Managed Consensus

Political consensus sounds great: a society must, after all, rest on a foundation of accord to function reasonably. Such is the theory, and the theory is correct…in theory. In practice, however, a “consensus” may be forced, may be a pretense…a means of survival. It may be that the enemies of society retain, after their overthrow, such power as to destroy from behind the curtain whatever they left standing while striding the stage. So everyone looks at the ground and accepts the humiliation of a set of taboos–the criminal elite shall henceforth and forever more be protected by a taboo against judging or learning from the past. :Humiliation yes, but still perhaps better than civil war…perhaps. The price of peace is corruption of the political soul of society.

Referring to the deal that persuaded the military dictatorship to allow a hobbled democracy to limp forth from the nightmare dictatorship of Pinochet, Moulian explains:

El consenso es la etapa superior del olvido….

Los desacuerdos respecto a las caractgeristicas del desarrollo socioeconomico impuesto por la dictadura militar aparecen desvaneciendose, desde el momento mismo que la banda presidencial paso de las manos de Pinochet a las de Aylwin….

El anuncio y continua glorificacion del consenso, la gran novedad discursiva del Chile Actual, tiene estrecha relacion con las estrategias de blanqueo, con la construccion…del milagro de Chile. Ese milagro consiste en la demostracion de que se podi pasar de la desconfianze y de la idiosidad del periodo de la lucha, al acuerdo perfecyto de la transicion. Todas las elites, con la notoria exception de algunas pocas ‘cabezas calientes,’ habrian actuado en estado de gracia, inspirados por la razon….

La politica ya no existe mas como lucha de alternativas, como historididad, existe solo como historia de las pequenas variaciones, ajustes, cambios en aspectos que no comprometan la dinamica global….

Esa situacion de bloqueo era la resultante del ‘encierro institucional,’ de haber negociado la entrada en una ‘jaula de hierro,’ lo que restringia absolutamente el campo de la historicidad. [Tomas Moulian, Chile Actual 37-41.]

Deaf cover-up [Глухая закрытость, or ‘silence’], as another thinker who experienced “managed consensus” laced with protective (for the elite) taboos put it:

Silence was already confidently shaping our history. [Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago 465]

Глухая закрытость уже уверенно формировала нашу историю.

Solzhenitsyn pointed out in the preface to his Gulag Archipelago masterpiece both the cost and the justification for exposing the sins of the past:

By an unexpected tum of our history, a bit of the truth, an

insignificant part of the whole, was allowed out in the open. But

those same hands which once screwed tight our handcuffs now

hold out their palms in reconciliation: “No, don’t! Don’t dig up

the past! Dwell on the past and you’ll lose an eye.”

But the proverb goes on to say: “Forget the past and you’ll

lose both eyes.” [The Gulag Archipelago, Preface, x in The Christian Identity Forum.]

Неожиданным  поворотом  нашей   истории  кое-что,  ничтожно  малое,  об

Архипелаге этом выступило на  свет. Но те же самые руки, которые завинчивали

наши наручники, теперь  примирительно выставляют ладони: “Не надо!.. Не надо

ворошить прошлое!.. Кто старое помянет — тому глаз вон!” Однако доканчивает

пословица: “А кто забудет — тому два!” [lib.ru.]

How can the mistakes of the past be corrected if one “glorifies consensus” to the point of whitewashing the crimes of former rulers, making the assumption (without so much as a glance) that they acted “in good faith?” Society, the “free marketplace of ideas,” and the future become imprisoned in an “iron cage” [jaula de hierro]. The managed consensus becomes the foundation of a managed dictatorship.

One comment on “Managed Consensus

  1. […] Managed Consensus — Seeking justice in Pinochet’s Chile and the USSR […]

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