Books and documents:
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà, Brauli Tamarit Tamarit.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Magdalena Grau, Agustí Chalaux.
Conclusion: the change of change.
«This will not take us anywhere. All the changes of model fail.
Why should we waste so much ink and paper?».
Tired of trying to «change everything to discover that nothing
changes» as in the process of the Spanish transition, or in the discovery
that «socialism is the longest way to reach capitalism», we
are tempted, as it is shown by the contemporary «political»
theory and practice, to accept things as they are, with the historic fatalism
therein implied, a fatalism unsuitable to Western people, who still want
«to dominate» nature.
«History offers a long list of revolutions, whose results were,
in great measure, identical conditions as those which the revolution wanted
to overcome and substitute by a happy world». «The most sober
minds may reach the following sad conclusion: 'Probably it would have been
better to leave things as they were1'».
«One thing is to be aware... of the change of something into its
opposite, but it is very difficult... to find that this change does not
mean any change at all within the general model. Most human conflicts and
many conflict-generating solutions take place because of this blindness2».
«A system going through all its inner possible changes without
an overall change taking place in it, may be considered as involved in
an endless game. It cannot produce from inside itself the conditions for
its own change, it cannot produce the rules for a change on the basis of
its own rules3».
In order to understand what it means an overall change, it is very useful
to read the whole book by Paul Watzlawick on this matter. In this suggestive
book there is, however, a short game which visually exemplifies this difficulty
to create changes if the context is not modified.
We take the liberty of reproducing this example for those readers who
do not know it.
«The nine dots shown in figure 1 must
be connected to each other by means of four straight lines without lifting
the pencil from the paper. The reader who does not know this problem, should
stop here and look for his solution on a piece of paper, before going on
with the reading and, above all, before seeing the solution in the following
page (figure 2)».
«Almost everybody trying for the first time the solution of this
problem introduces as a part of the solution an assumption which makes
the solution impossible. The «assumption» consists of thinking
that the dots make up a sqaure and that the solution must be found inside
it, a self-imposed condition which is not contained in our instructions...
So, the failure does not rest in the impossibility of the job, but in the
attempted solution. Having created thus the problem, the combination of
the four attempted lines does not matter at all: there will always be,
at least one dot not connected. The solution consists of... leaving the
field where the solution is sought. Those who fail and give up, usually
feel a surprise in face of the unexpected simplicity of the solution (figure
2). The similarity of this example with many real situations of life
«At one time or another we have all felt locked in some sort of
cage and, then, it was the same to try to find the solution in a quiet
and logical way or, which is more frequent, frenetically running round
a vicious circle. But it is from inside the cage... that the solution appears
to be a surprising ray of inspiration beyond our control». «It
is clearly different that we consider ourselves as pawns in a game, whose
rules we call reality, or as players who know that the rules of the game
are «real» only insofar as we have created them or have accepted
them and that we can change them5».
The difficulty to change this society, or to change people, lies in
the fact that the problem, possibly, is not correctly stated. Some things
are as they are, and need not be changed because this will cause a confusion
which does not go anywhere. On the contrary, there are things, considered
unimportant, which are not ideal nor important transformations but that,
perhaps, are problems which may have a solution. To separate the key problems
from pseudo-problems, to find which key instruments and changes of minimal
rules of the game are possible to face these probles, is therefore, one
of the important tasks. We must find the steps being the minimum common
denominator of a wide range of interrelated problems. And, besides, they
should be unknown steps, nor repeatedly failed, but of course to be tested.
In this research is included the hypothesis on currency as an instrument
for the introduction of a number of measures which, accepted by the Western
democratic tradition, or proposed by the new social movements, may become
an efficient ladder in the attempt to allow the radical changes needed
by mankind. All this without having to break most of the existing social
relations, except those which the same democratic culture considers unpresentable
Perhaps some of the suggested proposals may be helpful to people when,
one day, the need and the will be felt to get free from the impunity of
factual powers to try new ways.
Watzlawick (1974), «Cambio», Herder, Barcelona, 1985, pp. 41-42.