By Luis Manuel Aguana
As our language is actually complicated, it is possible that the title of this article may be confused with some sort of underdeveloped rabbits. Not at all. Rather, it is a variant of mental underdevelopment, recently demonstrated by the regime of Nicolas Maduro as a response to the food crisis that is hitting our country precisely because of themselves, who reduced Venezuela’s productive apparatus to ashes, and now a rabbit is being pulled out of the hat, like magicians from a circus, but without bread. (see Plan Conejo: Nicolás Maduro’s unusual measure to confront hunger in Venezuela, in https://www.lapatilla.com/site/2017/09/13/el-plan-conejo-la-insolita-medida-de-nicolas-maduro-para-enfrentar-el-hambre-en-venezuela/).
It is impressive that all the “solutions” that madurism and chavismo itself gave to the problems of our economy, or any other complex area of the public sector, are confronted with measures that correspond to what we informally call in Venezuela, as “a rancho in the head”, very typical of those who, without having any idea what to do, improvise unusual solutions again and again, with no other reference than that which comes from the marginality where they have lived and have been brought into the head in the exercise of government functions.
The implementation of the famous “vertical chicken house” to provide food in Venezuelan homes, suppressing overnight the100 bill a week before December 24, 2016, hiding the cash “to avoid inflation”, insisting and deepening the policy of freezing the prices of basic products, knowing that they will disappear and begin to move on the black market (of course through their own bachaquero’s mafias, mainly military) only show that each experiment comes out of the same improvised form of a “rancho” mentality to solve the problems that are increasing in gravity and complexity. And now, they are the Bernal’s rabbits before the famine of the country. I’d laugh if it was not so pathetic.
That “rancho in the head” mentality cannot be corrected: “The condition has nothing to do with economic or educational levels. It includes many new rich, and those who pass universities without achieving true education. They are the antithesis of so many worthy poor, full of self-esteem. It is well established that one can be a general, minister or president and maintain the deepest mental marginality …”(see Antonio A. Herrera-Vaillant, Rancho en la cabeza, in http://www.eluniversal.com/opinion/141002/rancho-en-la-cabeza).
I wanted to use the world “rabbit” as an adjective to the underdevelopment shown with this new measure because those who govern us are the most pathetic case of mental underdevelopment governing a country, which although it may not seem like it, is the truly serious and most dangerous of the long list criminal of what we are facing Venezuelans. Already international analysts mention this new “occurrence” of the regime renaming Maduro as Nicolas “Let them eat rabbits” Maduro (see Trump voters, Venezuela’s rabbits, and human rights goes to the movies, en https://medium.com/signal-geopolitics-made-simple/trump-voters-venezuelas-rabbits-and-human-rights-goes-to-the-movies-38410461e785).
Measures like this one can only cause a lot of concern. It is not just another “vertical chicken house” but a consistent way of understanding and facing reality, and no matter what the results, it defines precisely how it conceives the exercise of government and its treatment of the governed beyond what we have seen so far.
In 1985, Lawrence Harrison, a professor at Harvard University, published an investigation under the title “Underdevelopment is a state of mind: The Latin American Case”. In this work Harrison comes to conclusions such as these: “The reason for development lies in human capacity” “The cause of well-being lies in the abilities of humans, the ability to imagine, invent, investigate, solve, do, and do a thousand things which constitute well-being” “ True, there are other variables that influence well-being. There is the climate, the geography, the history, the laws. But the key variable is the talent of men” (ver brief in Mental underdevelopment, en http://contrapeso.info/1999/subdesarrollo_mental/).
To that same conclusion our Arturo Uslar Pietri had arrived in “The Prison of Underdevelopment” (Arturo Uslar Pietri, article published in El Tiempo newspaper of Bogotá on May 28, 1985, http://tinyurl.com/y7e5joxa) but he added that with that underdeveloped mentality came the “notion of repudiation of excellence, which sometimes leads to an almost boastful conformity with mediocrity and with the least effort, almost as an unconscious response of the favored to the privileged”. That is the mediocre and resentful hatred that goes with the resistance of these people to do things well because otherwise they would be “capitalists”, making the same condition of underdevelopment an “affirmation of identity” as Uslar indicated, generating a permanent dynamics of badly made things and mediocre decisions, which is precisely where we are trapped.
There was a meridian clarity of Uslar in this concept: “… Excellence is not a privilege of prosperous nations, but a state of mind that all men can reach. It is a matter of coming to understand that all human beings, in all the tasks of life, can aspire and achieve excellence. Every man can give more of himself than he ordinarily gives, surpass the level of performance with which he could be content, set higher goals and demand more of himself. Not content with the easy, half-done, failed, enough to get out of step…”. I would add that excellence, moreover, is an attitude to life.
The rabbit underdevelopment of Maduro and Bernal, as well as the mediocrity of this poor approach to recovering our food independence, product of their “rancho in the head”, is the opposite of the very essence of the Venezuelan, who has shown a different behavior in the course of his history. Rest assured that a people who went out to give -not to receive- freedom outside our borders do not raise rabbits to survive. That is a demonstration that they only are a fatal accident in our history, from which we will leave sooner rather than later…
Caracas, September 15,2017