Sunday, August 11, 2013

11 August 2013

Eduardo Galeano [The International Political Review]

from Eduardo Galeano’s The Book of Embraces, tr. Cedric Belfrage with Mark Schafer:

Professional Life / 3

The big bankers of the world, who practice the terrorism of money, are more powerful than kings and field marshals, even more than the Pope of Rome himself. They never dirty their hands. They kill no one: they limit themselves to applauding the show.

Their officials, international technocrats, rule our countries: they are neither presidents nor ministers, they have not been elected, but they decide the level of salaries and public expenditure, investments and divestments, prices, taxes, interest rates, subsidies, when the sun rises and how frequently it rains.

However, they don’t concern themselves with the prisons or torture chambers or concentration camps or extermination centers, although these house the inevitable consequences of their acts.

The technocrats claim the privilege of irresponsibility: “We’re neutral,” they say.

Mapamundi / 2

To the south, repression. To the north, depression.

More than a few northern intellectuals marry southern revolutions for the sheer pleasure of becoming widowers. They ostentatiously weep buckets, oceans of tears over the death of each illusion, and they never stop long enough to discover that socialism is the longest road from capitalism to capitalism.

It is fashionable in the north, throughout the world, to celebrate neutral art and applaud the snake that bites its tail and finds it tasty. Culture and politics have become consumer goods. Presidents are chosen on television like soap, and poets perform a decorative function. The only magic is that of the market, and bankers are the only heroes.

Democracy is a northern luxury. The south is permitted its show, which is denied to nobody. And in the final analysis, it doesn’t bother anyone very much that politics be democratic so long as the economy is not. When the curtain falls, once the votes are deposited in the ballot boxes, reality imposes the law of might is right, which is the law of money, the pleasure of the natural order of things. In the southern half of the world, so the system teaches, violence and hunger belong not to history but to nature, and justice and liberty have been condemned to mutual hatred.

Celebration of Subjectivity [excerpt]

And on the banks of the San Juan River, the old poet told me that there is no fucking reason to pay attention to the fanatics of objectivity:

Don’t worry,” he said to me. “That’s how it should be. Those who make objectivity a religion are liars. They are scared of human pain. They don’t want to be objective, it’s a lie: they want to be objects, so as not to suffer.

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