The first 100 days of a hundred years without loneliness

By: Guillermo Lineros

Writer, painter, sculptor and lawyer from the Sergio Arboleda University

During his campaign, as in his inauguration speech, President Gustavo Petro alluded to One Hundred Years of Solitude, the most important novel in Colombian literature, and he did so by implying that it was time to get out of that recurring and atrocious national reality. . A reality narrated in the Nobel Prize winner’s novel Aracataca, not as a lucid dream, in which the dreamer is aware of dreaming and the monster is unreal; but as an insurmountable lucid nightmare, in which the awakened person knows that he is not dreaming and the monster is real.

In fact, its author Gabriel García Márquez would title it like this, One Hundred Years of Solitude, after one or two previous and anecdotal names, but oblivious to the political denunciation that contained its history. Undoubtedly -because it is exposed in all his works, even in those prior to this great novel-, our Nobel Prize winner was always aware of the need to show our world as it was, and not hide the misunderstandings with idiocy or shyness. -humanities that secretly hid and encouraged the elites.

García Márquez, in his avidity as a journalist and writer, was able to visualize the country from far above and was able to understand himself with all its social strata to guess its foundations and reason for being. What will have concluded does not even have to be guessed; Instead of a dungeon –because the grandfather of Senator Miguel Uribe Turbay wanted to imprison him– he preferred exile and exercise from abroad and from his position as a famous writer, punctual and acute criticism of our Colombian political reality. It was even said that García Márquez was aware of the most important issues in the country, long before the current president did.

What García Márquez saw in his time, making use of his acute senses of perception; now, thanks to the internet and the informal means of communication or social networks, it has become visible to everyone and I believe that there are very few Colombians outside of this understanding: we had been in the hands of rulers dedicated to keeping the inhabitants in complete solitude; that is to say, ignorant of the world, isolated as in a great concentration camp, where they were denied the right to land, to health and to life itself; but, above all, where submission orders were given to them by the masses and ignorance was breathed into them.

A daily life loaded with feelings of sadness and melancholy, due to the absence of everything; but also a world where the philosophy of “no future” was developed –I don’t know whether to say intelligently–, which is a way of being happy from ignorance, even if it is for an ephemeral season in abundance and in exchange for doing harm to oneself himself and others. In fact, in Colombia two types of gangsters have coexisted, those coming from absolute poverty who enjoy the fruits of their misdeeds and their crimes in the present, knowing that they will have no future; and the gangsters from the wealthy classes who enjoy the present and appropriate the State precisely to guarantee their future and that of their descendants.

In One Hundred Years of Solitude there is the people who were ignorant of the causes and consequences of their condition of extremely poor humanity, because the church, that is, the priests and the undesirable “good people”, because the rulers, that is, the mayors and the police inspectors, were in charge of instilling in them that the world was like that, and they did it for a few coins that the truly powerful gave them, those experts in taking the State for themselves and increasing their wealth at the cost of creating and adding difficulties to the towns.

The characters in One Hundred Years of Solitude are not magical along the lines of Walt Disney’s fantasy, if we properly interpret his famous phrase: “to create the fantastic, we must first understand the real.” Nor are they magical in the vein of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy, which due to nonsense contains supernatural or inexplicable elements that create a playful break with reality; no, the characters in One Hundred Years of Solitude are magical due to their apathy, hopelessness and lack of future; In short, for everything that, if put together, would result in a single word: loneliness. Loneliness founded on the contempt of the governments for the inhabitants, but also on their persecution and annihilation.

It seemed like we could never get out of those One Hundred Years of Solitude, and if Gabo were alive, he would be surprised to see that, fifty-five years after writing his masterpiece, that is, 155 years after the solitude caused by by malevolent governments, a light finally appears that disarms her; the light of communion and social projects, the light of progressivism. From now on there does not have to be single individuals, side by side with other equally lonely individuals, as was Colonel Aureliano Buendía, whose criticism of society and politics were not sleepwalking soliloquies, but delusions of those who suffer from hunger.

With these 100 days of Petro, the paths seem to open to start a century without solitude; without the sadness and melancholy caused by the absence of the State. With President Gustavo Petro, the rulers given to using power to swell their coffers, and to create problems and difficulties for the people, were forgotten. The time has begun for rulers who use power – as we see Petro using it – to overcome difficulties and solve problems.

*The opinions expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the person who has been the author and do not necessarily represent the position of the Paz & Reconciliation Foundation in this regard.

The first 100 days of a hundred years without loneliness