Sometimes it is tempting to get carried away by authoritarian fantasy, by the simplicity with which things are resolved in countries without question. That Putin has fallen in the polls? Well, it anoints the military and retirees with an extra pay before the elections, a much more direct system than the contest with other parties (which it has also banned), and the matter settled. That China considers video games to be the new opium of the people? It prohibits or restricts them for minors and holy easter. We had a problem and we have solved it. In this case, two.
Things are much more complicated here, but they are so complicated that sometimes we stop understanding them. We understand the free market on which our economy is based and that would prevent an electrical expropriation, for example. We understand and defend the freedom of the individual, of families and the privacy that would make it impossible to regulate the activities of minors in their homes. As we understand that buying votes as Putin does collides with all rules of democratic competition. Our values are clear and, theoretically, there are no others that can surpass them. If the world had to be built anew, we would move straight towards these.
And yet things happen that do not find their place on the rational board in which we play. The image of the dried-up Ricobayo swamp, which Iberdrola drained in six weeks, is even more difficult to understand than the reasons why the rise in light cannot be stopped. If that emptying is legal, if it does not imply an impressive immediate fine and if the only sanction is the accusation of not having “empathy”, this does not work.
And then the inevitable question arises: from the excesses of communism and other authoritarianisms we are safe thanks to values and principles enshrined in European and Spanish legislation. But who defends us from the excesses of capitalism? Who defends us against the loss of dammed water at the discretion of the concession company? Who defends us from an unstoppable rise in light? Governments will do well to prepare answers to these questions, because this gap in the credibility of the system creates an even larger gap than the one left by the water in that swamp. At Naive of Voltaire, Pangloss used to repeat that he was in the best of all possible worlds. If ours is already better than that of Pangloss, we are sure that there is another one even better than this. Let us demand it.