The enemies of the people

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By Hector Abad Faciolince

Published by the Colombian Magazine Semana and by Colombia Indymedia on May 14, 2007.

In Colombia the mayority of the people is blind or, even worse, indiferent to the horror.

There is a work of Ibsen called “The enemy of the People”. The premier of the sketche was in 1883 and the story line as so actual as now. The resume of the story is like this: Stockmann, a doctor in a public bath in a small Norwegian village, realized one day that some tourists of the thermal baths are seriously sick. He ordered to do some exams in the laboratory and found out that the beach is contaminated by the culverts village and by the mettific remainders of the skin tanners, the other important economic activity of the city. The people were dying by tifo and other infections by bacteries, after they drink the “medicinal” waters of the bath.

The doctor, proud of his finding, hurried himself to say it to the mayor in order to correct the problem. The public bath might be close during two years to allow the works of clean, and it was requiered to publish the true on the press so the visitors could be out of danger. The doctor gave his results to The Voice of the People Newspaper. Everything so far was seen is reasonable, but in the following few hours the entire society became against the doctor. The shareholders of the public bath became angry and accused the doctor to be a political agitator. The workers of the same place became afraid to lost their job and join the position against the doctor. The mayor asked the newspaper not to publish the article of the doctor and The Voice of the People followed his instructions. The major published an alternative report where he tranquilized the people and said that some minor corrections would be done to a problem that was just exagerated with ideological aims.

It is called a meeting and the citizens booed the doctor. They vowed. All, except a drunker, were against Doctor Stockmann and they declared him an “enemy of the people”. He lost his job, the owner of the house where he was staying asked him to get away and the doctor did not find other way that to go into exile. Most of the people, manipulated by the newspaper and by the shareholders of the public bath, beat him, tore his clothes, broke his windows and expelled his children from the school. He bacame hated by everyone because he dared to say the true about the rotted things of the city.

As you can see, the Ibsen’s fable is about the problem to say the true in a sick society, corrupted, rotted from inside. Those who say the true make the investors going away; those who say the true, destroy the image of the country; those who say the true are political agitators looking for power and, to do so, they intend to demote the legitimate goverment. Those who say the true, find it difficult to publish it on the newspapers and the newspapers that publish it are declared also stateless, enemies of the people.

What is happening here about the true of what the paramilitaries have done in these decades of revolting crimes (tortures, killing fields, disappearance of people, indiscriminate and selective murders, devastated towns, people displaced by hundreds of thousands), is very similar to the denounce of Doctor Stockmann. People do not want to hear about this true. In the surveys that become, those who denounce the horrors of paramilitarism, lost points and get a bad public image. Those who make them like minor evils go up the surveys. The President gets more support than ever.

Doctor Stockmann, at the end of the work, manifested ironically and serious at the same time his deception for democracy. The majority of the people is blind. Also in Colombia the majority of the people is blind or even worst they are indiferent to the horror they can see. The moral temple of the Colombians is weak to say the less. The allies of the killers, the electoral cheaters, could be re-elected. A high proportion of the surveys support the methods of the paramilitaries. The investments are doing well, the unemployment is going down, the tourists start to come into the country. Therefore, it is requiered to shout up the mouth of the aguafiestas (pessimists) that use to exagerate the crimes of the paracos (paramilitaries) with political aims.

My conclusion is tragic: there is something dark in the gregarious conscience, submissive, in the majority of the human beings: they love the whip, they are thirsted of leaders who say what they have to do, they do not want to think by themselves, but to be conducted for a strong character. Only the strong hand, the rigid authority, make them to move in line with common aims. The society marchs with discipline when there is an anger oger. It was also during the time of Franco, Hitler, Mussoilini, that great highways were built, the inflation stopped, the investors returned. It is the way we human beings are built. Those who say a true that contradicts the public lie, will be declare the enemies of the people. It is better if they let the country with their sick resentment love and declared what Fernando Vallejo declared (painfully), therefore the moral lynching is assured. Cheers then, blind submissived countrymen! Go ahead making toasts with the rotted waters of the public bath where we are living.


Traduction: Albeiro Rodas / Pictures from Wikipedia.

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