We have been conditioned to believe, not to exercise reflection.

Most of the actions projected from any sphere of authority in our social environment force us to accept myths, thoughts or decisions based on a truth about which, in general, we have no proof. The way we are trained from childhood to receive instructions and to model our thoughts and beliefs according to supposedly immovable and correct precepts, leaves its mark on the course of our passage through different stages of life. This is how we become part of a community, whose main characteristic is the coincidence of values, norms and a certain conception of truth. All of which implies the tacit acceptance of its condition as the foundation of what we base our conduct on.

The power derived from a position of authority, in the imperfect systems of societies such as ours, entails enormous dangers. One of them is the confused relationship between different centres of power – political, religious, economic – whose scales of values are distorted and subject to a conception of their objectives and their postulates that are alien to the interest and welfare of their peoples. Thus, in this century of technology and science, power relies on the progressive weakening of the intellectual, physical and psychological capacities of the societies from which it draws its strength.

Since ancient times, authorities in the spiritual realm – whose rule is considered unchallenged – invoke blind submission and obedience to precepts associated with other power structures as unconditional support for vertical systems of discrimination, exploitation and injustice, and, to this end, appeal to the human capacity to accept the immeasurable force of faith as a parapet against the force of reason. From fear of the unknown and acceptance of poverty as inevitable divine condemnation, strategies devised from the most powerful nations manage to invade the spiritual spaces of third and fourth world countries. Strategies whose effectiveness has consisted in the submission of the poorest in intellectual, economic and ideological resources, with the aim of maintaining a status established by the political and economic powers.

The progressive weakening of public policies in the field of education is one of the most perverse ways for a state to subject the population to a deliberately provoked incapacity for analysis and reflection; these valuable intellectual tools are considered, from the centres of power, as a threat to any governance project. Hence the dichotomy between political postulates and the reality of governmental management in most developing countries. Supporting this weakening of popular power is a parallel set of obstacles to access to health, food and their capacities to manage community organisations.

Faith is often defined as acceptance of a belief, as a conviction that admits the absolute. Reason, on the other hand, is based on evidence. The distortion of the foundations that give meaning to faith, as evidenced throughout history and, recently, in the health crisis the world is experiencing, is evidence of the profound scope of the manipulation and deception exercised from these spheres of power against reason and the public interest.

Just as the concept of truth is distorted by political discourse, hidden behind religious sermons, so too is the right to health and life compromised for millions of human beings, whose endemic lack of analytical and reflective resources condemns them to accept as true the concepts put forward by those in authority. This is why our so-called democracies are born lacking the necessary strength to consolidate themselves, and why the poorest of the poor are faced with a reality where faith is confused with the most unjust resignation.

The people are torn between vain hopes and harsh realities.