Die intelligence

Miguel de Unamuno, rector of the University of Salamanca at the time of the military coup that began in 1936 in Spain, is credited with a speech he gave in the Auditorium of that university to challenge the fascist and nationalist speeches of academics who supported the dictatorship . Unamuno, in more words, less words, while he was giving his speech, was interrupted by the tumult and, after the shouts of those present, (attributed to the Francoist military officer José Millán-Astray) who shouted “Death to the traitorous intelligentsia!” or “Death to intelligence! Rector Unamuno replied” They will win, but they will not convince “,” nor to conquer is to convert. ”

Subsequently, Unamuno was dismissed from the position of rector for life and confined at his home, dying two months later in an aura of loneliness. The depth of his words are an example of the moment when violence and propaganda can do more than dialogue and the mosaic of voices that should govern university life.

I recover this passage when writing from the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL). A space that celebrates free and diverse reading and thinking every year. Event in which there is room for criticism in its organization, including the absence of Peruvian feminist writers and where many of the practices of cultural, academic and editorial institutions are questioned.

In the panels and dialogues that take place at FIL, the actions and speeches that President López Obrador carries out based on militaristic agreements or statements attacking the media and journalists, and educational institutions, are occupying a place outstanding. The voices that defend and criticize these arguments coexist at FIL with respect and open to the public.

However, from a rostrum in which there are no possibilities for dialogue, in a simplistic and authoritarian way, in the style of the aforementioned Millán-Astray (embraced by a military body), the President accuses the University of Guadalajara (UDG) and its Foundation , of dedicating FIL to contradict his administration. Questioning even the invitation to a Book Fair to a Nobel Prize in Literature and to writers, writers and activists who are not to his liking.

As with other issues, the sayings are based on the principle that any questioning of the actions of the 4T comes from enemies and people who have never been “on the side of the people.” And that’s all, there is no other argument or analysis that, for example, recovers the 35-year history of FIL, which has made this Fair the most important publishing event in the Spanish language.

In the same way, yesterday morning, the President finished supporting the imposition of the general director of CIDE, washing his hands and supporting the decisions of the Head of CONACYT. Despite student and academic protests, he referred to the CIDE community as an institution that has not been up to the task, is not open to change and has conservative academics who do not understand that “there are other rules.”

At no time did he return to the demands and petition documents of the CIDE community. For what, the important thing is not the opinion of the communities but to maintain their project without question. If you do, you become an abstraction called “conservative” or “accomplice”, as it did with the UDG and FIL. And change the subject, because it seems that it is not worth analyzing the problem further.

From FIL, we also perceive with concern the way in which the President referred to Proceso and Carmen Aristegui, due to an investigation they published entitled “Sembrando Vida y la factory de chocolates”. Without going into more details, for the President this investigation is a slander to tarnish his government.

For Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Proceso and Carmen Aristegui “have never been in favor” of their movement, and for him the journalist and the media are pseudo-objective, pseudo-progressive and pseudo-independent, as if the objectivity of a media or a person were based on the support they give to the 4T. Notoriously angry, the President abstracted the entire journalistic career of Carmen Aristegui and dissolved it into what he calls a “good conservative journalist.”

Faced with a context like this, where despite the lack of objectivity of the President, the impossibility of having a dialogue with him and of him recognizing that he may be wrong, from FIL all that remains for me is to send my solidarity to the UDG and its Foundation, to the CIDE, Proceso and Carmen Aristegui and, finally, recover Unamuno’s words and redirect them to the President, “They will win, but they will not convince”, “nor to conquer is to convert”, because popularity is not an argument to impose and disqualify.

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Die intelligence