Hate outside. With these significant words, the actress and head of the Argentinean Actors Association, Alejandra Darín, closed the central message in front of hundreds of thousands of people in the mythical Plaza de Mayo. An act that was replicated throughout the country in repudiation of the failed assassination attempt against the vice-president and main progressive political figure of the country, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and in defence of peace and democracy.

By Javier Tolcachier

The call was unanimous: incitement to political violence promoted by recurrent hate speech is incompatible with democratic coexistence. The repeated calls for the elimination of popular leaders, recently shouted by some sectors of the vernacular right, open the door to an abyss that the Argentine people decided to close forever with the end of the last military dictatorship.

However, the uniformed officers of that time now wear togas and microphones. A line of intolerance, related to the barbaric persecution of the dictatorship, is now being whipped up from the journalistic tribunes of the hegemonic media conglomerates and from some judicial tribunals, today lacking all impartiality.

These responsibilities in sowing the breeding ground for the attempted assassination were made explicit both in the proclamations of the mass demonstrations and in many of the declarations of repudiation.

In the meantime – as is usual in such cases – far from calling for profundity and accepting their share of deontological folly, the alluded to media outlets devoted themselves to feeding the story of the unhinged and radical individual, the “madman on the loose”.

With premonitory precision, a handmade sign by a demonstrator anticipated the manoeuvre: “He’s a madman on the loose, say the owners of the machine for manufacturing madmen on the loose”.

The fodder for violence

It would be incomplete to attribute the causes of the armed brutality solely to the monopolistic commercial press and the region-wide judicial persecution of progressive leaders. While it is more than accurate to denounce US-directed manoeuvres to try to regain the vassalage of those nations that escape the fold of a so-called “backyard”, this is only a first step to fully explaining the root of the phenomenon.

This new “condor plan”, which aims at the electoral prescription of leaders who advocate sovereignty and regional integration, or at least their merciless defamation in order to undermine their credibility and popular support, is unfortunately linked to a type of sensitivity that validates and amplifies this purpose.

In this way, the negative aspect of the dialogic component of communication is also verified, in which not only the sender imposes his or her look, but also the consciousness of the receiver is an active protagonist, whether receptive or not to that message. Of course, in the map of monopolised communication systems, in which the story takes on the appearance of a single polarity, the plurality of options and the dialogue between media and audiences is limited to the maximum.

Even so, it is necessary to go further and unveil the reasons behind the acceptance of hatred and violence in part of the population, without which the insidious and aggressive narrative would lose much of its nefarious influence.

Several factors contribute to this degradation of the meaning of human life through the denial of the “other” and his or her social thought and action. On the one hand, the systemic anti-value of appropriation and consumption as the primary vital objective, which, constituting the intangible basis of voracious capitalism, promotes competition, difference, alienation and dispossession, amplifying violence and seeking to banish all gestures of empathy and solidarity.

Similarly, the insistence on linking politics with the inevitability of corruption, an old apothegm of liberal anti-statism, casts a permanent shadow of mistrust that makes it easier for any accusation against a prominent figure to have more weight than real evidence to legitimise suspicion.

This is why the supposedly “anti-corruption” campaigns are a propagandistic and strategic set-up promoted from the ambits managed by US diplomacy in the region. Suffice it to recall, among many other actions focused on this, the slogan that presided over the VIII Summit of the Americas, held in Lima, Peru, in 2018, which was “Democratic governance in the face of corruption”.

On the other hand, the attack against Cristina must be seen in the context of the radicalisation and global naturalisation of right-wing violence, in a historical period of rapid transformations that destabilise the habits and formation of large groups of people. This difficulty in adapting to the maelstrom and fulfilling life purposes coined in times gone by, generates a reactionary resentment to the landscape of exclusion and a profoundly regressive attitude in part of the social group.

Added to this is the uncertainty to which a large part of young people is subjected, who, finding no future in the system’s deceitful proposals, choose to channel them in a non-uniform way. At times, rebellion adds up to support for constructive proposals, while at others it shows its rejection through abstention. But also, in other cases, it adds its discomfort to the dead end of delinquency, to the stentorian forces of apparent right-wing outsiders or to a heartbreaking self-destructive fanaticism.

The FORCE of nonviolence

The Argentine people, despite being today beset by the harsh violence of an unpayable debt contracted by Macri’s immoral government, knew in this immense display of civic stature how to overcome any hint of revenge or provocation.

At a great distance from claiming revenge for the painful attack suffered, thousands of hearts expressed a sublime creed: “Love conquers hate”, they said, and it sounded like a massive hymn and banner towards liberation.

The liberation can only be achieved, as the great masters taught, by removing the social and mental stumbling blocks by the path of nonviolence, the only moral FORCE capable of laying the foundations for a dignified future for humanity.