Interview of the CECPS Antoni Gutierrez-Rubí

I reproduce here the interview that we conducted from the CECPS to Antoni Gutiérrez-Rubí, to highlight their commitment to our society (and much of his work can be read and downloaded free of charge at their website: Antoni Gutiérrez-Rubí. Articles and Reflections. I encourage all students and citizens in general to approach their work and reflect on their thoughts, for many of us we consider it a hotbed of ideas; to think, from those who have already thought of. As it says Victoria Camps in the prologue of Filopolítica: philosophy to policy: “Siguem moderns, llegim els clàssics. The verse of Foix guide to Gutiérrez-Rubí, along to their arguments”.

Antoni Gutiérrez-Rubí, is a communication advisor and political consultant. He is a member of the main professional associations such as ADECEC (Association of Consulting Companies in Public Relations and Communications), EAPC (European Association of Political Consultants), ACOP (Association of Political Communication), DIRCOM (Association of Communication Directors) and member of the Col·legi de Publicitaris i Relations Públiques de Catalunya (Societat Catalana de Comunicació i Estratègia Politiques.

He is professor of the master of communication in different universities such as the University of Navarre, Carlos III, rey juan carlos, Pontificia de Salamanca, UAB, UCM, UIMP, the UPEC, the SFCI or the University Institute of Research Ortega y Gasset. Writes regularly in The Newspaper of Catalonia, The Country, the Public, Expansion, or Five Days, among others.

The author of the books: Filopolítica: philosophy for the policy; 32 Trends of change (2010-2020) along with Juan Freire; Micropolitics. Ideas to change the communication policy; Lessons from Brawn GP. The 10 key business to compete with success; and Policy. Women protagonists of a power differential.

In his books and articles, we can appreciate a great intellectual effort in favor of the convergence between the forms of knowledge and advances interdisciplinary. In their reflections, lies a special and strict border trade between the cognitive sciences, in the philosophical tradition and the spiritual tradition… as the same he argues: “It imposes a triple reaction: more meditation, more spirituality and more philosophy”.




CECPS: In his article “THE POLITICAL CONSCIOUS ” argues that emotions should be valued and recognized at the same level that the skills and attitudes. Do you think that advances in the psychobiology that support empirically the role that you claim for the emotions put in evidence the prejudices of the left to spiritual practices such as meditation?

AG-R: There is a suspicion prejudiced on the part of the left conventional towards spirituality, and towards the practices around self-awareness and meditation. A mixture of contempt and distrust. Not in vain, the epicenter of much of the progressive thinking is still anchored in the old equations of “historical materialism”. To do this, add the substrate of certain compartments, secularists, that reduce or simplify the secularism to anti-clericalism, for example, and in some attitudes distrustful towards religion. The set is a complacent gaze to the contributions of social engagement that is informed by other sources less ideological (in the most traditional sense of the term) and that is rooted in personal conscience, spirituality or social commitment of religious inspiration.

CECPS: As you stated in your work: “In the current scenario of crisis and uncertainty, social have been punished severely the delicate balance of emotional that modern life requires people” to what extent are you aware the politicians and the general public of the benefits of meditation?… What is the benefit of offering the meditation?

AG-R: meditation brings balance, knowledge, harmony and socialibilidad. Each one of these attributes enriches greatly the political praxis. Balance: the policy needs to weight and flexibility. Knowledge: the politics that builds from the individual and their reality, allows you to offer scenarios of overcoming on the basis of humanism. Harmony: we need greater coherence between who we are, what we say we are and what we do. And, finally, sociability: the self-knowledge that is obtained through the use of meditation allows you to transcend the individual to recognize ourselves in the “us”. All roads to the reunion staff, to the reconciliation between our spirit and our life, and promote behaviors more social.

CECPS: In societies in which the rhythms of the media of the policy have been delivered to the improvisation and the immediacy of tactical, meditation and the spiritual dimension of the person-as you argued in your work – seem to represent a demerit or a defect; in the first place: what kind of spirituality are we talking about?… and second: what elements depends on the we can reverse this situation in that the communication policy is installed in the “tactismo short-term”?

AG-R: We are speaking of a spirituality that forces you to reflection, introspection, thinking before you speak, think before they act. Precisely, the formal policy is trapped in a chain-reactive fed by the transience and fragility of the news event, the competition in the media between the media, by the reduction of political practice to the policy and in the media and by the cycle increasingly short of news. This box promotes the precipitation, the apriorism, prejudice and reaction, little evaluation or reflective. Just what we don’t need for the renewal of the policy.

CECPS: From his book “FILOPOLITICA” it appears that the “sample audience” of “good” and “beautiful” builds civic virtue, and generates confidence and hope… What role plays the emotional intelligence in this process? What role should play in philosophy?

AG-R: The data are overwhelming. The empirical evidence of the relevance of emotions in cognitive configuration is beyond all doubt. We think what we “feel”. And we feel what we “perceive.” The triangle perception (senses) – feelings (emotions) and knowledge (thoughts, ideas) is indisputable. The politics of emotions is one that recognizes the role of feelings in political commitment and action. Without emotions, we will not be able to understand the moods of the people. The political practice has become “callous,” and here has begun the gap of legitimacy and proximity with citizens.

The philosophy must re-occupy the epicentre of political action. Trying to retrieve the questions, the big questions of the human being and of society. It comes to return to return to reunite with the profound reflections with the great themes to revitalize and “re-enlighten” the political thought. It’s back to the classics. And reestablcer, again, a great alliance between politics and philosophy.

CECPS: “FILOPOLITICA” writes the following: “Overcoming the crisis means understanding that the way was wrong”… “take one way is to go back”… can we say that the domain of the “single thought” the 15-M -as well as other movements of peaceful resistance similar – represents the hope for change that our societies and democracies need?

AG-R: TO my opinion, one of the great contributions of the spirit, of the culture of the 15M is not resignation. The 15M is a rebellion against the inevitable. It is a call to the conscience of the determinism without hope is not inexorable and that the course of the crisis and the inability of the governance of the economic powers and financial policy, “condemn us” to run out of alternatives. Condemns us to the role of spectators, the first step to be, then, victims of the disorder. The 15M is rebelling against fate. And it means a hope to empower and regain control of the collective from the perspective of a shared horizon. It is a not the “sálvase who can.”

CECPS: In the squares of many Spanish cities the empathy of thousands of citizens to the causes of outrage are common, public and general has allowed to imbed a structure of relationships to the peaceful resistance as a possible engine of change towards a more just and democratic society, this has generated a large dose of sympathy on the part of the citizenry, as evidenced by the surveys, but… can Empathize with the political with the social unrest, the precariousness and the proposals of the “indignados”, that is to say, understand the political leaders, the emotional state and needs of the societies that they aspire to govern?

AG-R: The formal policy has been discovered, startled, that he has lost the privilege of the policy. Another of the important contributions of the 15M is the political empowerment of many people who feel that they can do things “without parties, no unions, no politicians”. There are even those who believe –in my opinion, wrongly – that it can direct the collective almost without institutions. Although I am aware of the profound crisis of legitimacy and social recognition that the current public representation of the democracy has for an important social majority.

The parties have reacted cautiously. Although not all recognize the value of social and political of which represents the 15M. Have gone from bewilderment to disbelief. From ignorance to respect. And respect to the interest (or the claim instrumentalizadora). It is a positive development that recognizes the character of the civic, democratic and social energy that has meaning 15M (of the camps, the 19J, and from there to the great social rapport that they have obtained). But, in general, have believed that the time was going to wear down, to dilute, the democratic wave. And the time will only stress the organizational capacity and proposals of the emerging coordination structures. But since it will not prevent the conviction of the majority of the public is that the formal policy, as is their practice today, no longer responds to the challenges that we face. The squares have been emptied, the networks may languish or to belittle but the vital energy has already been among us. The next wave we will overflow to all if the formal policy do not understand that this is probably the last chance.

CECPS: In his reflections on the political narrative, expressed: “The political discourse has to be an epic tale, transformer, mobilizer”… What fundamental elements you need to integrate the political narrative current, in order to be in coherence with the “should be” of this statement?

AG-R: The political narrative must allow for interpretation serena on the causes, a profound reflection on the whys and a pedagogy that is inclusive and integrative on the answers. There is a need to make you think the citizens about where we came from, where we are and where we are going. And what can we do, with whom, and how to change the inexorable course of events. It should also contribute to a moral vision and ethics of the individual commitment, of each one of us, on the horizon of the collective. The political narrative should be summoned citizens to think and to engage.

CECPS: What do you mean with the sentence: “THE SAD do NOT WIN ELECTIONS”? and… in the current context of uncertainty and complexity… What kind of joy would be welcomed?

AG-R: The seriousness, the rigor, the responsibility should not become beings huraños, sullen, hostile. When I affirm that the sad does not win elections, I want to emphasize, through a phrase surprising and visual, three things: the policy should excite, thrill and motivate action. The policy should spread a spirit of positive, joyful, inclusive to be able to rearmarnos of “happiness”. As said Albert Camus: “Since you don’t live in revolutionary times, we learn, at least, to live the time of the rebels. Knowing how to say no to, try each one from his post in create the life values that no renovation will be able to do without, keep what is worth, prepapar what deserves to be lived, and practice the happiness to dulcifique the terrible taste of justice, they are motifs of renewal and hope.”

CECPS: “they do NOT REPRESENT US” has been the motto to the degradation of a political praxis unfair to the values of the “dignitas democratic”; values that you should identify the people with the trust of the people –and having sworn allegiance to their public role – governing institutions, and administer property and public resources. On the contrary, there are many cases of diversion and evasion of the political responsibilities that generate distrust and disbelief… Would it be appropriate to have a pact anti-corruption?… What we offer the new technology to have any chance of improving the processes of participation and democratic representation, as well as, any mechanism of citizen control that allows us to improve the levels of trust and credibility in the system, in its institutions and in the politicians that they must dignify the functions and processes?…

AG-R: As pointed in my article, the Economy is transparent, in full economic and financial crisis, and immersed in deep structural reforms (in the framework of the plans of the european stability), the Internet may provide an opportunity to combat the hidden economy, one of the main problems for the economic recovery of Spain, and drive the change towards an economy transparent based on the free access to information and knowledge.

To give an idea of the depth of the black hole of the hidden economy, just compare it with the digital economy. The economic activity surrounding the Internet was in 2009, 2.2% of the GDP, generated some 100,000 direct jobs and increase its contribution to Spanish GDP to 5.1% in 2015.

To combat the underground economy is a challenge, inexcusable and non-deferrable. To do this, it will be fundamental to the momentum of the eGobierno or Open Government that seems to be solid and constant. More Internet can not only act as an alternative to (new production model) and complementarity (new markets and business models) to the economy, “the brick-and-umbrella”, but it can be an opportunity to combat the hidden economy, fostering the shift towards an economy that is transparent, based on free access to information and knowledge.

CECPS: what Is the “digital divide” of the politicians-with their causes generational – an obstacle for the shift towards a greater range of spaces for interaction democratic and representative? and what about the technological exclusion of a large part of the citizenry that has not had nor has access to the internet?

AG-R: The digital divide no longer is, essentially, social. Although it continues to generate deep and serious discrimination. For example, Spain is the most expensive country in broadband (it ranks as one of the most expensive countries in the world in Internet access, with an average of 34€ per person and month). But new gaps are territorial (Spain you may end up with networks at two speeds, since the areas with the highest density of population have a broad range of navigation technologies such as ADSL, VDSL or cable and best prices -even access to the new fibre-optic networks-, in front of the precariousness of the less populated areas which, according to one of the last reports of the Commission of the Telecommunications Market, accounting for more than half of the country).

And also gaps attitudinal. The elite policy -political and business – are seriously disconnected from the new society act, a digital society that build value, relationship, and process on the basis of data and information, based on the binomial networks/people). The elites disconnected leading these societies autistic under patterns and hierarchical models based on authority or positional, not in the reputation relationship. Target companies, but they move away –more every day – understanding your customers in their inseparable human condition, civics, and citizen. This model is depleting rapidly.

In the case of politics, digital culture calls into question the formats organizational, communicative practices and creative processes or add value. In short, it puts in check the political analogue in a social ecosystem very digital.

CECPS: In times of uncertainty like the present and being aware of the contingency to which are subjected the facts of socio-historical… what is the social tendency and policy is concerned more by its negative potentialities? What trend will generate more enthusiasm and hope for their positive potential?

AG-R: The most troubling is the reflux conservative, fearful, vulnerable to the crisis and its dramatic consequences it has on the citizens. The combination of fear and uncertainty paralyzes the consciousness that may be tempted by easy solutions, short-term. The rejection of the different, the collective and the global, it is the conservative reaction to the difficulties. It is a reaction that can sweep away a good part of our architecture is democratic.

And, paradoxically, it occurs in our societies, a backlash –and I think that majority – decision of personal conscience and collective very hopeful. The challenge is that we are at a crossroads unavoidable and unavoidable and one that will require courage and vision. We must learn to live with less to find, together, solutions, global, sustainable.

CECPS: Many members of the CECPS, we believe that it would be appropriate to have a greater dialogue between politicians in the exercise and the community of social scientists and humanists are somehow silenced in the mainstream media. What would be appropriate for this community of scientists and humanists, issued a joint statement in support of the indignados? Would you be willing to get involved in this?

AG-R: Yes, I am willing to do this. In fact, I am confident in the exemplary character and demanding scientific thinking to encourage and force a political reaction to the challenges. But, unfortunately, what we are every is findings and empirical facts that demonstrate the character suicide of our model of development and the character depravador of our financial system. Voices are not required, although always welcome. What we need are ears to listen to what the planet and society, it shouts in silence: that there is that change fast and that we no longer have time to postpone the decisions of no return.

Original interview published in the CECPS the July 18, 2011

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