Remembering a Writer Latin America Lost in 2015

Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015)
(Photo source:

Although we cannot guess the time that will be, at least we have the right to imagine the time we want it to be. In 1948 and 1976, the United Nations proclaimed long lists of human rights, but the immense majority of humanity enjoys only the rights to see, hear and remain silent. What if we start by exercising the never-proclaimed right to dream? What if we rave, for a little while? Let’s set our sights beyond infamy to imagine another possible world:

air will be cleansed of all poisons except those born of human fears and human passions;

on the streets, automobiles will be run over by dogs;

people will not be driven by cars, programmed by computers, bought by supermarkets, or watched by televisions;

the TV set will no longer be the most important member of the family and be treated like the iron or the washing machine;

people will work for a living instead of living for work;

the penal codes will incorporate the crime of stupidity, committed by those who live to have or win instead of living just to live, like the bird that sings without knowing that it sings or the boy who plays without knowing that he is playing;

in no country shall young men who refuse to serve in the military go to jail, but only those who want to serve;

economists will not refer to consumption as “living standards” or the amount of things as “quality of life;”

cooks will not believe that lobsters love to be boiled alive;

historians will not believe that countries love to be invaded;

politicians will not believe that that the poor like to eat promises;

solemnity will not be thought of as a virtue and no one will take seriously anyone incapable to kid around;

death and money will lose their magical powers, and neither by death nor by luck will the scoundrel become a virtuous gentleman;

nobody will be considered a hero or a fool for doing what is fair rather than what is the most convenient;

the world will not wage war on the poor, but on poverty, and arms industries will have no choice but to declare bankruptcy;

food shall not be a commodity or communication a business, because food and communication are human rights;

nobody will die of hunger, because nobody will die from indigestion;

street children will not be treated like garbage, because there will be no street children;

wealthy children will not be treated like if they were money, because there will be no wealthy kids;

education will not be the privilege of those who can pay for it;

police will not be the curse of those who cannot buy it;

justice and liberty, Siamese twins doomed to live apart, will get together again, very stuck together, back to back;

a Black woman will be President of Brazil, another Black woman will be President of the United States of America, an indigenous woman will govern Guatemala, and another one will govern Peru;

in Argentina, the crazy women of Plaza de Mayo will be held up as examples of mental health, because they refused to forget in a time of obligatory amnesia;

the Holy Church will correct the Ten Commandments and the Sixth Commandment will order that the body shall be celebrated;

the Church will also dictate another commandment, one that God forgot: “thou shall love nature, of which you are a part of;”

the deserts of the world and the soul will be reforested;

the desperate will no longer be desperate and the lost will be found, because the desperate became so from too much waiting and the lost got lost from too much looking for;

we will be compatriots and contemporaries of all those with the will for justice and beauty, regardless of where they were born in and what they have lived through, without the smallest regard for geographic or time boundaries;

perfection will remain the boring privilege of the gods, but in this klutzy and fucked up world every night will be lived as if it was the last one and every day as if it was the first one.

“The Right to Rave” (fragment),
from Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World (1998)

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One Response to Remembering a Writer Latin America Lost in 2015

  1. Pingback: About the Right to Rave | SOUTH [OF] AMERICA

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