The Battle of Ideas and the War of Interpretations

By Reinaldo Iturriza  –  Nov 29, 2021

There is a certain bitterness which I perceive amongst those wishing to direct the the current debate concerning the implications of Venezuela’s most recent elections. These official spokespersons—and, most pointedly, certain commentators—exhibit the vague uneasiness of those who aspire to monopolize the truth and struggle to tolerate conflicting perspectives.

It’s something, and I must stress this, which can be widely identified across Venezuela’s political spectrum. That is to say, apart from being vague, this uneasiness can be found in all corners of Venezuela’s political arena.  It’s as if, perplexed by the outcome, however favorable or hostile it may have been, these pundits have stammered in their consternation and have opted for the easy way out: telling the captive public what they want to hear.

RELATED CONTENT: The Political and Electoral Myth of ‘If the Opposition was United’

This approach never ceases to amaze me. Beginning in 21st century, an unwritten rule was established in Venezuela by which, immediately after elections, a multitude of options would unfold regarding what could be said, thought and scrutinized, with no greater limits than those of reason and sanity. Unfortunately, transgressing these limits was just another trick of the trade. And that is the real point here in this battle of ideas.

I always get the impression, from the opinions of these commentators and spokespersons, that we should accept that either that there is no longer a place for this battle of ideas, or that few are left who are worthy of its call, whose intellectual garrisons are sufficiently stocked, and that this battle of ideas has consequently been degraded to what we might call a war of interpretations.

The problem with this war of interpretations is that everyone proclaims their own victory, beyond what the cold and ruthless numbers have to say. Political forces are no longer weakened, only made stronger. There are no wrong strategies, only correct ones. There are only gods, heroes, and champions in the Olympus of Venezuelan politics.

It’s complete nonsense of course, this exercise of arrogance—a consequence, I imagine, of believing oneself to be atop the pinnacle of truth.

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I am thoroughly convinced that the majority of the public, both those who vote and those who abstain, are ever hopeful for something more than self-gratifying analyses. Or perhaps, and I do not rejoice over this, they are no longer hopeful for anything of the sort, because they are tired to the core, as they have been for years, of the soliloquy practiced by those who play at politics, their spokespersons, and their supposed experts, who are more than willing to preach their improbable golden tales.

With Chávez, us simple mortals learned that there are many who still remember us, and that we cannot renounce, under any pretext, a politics with popular, democratic and hegemonic aspirations, a political exercise which is inseparable form the battle of ideas.

If at these heights, the aforementioned spokespersons still fail to grasp this process of collective learning and struggle with its implications, all we can do is hope is that they learn to deal with it.


Featured Image: The Gods of Olympus. Photo: Saber y Poder 

(Saber y Poder) by Reinaldo Iturriza

Translation: Orinoco Tribune



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Reinaldo Iturriza
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Reinaldo Iturriza, Venezuelan sociologist and writer, who was Minister of Popular Power for Culture as well as Minister of Popular Power for Communes and Social Movements

Reinaldo Iturriza

Reinaldo Iturriza, Venezuelan sociologist and writer, who was Minister of Popular Power for Culture as well as Minister of Popular Power for Communes and Social Movements