Evolución Consultoría en Comunicación Pedagógica

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Evolución Consultoría en Comunicación Pedagógica

Evolución Consultoría en Comunicación Pedagógica

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Evolución Consultoría en Comunicación Pedagógica

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The " either-or " syndrome, by Laura Bertone

In my first column in these pages, I referred to the " allness disease " and its negative consequences on the Argentine society. I will refer now to another bad habit, the negative pervasive impact of which is becoming specially visible at the present time : the " either-or syndrome ".

While this syndrome is not exclusively Argentine, an advantage of taking the Argentine case is that the deterioration of the system here has been so systematic that today it offers fewer nuances and thus becomes a better case study : the clarity of the negative aspects makes the message obvious for anybody who cares to have a look and to learn from it.

Back at the beginning of what we may consider the origins of the country as such, we already find the " either/or trap " : either royalists or " criollos ", Spaniards or Indians, "unitarians " or " federals " ; the metropolis versus the colonies, the capital city versus the provinces, etc. But the negative consequences of this restrictive thinking and verbal habit were not then perceivably obvious. Towards the middle of the twentieth century, Perón's totalitarian policies and his " allness disease " reinforced the pattern to the point of psychologically breaking the society in two : peronists and anti-peronists. Positions were so emotional that it was difficult to jointly evaluate policies in a manner that might help society to evolve.

The political situation at present seems to prove that the absence of such evaluation produced quite a lot of harm. But the important lesson to me is that the fracture did not end there : disrupture went on and on, producing other fractures : our last presidential elections in April of this year, for example, forced us to choose between two peronist candidates. The opposition party, dismissed during the first ballot, had also presented two options.

In the sixties and seventies, the Argentine society was shattered by an unprecedented terrorist movement in this part of the world. " Those who are not with us are against us " warned the military, for example. And, quite unprepared to face the terrorists, we nevertheless had to do so by ourselves : in those days, the rest of the world seemed concerned with other problems and remained unaware or indifferent to what we went through. Panic ensued, causing emotions to run rampant. In such a situation, it becomes more difficult than ever to make sound decisions. These emerge from a harmonious balance in people, not from fear. We can understand the fear that some limited situations can trigger. And when I say " understand ", I mean that we lived these situations and consequently understand them from " inside ". But that understanding does not mitigate the consequences of unsound decisions.

The terrorist enemy was so harsh, so unexpected, so violent, respecting no rules, no territories, no ages, or conditions… that the institutional response also went overboard (extreme threat/extreme response) A civilian government asked the military to put an end to the threat, no matter how. So they did. This was a big mistake as the military has only now started to perceive. The " either/or " attitude has not led us out of our problems. And both terrorists and the military who defeated them are being blamed by the Argentine society today; the latter even more strongly (As if the battle had been fought on two simultaneous battlefields : the military won in one of them ; their enemies seemed to this day to have won with the press.)

It would seem that Argentine leadership reacted with the immediate, emotional fight or flight response. In ancient times, when dangers were great for people in the forest, this response was necessary to survive the encounter. The " either/or " trap pushes us back into such primitive animal-like reactions propelled by fear. We need courage - and intelligence, and solidarity, and wisdom - to overcome it and, together, find other ways and means to share and evolve. We need to re-analyze " anguish " in order to get out of the aristotelian " either-or " logic. A wider larger vision encouraged by using " Etc. " can help us get out of the " either/or "trap., and into the vast middle ground between extremes.


Evolución Consultoría en Comunicación Pedagógica

Evolución Consultoría en Comunicación Pedagógica   Evolución Consultoría en Comunicación Pedagógica

Evolución Consultoría en Comunicación Pedagógica



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