“If people internalize this external political conflict in the same way that we have seen approached in public space, instead of sitting down and composing ourselves, we will end up speaking the same as what we saw yesterday, if it can be said that that is speaking” Juan José Álvarez, Professor of Law at the University of the Basque Country and secretary of the Institute of Democratic Governance, in a talk with Javier del Pino about democracy.

At a time when the format of the debate seems impossible, Juan José Álvarez remembers reading something in a book by Angel Gabilondo (as a metaphysical and not as a political one) in which he said: “Someone to talk to, not someone to talk to”, and is that “For many years there has been no political dialogue, they are successive monologues”.

Álvarez does not believe that freedom should be understood as giving the word to everyone, especially “when you know that he does not want to talk”: “The conversation requires a pre-agreement and sitting down to talk between different, if what you want is to provoke, you are breaking the debate from the first moment”.

What is clear is that “Whoever provokes should not respond with provocation if not with non-appreciation”, namely, “Not listening to someone who tries to make a speech that is not political, which is something else”.

He says that it is difficult because “it sounds like censorship, it seems something contrary to the concept of freedom”, but he remembers that freedom has many factors within democracy that must be borne in mind. For example, in the case in which there are debates in which Vox does not intervene, “someone could say that it impoverishes democracy”, but Juan José Álvarez recalls that “it still protects it”, especially when “There is someone who does not want to delve into democratic values: freedom, equality, justice and political pluralism”.

We are in an unprecedented moment, according to the professor “Democracy has a great possibility of losing not only quality, but also its foundations”. “Politics has to be protected from politics itself, and that civil society has an opportunity for civic reaction: go to the polls.”

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