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March 2017
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Numbers, Reason and Principles

Numbers, Reason and Principles / Somos

Somos+, Eliecer Avila, 8 March 2017 — Daily, as part of my functions as
leader of Somos+ (We Are More), I meet people who are interested in
knowing the details of the organization. In theory, these people would
become members of Somos+ if there is a sufficient match between their
ideas and the ones we promulgate.

It turns out that often, I prepare to explain our proposals, program,
explain the logical arguments about the need for changes, etc… but the
first question that I ask is, “Come here… and how many are you?”

It never ceases to amaze me, the extreme importance that many people
give to the number of people who adopt an attitude that they then adopt
as their own. I believe their it would be much more worthwhile to
concern ourselves with the number when we acquire some product for our
use or contract for some service between the number of people previously
satisfied by the same offer could be an indicator of its quality.

Instead, when it’s about values, principles, ideologies, justice and
political positions, I don’t believe that the priority should be the
number of people who adopt this or that position.

History abounds with examples in which great multitudes committed the
most terrible and horrible crimes. Were they right? No, but they were
many, many more joined them and the wave became so immense and
unstoppable that opposing it would seem an act of uselessness, masochism
or stupidity.

This overwhelming game between majorities and minorities is preferred by
revolutions, because they establish in advance what is the “good side”
and the “bad side” where people can position themselves, and depending
on that decision their lives will be respected or tainted.

For me, democracy will never be described by the reductionist argument
of “the dictatorship of the majorities,” because this primitive
mentality is the one that always existed and does not necessarily
contemplate a civilized advance that guarantees the peace and the
participation of the whole society in decision-making. Instead, it will
be the “opportunity for minorities” to exist in dignity and to be
represented that would distinguish a democracy.

We should not be afraid to be alone or accompanied by few in the place
that we consider right. If we think that striking a woman is wrong, we
should not hit her to be in tune with the millions of men who do. Or if
we believe that animals should be protected, or that corruption affects
us all, it is legitimate to say it even though there are probably no de
facto crowds chanting in our favor.

It is thanks to the rebels of the past, those who did not care about the
number of their followers, that today we have, around the world, less
violence, machismo, corruption and oppression than in previous centuries.

A political position is above all a right, but it is also a duty, which
should never be exercised by imitation, enthusiasm, or pressure of any
kind. It must be an act of responsibility based on abundant or full
information, the product of a deep and measured analysis, strictly
attached to what we are and what we believe to be just for us, our
families, our nation and for all humanity.

Only in this way will we feel full, happy and secure in expressing our
opinions or taking action both individually and in groups, voluntarily
or remunerated, supported or rejected, blessed or repressed. Learning to
think for oneself is to be free.

Numbers, reason and principles always have been and will be three
different subjects.

Source: Numbers, Reason and Principles / Somos+ – Translating Cuba –

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