Don Pablo Edronkin

A Brief Reflection On Scapegoats.

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It is hard to tolerate other's faults. It is even harder to tolerate our own.

Then, we invent scapegoats and make our own the other's faults and hate them for both for the fact that we perceive the 'new' fault on them as well for the fact that deep within us, we know it is still our fault.

How often do we blame other countries for the blunders of our own government? How often do we try to find evil where there is only poverty or destruction?

Does Iraq or Cuba pose a threat to world peace? Do you really think that those countries would be capable of doing much harm?

Where is proof that they could? I mean, not proof obscured by veils of 'national security' - how convenient, isn't it? - but proof availed or directly provided by independent sources.

What are the real chances that one would be right and everyone else wrong?

And lastly, how would you feel if suddenly a bigger country than yours, or a coalition of them would start bombarding? Would you receive them as your friends? Don't be surprised if they don't.

Cuba is indeed a disastrous country with no democracy, no modern services, no food and so on; imitators of that weird lifestyle might appear from time to time, like Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, but so far they pose more danger to themselves and their countries than anything else.

Recently there was a toilet papers shortage in Venezuela, and the government had to import the product urgently from Argentina and Brazil. Roads are ruined, there is no industry, supermarkets are empty and people wait for hours to get even a pathetic something. Survival in Venezuela is becoming an issue. Yet, to think that they pose a danger to world peace is a little bit too much.

Of course, looking for someone to blame is a popular sport among the leaders of such countries, and when the toilet paper became a gold of sorts due to its scarcity, the Venezuelan government, presided by Nicolás Maduro, heir of the late Hugo Chávez said that the problem had been caused by several factors such as the fact that Venezuelans are now so well that they eat more, and that the opponents of the regime were eating more and hence consuming more toilet paper on purpose.

And you may believe it or not, but there are actually some that would swallow up such excuses.

What we should be grateful is that in such cases, and for the most part in recent times, this put-the-blame-unto-others thing has been fairly non violent.

In past times Jews were the perfect scapegoats of almost everything, for example. At the end of the XV century and the first decades of the XVI century, Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal as the Inquisition was formally established there and gained power. Many had to leave their money behind, while others, especially those that had some sort of social standing, managed to get most things out and moved to other countries such as the Netherlands or the Ottoman Empire.

For Spain and Portugal, turning the Jews into scapegoats an adopting the Inquisition meant three centuries of cultural, political, scientific and technological decadence, as they passed from being world powers to backwater countries filled with illiterates and no modern ideas but a lot of religion. As the scapegoats of choice, Jews, at the time, were even being blamed for infections and the plague (see The Easter Massacre.) Of course, this tendency hasn't disappeared and from time to time Jews - the most hatred people in the history of the world - are blamed again for other reasons, such as killing children or starting every single war in the world, especially if they are bankers (see Myths Abouth the Rich Jewish Bankers.)

The countries lost some of their most capable people (see The Mother of All Mistakes) and their resources; many of the expelled Jews were wealthy, they had knowledge, and some of them even belonged to the upper classes, the nobility and the royalty of those nations, and you simply can't replace a well versed financier or astronomer with a couple of brutes.

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