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Let’s Talk About Politics

All living creatures, and even some viruses, live, like us humans, in groups. We are able to refer to you by your individual identity and we can think. But we all have experiences that according to the group in which we exist, aspects, resources, qualities and even defects that are set in motion, which individually or in pairs do not appear. The politicians of these inauguration sessions, if we think about it, I think it is clear that they have been subjected to group dynamics, large groups or couples, with clear and latent dynamics.

When we are in a group we can enter into regression, for example, groups with messianic or righteous expectations, resorting to excite simple emotions without doubts, with saving certainty. Or we can be in groups who live in a moral superiority, which is like being healthy in a leprosarium, or formerly in a tuberculosis sanatorium, hygiene must be a priority in the danger of obvious contagion. And they launch the cordon sanitaire. I become stubborn, I defend myself with the maximum ferocity, even if I do not know very well who I am and my place is not well defined, I fear losing what little I know, I need not one but many barriers. The left must be aware that it does not have much space to be recognized with ideological presuppositions of the last century, especially now with the globalization of nonsense, of the news, of the economy, of the way of dressing. They should have talked about how our future is going to be fixed as we grow in complexity and yet they continued with their rattle, with their short vision of left and right, as insults: The rights, the right wing! The image of a degraded mother projected to her working language of demolition and activation of archaic emotions of the jungle.

Attack group is one of the definitions of this type of group. Attack group, dependent group, faithful group. These dynamics have something in common, their members are trapped by simple, archaic, survival emotions, attacked solely for what they project to those on the outside. Attacked by the power of others, which destroys anyone’s desire for it, with the sole purpose to impose their ideological superiority. Well, in that aspect the beloved group functions like a herds of animals, fighting for territory, imposing an alpha male etc. To summarize: it does not fit in their minds that we all have partial truths, truths limited by our beliefs or specialties, so to know, analyze and solve complex issues, we need the partial visions of everything and that would be what we call task groups, or working: democratic groups. And for this task few human beings can lead this group.

The Prefrontal Brain 

It is followed in hospitals, when two Siamese twins are being separated for eight hours, in which doctors and other staff take turns, each one focused and contributing their knowledge. That is the work group, all in a similar state of mind aware of their identity and working for those who pay them their salaries, the citizen, the citizens in this case. This is how you work in hospitals, in high science groups, because they live in the reality that without the task group, nothing complex can be undertaken. A nation is in the highest degree, and this one, ours, where politicians, like all citizens, are unable to agree to form macro-cooperatives, to understand what is happening in the countryside, which one of our diseases will afflict us, the lack of science, research, role models for youth, in short, hundreds of issues that should have been put on the table and discussed with the partial vision of each group to coordinate a global response.

Politicians may be not be conscious of these strategies, and of course I do not even think they have been trained in group work techniques, and the consequence is what we have seen in the Chamber, subgroups, each with its dynamics and in turn in a group dynamic big. It was a situation of mutual barriers that occur when our mind has been tied to a particular group dynamic, which can only see what happens here and now. What endangers my narcissistic belief, my personal and collective ego. Emotions slow the functioning of what we have in the brain, they are exclusively human, the rest, the prefrontal brain, is equal to all the bugs that fly or walk.

Those of us who have been doing group therapy for fifty years, large groups in companies, group dynamics of whole families and couples therapy perceive, feel, understand and see how intricate it is to lead one of these groups and the enormous amount of detail that escapes us. One brain alone, even as a trained therapist, I don’t think I can see too much what is happening in a group. That is why we resort to observer help with members of the group itself when there are no colleagues on hand to do co-therapy. In this case, we are the citizens, the media, which we observe the situation, in this case, to be quite desolate.

When you are in a group your vision shrinks, you stop seeing the contour and everything you feel, see and act shows that your mind is intoxicated and that you see very little of what happens outside your group. We see it every day when a reporter tells us, microphone in hand, about the terrible hail storm, but we do not see that field, in this case thousands of hectares of shattered Rioja vineyards. A new concert opens in town and the reporter, talks to a neighbor who gives his impressions of this new orchestra, but we are left wanting to listen to it, flooded in a talk in which the reporter must justify his presence at the event. We don’t want to hear from him but rather the music of this new band. The machinery fair: another reporter with the same routine, and we want to see the exhibition. These examples mean that we are very limited when we see things from our ideology, group, belonging and affiliation, from our formation, our party or our professional specialty, and the television network broadcasting.

That has to do with the debate of some gentlemen who, when sitting in the Chamber, have forgotten what they are there for, have won their position by the delegated vote of citizens and have forgotten it. Now he devotes himself to his dynamics. They no longer see what happens outside, in the villages, to the laborious civilian, in Europe, in the world, the threats of an arthritic and bureaucratic Europe, which will be surrounded by research, science, commerce, planning long term from China, India and some others. All of that disappeared from the voters when deciding their vote and now, in the seats of the Chamber that are there because we have worried for months until we limited our minds into functions that do not go beyond three years of age. For the infant, the future does not exist, and parents are still as idealized and holy gods. As the voters of those gentlemen who are dogmatically clear that society needs a deployment of social engineers, people to people, brain to brain, where they have to erase any idea or belief that competes with their messianic and dogmatic proposal.

The Emotion Factory and Other Components

Every living being has a genetic program: survive and repopulate. But as humans it is complicated, because development is usually not as perfect and more complicated than other species, we are half finished in many aspects, and we have to complete, plug, rebuild, repair and finish off our vital infrastructure that, in general, is not finished

Here comes what we choose. Many choose a profession that has to do with these deficiencies. Many politicians, I believe that always the dogmatists, extremists and messianic, have chosen this profession as a means of repairing, rebuilding these deficiencies and deficits of education in the very first years. Well, to the extent that someone has not finished their development, they need to join a group that ends it, or at least sustains their weaknesses, plug their doubts. If you have many, you need dogmas, wholeness. They are the membership groups that need to project and even attack those outside sets of aspects that their structural weaknesses cannot support and create attack groups for what has been externalized.

On the other hand, family and school education has ignored the need for everyone to recognize within themselves what drives them, motivates them and keeps them tied to an addiction, to an affiliation, why they have chosen a certain vital destiny. We conduct ourselves as if there is not a whole enormity of structures under the modern cortices of our brain, which, in all types of brains, are the factory of emotions, instincts, pleasure, aggression, and other components necessary for organisms to live . This could be summed up by saying that 80% of the brain is made up of processes below consciousness. This says anatomy and neuroscience, and we, as a collective culture, deny it, we do not believe that the unconscious exists. Although as seen in the inauguration debate, almost everyone tried to excite us and put us in an emotional state that tends to remain closed and decide our votes against someone. This is how we want our team to score goals, and we are “del Betis manque pierda,” the saying of the Andalusian football club, Betis, meaning we are “with Betis despite the loss.”

All the groups that have been created for something are enrolled in intra-group dynamics and have often forgotten what they were founded for. In this case, we did not appear as a nation, but as a project, there was no talk but “policies” that can excite our emotions as spectators. By the way, the Sixth closed emission to Abascal’s first sentence, a magnificent definition of his ideology.

Our representatives do not know, I believe, of the scientific existence of the unconscious, but their intuition guides them correctly to do, stop doing, say or show what fragments us, divides and festers. Very accurate to, as it is disturbing, our mental health!


 

José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena 
Specialist in Psychology and Psychoanalysis

Round Two: More of the Same?

It would’ve been a lot to hope, and even riskier yet to believe, in innovations of rhetoric and technique by politicians running for this second electoral round. There was, however, room for improvement, yet this potential to change for the better rather took a turn for the worse, especially when aggressive norms and ways played out abundantly and were not set aside.

The difference would’ve come rather from the varied scope of these elections: from the most distant to the closest, from Brussels and Strasbourg, to the autonomous communities, to the cities and into the towns and villages themselves. To which, in spite of everything, was largely absent of the murderous pressure hailing from the preceding general elections. Presently, we’ve seen debates (such as those of the European elections) of up to nine speakers, a number that makes quite a crowd in this context and a purgatory for any communication advisor. To stand out among so many, identify the potential voter and be identified by the electorate alike to communicate just a glimpse of a message already seems like a fairly remarkable achievement.

But our observations should go, with everything, accompanied by two caveats. First, the observable sample has been limited by the author to the televised debates in Madrid (city and region) and Barcelona, in addition to those corresponding to the European elections. On the other hand, we don’t want, and it would be a mistake, to establish correlations between communication strategies and the results obtained. At a glance, this would set off into uncharted waters.

With regards to the first, it can only be said that although you can see a tenth of an iceberg, even when the part underwater remains out of sight, you can pretty much what it’s like: everything is ice, more of the same. Without meaning to disparage other cities and provinces, it’s unlikely that we’ve missed something particularly good or striking by not seeing more debates elsewhere.

On the other hand, we’ve witnessed more than unusual incidents. Let’s say, for instance, something as funny as the debate between the candidates for the Presidency of the Community of Madrid organized by the SER and El País, in which the PP candidate Diaz Ayuso wasn’t present, but Errejón was (without hindrances from the Electoral Board). PP’s track record in the last legislature was discussed abundantly with its own representative absent, while among the audience sat none other than the preceding Community President, Ángel Garrido, now having crossed over to Ciudadanos with both ammunition and baggage. Boy, who can trump that!

No less eventful was the debate between the candidates running for the mayor’s office in the capital, , this time on TeleMadrid, in which the main contestant, Carmena, portrayed a persona much less charismatic and majestic as she renounced in an almost orthodox fashion any chance to discuss anything in detail, as if above good and evil.

Anti-communism is Immortal

But getting into the substance of the matter, the most suspenseful aspect, the one test to pass (except for the smartest of the class, and they are few), in practice is still the golden minute, how to successfully take advantage of that final minute. We’ve seen these sixty seconds – and they can get very long indeed – shaky, confused, perplexed, helpless.

Ciudadanos has also been notably stubborn in its abuse of visual elements. Once again with the photos, posters, graphics, and a real-life ridicule for Silvia Saavedra, Begoña Villacís’ substitute in the TeleMadrid mayoral debates. With cartoonish edges, very exploited by social media was that tilted Lenin, lying down like his own mummy, seeming to prove that although communism may be dying, anti-communism, on the other hand, is immortal.

And yet it was Ciudadanos, through the words of Luis Garicano, which highlighted the most noteworthy novelty, and even better, a truthful declaration and not pure invention nor imagination: the revelation that nationalist parties’ complete coalitions are not shown completely on the ballots, instead only including candidates and parties pertaining to the specific autonomous community to which the ballot is designated, using this omission to deceive and conceal true alliances and therefore intentions in front of eventual voters.

And the third act, in theatrical terms (or the third round, alluding to sportive heritage)? What can we fear? The continuity will no longer pertain to the campaigns, but to legislatures themselves. It would be desirable, at least if we want political communication strategies to make the difference, or a difference, that party leaders should study these recent campaigns, and apply to remedy the worst of them. Not only pro bono for our sake, but also to revive the life they take as their own: politics.


                   

Pablo Carbajosa 

Officer responsible for the Public Speaking and Effective Writing Areas of Proa Comunicación and coordinator of the Debate Club at the Comillas Pontifical University of Madrid

Grand Reception of Proa Comunicación’s first 10-year Anniversary Observatory

The first observatory of the year celebrated the tenth anniversary of Proa Comunicación, presenting the Secretary-General of the Vox political party, Javier Ortega Smith, as keynote speaker.  The recent observatory has been remarkably well received by the public. Almost a hundred attendees gathered at the Club Financiero Génova in Madrid to listen to Ortega Smith, delivered a speech entitled “Defending Spain in the Courts” and in which he elaborated on some of the proposals his party has on various issues.

Javier Ortega is a lawyer by education, having graduated in Law from the University of Alcalá with complementary studies at ICADE´s Faculty of Law. He was the head of legal affairs of the Foundation for the Defense of the Spanish Nation (DENAES) and is also a former soldier, having served in the Special Operations Corps of the Spanish Army (COES).

Apart from being a mountaineer, he is also a diver, a swimmer and a karateka, the latter recently used to describe his position as “the kingmaker” in the Andalusian Parliament in efforts to expel Susana Díaz, due to the newly acquired leverage Vox gained from the last regional elections.

But undoubtedly Ortega now spends most of his time fulfilling his duties as the Secretary General of Vox, also leading the popular lawsuit against the coup leaders of Catalonia in the Spanish Supreme Court.

The Proa Observatories are discussion forums complemented by the participation of prominent executives, politicians and professionals.  They were enacted with the purpose of becoming a laboratory of ideas, where genuine dialogue is fostered to debate current business issues as well as discuss corporate reputation, branding and public relations as important elements for businesses to improve and succeed.

Among the distinguished guests who have participated in these forums are economist Manuel Conthe, President of Red Eléctrica Spain Jordi Sevilla, former Minister of Education, Culture and Sport José Ignacio Wert, writers Pablo D’Ors and Pilar Urbano, Director of External Communication at Deloitte Antonio Belmonte, Director of Communication and Institutional Relations at El Corte Inglés José Luis González-Besada, the High Comissioner for the Spanish Brand Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, Director General of the OJD Manuel Sala and IESE Professor Yago de la Cierva.