Tue. Apr 23rd, 2019

"In politics many failures are caused by lack of courage"

"In politics many failures are caused by lack of courage"


I am impressed to have Victoria Camps in front of me. She is a woman that I greatly admire. A reference. One of those educated people, little noisy and with an exquisite common sense that translates to all their tasks: to teaching, to the Council of State, are essential books, full of wisdom. The last «The search for happiness» (Harp).

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-How and where can we look for happiness?

-Aristotle says that only a good life leads to happiness, not wealth, nor honor, nor success.

- Does everyone have the right to seek it?

-It is a right recognized since the declaration of the independence of the USA. And I think it's very important to have recognized him, because in some way he goes on to say that happiness, if not everyone has guarantees that they can look for it at least, is not a complete or just happiness. Recognizing that right is a great step towards social rights and justice.

- And what degree of responsibility do the States have?

-All. Guaranteeing the happiness of those who can not seek it is not something that concerns individuals but is an obligation of the country, the State and the city. Every right implies some duties and obligations and in that sense the Welfare State has been a step forward in trying to give a minimum protection, which is a not sufficient condition, but necessary.

- We are not backing down with respect to that necessary minimum protection?

-We are giving it to the extent that we are questioning that can be sustained. I think that is the last thing that should be questioned. There are many other things that could be dispensed with but not one of the great achievements of modernity.

-From the Council of State, is something done to get us to have access to happiness?

-Directly little, because it is an advisory board that, in reality, responds to queries made by the Government and, therefore, initiative, little. But yes, I believe that all political institutions can contribute something.

-To provide the right to the pursuit of happiness, should societies be free and equal?

-In Greece it was considered that the free man should devote himself to politics and excellent life. In the Middle Ages the world was one of those who could study theology and the life dedicated to God was the best. From the Modernity it begins to not be like that. The individual and his freedom can choose and in addition that is seen as a value. But the ability to choose should come with guarantees. For some poor immigrants who go from country to country, seeking to find a little better survival, not for them, but for their children, obviously, the search for happiness is much more difficult ...

-According to the existentialists, freedom was a burden because it implied having to decide ...

I do not think so. That is, "The fear of freedom" that is a work of Erich Fromm, which I quote at some point in the book, is what, according to him, justifies totalitarianism, fascism and today we would say populism. Tell me what I have to do, I believe that deep down is not a guarantee of happiness, as the lack of culture is not either. Knowing more does not make you more, but knowing less does not make you happier.

-But populism sells a kind of mirage of happiness, right?

- That mirage is achieved because populism has triumphed enough. And it has not triumphed anymore because democracy has its defenses and its controls. But yes, I believe that a certain fear of freedom, confusion and uncertainties does exist ... although I would never say that placing oneself in that environment of ignorance of being a flock and not having one's own decisions leads to happiness.

-Let's talk about sex. Or of pleasure. Is it necessary in the pursuit of happiness?

-Well, for some philosophers it has almost been because Epicurus, for example, has gone down in history as a hedonist philosopher and yet it was most austere. But it did not reject the pleasure and that in the Greeks it was common that it was immoral, that it was disastrous to let oneself be dragged by the passions: one had to know how to combine very well, to establish that balance between a pleasant life, but at the same time dominated by reason individual.

-And love and friendship?

-The affective life, friendship, love is a need of the human being. But you also have to know how to establish the right distance. There is the metaphor of Schopenhauer of the porcupine, which says that it is joined with another if it is cold but not too much so as not to hurt yourself

- And the lack of love?

-Madame de Chatelet, a philosopher who has only gone down in history as a lover of Voltaire, but who translated Newton and was very short has a little book about happiness -which she writes, precisely when Voltaire fails- in which she says that love It is the best thing that has happened to him in life, but where he also talks about how to overcome the lack of love. And the way she looks is towards culture, books, art, music.

-A virtuous politicians, with patience, temperance, etc. Would they help us look for happiness?

-I've always been a strong advocate of ethics in the virtues, in a time when it seemed very anachronistic. Then it has recovered a bit, but I think that what is called today the ethics applied to different professions, be it medicine, the same policy, business or journalism need more attitudes than norms. Attitudes of wanting to do things well done and in a responsible way and acquire a series of qualities such as prudence or courage is very important in politics, where many failures occur due to lack of courage.

-There is more to see the trial of Procés,

-Exact.

-I do not want to say goodbye without making a prediction about the election results ...

-I'm afraid the elections can be repeated. Also in Catalonia.

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