Statesmen vs. psychopaths

The real recomposition of Argentina will take several decades (REUTERS / Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Since the dawn of political science, power has been studied with a range of approaches and doctrines. In short, it can be conceptualized as a relationship of command and obedience: whoever has the achievement of being selected to guide the destinies of a nation has the conferred authority to articulate challenges. In an inverted way, the subjects, through the scope of an institute that is not absolute, such as civil obedience, must guide their actions based on that relationship.

Now, within the ambiguities, excesses and distortions with which public policies are carried out, two types of rulers emerge throughout the global village and as far as the subject is concerned: statesmen and psychopaths.

For the former, hardcore democrats, the nectar of the genuine Republic feeds on periodicity; the alternation; the tolerance; respect for the division of powers; mutual control of government acts; the natural replacement of frames; respect for the law; Y the conception that the different parties that compete for a common place are not enemies, but adversaries and subordinate to a superior interest that is none other than the national.

The general theoretical framework rests on the fact that the ruler’s power is legitimate only if the selected individual meets the requirements of a democratic government. He fulfilled his function, in the segment that was assigned to him, he returns quite naturally to his original work. The example provided by Washington is illuminating, which at the end of its second term not only voluntarily abdicated from a third term, lighting the beacon of institutionality, but also withdrew from public life, leaving an outstanding precedent for the new generations.

The statesman confronts his delegated activity according to Rosanvallon’s preaching. In his works “The good government” and “The democratic legitimacy” he points out that the verdict of the polls cannot be the only pattern of legitimacy. Power is not fully democratic if it is not subjected to majority control and validation tests. The democracy of interaction has as panoply the affiliation in a permanent process and reaction “against democracy”, in which information is demanded from the authorities, forcing the power to explain and justify its action.

Different is the situation of the psychopath. There are various scopes that have been given to the term. Although it was the North American psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley, in his work “The Mask of Sanity”, who in 1941 refurbished the subject, we understand that the contribution of Donald Dutton and Susan K. Gollan, in their essay “The Beater, a psychological profile ”, has been significant.

The latter characterize the former by their coldness; a callousness difficult to define; don’t look back; feel no remorse. One of the features that gives him physiognomy is the lack of moral conscience. The psychopathic syndrome includes the inability to imagine the fear and suffering that another person experiences or the terrible consequences that their release can produce or connect with the damage they do.

As far as politics goes, he uses people to multiply his power; transforms into things for his own benefit; already consolidated in the “armchair” he intends that no one take away that lordship or question the acts of government; does not delegate power and, in general, gathers around a group of obsequious, paid with the state moneywho resemble vassals or palafreneros, whose direct purpose is to be court jesters.

Lies, manipulation and imposture around worrying about the problems of the community members adorn different stratagems necessary to accumulate wealth or hide under the candlestick of the fatuous light that spreads impunity.

This drive has a certain correspondence with the studies of Freud. In “Totem and Tabu”, when theorizing about the very origin of society, compacting the theme in “Eros and Thanatos”, the father of psychoanalysis rejected and defined as pathological the indefinite accumulation of wealth in such a thickness that several generations could not they will be able to consume what they have hoarded.

Unfortunately, the psychopath is winning the game over the statesman. It is necessary to purify the selection with respect to whom power is delegated. Borges in “Our Poor Individualism” criticizes the lack of identification with the State, which he certainly attributes to the lousy governments, to the condition of individuals rather than citizens and to the general consideration that the State is an inconceivable abstraction, in opposition to Hegel for whom, the first, is the reality of the moral idea.

It is necessary to choose statesmen who drink from the chalice of service. The psychopaths who benefit from the pain that demands help, which demands substantive solutions and not from outrageous handouts, must be removed that, extended over time, does nothing more than spread the privileges of those who use power to their advantage at the expense of representative legitimacy by resorting to the “dump truck culture”: when those represented no longer fulfill a useful function, they become disposable or leftovers.

The country needs genuine statesmen to go through a long painful labor towards its recovery. We must not deceive ourselves or fall into false illusions: the real recomposition of the Argentine economy will take several decades, regardless of the governments in power. Whatever its orientation, the culture of effort, austerity, sacrifice and sustained educational training must be resumed.

If, as we read in Plato’s Timaeus, time is a moving image of eternity, we must walk our pampas, go through its suburbs, hand in hand with a statesman. That is the challenge of the hour, to think of the country for the next generations, putting the shroud on an ephemeral consumerism, product of a conjunctural exchange delay or a seasonal bonanza in the commercialization of some primary products generating genuine wealth (conceived based on the real exchange of goods and services, not in an irresponsible emission) to be later rationally distributed among the members of a community and not directed towards the coffers of some bandits.


Statesmen vs. psychopaths