What keeps us irresponsibly silent?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Where are the voices that were proclaimed so much? The voices of the marginalized, of the forgotten, of the young whose future is darkened even more by a handful of currencies, of the academic, scientific, artistic communities ... that should be at the forefront of the great popular mobilization that today is imperative and urgent? Only women, fortunately, seem to have understood that now, in the face of potentially irreversible processes, the time has come for "We, the peoples," as so lucidly and prematurely expressed in the United Nations Charter...

They will be, as predicted by Nelson Mandela, the "cornerstone" of the new era. It is necessary to act without delay if we want these new times become a reality. Facing the global challenges that threaten humanity as a whole -nuclear, extreme poverty, climate change- we cannot postpone our reaction... because tomorrow may be too late.

I never tire of repeating that it is ethically inadmissible that more than 4 billion dollars are invested in arms and military expenditures every day, while thousands of people die, most of them girls and boys from one to five years old. However, it is a shame! that not only the investments in defense have not decreased but, at the request of President Trump, they have increased ... And in Spain the government has hurried to announce, without having any protest immediately after, that will increase it 80%!

On the other hand, the proposals to carry out the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the Agreements on Climate Change that would allow the great transition from an economy of speculation, productive delocalization and war, to a knowledge-based economy for a global, human and sustainable development, have slowed down.

And silence.

The unusual President Trump has announced with great fanfare that he will not put into practice the measures that would prevent a further deterioration of the habitability of the Earth, so wisely promoted and endorsed by his predecessor.

And silence.

In cyberspace, where there must be millions of "whatsApp" and "twitters" to warn the Republican President of the United States that if he continues to seriously affect the future of humanity, we will stop buying American products...

And silence.

Trump further marginalizes the United Nations and reinforces the nonsense and inefficient plutocratic groups (G7, G8, G20) invented by Reagan  and Thatcher’s neoliberalism...

And silence.

When it is more urgent a new concept of security, and work of and lifestyle... When it is essential to invent a different future and remind us every day that the future is still in the to-do list (perhaps already for a short time)... we look on the other side, the governors appear discouraged and obedient, the media, almost all the voice of their master, are taken care in distracting the peoples....

And silence.

Here is what I wrote in Berlin on October 22, 2011. Today is much timelier:

"I pretended I did not know ... and now I bear the responsibility in my conscience, sleepless night and day.

It is an unavoidable



the whole world.
There are no excuses.

We can no longer


that we did not know.

Hurry up
because we never


if we could take

the next step.

The inscrutable

of existence

does not allow


Take advantage of

every moment.

Do not waste
a moment.

Yes, wait

but do not wait calmly. "

Let us not wait for one more moment:  let us raise our voice in order that   great popular outcries allow us to look in the eyes of future generations and say: "We have done our duty."

Education? Philosophy

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The first thing that the new Director-General of the UNESCO -Mrs. Audrey Azoulay- has done is to send a message to the world on the occasion of the World Philosophy Day -November 16th- which also coincided with the day she took office as head of the Directorate General of  UNESCO.

Philosophy is essential if we aim to be “free and responsible” -such as an “educated human being” should be according to article 1 of the UNESCO’s Constitution. Philosophy is a must if we want to fully exercise the unique capacities of human beings: thinking, imagining, foreseeing, creating! As stated by the Director-General in the first part of her message, philosophy shall allow us “to transform human societies”, to implement all radical changes that the current worldwide situation urgently needs. “Progress -told me once in Oxford Prof. Hans Krebs- consists in seeing what others too can see..., and thinking what no one else has ever thought”.

Today it is essential and most urgent to promote Philosophy at all levels of education, taking into account that most approaches and reports   mistakenly consider education to be the same than training, and knowledge to be the same than information (and what is even worse, the same than news).

Philosophy and arts education are essential to be able to “direct one’s own life with sense”, according to the wise words of Francisco Giner de los Ríos. “Philosophy creates the intellectual conditions for change, sustainable development and peace”, as highlighted by the Director-General. And she ends up saying: “I call upon all Member States to take up this message, which resounds in the heart of UNESCO’s mandate”

What a good start for Director-General Audrey Azoulay and her difficult mission! It’s a very positive sign. I wish her all the best.

P.S.: President Trump has announced once again -he’s done it already twice!- that United States shall withdraw from the UNESCO at the end of 2018. It is obvious that Trump -who has scorned the agreements signed by his predecessor on the Earth’s habitability- does not realize, with his habit of only looking at himself, the damage that his attitude could cause not only to American young people and children, but also to the entire world. The remedy, which can still be effective, lies in Philosophy, in UNESCO...