The aversion towards reading, the rejection to find out what’s happening in the world and towards the press, the radio or any news reporting on the most important political, social and economic events concerning not only one´s country but also –and more obviously- when concerning either neighboring or distant countries, is a habit rooted in contemporary societies, and it hasn’t been by a causality.
Undoubtedly, Etienne La Boétie was right in his discourse on voluntary servitude, but surely the global hegemony has developed various modern mechanisms to introject and naturalize this odious and slavish political illiteracy, that makes the poor to choose the rich, the oppressed ones to admire those who had always oppressed them, and to think that the banal events of the life of any 'rock Star' or any other celebrity from cultural industry, is more important than the decisions and political events that directly affect their present, their future and thus their historical path.
In Colombia after the so-called times of “La Violencia” (the violence, TN), the proportion of people living in the countryside and the cities went to reverse. Today, cities are home to 70% of the population, while countryside houses the other 30% -which like every step taken by oppressors has a specific purpose that will not be address here-. Despite that a large majority of that 70% has experienced in the flesh the suffering from poverty, instability, anxiety, uncertainty, hunger and precariousness, they live and practice political indifference towards the same society they have to endure.
Phrases like: “I’m not really interested in politics”, “it is boring”, “ … just don’t get it”, “I care only about my family”, “to each his own”, “every one thinks differently”, “same old, same old”, “I am not a politic person”, “there is no end to this”, “the world will change when it changes… no one changes the world”, etc. are common sentences, deeply entrenched in Colombian society an had lead to a religious conformism that frustrates and infects us.
This system of such grounded political illiteracy is not gratuitous, it was elaborated and executed for many years under an alienating disinformation policy of amusement and spectacles thought to distract and numb, also through newspapers, radio, television sitcoms and series massive and systematically agglomerated in the mass media industry, that working as propaganda companies at the service of particular interests, build alternative realities, enemies, idols, villains backed by an army of intellectual mercenaries sold to the highest bidder, and by a direct or indirect education that presents models and contents increasingly distant from criticism, humanism, and socials, to settle in the ruthless land of instrumental reason of capitalism, private profit and the uncritical acceptance of the social order, creating the political illiterate.
It is necessary, in order to emancipate our society and achieve well-being and social justice for all Colombians, that we build an education alternative to that created under imperialist operations such as the “operación Cacique”, an education that forms human beings but not train them, one that builds a culture based on permanent criticism not only of our society, its decisions and paths, but also critical of our own actions, reconciling and evaluating what is thought and what is done apart from mere formalisms that builds power from its basis, a society where the fool is not who reads and interests in actively participate in politics or who wants to enter into discussions regarding social issues, because it is objectively true that fool is the one who doesn’t.
I’m not sure if appealing to an education in the style of the Platonic Paideia, or maybe installing an educational '' dictatorship '' as Marcuse wrote it, or perhaps a pedagogy of the oppressed as Freire taught, or even better, nurturing our selves of all the positive contributions of the great thinkers and successful experiences, thus building our own road, a road in a Colombian way.
What if it is true and necessary in the first instance is to wake up from the indifference slumber that global and local power holders made us fall into, awaking to empower ourselves over our transformative power today enhanced and take it to its revolutionary realization.
This year 2016, must be the year of large mobilizations for people, the year of vindications, the beginning of the construction of a truly stable and lasting peace, the year of the constitutonial assembly, of political participation of all the sectors of society that have been historically excluded from the public limelight of national events, it must be the year for all those who never thought that peace sovereignty and social justice for all was possible, to take in their hands, not only his destiny, but all together, the destiny of Colombia.
This coming year should be the beginning of the New Colombia, bringing to reality the longing and dreams of millions of forever oppressed and forgotten Colombians, the year of awareness, leaving behind the political illiterate, the guilty incapacity and building the new Colombia for the power of the people, of individuals with identity and politically active, because as we have always held, there is no transformation without people.