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EL OCASO

DE UN

STATU QUO

preface

 

I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil, to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.

                             HENRY DAVID THOREAU, 

US writer, philosopher and poet, 

in a lecture at the Concord Lyceum. (1851). Walking. 

 

As I enter the third decade of my life, I realise that I have spent a large part of my existence wandering through the same landscape; one that I met a few years after I was born and that I began to walk through, first wearily and then tirelessly. It didn't matter whether it was winter or summer, whether it was windy or raining, I aimed to explore. Something that had been deeply instilled in me by my grandmother and my mother, who visited this territory time after time. They represent what Francesco Careri calls homo ludens, referring to Abel as that nomadic explorer that many of us carry within us and that awakens in us the desire to experience the place randomly. Although it took me some time to understand this, over the years I discovered that visiting a landscape for a lifetime and contemplating all its gradual changes brought a special peace to its pilgrims, a state of harmony. And, in my case, a sense of fulfillment that I have not been able to achieve in other circumstances. Francesco Careri also said that “the history of the origins of humanity is the history of walking”.  In fact, walking in this place, I feel as if I am able to connect with something higher and infinitely previous to my existence.

   I have decided to write this work as a tribute to this landscape whose time of death is slowly approaching. Almost twenty years ago, some owners and political representatives of this place decided that it was necessary to give a Copernican turn to its future and this implied a profound transformation of its physical space. It was not only to evolve but to replace a past, a cultural heritage, with a future, in my opinion, embodied in a utopia. Logically, I will not be the one to force them to change their minds. But it is clear that, for me and for many people —who feel a deep respect for nature, for the past, for the landscape and for what it means to be Mediterranean— it is terribly sad to know and accept how a society has decided to carry out an irreversible act that will have profound consequences. I wish I was wrong, though.  

   Too many people seem to be pressing for the same purpose, although it is an anachronistic realisation resulting from the confluence of numerous interests.

Like many others, at different times in our lives, I wish that this episode in a village called xxx would end differently. But, as it is to be expected, whatever happens, it will have to be a natural consequence of the factors present.

   Like John Stuart Mill, I do not advocate ex novo actions. I believe that the lessons of the past must be drawn upon, and that the pulse of today's and tomorrow's society must understand and coexist with the vicissitudes that brought us here. We will be nothing if we erase our past; it holds all our knowledge and has preserved the fundamentals of our legacy. Mr. Mill was also a harsh critic of mediocrity and, once again, I could not agree more with him when he said that “the worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it; and a State which postpones the interests of their mental expansion and elevation (…) will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished”.

   Evidently, we all have certain goals and defend a variety of positions throughout our lives, but when facing change I have always asked myself this question: will the consequence of this decision improve my situation and that of my environment or, on the contrary, will it worsen? It seems obvious, but observing the vestiges of contemporary works, I realise that it is not so common to reflect before acting. Or rather, perhaps we ask ourselves many questions, but they may not be the right ones.

   We live in a hyper-modern era, one might say, since the Twin Towers attack in 2001. From then, the whole world, especially the more prosperous countries, have invested great efforts in strengthening security in all the processes of our lives, at a high cost to our freedoms. However, despite the multiple evaluations to which we subject something, the essential things remain elusive. And although it may be simplistic and as one-sided as it may seem to take advantage of a blank page to present one's own opinion, the truth is that practising the exercise of asking whether certain changes are beneficial or not and, if they are not, rethinking them and improving them or simply stopping them, I believe that this does not seem to be an option. Sadly, because we would save ourselves deep bitterness and enormous resources, although we might develop less literature:) In any case, it is clear from the following pages that we do not all think alike, and although it is useless to express it, who knows if it might help to improve something somewhere.  

 

   I prefer not to end without thanking all those people who have supported me to a greater or lesser extent so that this work could become what it is today. For the encouragement they have given me when my faith wavered, to all of them, thank you very much, and to those who have not, also, thank you very much.

CARERI, F., Tiberghien, G., & Plá, M. (2015). Walkscapes. Gustavo Gili

LIPOVETSKY, G., & Charles, S. (2013). Les temps hypermodernes. Grasset

MILL, J., Elshtain, J., & Bromwich, D. (2003). On liberty. Yale University Press.

THOREAU, H. (1995). Walking. Penguin Books.

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  About  

El Ocaso de un Statu Quo is not only a statement of thought but for many the reading of our own reality. The rural Mediterranean lifestyle will soon be an extinct spirit of the coastline of Spain. Renouncing what we are, destroying what we erected, denying our origins and condemning the land, will not make us happier nor will it make us feel proud.

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