end with the death of one of both. In the harmless bovines, the death of a male is usual after hours of confrontation. But in these confrontations the fight is not for the leading of the herd; the real fights in the male herd are only to decide who will be the father of all the breeding of the herd, since this is their wise strategy of evolution to avoid consanguinity. But this is it, and the winner male is always the one that’s physically stronger, and so the genetic heredity is strengthen.
Apart from this so important function, the alpha male hasn’t got any other. And even if it may seem so, he is not responsible of expelling the possible external aggressions. This is a female matter, normally, though there can also be seen protective behaviors in the males.
The figure of the alpha male has a great attractive for all of the females, but it is not always like this, and there are some who couple with second order males. If the alpha male perceives it, he forces them to separate; he to the male herd, she to the female.
In the female herd, harmony reigns, while in the male the perpetual fight, the game of competition, reigns, and seldom is the day when the calm rules, and there’s never calm when the females are in rut. Certainly, the image of the female herd reminds a world in peace and the male a world in war, and there are no fights to become the alpha female, who, without privileges guides the herd to places of good pasture, water and safety.
The fight between males get to the top violence inside the female herd when the females enter in the period of sexual fertility; the wealthy smell sense of the male drives them to fight in a compulsive way, and with the beating they may generate violent situations which affect other second range males. And when this happens, the rise of violence can get to scenes that may put in danger the small animals and the harmonic balance of the female herd.
The peace will only be back when there’s nothing to compete for anymore, but, while the power organization isn’t totally defined, the fight will go on, since there’s no other strategy than the training for the final battle that will decide the paternity of the major part of the new breeding. And all of the behaviors, absolutely all, relate to this evolution strategy: to compete since ever and forever for becoming the alpha male. Wise for animals, but stupid for human beings.
Some scientific publications assert that the male and the female brains are identical. But in the animals, both absolutely different behaviors between males and females are evident. And it would be strange that it wasn’t the same in humans. For the scientist’s sake, it could be better to say that, up to now, they haven’t been able to find out the differences.
Apart from eating and sleeping, the males live exclusively for competition among them. Meanwhile, the females live exclusively for dedication to generate and protect the life of their breeding and to orientate the herd in relation to the best quality vegetation, to the geography and the meteorology.
I think that the way that acquire the decision capacity those females who take the initiative and decide the movements of the herd through the fields hasn’t been enough studied. Might this be hereditary ? or a matter of major experience ? or because of a special ability, as the orientation capacity, or the memory ? What comes up as evident is that, in the same species or race, there are animals who are more intelligent and who learn faster than other animals of the same herd. And it’s also quite evident that the female who holds an initiative that implies all of the herd, doesn’t need to force the things over her companions. They simply trust what she decides, it is the best.
And the males, by their side, never interfere in these vital decisions, they simply follow the female herd.
In these behaviors, the roles of culture and education don’t exist at all, and it’s because of this that, taken with the distance they deserve, they can be useful for understanding ourselves a little better. And it can be assured that they don’t exist because in new herds formed only by animals who have been separated from their original family when they were very young, as they keep growing they express the mentioned behaviors: they are instinctive and not learned.
They are also instinctive, the behaviors of the chimpanzees of the bonobo species, the only one that is different and exceptional amongst all of the animal species, including ourselves. In the bonobos there can’t be seen the functional division between males and females, with the exception of maternity; and there are no quarrels between males for becoming the alpha male. The sex practice is continuous and it works for them as a strategy of conflict prevention. They simply live in peace. We humans observe them, confused by both envy and repulse. It’s alright for them, since they have been hundreds of thousands of years enjoying their happy and good-hearted character.
The bonobos are an animal species with absolutely matriarchal behaviors, but practically all of the mammal species are so, and though because the selection of the reproducing male is done with violence it could seem like they are patriarchal, the fact is that neither the females nor the whole herd are subject t their will. And the females –I have mentioned some exceptions–, even though they don’t choose the alpha male, want to couple with him.
The actual world panorama is typified by an accumulation of worries that are expressed in political opinions; and some of them are, more than passionate, threatening.
For instance, the rise of vote of political parties called populists is often explained as a reaction of lack of confidence in the traditional political parties, or as originated in the economical crisis that has reduced the role of the middle classes or in the immigration of poor strangers, most of all if they’ve got a different skin color; or the sum of these and other minor incidence factors.
But these are realities that affect many people and not all of them vote the populisms. The individual factor is, then, the determinative one and it emerges as the main vector of the political order, mainly because the public powers have lost in good part the information monopoly. This phenomenon has few decades of life, and nowadays hundreds of millions of people communicate, while the information concept is heavily harmed.
There have always been fake news, and if someone tried to verify the veracity of the newspapers, the radio and the television news of the last thirty, or fifty, or hundred years, they would detect that many of the news and information that the citizens admitted as certain, were real lies, or just half truths, or just bold manipulation, etc., and all of this, both in the public or the private communication media.
So, it can be said that the actual rise of dissatisfaction, doesn’t respond to the fact that there are more causes, but because of the existence of new communication tools. Certainly, there are more causes to the discontent nowadays than 10 years ago, and 10 years ago there were more than 20 years ago, and 20 years ago there were more than 30 before... and this song could drive us very far behind in time. During the long years of the cold war, the nuclear menace was not a joke.
In some countries, the arrival of immigrants coming from other continents can provoke a quite generalized resistance and repulse and even aggressiveness. Racial supremacy is nothing but that behavior related before in the part about animal ethology, but amplified up to the absurd thanks to the human fertile imagination.
The dramatic migrations and tries of entrance of people from Africa, South-America and Asia to countries with high economical income levels for every citizen, can be seen as the prize to pay by our wealthy societies because of the brutal colonization. The problem has many shades and it overcomes both the frontiers and the wealthy societies themselves, but, any reader of international themes could find extensive works focusing in avoiding the dramas that the earth is living, elaborated by international authorized organisms even in the 1960’s decade. The predictable data about alimentary safety, demography, climate and economical rising, defined almost exactly what is going on nowadays.
The base of poverty in so many regions of the planet, many of them with enough resources to take profit of, is the straight result of the ruling supremacist sense in wealthy societies. There have been dominant patriarchal religions that in the centuries when slavery was a good business, got to the point of assuring that black people didn’t have a soul, and that so they could be treated like animals.
And many of the great investment projects in countries with poor economies, have been based in supporting corrupt and inefficient governments in order to achieve easily and with a low cost, the overexploitation of their natural resources and the abuse over their population. This means that there can only operate the big enterprises which can have political influence, being the real fact the colonization continuity, with different tools of control and a new discourse.
In these so common political frames, very few countries offer judicial security for attracting small and middle enterprises coming from rich countries; and without these investments it’s all too hard for poor countries.
The heating of the atmosphere comes up as the major global danger. But it’s got to be said that it is a menace discovered only a few years ago (the first observations are from the end of the 1970’s decade).
Before that, two phenomena did already deserve the consideration as scourges extraordinarily dangerous on behalf of international organisms and important research centers: the first in the decade of 1960 when the FAO, the United Nations Agency in charge of nutritional safety, in a congress placed in Lomè, diagnosed that the growing desertification processes of large regions of the planet represented a great menace for the future. Desertification was a word created then to define the loss of fertility of the ground or the reduction of fertile ground, caused by a wrong human management.
In 1992, the same FAO in a congress in Rio de Janeiro encouraged and compromised the states to preserve the diversity of animal and vegetal species, many of them in danger of extinction. And all the governments of the world signed the respective protection protocols.
There have been, then, various general alerts before the one of the climatic change, and the uttered problems were very critical, both for particular regions and towns and for the whole planet. And if we have to get those challenges as referents of what we should be able to correct, the future has to be perceived as very threatening, since the phenomena of desertification keeps growing brakeless, and the one of the species extinction, though it was reduced in the case of agricultural and cattle-raising interest, it goes on in the wild zones.
More important problems: the massive plastic industry began in the 1960 decade. And the chemists and engineers who worked on it knew by then perfectly well what would be its behavior and polluting effects in the natural systems.
Time before, the famous DDT used for killing insects was a highly toxic product which was commercialized for familiar use during many decades. Its fabricants knew perfectly well its danger.
It was also well known and medically certified the danger of the asbestos mineral, already in 1975, when the workers of the great bed of Asbestos in Quebec blocked the mine in order to force its closing. But it continued in the market for many years in many countries.
And the heavy metals and other chemical residues have polluted the waters. And the dissolved antibiotics are also a heavy problem. And most of them come from the animal farms, where they are abused up to the limits.
Many other industrial products have been severally regulated and even forbidden after having caused great damage to the people or to the whole biosphere. And for all of them their obtaining techniques had given enough information to avoid or limit their production and commercialization.
In all the world of nutrition, the amount of problems is endless, up to the point that the human landscape is changing almost all over the planet, being obesity and vulnerability to determined affections the most threatening subjects.
The list of aberrations is too large. And looking at the present, now that the communication media are full of scientific articles, informs, news about social movements and declarations of institutions and public personalities related to the environment, the nutrition and the general quality of natural systems, it seems like is kept strongly that cruel principle that decides that we’ll arrange the things later on, when things will be already broken; but not before. And then, meanwhile, we go on competing just for the business, with the corresponding recuperation projects.
There are wars that can only be justified because of petrol control, while it’s out of discussion that its use has a catastrophic effect for the planet climate. This is the most scandalous subject; but there are many more also very heavy to which we don’t put enough attention, even though they involve totally destructive derives.
One is the reduction of cultivable ground and its fertility, which considerably and continuously decreases, being this because of the large deserts’ progression, of the quality degradation of the ground and its overexploitation, of the erosion, of the utilization of powerful pesticides and herbicides, of the disposal of residues generated in industrial farming, or because of the change of use of the ground, from agricultural to urban, decreed by the public administrations.
And there’s not more cultivable ground, but the obtained by the elimination of forests. It’s true that the mechanization of agricultural works drove to the abandonment of cultivable grounds, where there may have grown savage plants or woods, but they are few in the global statistic of fertile ground.
Even though we can hear all over that we are a technological culture, because of vital and biological imperatives, we are mostly an agricultural culture. And the worst consequence of the climatic change is not the rising of the sea level; but the disability of the plants to keep giving fruits, when the meteorological parameters which they are adapted to, change. Climate change means this, and no one is able to preview a map of the world climate from this perspective.
We’ve got to regret the fact that the FAO has almost resigned of its function of caring for global alimentary security. It was very active by the end of XXth century, but, lacking of budget, its diagnoses and projects were kept apart in its computer archives. And so, its former competences −woods, growing ground, biodiversity; by means, ourselves − undergo the consequences.
Another problem is the very deficient forestall management of the totality of the woods of the planet, all over devastated by intense processes of deforestation, fires, erosion and loss of biodiversity and of ground fertility. All of the regions of Mediterranean climate suffer the calamity since a lot of decades before, and in the later times, also the boreal woods suffer waves of devastating fires of great extensions.
In this field, there are nonsense fashions. Like that one of the biomass industry which assures that it doesn’t have environmental cost since it’s renewable. But it sends carbonic gas to the atmosphere, when the need is not to do it. Apart from the fact that, in few years, the combustion smokes emanated in the urban ambit will constitute a public health problem.
The system, for business sake, generates a problem, and later on, makes business from repairing the harms, in a continuous race unto scarcity and suffering parameters, which even though now they can be predicted, will keep on moving forward.
Another problem refers to the constructing buildings industry, where there are maintained techniques which shouldn’t have had the exclusivity they enjoy, despite being restrictive both in the building durability and in their comfort conditions, and, most of all, because of their heavy polluting incidence in the atmosphere, by the emanation of carbonic gas. Only the production of concrete for construction, already sends up to the atmosphere 7% of the total spread along the whole planet.
In order to understand the magnitude of the problem, one only has got to bear in mind that, in a lapse than no more than a hundred years, the practical totality of the urban landscape of the planet will have to be demolished, thrown out from the cities, accumulated in enormous rubbish zones, and substituted by new edifications; since the “technical exhaustion” of the utilized concrete, compels to its demolition.
This physical reality states challenges for an almost immediate future in many urban zones of the planet, especially where there was a great economical growth since the 1950 decade, with the correspondent constructing amount. Many of those buildings are closer to the time of exhaustion, and they will have to be demolished without taking any profit of their materials. The rests will have to be transported to enormous rubbish zones surrounding the cities, and the old buildings will have to be substituted by new ones. But, up to now, no new technology that avoids those deficits is ready to work.
About this question, we’ve only got to confirm that, in the age of the Roman Empire, there were built great buildings, with a little greenhouse effect of harming gases, that keep up to now their whole structural solvency. Nowadays we could produce the materials without gas emanations to the atmosphere.
The “new technologies” denomination holds various specialized industrial and service sectors. And with a great media apparatus they are presented as the panacea for almost all of our harms. The most often uttered are as an economy activator, as a socializing factor, and as a tool for various learnings. And they are undeniable, but let’s not exaggerate. For instance, the great investing effort to achieve cars without drivers: how could it make profit in terms of real time economy ? More than anything else, they will only be a new toy. And also many of the expensive investments in App, have got uncertain advantages as features of productive economy, but the system has detected them as promises of great massive sells. And nothing should be said about it, but that...
This big business sector shows very bad things. One is that the use of devices by children provokes them a heavy dependence, since they can experience intense emotions which they integrate as a part of their basic character. A well-respected expert, in an interview appeared in a communication media of Barcelona during the celebration in the city of the World Mobile Congress, stated with experimented data that those things that now we, banally, give to children for entertainment, will produce them a lot more pernicious dependence than that of any of the hard drugs we know, since drugs are consumed as much early in the adolescence, while the screen addiction is acquired when the neuronal circuits of the brain are still shaping up. I’m afraid that there were few or none references to this problem in the congress conferences. In many families –not in all yet− this is perceived as a heavy problem, and nobody knows how to react.
And we must not forget that what the new technologies work more efficiently for, is for controlling us better. About this, we do talk in fact, even though it is a minor problem.
We can’t go out of this theme without talking about the heavy aggression that means for many people the energy in form of radio waves that have invaded all the space. And the more powerful the system of communication is, the higher the emission frequency is, and also the more harmful for our health.
We’ve got to express as systemic the principle of industrial strategy of some enterprises known as programmed obsolescence formulated more than 100 years ago, which advises to calculate and program the durability of the object to make, in strict function to the interests of the one who manufactures it, even though this harms the ones of those who buy it or/and harms the natural systems. There is no legislation that refers to it or that puts limits into it and the planet is fast becoming a large rubbish ground. The case of the buildings is the one more exaggerated, since buildings are the most valuable, heavy and voluminous object that we use along in our life.
Finally, the problem of the energy obtaining. Fossil energy combustion ? No; because they are the ones that make more emissions of gases with greenhouse effect.
Nuclear fission ? Now it is vindicated by some, since it doesn’t generate gases, but apart from its yet experimented lack of safety, it is a very bad heritage for our descendants, since it will oblige them for many centuries to maintain the residues with expensive physical and military safety measures. And we won’t know what unavoidable effort will it represent for them. A devil’s heritage.
The Egyptians of 4,000 years ago already used windmills. Now we’re back on it, and there have been invented other non-polluting energies. But it seems like there is no money for developing, precisely the most strategic sector of all.
Complex to define, since it seems that it holds everything, the system is the whole group of ideas, beliefs, myths, convictions, practices and laws that conform and frame the social, economical and political world activity. And that, after the failure of the communist system means a synonymous of capitalism.
There have been made a lot of critiques to the capitalist system from many sensibilities and ideologies. Even, first order politicians appointed to the system have said sometimes that it is necessary to reform it, so that we can face the degradation of natural systems and the new globalization challenges. It has all been talked about, but there is no new idea, no proposal. Some shy reforms, punctual and totally insufficient. Nothing more. And the system goes on, providing amounts of products and objects of consumption and use, degrading the natural systems at a rhythm determined by technical innovations, which are a lot and of a great impact because of the development of science and technology.
Some observations about events in recent history can be enlightening to understand the character of what we call the system.
By the end of the decade of 1980, the USSR, collapsed, admitted its incapacity to maintain the communist system. And in all of that immense geography, the capitalist practices and tools had been out of order for sixty years. Just like in China, few years later.
Two large states, with many millions of people, which, without capitalists in there, conform their new system of economical management with the same values and principles prevailing in the capitalist economies of ever ?
It should be questioned why neither the USSR nor China did evolve searching another system, being that the capitalism had already given spare signs of its incapability and its conflicts.
Should we think that the system as we know it is the only one that’s possible, because it is the one that responds to the character and the spontaneous needs of the humans ?
According to my understanding, there’s an element of confusion: the figure of the almostasser, the person in charge of regulating and watching over the maintaining of the good practices in the traditional markets in the tribal societies. Markets which, even now, answer for the character and the spontaneous needs of the humans.
In the capitalist world it has got many different names: the governments, the laws, the decrees and the normative, the regulatory organisms, the inspections, etc., devoted to watch for the good going of the system, in all of the levels: local, regional, of the states or global.
The trouble is: Who regulates and who watches over the regulators ? Would a global government with capacity be more efficient ? Yes, probably. But: How do we get to a global government ? now that the organizations that conform the UNO already have seventy years, precisely the most destructive period of history, and that there is no will or powerful strategy for reinforcing them, giving them more executive, normative and coactive power.
There’s no need to make the question, because no one will answer it with veracity and competence; but the incognita persists: How can it be that, with so much science and with so much control systems, the system keeps on being destructive ? It’s the reflex of the fight between the good and the bad, may think those who have religious beliefs.
Or maybe a state of homeostatic unbalance drives us –and adapts us− unto a chronic absence of welfare ?
For those who are immersed in religious explanations, the same doctrine will provide them all of the tools to face the adversities.
But, for those who understand the second option, the challenge is enormous, and it calls for all of the possible attention and empathy. Once again, “What goes on goes on, just because we don’t know what goes on about us.” Which means that, individually and collectively, we’ve got psychological problems still not enough identified, that lean us to the inability for managing wisely and prudently the continuity of life in acceptable conditions for everyone.
We can also wonder: Which is the central motor of the system ? Which is its fundamental character; the one that pushes the so-called progress ? And any answer cannot forget about the gen of the men, which drives us to the need of competition and, as a consequence, to the concept of competitiveness as essential basis of the progress.
In this point, the reference to the behavior of the male animals is unavoidable. Their genre specialization is to compete in a continuous manner in order to get to have a preeminent place amongst all of them. Among the humans, the things, yet behind the mask of diverse doctrines, are not quite different.
When feminism vindicates power seats in the enterprises, the male misogynist answer is that women are less doted than men for competing. The reasons they give are diverse, and all of them of a justifying and kind-hearted: women want to bring children to the world, they want time to look after them, and also to care for the persons who need attention in the familiar ambit. And about the women who don’t take to the road of maternity nor to the responsibility of a home, even though they won’t have the same limitations of time and attention, of course with exceptions, they say that they are not up to the level of the hard and accelerated dynamics to which competitiveness obliges. Summarizing, women are not enough male to compete among males.
Being competitive to produce and to commercialize more and better; being competitive to get to govern the public institutions, being competitive to control more natural resources, yet fertile grounds or raw materials, and being competitive to dispose of human work at the lower cost. Competitiveness among males to become the king of the mountain, to rule a country, an army, an enterprise, a criminal organization... To compete in and for every step of the power stairs.
Competitiveness can be an admirable skill, provided that we can count on a brake mechanism which can avoid the possible derives caused by the blindness spread all over the competitors.
Once again, the figure of the almostasser ethically and technically capable, comes up as unavoidable, and it can be assured that it is the worse menace for the system. It’s enough to remember which is the reasoning of the fiscal paradise defenders not to finish with them and with the destructive plague of organized corruption. There are people who think that corruption is the equivalent to the lubricant that machines need to keep working at a fast speed.
A phenomenon that the system considers cyclic are the economical crises. The late one few years ago, generated by the hyper-inflation of the real estate which derived into a severe restriction of the welfare state in many countries, and which, on the rebound, affected the whole planet.
And it’s not that it was not totally predictable; the housings are voluminous artifacts and all over they need the control on behalf of the public administrations.
The building enterprises and the banks, which first finance them and later on finance the buying of their products, justified themselves with the argument that if they didn’t play then they would be left hung out of the system, since their competitors would swallow them.
And in many executive reunions many risky decisions were taken, yet knowing that they were betting the enterprise future. It can only be explained by coming along to that character which we call to compete to become the alpha male.
When the beating starts –there’s always someone in disposition− and keeps growing in dimension and velocity, what appears as the behavior definer is that if you slow down, you’ll be eaten alive. The dynamics of the conflict is getting to seem like a violent avalanche or a real war, and it can’t be stopped, even though the end is predictable: one, or few, will become the winners, and all of the rest, just losers. Everyone wants to believe that they will be the chosen by fortune and will become the alpha male.
In the current world, the options for competition are immense in the economic field, in the political field and in the field of technical innovations, and so the whole of the society has always got to be pendent from one battle or another. And so it’s a hard life.
And the more dimension that what we fight for has got, the more lacking of sense our behavior will be, and the beatings and rivalries among men faced to big opportunities which can write history, evolve until they become, literally, real massive destruction weapons.
In practically all of the wars in history, the gestation process is about the same as the one commented related to the recent real estate inflation.
Let us take a look at one. By the beginning of the XXth century, the African Continent was the space for a world-wide dispute, mostly among France, Germany, Italy and Great Britain. In the whole Africa, there was no society militarily able to resist the European penetration, there were many resources good for exploitation and also many people in disposition to work for little money. Italy and Germany, which not long ago had lived political unification processes, felt strong enough to try to have a piece of the big cake.
By the beginning of the XXth century, the German emperor of those ages visited the city of Tangier, where he was received by de Moroccan king with great popular festive celebrations. That deed set on all the alarms and pushed a conflict dynamic which had been shaping since few years ago. And the states, counseled by the great national companies, competed fiercely in a diplomatic dynamic at first that lastly, and with the complicity of the USA, Russia and Spain, kept out of it the very industrialized and populated Germany.
And this one started the First World War, of frightful results. There were other causes, but this one was determinant.
With the perspective of time, it can be verified that most of those domination strategies of the African Continent were based in wrong criteria and informs. For instance, with the Big War won, France could complete the colonization of Algeria and Morocco. And the balance of that adventure was only destruction, because none of both countries had wealth that justified the colonial enterprise. Devastation and death, the prize for a space of ground of poor production because of the dry climate; and in order to take profit of the petrol that could be found in a small region of the country, France had to conquer the whole.
In the case of Italy, it put the target in the colonization of Libya, and as England had control of Egypt, it decided to conquest the far Abyssinia. Its adventure was liquidated with deafening defeats, and without taking any economical profit out of it.
After the Second World War, in great part a heritage from the First, yet the decolonization of Morocco was by pacific deal –thanks to the pressure of the USA−, the one of Algeria supposed for France many human and material losses and didn’t finish until the independence in the 1960 decade. A few years ago from now, a French head of state asked for pardon, by saying that the colonization was a historical mistake. Yes; just a beating between males.
Certainly, in strictly economical terms all of the states took some profit, if we identify the country with the big national enterprises. In fact, the ones who paid a high prize were the soldiers and those who loved them. The pains and the disasters of the subdue population, were so huge that they don’t fit in any list of injuries.
Avoiding more wars, restoring and to preserving the quality of the natural systems, improving the economies of the countries which need it more and advancing in the implantation of democratic systems, are the great challenges that the system has overdemostrated to be unable to manage with competence.
And we need more questions to find any answer.
First of all, we must see that during the long period of state economy in the USSR and in China, the environmental depredation and degradation levels were similar to those in the free market economy world.
Both systems have revealed themselves being unable to manage the economy without damaging the biosphere.
And it’s in the classical capitalist economies, in any case, where the democratic system has permitted to reduce or to stop some concrete aggressions.
And, if the destructive trend of the natural environment is not determined by the economical system, then what is the common character which generates it?
The answer is that both of them are patriarchal societies.
Another question is if the market economy can exist and prosper without patriarchate. The answer should be affirmative, for there are prosperous economies in actual societies that cannot be defined as patriarchal. I will mention them later on.
It seems then, that what defines the system is more a cultural and social question than an economical one.
We may conclude that the basic character of this system that generates problems over problems in a continuous manner is not the market economy, but the patriarchate, defined by the phrase by which this chapter begins: the whole block of ideas, beliefs, myths, convictions, practices and laws that absolutely conform and frame the economical and political activity of practically all of the societies of the planet.
We know that the fight between males is an evolution constant, but in the humans it evolved to a vocation of possession and absolute control over women, over the whole population and over material goods.
I feel like it’s time for a change of theme, because going on with more reflections and critical expositions about the system would drive the reader and myself to a real bad mood. I will do it incorporating some paragraphs of poetry taken from an outstanding tragicomic theatre work.
Lysistrata, the protagonist, says in different scenes:
−It’s the salvation of Greece what I propose. On women, yes, on women depends the luck of the city... if us women put in agreement, those of Thebes, those of Sparta and those of Athens, we altogether shall save it.
-At the beginning of the war, with that good sense that characterizes us, we used to accept everything that you men did. You didn’t let us say a word. It’s not in fact that we agreed, don’t you think so. How many times we heard you vociferate about features of life and death! After that, shrunken inside ourselves, we asked you with a smile in mouth : “Have you already decided what will you write about the truce in the stone stele ?”, just to receive always the same answer: “What the hell have you got to do about it ? Won’t you ever shut up your mouth ?” And so, what should we women do then ?: Shut up.
-And then, we came across a decision of yours totally mistaken. And we asked you: “But man, what’s that you do ? Where have you got your head ?” My man fulminated me with the sight and said to me: “Go back to your cotton loom, if you don’t want me to break your head! War is a matter of men!”
−Come out, companions! To them, women; bakers, greengrocers, grocers, florists, innkeepers, fishers, market butchers! Beat them hard, without ceremony! Stop, rejoin now. Let them be, that we don’t want no spoils.
−Now today we shall take up the acropolis. The old women will take care of this (the control of the silver treasure of the city).
−What did I tell you ? The old women are already inside! The acropolis is ours!... Let’s go and help them close the doors.
−It turns everything upside down, that silver. Just for stealing, those who manage the public matters, they are always finding new tricks. But it’s over! They may do what they want, not a single coin will come out of here!
Place: Athens, 2,400 years ago.
From this funny and spicy theatre work, very performed and celebrated, I have only reproduced the lines which have a serious tone, but many of the scenes have a highly erotic content. It keeps on being the best written text that talks about the millenary conflict between men and women, where the women take the initiative and fight until they win, and achieve the peace.
We can imagine that a scene similar to the one explained in the second phrase reproduced, could be heard in many homes during the gestation of the construction bubble of few years ago. And also in the one which deflagrated in the USA in 1929. Perhaps in different words and tones, but with the same sense.
Lines before I hinted at the fact that there are alpha men who have behaviors lacking of empathy, exceeding of prepotency and living near to a sociopathy, since they are not able to evaluate the damages of their actions. Perhaps here would be a good place for a psychological study, but we will avoid it after listening to the opinions about them that their couples may have. It’s been a long time since Lysistrata sang us our own lesson.
Democracy, the great discovery of the State City of Athens more than 2,600 years ago, was recuperated as a political system by the United States of America at the endings of XVIIIth century, and since then, but mostly after finishing the II World War, it has been conquering the confidence of the citizenship of the whole planet as a model of thinking and as a political system; and nowadays few autocratic systems are able to maintain themselves without violence.
The implantation of democracy in Athens gave the system so much social, cultural and economical solidity, that many successful literary authors could go totally against the waves of the ruling ideas, introducing new ones and proposing worrying questions. And if we have to consider that the intellectuals and the artists constitute the vectors of cultural changes, we may think that the Athenian society was evolving unto recognizing its mistakes and its basic cases of unfairness: women, slaves and imperialist war.
Athens was a society with male chauvinism, slavery and capitalism, with a great sea army, and even though there was freedom of expression and serious trials –with two exceptions of which the Athenians always regretted: the trial of Aspasia (the couple of the head of state Pericles) and the one of Socrates.
In its best moments, the members of the jury were nominated by luck; the corruption episodes were only made by individuals, because the system had eradicated the organized corruption; the torture and the physical punishment to the slaves had been forbidden, and the death penalty was only for application in very exceptional cases, when the general interests had been injured.
The maximum census of Athenian men with political rights got to be of about 40,000; but seldom country-men did go in fact to the sessions of the assembly, which normally held not more than 10,000 citizens.
Men practically lead their lives apart from women, devoting in business, culture, physical exercise, war, and most of all, in all the questions of public interest. Not in vain were they the inventors of the republic.
Meanwhile, the women of the rich Athens lived comfortably in well-built houses, with good furniture, and well served by slaves; and her job was, apart from leading the domestic life, to bring sons and daughters to the society.
In this frame, formed by men who rule in everything, and women who care for the homes –and for the daughters until they get married and the sons until they become adolescents−, the theatre was the tool more often used to express the ideas critical to the system.
Questioning about slavery, Euripides writes: “The smart slave is not worse than the free man.”, in a time when the Greek economy couldn’t be maintained without slaves.
The literary and the scientific works which have arrived to us, if one bears in mind that such wave of intelligence was comparatively short, are the greatest expression of creative talent of all the history of the humanity and the most important reference of what we understand by culture. It all was generated in a patriarchal society, but that, adopting a government system based on democracy which had agreed that the freedom of expression was sacred, and nobody had to silence any opinion.
The critical thought is present in the major part of the literary production of the great tragic authors. From Aeschylus, we can read that when the king Agamemnon, the great leader of the coalition of cities that set to conquest Troy, ten years after and having won the war, returns to his city, his wife Clytemnestra kills him just at the point he enters the palace.
She has a lover who has consoled her during the large absence of her husband, and both of them want to become legal kings. The apparent tale is about the ambition of an unfaithful woman who murders the great hero when he, exhausted by the long war, gets back home. But, reading the text, it puts in the chorus that it’s not the ambition what forces her to kill, but the vengeance. Agamemnon, before starting the war against Troy, and having heard the negative signs from the magicians, decides to make a blood sacrifice. And, so that there is no doubt left about his leadership, he decides to sacrifice his own daughter. And so Clytemnestra, the girl’s mother, waits for him with the well sharpened knife.
In the Antigone tragedy, Sophocles describes the duel of the protagonist woman against despotic power. The king has given an order to humiliate the cadaver of a brother of Antigone as a public punishment for disloyalty. But she reproaches the king his lack of feelings, disobeys his order, gives sepulture to her brother, and then commits suicide.
In one scene, she says: I haven’t come here to share hate, but to share love.”
Also by Sophocles, in the work Tyreus: “But now put apart from my home, I am nothing, Often, taking into consideration the feminine nature, I have to conclude we are nothing. As young girls we live in our father’s home... But, when we get to adolescence and we are conscious, we get thrown out and we get sold very far, some to strangers, some to barbarians, some get to sad houses, some to homes full of violence. And once that in the first night we have got coupled to our husband, our only duty is to praise him and to believe that everything he does is what’s best it be done.”
Women at home, yes, but morally strong and intelligent women. There are lots of models of women in the literature of the democratic Athens. Euripides, in the Bacants, describes scenes of absolute freedom of the women of a city that during some days abandon their role of submissive housewives and go up to the mountain to live vital experiences. The king of the city gives little importance to the counsels of the old men, who tell him he needn’t worry, for the women will return, and most of all that he should not dare to interrupt the women’s need of freedom experiences. The king, prepotent, doesn’t listen to them, and, because of a fatal confusion ends being eaten by the women in the ritual meal of the end of the party, consisting of the meat of the first savage animal who dared to get close to them.
The works and the authors mentioned were all first prizes in the theatre festivals of Athens. This means that the works were celebrated and the authors venerated as wise men. We could say that they were the Nobel prizes of the age. The theatre was the place where the contradiction and the unfairness of the system were exposed, and women were often the main characters and the moral referents. The authors were practically all men, and so were the actors and the public.
The works that have arrived to us are only a small part of the large production of the classical Athens; we don’t know when were many of them lost, but a large amount of works were burnt by religious fanatics during the roman age, in the big fire of the Library of Alexandria.
Dedicating a chapter to talk about Athens is because, in my view, even in patriarchal cultures, the democratic system is the only way capable of evolving unto more freedom, more justice and more protection of the weak, since the most rudimentary democracy can be perfected, provided that there is a minimum of individual freedom that permits that any critical idea can be expressed in public. This is the key of the democratic quality.
The levels of that democracy haven’t been equaled by any other in all the history, not even by the most advanced of today.
Another relevant aspect about the laws of the Republic of Athens, is the public transparency to which were submitted all those who administrated or leaded any public matter. Even Thucydides, the historian, not because of being corrupt or traitor, but because of a mistake in the commandment of a shipping of war, was exiled for many years.
Thucydides puts in the voice of the governor Pericles, in one of his discourses in the assembly, this following phrase: Us, the Athenians, those citizens who don’t take part in the public matters, we don’t take them for quiet, but for useless instead.
Also by Thucydides: It could be said that democracy is neither intelligent nor equitable, and that those who possess very much money are the best ones to exercise power. But, I assure, in first place, that people means the whole citizenship, while the term oligarchy refers only to a part; and also that the rich are the best guardians of the money, but for giving the best advises we’ve got the smarter ones, and in order to take the best decision after listening, there is the majority, These elements, separated or as a whole, have an equal part in democracy. Oligarchy, instead, makes the majority participate in the risks, but about the goods, it hasn’t got enough with taking the major part, but it even lays it all together and takes the whole for itself.
And in Antigone, Sophocles writes: Having resources for everything, he doesn’t stay without them facing the future. He only can’t find the remedy against death, but he can prevent himself of the many illnesses, trying to avoid them. And, in possession of the industrious ability of art more than it could be expected, he acts sometimes well or he sometimes drags down to the wrong, trampling the laws of the land and sacred promise made to the gods. He who, occupying a high seat in the city habituates boldly to the wrong, is unworthy of living in it. Let him never be my host and even less my friend, the one who such things does!
It mustn’t sound strange that even nowadays there are hostile behaviors to that cultural phenomenon, so short in time and in demographic dimension, but so special and so rich. The democracy lessons of Athens are much too good.
That was the special moment in history, and it lasted in plenitude only a few decades. Their own mistakes –assumed by themselves–, surrounded by barbarian and autocratic countries, put an end to it.
Another fortunate time of the history was when the colonies that Great Britain had in North America declared their independence. Some years before the French Revolution a group of people appointed to masonry established the first democratic system in the modern age. And since then, in a slow but continuous drip, the model has been formally established in the major part of the states of the planet. With more or less quality, it’s true. Luckily the great virtue of the democracy is that it keeps improving by itself provided no dictatorship interrupts it.
But we have to be conscious that the system has functioned during thousands of years without democracy and that many states manage to live without it. Democracy is a luxury of the patriarchal system useful to keep the citizens contented. But a luxury to which the system puts some limits.
The separation of powers in legislative, executive and judicial, is the essential character of any democracy. Which means, free voting to choose those persons who represent the citizenship, free voting of the chosen to form the executive power, and apart, a judicial power independent from the other two. Complementary to the three of them, the communication media deserve the consideration of fourth power.
Many states reunite these conditions. But, everywhere, there are functional restrictions which pervert democracy, also in well consolidated, and the fissures of the democracy are unavoidable so that the patriarchal system maintains all its preeminence and its rigor.
The political parties are the place where any physical person can address to, without any other conditions but make their own the political ideas that identify each party, carefully written down in their respective and democratic statutes. The free and democratic participation is guaranteed.
The rates of participation of the citizens in the activities of the political parties is very varied from one country to another, and it’s precisely in those where there is more participation where the state apparatus works better. Because, one thing is to vote, and another one quite different, more compromising and more expensive, is to participate in the political debate inside a political party.
And participating in the debate is still a minor feature, because the function of the parties, apart from proposing candidates for the elections is that of proposing government programs. And it’s in this point where the first vulnerable point, the first fissure is detected.
The political parties have all got the so called sectorial commissions, where the respective governing programs are written. They are formal spaces with free access for all the members of the party. There are sectorial commissions in all of the parties, but, unfortunately, they only work when the elections are getting closer –there must be exceptions, since there are many thousands of political parties in the world–, and then they write down great generalist wordings about all that which requires viable, detailed and compromised proposals.
The political class of the actual democracies encourages the citizenship to participate in the public matter, asking for our vote, and seldom will we feel like we’re required for anything else. There are a lot of means, and very efficient to make it: newspaper, radio, television... by them the citizenship can be encouraged to participate in politics. But they don’t, and they substitute it by inviting some people to appear in programs, in a real fiction of political participation.
In this point it’s evident that, in today’s democracies, that principle enunciated by Pericles that says that in Athens those who don’t care for public matters are not taken for quiet, but for useless instead is not quite shared by the citizenship.
The inhibition of the citizens, by renouncing to exercise their rights and their responsibilities in the public issues, lets the system win the game. We put it the easy way, and the result is the disaster.
En relation to the executive power, this is formed by all the institutions financed with public money: government, ministries, universities, scholar system, health system, various institutions, entities and enterprises, without making exception of communication media. Many of these operators, especially those which day to day are in contact with people who require special attentions, like school and sanity, are managed in a democratic manner, but in many other ambits of the public administration, this is not the case.
Because the normative that cares for the right operation of each organism financed with public money shouldn’t be that which the government decrees, but that which the people who work there professionally decide, obviously, inside the frame of general legislation. The people who work in the public matter they have all got a recognized professional level, they do it day to day and they are those who know better the issues of their competence. They have to be organized in absolutely democratic systems, which must guarantee the free critical opinion in relation to any theme. And in the case of matters that require privacy while they are in preparation, the procedure should be done with judicial authorization.
Another fissure is the world of the university, of those who work in investigation and the teaching with public money financing. In this field, the deficit of democratic efficiency is enormous, and it’s not so because the public universities have got authoritarian governments. But its professorship feels like they are in duty to two contractors: one, the government in turn, and the other the enterprises which finance research works, forgetting that their real contractor is the citizenship which finances them by paying their taxes.
The universities, yet with their big authority, don’t orientate well, don’t criticize in the right way and don’t denounce with severity the threats and problems which are of scientific evidence. The degradation of the natural systems can’t be understood without the silence of the public university system. It’s true that there are critical informs, opinions and attitudes in this large world, but many are personal, many repressed, and the inhibition to avoid being pointed as an anti-system is the general attitude.
Only when a problem gets to be flagrant, very dangerous and of public domain, is when the academic world talks loudly. Meanwhile, it keeps on leaving unmentioned and ignoring many others. And the function of the science loses its virtues.
The public communication media deserve a full stop. They don’t exist in all of the states, but they do in many of them. They reunite the double condition of being public system organisms and also the fourth power, the information.
One can say that the freedom of opinion and expression exists, not when anybody can say their own in loud voice, but when the people who work as reporters in the public communication media can do it. It’s because of this that the responsibility of the journalism is not only to publish the information that it thinks of interest, but also to demand a system of protection of the information freedom guaranteed by the judicial power.
It’s important to observe that the four fissures of democracy: the sectorial commissions of political parties, the different levels of public administration, the academic world and the communication media are, precisely, the information sources trustable and competent that the governors must have to orientate their politics. And also, the citizens.
In relation to the judicial power, the Republic of Athens in its better age had decided that its members should be elected by luck.
In the actual democracies, the judges of the high court and those who manage the judicial organization chart, some are nominated by the legislative power and some others by the organizations that give the judges themselves.
But in these forms of designation, the intrigues, the pressure made by different operators –daring managers, organizations with invasive ideologies, and the own interests of the political parties– distortion the independence principle of the judicial power. And almost everywhere, the high court and the responsible of the judicial system organization chart are formed by people with ties or dependences to the system. On the contrary, the designation by luck avoids any possibility of lack of guarantee in the composition of these organs.
All the average people that go to a trial, know that those who will decide their luck, are there just because of a purely administrative decision: depending on where you’re from, you get a particular judge, who can be a man or a woman. And we accept their authority in such important questions as having to go to prison or paying fines.
The argument in favor of the designation by luck of the judicial power is that if for any judge, man or woman, we recognize their capacity over the luck of the judged persons, we must understand that they have got the capacity to opine and decide about any question which is of judicial competence. They don’t need to be expert in concrete fields of the laws, since they can ask for informs to specialized professionals. They just have to be independent judges.
Since a few decades ago, the song that said that women are not good for leading a country, an enterprise or any other organization or activity, has stopped being heard. There have been and there are many women who have maximum responsibility positions in many levels and spaces of both public and private ambits.
But years ago the opinions were different ones and, since we have historical information, very few women were recognized out of their “natural functions”. The perspective in the long time is unavoidable. And I’ll be back to animal ethology for a while.
In the animal world closer to ours in the evolution process –the different primate species–, the orangutans fall very far from us, since they are animals who live in solitude. The gorillas could be a referent for the family life, but not for the social, for in few occasions they group in lots of individuals. They are both species of chimpanzees, the common and the bonobos, the ones that perhaps are more similar to that one which, with crossings and extinctions, was our antecessor in the evolution line.
We know well that, unfortunately, we are more alike to the first ones than to the second ones.
Without theorizing too much, we can imagine that during many thousands of years, both the Neanderthals and the Sàpiens lived in more or less numerous groups leaded by the women in all that is essential for the day to day, and with the men busy in all the jobs which involve risks and violence; as hunting or defending the group.
Why did the system change ? When did the phenomenon of patriarchate appear ? When did men decide to submit women to the system in which we still live ?
A lot of theories have been written about why, when and how about that change, but there can’t be much certainty, since there are no historical registers that can help us know it. As I have read some of them, I can’t leave unexposed the one I think more possible, yet declaring that it neither is original of mine, nor even proved.
About 10,000 years ago, a new activity, the agriculture, began being practiced in grounds of the Middle-East, in the actual Irak. This innovation had to radically modify the life conditions of the humans, because since the origins of our species, and even before, we lived on collecting fruits, seeds and herbs and on hunting savage animals. There were no towns or cities, since, for survival, the humans of those times had to change continually from place to place searching the best season of each environment.
Agriculture implied having very much food accumulated –most of all cereals and legumes– collected in a short time. And then came up the need to keep it in a safe place, to avoid the possibility that the animals or the people from other groups could steal it.
In a short time, some new elements –a safe place to keep food and a piece of cultivating ground, the vigilance and the possibility of living together and stable for very numerous groups of people– drove them to the foundation of the first stable towns and later on to the first cities.
Changes which would provoke other changes. And men went gradually holding the leadership of the new society, until they decided to be the absolute governors, basing on that character which is the most determining and diverse from those of the females: the predisposition to violence.
Men submitted women because they found the way to substitute –except for being mothers– the vital functions that up to that time had been exclusively feminine: the orientation of the group for finding food, water and shelter. A new model of society: the harvest, kept in the city and men protecting it, and also the cultivating space and women working on it.
And the new patriarchal model entered in history. The figure of the alpha male winner of the combat to have all the females, changed to the one of the absolute autocrat.
But the autocrat needed symbolic elements to maintain and reinforce his new role, and found them in the spiritual aspirations of the people, adopting rituals, myths and believes to put them in service of the authority principle. And he passed from leading because of having the strength of the alpha male, to rule by divine designation.
Tragically, in many societies, some of the rituals consisted in public and festive assassinate. And, practically everywhere, they were girls who were sacrificed.
But very strangely and very fortunately, not all of the societies did take the same road to the patriarchate, and in different places of the planet women integrated the agricultural culture and the city but without getting submitted to men.
They prospered, and some of them have been capable of being kept alive, even though with important changes. In many of the cases we know well, the colonial authorities were the ones that did forbid their forms of power when they invaded their countries.
They are recognized as matriarchal societies, they exist in all of the continents and they keep wise balance between men and women. The matriarchate is not the same as the patriarchate but with the women ruling.
It must be understood that even though a society has lost in part its culture and its traditions, the original impression in the habits is kept in many outstanding aspects, and so that many societies which are patriarchal nowadays keep principles and behaviors which are a heritage from its matriarchal past.
I would like to talk about them with competence, but I can’t do it because personally I haven’t known any one sufficiently. In the internet one can find many names, summaries, studies and news about the actual matriarchal societies. I will mention three of them which, due to their characteristics are very outstanding and very interesting.
One is the case of Kerala, the large strip of land by the sea in western India. Another one is that of the Imazhiguen from the north of Mali and Mauritania and the whole Niger, in the centre itself of the desert of Sahara. And the third one is that of the Akan or Ashanty, who live in the central south of Ghana, in the east of the Coast of Ivory, in the city of Monrovia capital of Liberia and north of Togo.
In the actual Kerala there live more than 30 millions of people, and amongst the different states of the actual India, it’s there where they have the higher human comfort index, the 90% of schooling, a good public health net, and the lower number of poor people. By the end of the XXth century, the colonial Britanic authority cancelled their own matriarchal legislation.
About the Imazhiguen, or Berbers and Tuaregs, even though they keep their matriarchal traditions, the desert and their patriarchal neighbors have eroded their society.
Finally, the Ashanty or Akan, natives of the south of the same region as the Imazhiguen, they are about 7 millions, and the regions where they live are the ones which have the best parameters of comfort and economic growing of the countries to which they belong politically. Those of Ghana, with the centre in the city of Kumasi, are a referent of well-known economical, political and social development. The Ashanty, who had been slave traders, forbid it in 1847. So advanced.
A more than remarkable reality, is that, apart from their general conditions of life, in none of these three societies is practiced the genital mutilation of the girls, even though the two African societies live near to, or even live together with, the ones that still maintain this practice.
Because of its interest as a trustable historic testimony, I’ll mention parts of a report written in the decade of 1330-1340 by the Moroccan Ibn Battuta during his long journeys, the first one up to the doors of China, and the second one up to the south of the desert of Sahara. It was the same age of Marco Polo.
In his steps through Kerala, Ibn Battuta gets surprised that the two months of his journey on foot have passed without any incident. He says that all of the plain zone of the country is a large agricultural garden well cared of, separated by fences that mark the properties of the families, and that in order to transit one has to walk in and out of the fences, for there are no general paths. And nobody steals even one fruit. He mentions reigns governed by queens, some of them with fame of great warriors.
It’s not the terrestrial paradise, but it’s a privileged space. He also remarks, disgusted, that the women have got lots of freedoms and that they go along dressed with very few cloths.
Some years later, returned to Morocco, he received the request of his king to trip to the reign of Mali, which is where the gold that circulated all over the world proceeded from.
Crossing the Sahara, when he got to the city of Oulata in the south of the actual Mauritania, he explains very affected that a journey companion with whom he had made a good friendship, and whom he considered a good mussulmen, was the judge of the city. And one day the judge invited him home.
When he entered the house by the hand of his journey friend, Ibn Battuta saw and heard a woman sitting on a comfortable bed, who talked and laughed happily with another man. Worried by the scene and by the lavishness of the woman’s expressions, he asked who she was, and the judge answered him that she was his wife, who had received the visit from a friend of hers. Ibn Battuta confesses that he reacted with impertinence, complaining about that behavior not proper of a muslim. He judge replied him that the people of the north of the Sahara were very strange in relation to women, and that such was their way of living, and that he should mind his own business and let them be in peace.
After this anecdote the traveler explains that such behaviors of the women he had only seen them in Kerala, but that there the population was not mussulman. The people of Oulata certainly were so, and even though, the women lead their lives freely and had the friends they wanted, apart from managing many businesses from the city. What more shocked him, disgustingly, was that men didn’t feel bad about that and found it totally normal.
The survival of societies with matriarchal culture demonstrates that the patriarchate is not really the spontaneous and natural result in the differentiation process of our ancestors in the evolution scale. The change into patriarchal societies, is quite sure that had to be imposed with physical violence, perhaps step by step, or all of a sudden. And this violence against women, with the exception of the matriarchal societies, has been and still is a constant.
I’ve mentioned lines above that the African matriarchal societies live geographically near to, and in some places live together in the same cities with societies that maintain the ritual of genital mutilation of the girls. Nobody knows when did this practice begin, and now, even though in recession by the pressure of recent national and international legislation, is still practiced in many zones of the planet; mostly In Africa, but also in some places in Asia. And lately, in the emigrated population, also in Europe and America. And it hasn’t got its origin in any of the great patriarchal religions that we know; since it is previous to all of them.
The genital mutilation of the girls constitutes the biggest punishment for those who are the victims, the worst humiliation for all the women of the planet, the biggest shame for a men and the biggest aberration of male chauvinism, even being true that the chirurgical intervention is a matter of the women. In many places even now, both men and women resist to stop doing it.
Internet is a source of exhaustive information, but, we must read between the lines, since there are opinions which, yet not being in favor for the fact, they take it for a cultural particularity which has to be respected. Or that is the equivalent to the phimosis operation.
Democracy allows the feminism to express. And it’s in the first modern democracy, in the United States of America, where there were developed various currents and organizations with objectives; some of them the general concerning to feminism, and some others very concrete.
One of these last ones is the fight to eradicate alcohol, that was at last forbidden causing more drunks, more violence and more organized crime than ever in the history of a country without war. The combating feminism, in this objective adopted discourses and strategies proper to the patriarchate, damaging its role and its image.
And in the decade of 1960, the hippy movement represented the flowery time of the modern feminism, and the influence of its ideas, its moral, and its esthetics got almost anywhere. But the hippies, except for the pacifism never thought about the political power as an objective, abducted by the anarchic thought and entertained with cannabis and LSD.
The May of 1968, in France, was also an exigency of democracy, and feminism was very present there. In fact, just as in any demand of political freedom.
Parity is one of the major vindications of actual feminism: parity in the election lists, parity in the governments, parity in the administration counsels of the big enterprises. Parity ! Parity ! I can’t help giving my opinion.
2,400 years ago, Socrates himself –by the way, a misogynist–, gave his opinion, after thinking about it a lot, that he got to the conclusion that the best of the women could get to be as a man.
And the panacea of the parity is not a different thing that the conformity with that so mistaken opinion of one of the great thinkers of history.
Parity in the world of decisions in the enterprises, even if it’s accomplished, has got a limited course, since the major part of the administration counsels only represent the real owners of the enterprises. The great decisions are taken, not in the offices of the enterprises, but in the houses. And at home, there might be parity, but it’s left out of the reach of the legislation for parity.
I don’t think that a government or an administration counsel with only men can have the same behaviors, or that the effects of its decisions can be the same as when there are women participating in the decisions. So the fact that there are women is a good thing, and the more there are, the better.
But, in order to adopt the decisions that the actual world needs, one must be there by own merits and own powers, and not just because of a goodhearted concession by the males.
There are many justifications to agree with the objectives of the active feminism, and one of them is to find a new conception, in the politic field, of the function of women in the different societies and levels of the actual democracies.
In this perspective, the feminism, understood only as a defense in front of the machismo, is and will always be frustrating, since such conduct is only an excretion of the patriarchate, and it is its saddest and rudest expression, which gets activated only when it feels trapped or at least intimidated by the combined pressure of democracy and feminism.
And it’s then when it comes out in a form of discourse of protection of “us in front of the others”; the call for the reinforcement of the racial supremacy discourse which we have already seen in the Ethology chapter.
The already mentioned Wilhelm Reich, said : the persistence in the time of the sensation of sexual frustration, provokes in men the affection to alcohol and other drugs, and to violence, limited or not to gambling.
He also assured that in a patriarchal society, sexual happiness was something almost impossible, and that sexual happiness –the orgasm and the physical, emotional and mental state that it makes awake– is the natural and unavoidable biological system in order to maintain that homeostatic welfare basic and necessary of the cellular life. He said that anyone can experience sexual love, but few people can live a full sexual life, since the impediments, yet being educational, consequence of negative homeostatic processes, or yet being imposed by the human environment of the moment, make it very hard.
Reich was the most considerate, recognized and respected psychiatrist of his time. The favorite disciple of Freud, until Freud, grown old, even though recognizing the value of his ideas, confessed to him that he couldn’t follow them, for they got in conflict with his most intimate beliefs.
He died in prison, a little time after his arrival in America running away from Nazism, when a severe judge condemned him, accusing him of divulgating dangerous ideas for the American society. Reich was a world wide renowned personality, but, before his friends and those who knew him could obtain his freedom, he died. Because of sadness, I suppose.
The hippy culture vindicated him twenty years later.
Back in reference to the Classic Greece, when a century before the golden age of the Republic of Athens, a very original legislator named Soló had the supreme ability of, without any violence, making the people accept a legislation which now we would call revolutionary, but to which agreed both the right formed by the big commercials and the big land owners, and the left, formed by men with few lands or none, the economy of whom had been degrading to the point that there was a beginning of hunger.
The first ones accepted it scared by the fear of losing everything by cause of possible riots, and the second ones because it substantially increased their expectations of living better.
Soló didn’t want neither nationalize nor collectivize the lands and the production media, and neither was he disposed to suppress the possible popular revolts.
His main reform consisted in forbidding the wheat exportation –the big business of the right– and this way the wheat lowered its prize and everyone could be nourished. And at the same time he fomented the olive tree plantation.
The cultivable ground of the Republic of Athens is scarce, but there are many middle mountains which are a good space for the olive tree. And in few years the Greek oil was exported all over the Mediterranean zone, with more added valor and more quantity than the wheat business, and also generating the large industry of ceramic for its bottling.
He also pardoned all the debts of the poor and forbid the law of falling in the condition of slave by economical debts.
And everybody happy, thanks to the fact that Soló, endowed with a special political ability, and also with the prestige that he had won by having set free a city which was allied to Athens, by proposing a clear, detailed, planned and compromised economical and political project, obtained the approval of the new laws. New laws that reformed and reinforced the economy, and that provided a project of future which was valid for the whole citizenship. The experts attribute to Soló’s reform the origin of the democratic system of Athens.
My opinion, in relation to the objectives that today the active feminism can contemplate as a realistic option, is to actively participate in the world of politics and to acquire information, knowledge and experiences in the public matter, so that it can govern and legislate.
Today and tomorrow, the power of the women has got to be expressed in all of the public institutions, from the smaller town councils and the middle governs, the state and suprastate governs, the General Assembly of the UNO and to all of the institutions which are part of them. And this power should be scrupulously democratic.
This strategy has some easy to transit roads, which are the fissures mentioned in the “Today’s democracies” chapter, all of them noisy lacks in almost all of the actual democracies, obviously with differences between some states and others.
To actively participate in the sectorial commissions of the party that one finds more attractive, is a personal decision that anyone can make. But only the women can be the catalyst to achieve that these organs assume the functions which they have been created for.
In the sectorial commissions, the possible male intrusion will not have anything to do or say, since they are absolutely democratic basic level organisms.
It can also be an objective of feminist action to give democratic contents to the other mentioned fissures, referred to the organization charts which conform the public system. And also, in a special manner, to achieve the protection of the ethic compromise of the reporter vocation and profession on behalf of the judicial power.
The power of the women must be, not the objective, but the mean to establish the full democracy, since the full democracy is the priority of the general interests and the common comfort, the freedom of expression and the protection of the vulnerable.
And only the feminism can explain with clarity, detail and compromise which are its objectives, what is what will be done when it has the necessary majorities in the legislative and executive institutions to make new laws, in a world map in which every different state presents particularities.
The world will be much better if the women are who decide where to go, at which rate and which risks must be assumed. The serious actual problems need important paradigm changes which the patriarchate never will be able to face. If it was able, we wouldn’t have got to this actual disaster. One doesn’t need to be very smart to understand it; one only has got to open the eyes.
With women governing the institutions, when there are so much dangers and conflicts in the planet, hasn’t got to be a promenade through the park in springtime. But, with men governing them, the disaster is for sure. And facing the failure of the patriarchal system, the criterion and the correct perspective must be the one that leaks with the evolution line: the female leading the herd in freedom up to the state of comfort and safety.
Women governing the institutions –and so regulating the market economy– is a possibility which even the most misogynist capitalist has to stop and think about.
Because now the patriarchate is a giant who, apart from having his feet on landslide ground, he knows that he is ill. He feels insecure and, facing the decided attitude of women and facing a clear project, if he can trust that he will maintain the economical activity in a free market system, he will forget his myths and he will adapt to the new times.
The good sense of Lysistrata when she shouts without resentment: Go out, companions! To them! Beat them hard, without contemplation! Stop, get back together now. Let them be, that we don’t want spoils sounds calming.
It’s evident that one can expect male chauvinist reactions, but, without enough push to avoid the new ideas, the new proposals, the new political majorities and the new laws.
Manhood disposes of the necessary tools –and more of them which will come by the hand of science– to restore everything that it has spoiled and to be able to prosper in a continuous manner, but these powerful tools must be managed by the ones who know how not to hurt themselves with them. And we men have demonstrated during many millenniums and up to dangerous extremes that we are not the ones who can do it.
You don’t know, my son, the few sense with which the world is governed, is a phrase that seems like uttered by a philosopher; but it was written in the XVIIth century by the head of the government of Sweden during the Thirty Years War. A real recognition that, when the problems have been heavy, the world has always walked on the wrong foot.
New politics, implemented by women, to achieve a secure and healthy world, where the protection of justice works for everyone, the protection of the state works for the vulnerable, and where the only disasters that can happen are those of natural origin.
The personal world of the men both the common and the powerful, since not many years ago is full of uncertainties, insecurities and even of fears. And we feel obliged to have contradictory discourses, or to say it better, a false discourse and an inhibited behavior: the discourse to the sons based in concepts like responsibility and order, while outside home we practice the totally opposite or we get inhibited. This discourse could make sense while the parents thought the world was going to better, but that time is over.
Children learn almost everything of the behavior and the words of their parents. But when they perceive that they don’t correspond, they feel painfully cheated. Greta was the first one to denounce it in a loud voice.
We feel out of the game because our male superiority be caught with the paints down. And frightened of our incapability to manage the public matter, we’ll breathe relieved if you women take us away the direction.
But, as long as we don’t see the power of the women in a decided march, we won’t assume it, since we are males that beat without a break in the male herd, while the world gets spoiled in front of our eyes. Personally, perhaps because of age, I am not scared, but I am embarrassed, bored and annoyed; and I’m sure that all over the planet, some thousands of millions of men feel the same. And we will put on you all our hopes for the future.
I finish this text with a phrase of an exceptional person, Josep Anselm Clavé, who along his life –XXth century– as a promoter of musical shows, and by means of a very original and wise cultural strategy attained to improve the character and the behavior of practically all of the people in my country. He wrote:
Join together and you will be strong; acquire knowledge and you will be free; love each other and you will be happy.
Francesc Ventura Sala
English translation from catalan, by Ramón Tomàs Aymerich
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