Wednesday 17 March 2010

Historical vitality, not hope

   Nowadays many people argue that "hope" is the miraculous word. It should be repeated over and over. These people say that the appeal to "hope" is part and parcel of any meaningful economic recovery. I guess we can call it the "Obama effect".
   As far as I am concerned I reject this appeal. For reasons that I can explain in some other occasion, I don't think "hope" is the appropriate psychological resource in democratic politics, even in depressed and dangerous times such as ours.
   Be that as it may, Portugal does not need "hope". Portugal needs to show "historical vitality", that is, it needs to show the moral and psychological energy to fight concrete threats. To put it in contrast, "historical vitality" is very different from "hope". It is not a light and a force from above which somehow allows us to jump over our difficulties; it is not a promise to make dangerous threats disappear. It is rather the moral strength which sustains us when we look those same difficulties and dangerous threats in the eye. With confidence, but without illusions.

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