The Destruction of Everything Public

Burning oil refinery in Punto Fijo, Venezuela — New York Times, 26/08/2012

There is a good chance that everything that is public will be destroyed partially or entirely. What is clear is that what little is given for the benefit of the community is in bad condition.

It can be seen everywhere, the buses, the universities, the walls of the streets, the avenues themselves, the few libraries that exist, schools, telephones, the environment, the beautiful nature that Venezuela possesses that we do not appreciate or value.

Given the rhythm at which the population is growing, it seems as if the aggressiveness and irritability of its inhabitants is growing as well. It seems as if a way to vent their tensions is destroying everything within their reach and, uniquely, it can be seen that at the moment of truth, nobody cares about anything that is public. Everything public bears the false standard of “being everyone’s heritage”, which is a pretty theory but nothing more, since, when it comes to practicing the theory, public property belongs to nobody and lacks both an owner and importance to the nation.

Another manifestation, which is common enough, is the non-preservation of the environment: we see burning hills, polluted lakes, and all done negligently or deliberately.

But not only is nature destroyed, but rather any national institution is a target for slow decay. For example: the University. At the university, there is not a wall that that not been smeared with political propaganda. According to those who write on and soil the walls, they say that we are in a society where there must be ways to vent political tensions and that one of them is to use the university walls as one of these areas to vent. Upon hearing this, I proposed sending them ten children who live on my block to use the walls and facades of their houses to serve as areas to vent. I explained to them that these children would paint their walls with little fish, tiny houses, radiant suns, sea waves, romantic moons, little donkeys, and the like. I told them that this would also contribute towards stimulating creativity and the sense of freedom in those children. Upset, they answered that if a group of children were to invade their homes in such a manner, they would probably resort to the police because they would consider it property invasion.

What happens is that since the university does not belong to ANYBODY, everybody gives themselves the luxury of half-destroying it in furthering their pseudo-ideas, ideas without any basis and guided by a nameless opportunism.

Venezuelans do not feel Venezuelan. It may be the country with the least national identity that exists on the planet Earth.

Venezuela seems to be populated by a gang of delinquents who feel themselves to be foreigners and marginalized in their own land.

There is not a book in any library that has all of its pages. There are no buses that are not missing seat covers and where only the springs can be seen.

National identity and a sense of cooperation among the people of a nation for the purpose of the better functioning of everything is neither built nor fixed by playing the National Anthem four times a day.

Psychiatrist & Writer — Writing and meditating at the intersection of psychiatry, philosophy, Buddhism and the arts. More information at