Bernal, The superficial parallel pitch


The alibis of power

by Miguel Antonio Bernal

It is impossible to hide that Panama is today less and less a society and more and more just a place where people live. It’s a place where mistrust, incredibility, “I couldn’t care less” and the corrosive absence of active citizenship reign.

This then makes it mandatory for citizens who reject the current state of affairs to activate ourselves, to awaken sleepy minds, to urge the urgently needed changes, shake up those made drowsy by the siren songs of a political power that’s each day more authoritarian and abusive.

For this reason, it is necessary to repeat, one and a thousand times, that If there is no debate, there is no democracy, because democracy — true democracy – is permanent debate.

Those who today shy away from citizen participation, those who only seek pretexts to prevent citizens from having effective public spaces and instruments to control the irrational exercise of political power, are those who take refuge in demagogic and superficial alibis to prevent urgently needed changes and the rebirth of a civic and active republicanism.

The numbness of civil society has served as fertilizer for the parties, both those in and out of political power, to exercise a new tyranny that excludes citizens from the public stage. The people are relegated to the role of spectators and not actors, even if by theory and official declarations the people are the source of all power.

The alibis of those with the political power to impose a perverse and authoritarian system do not cease. They disrupt the essential values that are attributes of a modern society. They resort to all kinds of gaslighting to make citizens renounce their own conscience. That’s what they do.

Now those who trample us with their fallacies give us their caricatures of the theory, the doctrine and the history of constitutionalism. They give us a sheep and present it as an iguana — and a “parallel” process that is NOT a constituent assembly as they claim.

It is then necessary to redouble efforts to prevent democracy from being used as a great alibi for those with political power to continue developing their constitutional authoritarianism, which is a declared enemy of citizen participation.

In their zeal to expel rationality from our midst — and from our history – the “parallels” and their allies in government deploy propaganda worthy of Goebbels. They take advantage of the misguided impulses of intellectuals and professionals to appear “up-to-date,” and the fear of freedom sown by the reigning plutocrats and party leaderships.


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