Jorge Majfud

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Trying to reduce environmental pollution without reducing consumerism is like combatting drug trafficking without reducing the drug addiction.

Jorge Majfud (born 10 September 1969) is an American professor and author, widely recognized as one of the most significant Latino American intellectuals.


Direct democracy will not come about through any brusque revolution, led by individuals, since it is, by definition, a cultural process where the majority begins to claim and share social power. When this occurs, the parliaments of the world will be what the royals of England are today: an onerous adornment from the past, an illusion of continuity.
The worst thing that can happen to a democracy is that its citizens leave the politics in the hands of politicians.
  • There’s no better strategy against a true rumor than inventing another fake one that claims to confirm it.
    • Memorias de un desaparecido (1996)
  • It’s not by chance that most of the basketball players are tall men, nor that most of the transvestite are homosexuals. It’s also not a coincidence that most of those who hold the power are ambitious people. In other words, it’s not a coincidence that the world is ruled by people who shouldn’t rule.
    • Critica de la pasión pura (1998)
  • Somebody told me once that I couldn’t talk about religion because I wasn’t a religious man. I kept thinking for a moment because he was right about something: I am a religious spirit, but not a religious man because my mind doesn’t know about safety. Obviously, he was wrong about the rest. “Sir – I wanted to answer, not without shyness –, if Catholic priests have given marital advice since always and now they even give a sexual conduct class, why can’t an atheist teach theology?"
    • Critica de la pasión pura (1998)
  • In our Post era, a new phenomenon has emerged expressing this new associative will of the species: I mean the super-networks of communication [Internet]. On this I conceive two images, one enthusiast and another disappointed: I see Gea as a body (the Biosphere) and as a mind or spirit (the Exosphere); the human creatures would be the neurons and the electronic networks the dendrites. Okay, an autistic geopsychology, full of traumas, and other psych pathologies. But let's not say that we already lack the means to understand each other.
    • Critica de la pasión pura (1998)
  • The relationship that in our time unites us with Money is completely abstract. That’s where our society resembles to the one in the Middle Ages: we fear a symbolic and invisible entity, like men feared God thousands of years ago. The stock exchange changes without our participation. Between the stock and us there’s a theology of money called “economy” that, in general, is in charge of rationally explaining something that doesn’t have more reason than it’s symbolic power.
  • "What is at stake today is not only protecting the West against the terrorists, home-grown and foreign, but — perhaps above all — protecting the West from itself. The reproduction of any one of its most monstrous events would be enough to lose everything that has been attained to date with respect to Human Rights. Beginning with respect for diversity. And it is highly probable that such a thing could occur in the next ten years, if we do not react in time."
  • Before the great civil revolution there will be a deepening of the crisis of this obsolete order. This crisis will happen in almost all areas, from the political order to the economic, passing through the military. The Superpower is nowadays very fragile due to its military resources, with which it has mined the most strategic weapon of ancient diplomacy […] it won’t be able to resist an increasingly hostile context because its economy, base of its military power, will weaken in inverse proportion. Today it’s able to win any war, with or without allies, but the successive triumphs won’t be able to save it from a progressive erosion. The immediate result will be great global insecurity, although it will be overcome with the civil revolution. In this moment breaking point, the West will debate between greater military control or civil disobedience, which will be silent and anonymous, without leaders or warlords.
  • Probably a form of radical democracy will be the next step humanity is ready to take. How will we know when this step is being produced? We need signs.
    One strong sign will be when the administration of meaning ceases to lie in the hands of elites, especially of political elites. Representative democracy represents what is reactionary about our times. But direct democracy will not come about through any brusque revolution, led by individuals, since it is, by definition, a cultural process where the majority begins to claim and share social power. When this occurs, the parliaments of the world will be what the royals of England are today: an onerous adornment from the past, an illusion of continuity.
  • When we talk about drugs, we blame the producers, not the consumers. But when we talk about weapons, we blame the consumers, no the producers. The reason consists, as I understand, in the place of power. In the case of drugs, the products are the others, not us; in the case of weapons, the consumers are the others; we limit ourselves to their production.
  • That blind attitude of the Society of Knowledge is similar in all to the proud consideration that "our language is better because it’s understood."
    Just that with a completely tragic intensity, that could be translated like this: "our dead are true because they hurt."
  • A society is not defined as developed by the wealth it has but by the poverty it doesn’t have.
    • Ciencia Política newspaper, Buenos Aires, (2008)
  • We inhabit the cities of the dead and their ideas inhabit us every day.
    • La generación FaceNoBook, Revista Alma Mater, La Habana (July 2012), p. 5
  • The fear of the other makes us resemble the other who fears us.
    • Cybors (2012)
  • While universities make robots that look more like human beings every time, not only because of their proven intelligence but now also because of their abilities to express and receive emotions, the consumerist habits are making us every time more similar to robots.
    • Cybors (2012)
  • Hypocrisy is a luxury of the powerful.
    • Debate with Uruguayan presidential candidate Mr. Pedro Bordaberry. Zoom a la noticia, Canal NTN24 (1 July 2014)
  • Terrorism is not justified with anything, but it’s explained with everything.
  • It wasn’t businessmen who developed new technology and science but amateur inventors or salaried professors instead; from the foundation of this country to the invention of the Internet, continuing with Einstein and finally, the arrival of the first man on the moon. Not to mention, the basis of the sciences—which were shaped by those horrible and uncivilized Arabs centuries before—from the numbers that we use to Algebra to algorithms and many other sciences and philosophies that are part of Western civilization today, continuing with the Europeans in the 17th century. None of these men were businessmen, of course.
  • "Los hombres y las mujeres (sobre todo los hombres) han escrito las leyes y las constituciones. Los hombres y las mujeres (sobre todo las mujeres) pueden y deben volver a escribirlos según las necesidades de los vivos, no de los muertos"

La ciudad de la Luna (2009)[edit]

  • We call reality
    to madness that remains
    and madness to reality

    that vanishes

  • Don’t think we’re indifferent. What happens is that normally we’re busy with something that is not the others.
  • For centuries men looked for comfort to their deepest anguish, but all answers seemed small before death. Until someone, it’s unknown who, discovered the truth. And since they saw it served all as an answer to the fears of the first man, they defended it with their blood and with the blood of others, first and then with the lie.

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