Nobody knows for sure what or who won the plebiscite on September 4. Mario Sobarzo, philosopher and academic at the University of Santiago, neither; However, he is more or less clear who lost, and by beating: that left that lamented the imprisonment of “Cisarro” on Twitter, turning him into a victim of the system, without showing any concern for his victims; that left that tries to form majorities by sticking to minorities, embracing the causes of the latter and mobilizing for them, but at the same time showing an extraordinary disdain for issues that concern everyone –including said minorities–, such as pensions, the tax system , the long waiting lists in health, housing…
It is that left that, forged on university campuses, has no other plan in sight than to continue embroiled in a culture war that is waged regardless of the material conditions of existence. “Rage won against that cultural elite, for the time being, which is the one that accompanies this government that comes to power and where there are many people who say they know what to do, but everything begins to fail miserably. The rage that spreads against all the elites triumphed, something that has been happening strongly in the last four governments, all of which have been quite weak, ”says the doctor in Political Philosophy.
Identitarian, “anti-colonialist”, obsessed with gender issues, the so-called “postmodernist left” has become hegemonic in the sector to the point of canceling those who disagree with the ideas concocted by its most totemic intellectuals. It is the left that exchanged Marx for Foucault, the same one that represented the indigenous peoples at the Constitutional Convention without being asked to do so, and that preferred to waste all its passion on discussions about animal sentience, not on matters such as the social state. of law, a discussion of which we hardly heard while the work of the Convention was carried out.
The problem with that left, according to Sobarzo, is that its disconnection with reality has worked against it, to the point that “it was easier to get the TPP11 out with (Gabriel) Boric than with Piñera. So, this government is weakened by that internal current that is disconnected from the trade union world, from the emerging middle class, from young professionals and from a disaffected popular world, not to mention the profound error that betting everything on the plebiscite meant. And, well, that world, which believes that it can be won electorally by aggregating interests, wrote a Constitution for the sensibilities of Ñuñoa, and it failed”.
And he adds: “I am referring to that left that turns in on itself, a bit narcissistic, which is the first big loser, because it proved incapable of understanding a Rejection that read reality and the political maturity of the Chilean people more simply. . That is why it is necessary for this government to wake up and distance itself from that left that raises very divisive discourses on matters that are important, but not so fundamental for the citizens who vote”, adds the academic, critical of the exacerbation of subjectivity as a sign of human freedom, always promoting division within the most impoverished social classes, thanks to the installation of cleavages that are far from altering the material conditions of existence; cleavages that are more typical of the developed world, where the satisfaction of needs such as health and education leaves enough time to cultivate niche views, clearly tribalist, almost always linked to minorities, “those who must be defended in their rights, but in no case should we forget that the vast majority have needs here and now that we should not stop looking and attending to”.
That is the hegemonic left, in any case. Curiously, even important leaders of the Communist Party (PC) seem to abandon the materialist drift of their ideology to embrace many of these causes that seek to redeem only the most vulnerable and minorities, focusing on compassion for others in the same way as the neoliberal model. Focus financial aid. For Sobarzo, the problem with this approach is that people who are slightly less vulnerable become truly privileged, and this reproduces corrosive competition within the less favored sectors.
It is not for nothing that Irací Hassler pointed out, in one of her first interventions as mayor of Santiago, the need to overthrow the “hetero-patriarchal dictatorship” as one of the imperatives of her work, while raising an idea that had little flight: the “democratization of public space”, very contrary to the idea of a city held by those residents who belong to the emerging middle classes, and who, in no way, want to see their commune turned into a copy of Latin American cities marked by chaos, dirt and poverty, expressions that the postmodernist left tends to rescue as a folkloric and anti-colonial expression.
“I’m sure that for many people it must be an important fight to face the hetero-patriarchy, but it seems to me that there are other more urgent needs and that they are more typical of municipal management,” he maintains, also recalling the enormous deficits left by the previous administration of Felipe Alessandri, even in matters where the right thinks it can handle itself more efficiently, such as security and economic management.
“I think that this left tends to underestimate the people, those who do not vote or feel like they do. It is a left that stupefies people and that believes that it generates an alternative proposal by combining particular interests, some of which are in conflict with each other. In a scenario of global economic crisis, the Government must leave these looks behind and be more humble. The problem is that up to now we see that political behavior has been erratic, because its people are not even happy”, points out the academic.
The same lack of street of the economist right
The Government of Sebastián Piñera lacked street, Sobarzo points out, perhaps because life in Sanhattan or Nueva Las Condes prevents us from understanding from a distance the feelings that run underground in the popular sectors, which constitute an overwhelming majority in the country. However, the same goes for that postmodernist left that tries to understand (and compose) national life from a university campus, whose discussions – often scholastic – are far from the needs that overwhelm a people who, many times, look down on them. contempt because it is not up to its disquisitions.
“Discursively, the left that serves as the base for the Government is very progressive, but when it has to go down to the population, we realize that it does not have much to offer them, because it understands it little from its vanguard position, very elite university, very nuñoína, as they say, obsessed with the gibberish of the genre”, she adds.
“There is an overdimension of the university discourse with little streets and a lot of classrooms. What are they talking about when they say they have a street, unlike the right? When they rejected the 10% withdrawal, the plebiscite was lost, since they refused to accept what the people feel in the midst of this crisis, and now they rather go on to reinforce the neoliberal discourse by making it their own. That hit the waterline of this government, and I don’t know how they are going to resist in the middle of 2023 when the recession is in its peak. At the international level, it has been a clumsy government, with very evident changes in positions”, emphasizes Sobarzo, who invites to recover the fight that seeks to highlight the value of work as a factor that generates wealth and prosperity. In the long run, the reconstruction of the social fabric requires a more universalist and collective narrative, something that postmodernists repudiated so much for describing it as “totalizing”, even when the discourse that points to subjectivity and micro-realities “is also a totalizing discourse”. .
“Work must return to the center of discourse on the left, even more: the left, unlike a right that seems comfortable in its extractivist ways, has a lot to say about the precariousness of work and the need to improve the quality of jobs so that they are better paid,” says the doctor in Political Philosophy, convinced that flags such as innovation cannot be left in the hands of a right that represents the interests of a class that easily falls into a primary export system, without mentioning other necessary actions that do not even appear by chance in the slogans of this new left, often referred to as “bourgeois”: the need to implement a system that promotes the continuous education of those who have their work as their only capital, perhaps the only way to prevent millions of workers from becoming obsolescent thanks to the development of robotization and digitization of the economy went But, Sobarzo laments, these issues do not appear in a left locked in a fight corseted in language.
“In this the new left is like social democracy, which believes that it can transform socially without altering the basis of the economic system. It reminds me of the Latin American pink revolution (tide). Today there is talk of the end of the First Lady, and this leads me to remember when Cristina Fernández gave up the patriarchy for dead because she gave up the figure of the First Lady for dead there. And then (Mauricio) Macri arrived with his first lady. This happens because the left looks at its own navel. I don’t even see that it is a sector that is aware of new spaces for discussion, such as social networks or new technologies in general, where the ultra-right seems to take the lead and acts without guilt. So, it is urgent for the left to think of a new economic strategy and a new political strategy that recovers the materiality of the class and the sense of the collective. You always have to speak from the collective, not from the individual and not from the particular, which is precisely what the postmodernist and neoliberal discourse invites”.
“It strikes me how the left did not turn to the support of the common pots during the pandemic, which was the form of self-sustenance and self-management of the popular sectors that see how the State helps only a few and, in addition, is repressive. This self-management from the popular world is a form of resistance of the neoliberal State (…). Likewise, it strikes me how little is said on the left about natural resources, and I do see more people talking about the legalization of drugs, which is something more linked to liberalism, whose search is individual freedom”, he adds.
“These three years that remain worry me. It would not be strange to see a rebellion in an anomic society with a strong disassociation of the university leaders with the national reality. They got free and went home. They acted in the same way as a committee of relatives that dissolves when its members achieve the dream of their own home”, declares the philosopher, who then advances on another critical issue for the sector: the gagging of dissent.
At this point he stops, because it is a whole issue in university settings, those spaces that are supposedly reserved for great reflections and exchanges of ideas, but that end up suppressing the debate for fear that certain opinions may offend sensitivities a little. all the more susceptible to disagreement. “The problem is that the tendency to silence and cancel is that you don’t let the problem appear, and this affects not only the student body, but also the academics, who have also disconnected from their surroundings and from the streets, not to mention the discussions. Today no one, or very few, have come out to refute Carlos Peña. In general, the culture of cancellation is the worst expression of individualism and it is the worst expression of Stalinism, which is in itself one of the worst expressions of the left, since it aimed at the same thing: to erase ideas and people, to eliminate them. of spaces, to invalidate them”, he stresses.
The problem is that in our neoliberal era, many of the lines of research that predominate in academia are financed by international institutions linked to financial power. “And there we see the Rockefeller Foundation, which has been a key player in the cultural expansion of the United States. The system is captured by that logic of contests and Fondecyt funds, where the same things are done that private universities do ”, he indicates.