Entrevistas / Rafael Cadenas

Excerpt from Rafael Cadenas, Entrevistas (San Felipe, Venezuela: Ediciones La Oruga Luminosa, 2000).

What's your opinion of our politicians?

—Almost all of those who have governed, out of those who've had minor or important positions in this long democratic period, should feel ashamed of themselves. They should criticize themselves for what they've done and for what they haven't done. It's enough to mention that they wasted a massive amount of the nation's money, they created an overblown bureaucracy that will be difficult to dismantle, they transformed politics into a means for personal wealth, they inflated the role of the State, they became the main source of corruption—the disease that undermines the country—among other achievements. There's a revealing fact: it's hard to find one that's poor. But I don't intend to make an inventory of the situation, I couldn't do this in a necessarily short answer.

One even wonders whether a government has even existed, and not because one wants a dictatorship, but because one believes democracy can and should be strong, and here it has only been strong with the weak. It's also valid to wonder whether a State exists, despite it's enormous dimentions, since justice does not function.

The politician is interested in power, above all else, so that (according to him) he can do this and that. But what serves as a means tends to become an end. Burckhardt—I have to cite him again—has a very simple and sharp phrase, which is like a summary of his conception of history, which he knew something about: "Power is evil."

Of course, the disease of power doesn't attack only the politician. It remains latent or manifested everywhere, in any neighbor's son, in a doorman, in a police officer, in an apartment building committee; it even shows its face among couples or families.

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