Imposibilia / Cantórbery Cuevas Tortolero


This name tends to be given to sets of reasoning, games or riddles that are by definition paradoxical, given the incongruence of their premises: for example, proposals on the chance of boiling water in the freezer, or drying laundry in the sun tonight. Without going further, there are those I referred to recently in this page which St. Peter Damian mentioned as being unrealizable even by the Perfect Being, according to the saint: changing the past, or restoring a former virgin's virtue. In the graphic field we have as a supreme artifice of illustrious imposibilia the sublime Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, with his reversible stairways and tripods that are also bipods.

It occurs to me that Venezuelan politics today offer these two examples, among many: 1) a democratic and socially just system based on work, starting from the prevailing economy here; 2) a revolutionary socialist system – democratic or not; of new or old stamp; whatever “socialism” might mean at this point; based or not on work and starting in the prevailing economy or any other one.

Let us see why. Although it might not be very well-known by Venezuelans in general and, among these, by studious people in particular, there is a great deal of consensus within the global community of petroleum researchers with links to sociology (or vice versa), that States living primarily from the production of fossil fuels without having previously disposed of a relatively high level of institutional quality – the vast majority –, are condemned to unravel the resources that come to them and fall into the so-called Dutch sickness (the tendency of having an overabundance of currency and its cheapening, which encourages the importation of all types of goods and discourages investment in sectors with low productivity), frustrating any attempt to consolidate a series of corporate-political instruments ideal for confronting that debasing, wasteful temptation.

With things as they are, in the first case, the Venezuelan State – an archetypal petrostate if any exists – has only one democratic exit from the wasteful impasse that is swallowing it: that the people, in an unheard of act, manage to impose upon it (a) respect for the democratic exercise of the masses, and (b) severe habits of saving money and the stimulation of productive work, which in a petrostate is a contradiction in terms, and thus an absurdity. In the second case, to what has already been said we could add what has been stressed so many times and is no less real because of that: the absence in today’s world of historical oxygen for any revolutionary attempt that won't end up leading to capitalism or ungovernability. At this point the country already registers an accelerated proliferation of explosions of anomy: unchecked inflation, crime, corruption. Is the process imploding? And there is no reason to not expect from the each day more egocratic presidential actions a multiplication of the well-known entropic externalities typical of any system that refuses to forget and learn.

* * * * *

The stew is boiling in the freezer.

{ Cantórbery Cuevas Tortolero, TalCual, 15 February 2007 }

No comments: