«The fanatic is above all sentimental and for this reason he can reach the drama without remorse».
Fanaticism is a behavior present since the ancestral times of humanity. It consists of that horror that manifests itself with tenacity and irrational exaggeration in a religion, idea, theory, culture, personal lifestyle or belief system.
The fanatic presents himself as a great altruist to the point that his point of view only intends to save his soul and ours. It is for our own good that the fanatic wants to change us, he wants to make us his equal to him, erasing all difference.
When the great historian Will Cuppy published Decline and fall of almost the whole worldhe did it as a great antidote against fanaticism using the two most effective faculties against intransigence: humor and imagination.
But the fact is that in literature we find, at least in my humble opinion, two great writers who masterfully address the phenomenon in question, they are Amos Oz and Mario Vargas Llosa.
Both pens approach fanaticism with such a degree of intelligence that, upon witnessing this phenomenon in our lives, we cannot stop thinking about it. The End of the World War either A Story of Love and Darkness.
For many readers, the books and articles by these two writers, published in the newspaper The country of Spain, allowed us to meet with the ideas of tolerance, peace and an educational and tireless fight against fanaticism.
Amos Oz left in 2018 to infinity and although he had relevant recognitions (Goethe Prize and the Prince of Asturias) despite his greatness he was not awarded the Nobel Prize, while Don Mario still enjoys the delights and anguish of life.
Fanaticism is not a trivial thing nor should it be treated as such, while the development of scientific thought or, in any case, what we call culture of understanding, finds its opposing force in fanatics.
But let us return to the path of civilization to remember classic examples such as that of Galileo Galilei who was taken by the fanatics incarnated in the Inquisition through the torture chambers in a clear behavior of intimidation in the face of his findings, which substantially modified science. , or the case of Edward Jenner, who, in 1788, had to face the same attacks for his publications on the nascent immunology.
We always have to remember the cases of Stalin and the most fanatical of all, such as Hitler, since the cult of personality is a breeding ground for fanatical behavior and whose followers were about to end civilized life. or with the possibilities of living in freedom and without despotism.
The wonderful novel by Juan Gabriel Vásquez was recently published, look back (2020) a masterful narration about the Cabrera family through the voice of Sergio, who with his revelations recalls the events that marked his life and that of his father. From the Spanish civil war to the exile in America of his republican family, from China during the Cultural Revolution to the armed movements of the 1960s, in the mountains and plains between Córdoba and Antioquia in Colombia, until the collapse of political fanaticism for Devastating events in a family swept away by the forces of historical events in a fascinating and intimate social investigation that moves us and is impossible to forget.
In short, the fight for life and freedom must have everything noble that man has acquired in this long process of hominization. Life and freedom are the flags of humanity since we know the coexistence in community.
The story is that, in my wanderings through the bookstores, it became frequent to visit the one that was in the same building where the Labor Guidance Office, the center of our political activity, was located.
In these pleasant talks I met the brother of the bookseller friend, who was a graduate of the UCV School of Letters and I was informed that this lawyer had been appointed secretary at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, for this reason he was interested in all kinds of of information about that country. The date of the trip arrived and he, his wife and their little four-year-old daughter left for legendary China.
In that particular maelstrom in which our city lives, I did not hear from them again until two years later when my friend the bookseller informed me that his brother was back in the country and that since he could not get a transfer to another embassy, they introduced a kind of advance notice and that all this was due to the so-called “cultural revolution”, a social hubbub with a string of slogans adhered to Mao Tse Tung’s cult of personality, which created a fanatical population which turned the entire society upside down. They had witnessed the imprisonment or re-education on farms of several friends who were translators from Chinese to European languages. In addition, despite the fact that the diplomatic corps lived with a certain degree of exceptionality, a set of basic necessity products began to become scarce. On the other hand, due to the conflictive environment, foreigners were forced to move in specific areas.
The children had to attend schools that, although they were for foreigners, lived through the same circumstances as the rest of the educational institutions. So her daughter had attended school for a year, but it turns out that the girl, a little undisciplined, always left her shoes and school supplies out of the place reserved for it, for which she was always admonished so that change that behavior. But one day when faced with the parents’ call for attention, the girl replied: «Imperialist dogs, tomorrow I will denounce them in front of the town assembly and we will see what re-education measures will be taken». She caused such alarm among the parents that the benefits of holding a position in the diplomatic corps were not enough to stop the stampede that culminated in Caracas.
That’s all I wanted to tell you.
Pablo M. Peñaranda H. He has a PhD in Social Sciences, a degree in Psychology and a tenured professor at the UCV.
SuchWhich is not responsible for the opinions issued by the author of this article.
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