By José Alejandro Rodríguez
August 29, 2009 23:26:55 CDT
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Unlike the deceiving mirror of my childhood, which assured the witch she was the most beautiful woman in the world, ordinary mirrors are built with the quicksilver of truth. They reflect our image such as we are, with the furrows and the snow of time.
Societies also need mirrors to scrutinize their images, to detect wrinkles, which, conversely to those that mark human faces, can be reversed. And, our socialism needs to be systematically observed, to avoid clinging to idyllic images, or deceiving notions that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
I say this because, in my long and loving job of reflecting our society’s problems, to guarantee that it lasts longer; I have met a blinding resistance to my sincere criticism. This resistance takes the form of a “handsaw”; meaning that those who judge me, are carving a hole on the floor for me to fall through.
The sick obsession with protecting “the image” of the country, of the ministry, of the company or of the territory is more frequent than concern for the real messes being reported. On occasion, it is paranoia trying to protect positions, jobs, and other trifles, when improving reality is what it’s about.
Other times, it’s the consequence of a confusion many people have. They think that problems (in the country, ministry, company or territory) should not be discussed publicly because this will demean the achievements of the Revolution.
This blindness, common to both indolent and opportunist people, common also to those holding high positions or not, can strengthen the sensation that everything is all right. It’s very dangerous to confuse reality with our best wishes, and that by clinging to our society’s noble paradigms we fail to discover when, where, and how deeply reality proves them faulty. This would be the worst possible service to the Revolution.
There’s a scientific principle that says that to solve something, it is necessary first to recognize it and to elucidate it. For a long time there was strong resistance to accepting that corruption larvae had been already incubated in our society. Corruption was considered profanity, as if it could condemned us, we who have so much accumulated honesty. In the long run, here we are creating a General Controlership of the Republic.
Some perceive that healthy criticism – which, by the way, should not stop at words but continue in actions and transformations – is giving in to weakness; that it’s like giving weapons to the enemy. The truth is that the most dangerous missile we can give those who want to dismantle our 50 year work is silence. To keep silent when we see pretenses, double morals, conformity, or the disappearance of militant intransigence against wrongs that are incubated and develop before our very own eyes.
European socialism disappeared because it lost the ability to see what was really happening, and the compass to correct the route. This lesson cannot be forgotten. It is similar to Dorian Grey’s tragedy, Oscar Wilde’s character the one who was obsessed by narcissism, hid his portrait, so that he didn’t have to see the signs he was incorporating every time he made a blunder. Cuba has enough light to see herself in the mirror, and to correct her ugliness.