Authoritarian leaders, progressive leaders

Alexander the Great directly attacked the Persian warlord who fled in fright scattering his army. Hernán Cortés with only five cavalrymen charged Aztec Cihuacóatl, shot him down and his army was dispersed. Tito, the marshal, goes to another life and Yugoslavia split up; Saddam Hussein, eliminated, his people continue fighting among themselves. Franco died and we have become divided again, to this day. Dictatorship produces social fragmentation, because it does not count or it eliminates those who do not share its vision.

The authoritarian leader can unite, for a short moment, opposing forces present in any group, large or small; conflicting intentions, selfishness, forces of cohesion and fragmentation while he lives, then it returns to the previously broken society that was hidden the whole time.

Each brain is settled in its dogmatic fortress, with its beliefs and unshakable opinions, its difficulties to think differently. Therefore, in any group, family, or nation we find all that is human; a gathering of beings equal in emotional ambivalence, with automatic thoughts and actions without question, with love and hatred, with the need to ignore or attack what is different, denying the “sins” of their leaders. This is not going to change present-day democracies, which we left in the hands of characters or emerging movements responsible for the existence of the enemies to vote against it. Emotions are manipulated, people are driven to exploding, confronting and destroying each other. They make us mad, they make us regressive, they see us talking about politics with friends and relatives and they will show ruptures, aggression, discreditation. The need to live in politics based in disqualifications in the absence of programs and deep understanding of what the Nation needs, has permeated society.

The true leader almost predicts the future. They are an integrator, and need everyone. However, the ones we have are going to win elections, piss off and confront people.

There are tactics as old as humanity, to awaken messianic hopes, united by universal Christianity, for planetary revolution, or as a progressive project. Another tactic employed in Spain, every day, is to point out the enemy so that they feel that they are attacked or threatened and join in the discrediting scheme first and foremost until they can reach the annihilation of the “enemy”. Both tactics produce social depression, disenchantment and the people who identify with these issues. The majority of society become disillusioned and depressed.

Now we are “lucky” to have a progressive government. Those of us who are not will be confined by a cordon sanitaire.

The progressive, in declaring himself as such, during these times in Spain has a brutal emotional force, it is a moral accusation, a contempt for those of us who are not. It is used to create guilt, to exclude, it is the narcissus who believes himself to be superior, because of his class, his position, his status or because he is left-wing and progressive. Quite the opposite to the unifying movement that we need.

A good personality assessment is to understand the effect of your language, your expressions, your presence. If we feel, undoubtably, fear or that we are cornered, we are facing a psychopath or a pathological narcissus. In this case, the progressive government, formed by progressives with the claim that places them on the good side, clean, ideal, on the honest side of history, with social programs, with their corresponding obsequiousness, with a good cleaning of street names of those undesirables, they position themselves on the right side. All of this is part of progressivism – not progress. Make a story that confirms their moral superiority that are awarded in its entirety. In such a way that I and my fellow citizens remain on the side of those who need to mark ourselves, or something that differentiates us, since we are right-wing and other epithets less innocent. It is the usual perverse trick, the heretics, the infidels, who unleashed tremendous social forces or the class traitors who ended up on the sidelines.

It has been difficult to reach agreements because they hammer every day stirring up differences, and disqualifications, in the electoral processes, before and after. It lacks the superiority of a pathological narcissist who becomes morally superior.  We have a couple who love each other. But one of them is in love with the other partner’s money.

Elections as a Solution

Now there are more elections and then there will be others in which we are going to remember again that there are good and bad and to divide us, to confront us. Therefore, a disease is being treated with a botched job: elections. They spend their days dividing, disqualifying, ignoring, and sometimes on television inciting division. Their brain, like that of Don Quixote, does not care whether they are sheep or mills; their readings, their left-wing creed, need them to be saviors and giants. Quixote, in his omnipotence and in his literary intoxication, could not but invent enemies of his stature. He is the drug addict of many ideologies.

In this work of undermining to divide us, the electoral results that we have are inevitable. I would say that it is a perverse urge, a need like a heroic knight defending his ideals, without seeing the reality we need, only the one that comes out of his own ideology. We all know that they are in this playpen of people playing cards, while things happen that move us away from the tasks that lie ahead and slow down our development as a People. It is the result of this brain we have: a set of preserved primitive evolutionary experiments, of shoddy jobs, shortcuts and archaisms tending to elude complexity and move forward, we need strong lines, to define enemies, to remain seeing or feeling that we are in correct and other characteristics that I have described earlier. Christian Salmón: “A society driven by half-truths goes straight to the abyss.” There have been many in this electoral campaign, custom-made stories have been created. “Now Spain” for now with the independentistas.

The progressives of Nicaragua seized power and created a state of repression and violence by the government against the population. Another progressive in Colombia divided his country between good and bad. Ecuador has also exploded in the face of the progressive policies of leftist governments; Cuba, Venezuela, a model for some of our young progressives, who have contributed to bring “progress” to the nations mentioned.

José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena 
Specialist in Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis

Repitition (I): Side A

Although not unexpectedly, it is most unusual that cautions and objections to the televised debates of candidates for senators and representatives have to be repeated, like the elections themselves, only six months later.

Already spring of this year saw four electoral calls (general, European, municipal, autonomic) in April and May which provokes an indigestion to the benevolent spectator of this kind of exchange. This time the boredom comes, if perhaps, restrained only by being the shortest campaign, although more disconcerting, since 1977.

A campaign in which there seems to be only one debate, pushed by television like the finale of Eurovision or a clash of the Champions. But the viewer has seen at least five on three different channels and his observations are dictated by all of them. This article does not want to be the only one, but only the first of a series.

With three main criteria: judging on the basis of what (better) candidates should and can do in a debate, the comparison with the performance of their rivals throughout the debate and, finally, the consistency between what they have done in the debate and their rhetorical strategies needed to convey their messages and programs.

Side A

So, although this album is scratched, very scratched, more from failures than successes, has its side A and side B.

On the A side, last night November 4 in Madrid in the Crystal Pavilion of the Casa de Campo in the Television Academy, playing on almost all the channels, the debate was composed entirely of men. These men all displayed traits of alpha males and, as was noted, in the debate the bearded to the hairless (3 to 2), the rights to the left (3 to 2 also) won numerically. There was only one that was ruled out and it was not from the extreme left but from the radical right.

Worse than the debate

Such a leaden or lively perspective was not politically resolved at all. This has been very bad for this occasion, the most counterproductive to remember: the pessimism of the spectator voter does not come from having attended a distribution of fire and ashes in which, however, has been able to move to vote and move the vote, but to a confirmation that, even by voting, given the distribution and division of the options, the blockade, to what it seems, will persist. Something depressing, not because of the debate itself, but because it does not show any governable solution.

However, still in its negative qualities, the debate deployed for a few moments a liveliness that is not negligible and a number of paradoxes greater than that of contestants in the fray.

Liability of verbal formulas

Who talked about governing the “most voted for list?” Casado? No, Sánchez. Who reverted every two times that of the “constitutional order?” Rivera? No, Abascal. Who referred to “the cowardly right”? Abascal? No, Sánchez. Who does not mention the Constitution? Casado? No, Iglesias. Who said “yes, we can?” Iglesias? Yes, and Rivera too!

But Obama said it first, it could be argued … It is notable, though not very important at the moment, I think, that the formulas of American politics now matter to them, Vox, some of whose claims seemed straight out of Trump’s campaign manuals and Bannon (for example, in regard to Bruelas). Already in an earlier debate, Espinosa de los Monteros spoke of “regaining control”, picking up the expression, as misleading as it is effective, of Farage, Gove and Johnson in the badly frayed Brexit process.

It remains for the record, in addition, that Vox has taken out its four main leaders (Abascal, Espinosa Ortega Smith and Monasterio), to engage in debates and their dialectical results have been stimulating for the formation and worthy of a detailed analysis. We will return to it.

Strange methods to stay in office

On the contrary, the painful spectacle of the final part of the debate, in which an acting president of the government refuses to answer, questioned and summarily interrogated by Rivera and Casado and, bordering on the passive-aggressive, does not look up from his papers, doing as he underlines and writes, and leaves the mess going on to other issues, confirms something of concern: Pedro Sánchez lacks speaking ability. Or he didn’t want to exercise it, which isn’t much better. And to a greater extent, it is not worrying as much about what happens in this kind of debates as about the (future) parliamentary activity.

Rivera does not take off the resource of graphic elements and supporting materials, indoctrinating even with the cobblestone, and providing great fun for social networks.

But for that (it also happened to Casado) you have to make sure that the television production will pick it up with the right technique. In the first debate of candidates in RTVE the previous Thursday (October 31), the camera did not focus on the foreground the evidence that some wielded. They neither saw nor read each other. In this, the camera reached them, but the lighting was dazzlingly reflective and hardly anything could be deciphered.

Iglesias came with a formula that was successful in his last appearance: the constructive motion to destructive debate, the virtuous circle. That is why it is misunderstood that his “golden minute” technique was so clumsy, ideal to deconcentrate, or disconcert the recipient of his message, when referring to a particular case, by exemplary that is created, to a dramatic “piece of life ” And that when it had already been seen to fail in that effort, and at that same minute, Irene Montero and Noelia Vera with the same approach (plus the one launched to Florentino Pérez) the previous week.

Casado has refined his ways, but he lacks a winning formula: the one he has is also lacking. At least avoid all errors, surely of character, of its spokesman, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, model in so many things that should not be done in a debate, but this will focus on the next installment.

Pablo Carbajosa

Head of Rhetoric at Proa Comunicación

The Elections, Part One

Our brain has not been built for us, it comes from a series of preserved adaptive successes, modules, parts, systems that come from evolution, which explain why we are the way we are. Moreover, the structure of our brain is common to all animals that have vertebrae. We cannot be so naive that all of the sets of characteristics inherited within the anatomical and functional structure common to all animals with skulls will not participate in who we are. We have no arguments to deny that we are animals. The flat worms at the bottom of the sea had already invented the neurons, this system helps them to coordinate actions.

We have a history that can be traced back 550 million years through the evolution of nervous system components.

The brain is a whole, an inseparable unit: brain, body and environment, present and past, familiar and ancestral, functioning in its three domains in an instantaneous and constant interaction, absolutely inseparable. Within this whole, the mind is formed, although we do not know how.

The brain is predictive, it anticipates: It takes measurements based on its predictions of movements from the senses and from the mind. But with this brain common to all those who have skulls, our predictions and theirs are usually limited to what is just under our noses, to the present. Those hominids of two million years ago, or a million years ago, or forty thousand years ago, were in a hurry, urgent, harassed by day to day, full of dangers, inclement weather, and with a very short life expectancy. That brain remained and serves us currently. That lack of predictive capacity is behind all the addicts, the electoral proposals for this campaign, the lack of prediction of the future of the sedentary, of the fanatics, of the misadjusted. We do not hear our politicians talk about the education that we need for the challenges that await us, nor about climate change, nor about doing, as in any company, an audit on the functioning of bureaucracy, so that it is cheap, efficient, technified and to facilitate the life of the citizen. They and we are watching and analyzing from our groups of so limited belonging all circulating at night with the short lights of this legislature, of our ideology and of our belonging.

Each brain that makes predictions will be influenced by other brains and it will be able to influence others

Principle exploited by marketing with “the new format, the new model, the latest generation, progressive project”. We live with automatisms and internal representations that are going to be the guides of our decisions.

The need to interpret reality with thick strokes in order to be able to decide in that environment of depredation or ephemeral opportunities had to be grasped without delay. And with the addition that the senses do not offer a literal reading of the world, because the brain interprets according to stored contents, seeking that they coincide to save energy. Through all defence mechanisms we maintain our personal construction of the world, our identity, beliefs, phobias and philosophies. From the beginning of evolution, brains were created to decide between black and white; entertaining in details that could cost us our live and we have preserved it in the present mind. They see why simplicities, lies, hoaxes, disqualifications, left- and right-wingers, the powerful that so fascinate some frustrated politician because he has not been able to reach the sky, the facades, or the banks and capitalism. All that amalgam has accompanied us since the beginning of civilization until now and all this arsenal of emotions of the caverns are used as destructive weapons of the coexistence and against the deep and true understanding of facts.

This has weighed us down, because this biological need, passed on to our psychology, places us in a position to simplify, to eliminate good and bad nuances. With very little interest or capacity for the complex that prevents quick decisions. A meeting had to last a few hours in which the party explained its program, this is not done because we do not have mental capacity, nor interest, nor desire to know. We are emotionally in the caves of Altamira, and those needed simple things to get out and live. The changes in nature, in the brains need millions of years to take place, the genes do not vote for any party and in this the progressives continue to deceive us. Basic emotional attitude, we have already said it as a deficiency perfectly exploited by demagogues, slogans, political proposals, persecutions and exclusions. They are successful because we have inside simplified summaries that we use for everything, among others about ourselves and the world around us. The brain compares these summaries with the new that is presented to it with the intention that they coincide and it is not necessary to change of opinion nor of position: I already know this! I already knew that! We are programmed to be paranoid, where did you leave my socks? Create an outside enemy and they will follow you. “Society has…! In my house we always vote for…” “I will vote for this party until I die. Try to blame guilt outside and stimulate our simplicity and we will vote for you. Influenced by simplicity and by finding the culprits of… “The fires in the Canaries have been the fault of capitalism”, a distanced way of destroying and missing the truth, but explainable by my naration.

The brain looks for contrasts that give it a thick outline of simplicity, because the complex does not allow quick decisions and evades extra time that results in waiting that can become an added danger by demanding expensive mental work in terms of energy.

The creation of great categories of functioning through dual thinking…, stayed with us. Thus we already have the basis of electoral propaganda, which will never be the detailed exposition of programs because humans would not concentrate on studying them; and, for the rest, politics must have the emotional characteristics of religion. See North Korea and the efforts of today’s communists to achieve something similar, because Fidel, Maduro and the rest of the group have been left half-hearted.

José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena 
Specialist in Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis

“The State’s Job is to Avoid Historical Deformations for Political Purposes”

The former Minister of Education, Culture, and Sport, José Ignacio Wert, presented his book The Education in Spain, a Pending Subject in Proa Comunicación’s videos celebrating its tenth anniversary. “The state’s job is to avoid historical deformations for political purposes,” he said forcefully when referring to the Catalan social and political conflict. Additionally, he highlights in his book that “the manipulation of textbooks used in Catalonia has been abundant” and this has not only been the work of the nationalist parties, but the Tripartito Government as well.

On the other hand, in relation to the Lomce (organic law to better the quality of education), he wanted to point out that “the lack of implementation of its main objectives is what has prevented a greater improvement in education.” Also, he remined us of the context of the law saying that “the Lomce was passed during impossible fiscal and economic conditions.”

Lastly, he signaled that dropping out of school early is the main problem in Spanish Education, “it surprises me how poor the awareness of this problem is in our country.”

The Drug of Power

Our political leaders are repeating the same news. The mediated dramatism keeping us hostage daily to tighten their negotiations makes the last weeks since the elections seem years. But what happens to these figures when they come into contact with power?

This week Antonio Garrigues released his new poetry book, “Living Loves, Dead Loves.” It was an intimate and meaningful event in which several of his poems were recited. Carlos Rodríguez Brown read the last one, addressed to our political leaders, and as he read it, without realizing it, two tears slid down my cheeks. We all were shocked.

Juan Fernández-Aceytuno, director of the Appraisal Society, asked Mario Alonso Puig and me, “But what happens to these people?” And as if it was a cocktail party in which they were going to interrupt us at any time, the three of us agreed to sum it up: “they lose their way when they come to power.”

The question is why. None of us think that we will lose our way if we are suddenly given the maximum position of responsibility in our organizations, and yet it can happen to anyone. We only realize it “a posteriori,” when we look back and reflect on our own excesses.

I think the easiest way to understand the effect of power is to imagine it as an ocean current of oceanic proportions over which we must flow or surf in some direction. Those who have not had power cannot understand what it feels like to have it. It is like a boy thinking from the sand on the beach about what world surfing champions, who risk their lives at every moment on waves tens meters high, are doing badly. The rush of adrenaline and the physical effort they use are literally life or death.

Directing a country or rubbing shoulders with the global elite of the G20 generates the same effect. On one hand, so much force under our feet dislodges us physically and mentally. Our emotional reactions are so intense that they overflow, and our minds escape to some pleasant place of fantasy. The pressure of the phone, the enormous opportunities that open before us and the terrible blackmails that come to look for us like hungry sharks, burn our skin and take away so much sleep, that our minds escape to a state of self-inflated drunkenness. Same as a line of cocaine (I imagine).

That is why power is a drug, because as it saturates us or drowns us quickly, our minds create a scenario in which we are all-powerful and invincible. It makes us supermen and superwomen who can see from the heavens what is happening down there among mortals. And this, you will find very curious, is basically what victims of violent trauma do when their minds do not know how to face the sensory reality of what is happening to them. They separate from their body and watch the scene from the ceiling.

Power, therefore, pushes us to our maximum limit every moment of every day. It intoxicates us with self-elevating pleasure and enslaves us with its pressure and unpredictable movements, thus discovering, in light of everything, any defect in the form or substance of our personalities.

Learn to surf

So, for example, we have seen how Nicolás Sarkozy strives to appear taller than his super model wife in this week’s Paris Match photos. How can a man with the success and charisma he has still feel self-conscious about his height? Marrying a queen of beauty and Parisian sophistication has raised his status socially, but in doing so he subjected himself to the scrutiny of his own self-conscious gaze. Nobody cares about Sarkozy’s height more than Sarkozy.

The more power, the stronger the wave we must surf. And it is easier to dislodge ourselves, lose out footing, or even fall suddenly from our brand-new Buzz Lightyear presidents table: “To infinity and beyond!” aviator glasses, Falcon pose and everything.

The challenge is, therefore, in learning to surf the wave of power without fading out, without saturating ourselves, and without letting ourselves be drowned by the intensity of the emotions from a position of maximum influence. The years of experience with all their troubles, deceptions and failures help a lot. If you do crazy things for love, you also end up doing them to stay in power.

Like a crush that is too intense, there is no bigger disappointment than to suddenly recover sobriety and realize all the stupid and/or terrible things that you have done in order to win the duel of guns at any cost. And if you suffer several disappointments, each time you lose less in your fantasies, learning over the years to accept the reality.

Giving advice to the oceanic surfers of the G20, here from the disembodied beach of executive coaching in a country very resistant to self-questioning, I can only say one thing: everything that you invest in personal growth will prepare you to surf big and complex waves. Coaching-the thing that questions us and makes us see new things; not that of praise and promise of solving the problem – practicing meditation and mindfulness to better manage our own reactions and emotions, returning regularly to spaces of reflection, are the tools that work.

Surfing is learned by surfing. If you analyze how you failed every time you get off the board, you will improve your way of catching the waves. Without miracles or magic, but with effort and time. The one who always knows how to look in the mirror and find points to improve on ends up flowing with authentic tsunamis of power without clinging or hanging onto them. And these influential surfing champions are those leaders who impact with their vision and serve their hearts.


Pino Bethencourt 
Coach and founder of Club Comprometidos

Times Keep Changing

The spur that has infected our lives has also infiltrated politics. One month in the 21st century is much more than a year of the twentieth century, and a year equals a decade. While the no-confidence motion that sprung Pedro Sánchez into power from the hands of a heterogeneous group of collaborators still seems to fit within the story, the picture that came out on May 26 renders old, in a very short time, the snapshot of the election results from last April.

Less than a month ago, the PSOE achieved a broad but weak parliamentary majority, Vox entered with unprecedent strength in the Spanish political scene and Ciudadanos claimed a place at the table of the elders, and many rushed to proclaim Rivera the leader of the opposition. Little remains of all that, as the election results of yesterday redrew a political map that few dared to predict less than a month ago.

The most striking change is related to the People’s Party (PP), which many rushed to bury in April. In a single month the PP improved between 4 and 6 percentage points of the vote (between 400,000 and one million more votes in European and municipal elections), surpassing in both elections the symbolic barrier of 20%. Despite obtaining worse results than in 2015, with more than 20,000 councilors throughout Spain the PP is now able to win governments in more provincial capitals (23) and in more major cities (45 of more than 50,000 inhabitants), including the Community of Madrid and the capital of Spain. In addition, the government has leverage forms part of the ruling coalition in four autonomous communities (which would include Galicia and Andalusia), almost half of the Spanish population, also having the Government of Navarre within its reach to subdue the socialists, thanks to its alliance with Ciudadanos and the UPN.

The elections of this past Sunday show that the only alternative to the PSOE in all of Spain is the PP.  Its difference with Ciudadanos reaches between 2 and 3 million votes (depending on which national election you choose). Vox has lost between a half and two thirds of its votes and the PP is the alternative to the PSOE government in all provinces and in all provincial capitals of Spain.

Beyond maintaining territorial power, these results have an essential strategic consequence, by putting Ciudadanos at a strategic crossroads that can determine its political future: to become a fringe party which installs and removes governments, or despite the results, continue working to lead the opposition even within these next four years.

Hold no doubts, however, for in the next few months everything can change again.

Rafa Rubio 
Expert in Political Communication

José Luis Martínez-Almeida, PP Candidate for Mayor of Madrid to Participate in the PROA Comunicación Observatories

José Luis Martínez Almeida, spokesperson of the PP (People’s Party/Partido Popular) and PP candidate for Mayor of Madrid, will participate in a new edition of the PROA Communicación Observatories entitled ‘Recovering Madrid for everyone’. The Observatory will be held on Friday, May 8, 2019, at 09:00AM at the Wellington Hotel (c/Velázquez, 8).

José Luis was born in Madrid in 1975. He holds a Law Degree from the Comillas Pontificial University (ICAI-ICADE) and has been a State Attorney since 2001. He has worked in Girona, Toledo and Madrid. His career as a lawyer of the State is extensive, particularly before the Social Courts and in the Administrative Chamber.

In 2007 he was inaugurated as General Director of Historic Heritage of the Community of Madrid until 2011. Between 2011 and 2013 he was Secretary-General of the Governing Council of the Autonomous Community of Madrid later becoming Secretary-General of the Board of Directors of SEPI Desarrollo Empresarial (SEPIDES), a group of companies owned by the government holding company SEPI, from September 2013 to April 2014, also assuming leadership of its Legal Advising Department.

In April 2014, he was appointed by consensus of the Council of Ministers as Director of the Institutional Legal Division of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility.

After the 2015 Municipal and Autonomous Elections he took office as Councilor of PP’s Municipal Group and on April 28, 2017 he was elected as Spokesperson of the Municipal branch of his party, a position he currently holds. On January 13, 2019, he was nominated by his party as the Candidate for Mayor of Madrid. His hobbies include golf and an avid passion for Atlético de Madrid.

Ana Sánchez de la Nieta: “The Internet and new technologies caught the Media by surprise”

The editor of “Conversaciones con,” Ana Sánchez de la Nieta, believes that the Internet and new technologies do not imply a decline in the quality of journalism that is done today, but rather are tools that provide abundant opportunities and possibilities media professionals. This is one of the insights that Sánchez de la Nieta shared during her discussion at the Proa Comunicación Observatory


During the meeting, the journalist evaluated her professional career, pointing out some changes that have taken place in the profession, now more deteriorated than ever, especially by how precarious a journalist’s position has become. Such a disruption is also observed through the daily work of professionals, who practice their occupations on many occasions without sufficient means, and through the media which has seen how the Internet and social media had disrupted the conventional model of news production and how this revolution has caught them completely by surprise.


On social media, Sánchez de la Nieta emphasizes how it is the best way to “receive feedback” from users in real time. She recognizes how much fake news circulates through these platforms, but for this very reason it is essential that the journalist assumes his/her essential task of checking and verifying the validity and authenticity of information that is diffused through the media.