Friday, September 30


There are those who present it as the mere over or over or something like that. And they wield almost convincing arguments: I also worry when I read that in Spain 15 percent of voters would vote for Vox. The figure is round, and I get indignant and scared and suddenly, later, it occurs to me that it does not take so much to vote for Vox. And that is the problem.

In principle: if you start to do the math, 15 percent of Spanish voters means 3.6 million people, 7.5 percent of Spanish people, one in 13: after all there are not so many. But they are enough to create the shock and, above all, the annoyance: why do all those people vote for something so repudiable, disgusting? Maybe it’s because it isn’t.

To vote for Vox, these days – or the Front National or Zemmour in France or the grotesque Milei in Argentina or Bolsonaro or Trump – you only need a couple of not so crude definitions. It is necessary, for example, to believe that the country’s problem is those who are not from the country. It is an absolute classic, thousands of years of faithful service to its owners: it is the fault of others. Now, updated on our terms: they are the ones who get the jobs, the ones who confuse our way of life, the ones who ruin our youth. It’s not that hard to believe: we were programmed for that from the beginning, when different was truly threatening.

And it is an idea that operates on two levels: the everyday, in the rejection of the different – here called “immigrants”, Moors, Negroes, Sudacas – and the sublimated: hymns, flags, the heroes of the homeland. The homeland is the fear of the different with pompom, turned into essence and standard: a way of feeling embraced by all those who resemble you and confronted with all those who do not, a way of knowing who you are in the most boluda way. It is not difficult to feel like a homeland: remember, my dear reader, the last time you screamed a goal “from your country”.

Or – if not, also – it is necessary to believe that the good thing is to do things as our elders did, not to change them. It is another classic, and it is an option widely used in uncertain times. Faced with crises – faced with uneasiness – there are two basic alternatives: believing that something different has to be invented, believing that it is necessary to go back to the old days. It is not difficult to idealize what has happened – we do it all the time, legitimized by biology -; the difficult thing, these days, is to find hope in a change that nobody really proposes, that nobody knows what it would be.

So if the TTP option is chosen –all-time-past, which requires less imagination and less audacity, which is more proven–, the logical consequence is to bother with certain changes that change traditions. Especially when those traditions were comfortable: women, for example. So comfortable for men that half the world owed them obedience, did not compete, was subordinated to them. So comfortable for some women to resign themselves to a place without challenges, to imagine pieces in an order. Against any change that threatens them – the lords, of course, above all – the argument of traditions can reassure them. It is not difficult to say that if the grandparents lived like this and lived well – and we live less well – the best thing will be to live like them again. With order, above all, that so many believe we need.

And above all, you need to be uncomfortable: to think – to feel – that this life is not the one you wanted, that this world is not the one you wanted, that we are doing so many things wrong. And then look around and look for solutions, hope, and find very few. Because almost all the great parties seem part of the problem: those who formed this world, those who support it.

So if someone has a little desire to get interested in politics, look elsewhere. The big parties are a form of disinterest: I go and vote for those for whom I have always voted, who never gave me great satisfaction but allow me to be more or less calm – and I forget. The big games do not arouse enthusiasm; they numb, soothe. And that, which is enough for many, is not enough for some, who believe that politics should give them something else: a hope, a reason to wait. The parties of the left used to do it; now that they don’t, others have taken that place. That, if anything, is the most serious problem.

I mean, I tell myself: it is not so strange that one in thirteen –13– people in the country where I live imagines voting for Vox. We call them fascists so that we don’t have to think too much about what happens to them, what happens to us: we live in a world of labels, which serve more than anything for that. But they are not, in general, horrible monsters: they are people who think at least one – with one reaches, although they usually come in packages – of these things. The abnormal thing was, almost, that they did not think about it. And the most abnormal – the extraordinary – was how the cultural force of the left had managed to discredit these ideas, so much so that almost no group could use them. But that cultural force is on the decline – confused, disproportionate – and someone has to take the place of hope and, then, those who prefer such tried and tested ideas reappear. It is ugly but logical, and it is even uglier and more logical that some opportunistic politicians take advantage and recover the worst of the repertoire. But it is not a big change in “rights”; it is an abandonment of tasks on the left. Faced with the troubles of the present, it is they who manage to give hope to some. And it’s not because they are evil; rather, it is because we are being fools.

Vox is very unsightly, quite unbearable; more bad – worse, more harmful – are the very serious, very civilized parties that get the rich to pay less taxes, screw the poor. And it’s unlikely, anyway, that Vox will ever rule. Its most serious political effect is that it tempts parties already on the right to move further to the right to get their voters out of them. And then the parties of the supposed center-left move more to the center to occupy the space left free by the right and thus the entire spectrum – yes, they call it spectrum – moves to the right. And it is true that the image of a spectrum running without pause is one of terror. More so, of course, if he doesn’t stop coming to the right. It’s ugly, it’s dirty, it’s bad, it’s sticky. But fascist, what is called fascist, is something else.