CULTURA

Reseña: “La llamada de la tribu” de Mario Vargas Llosa

Alfaguara, 2018.312 pp. S/.69

Escribe: Fernando Fernández

De vez en cuando, se percibe una voz brotando de los más profundo buscando silenciar nuestra razón para invitarnos a perseguir utopías. Se trata de una llamada para volver a ese estado primitivo, original, paradisiaco, previo a la formación de la civilización. La denominada llamada de la tribu. En su libro más reciente, Vargas Llosa, apoyado en siete intelectuales, nos ofrece ideas para resistir y oponerse a ella.

El ensayo está conformado por ocho capítulos. El primero tiene un tono auto-biográfico, donde el autor describe la trayectoria de su propio pensamiento el cual servirá de base para introducirnos en las ideas principales de los pensadores que influyeron en su “conversión” al liberalismo. Así, el libro puede entenderse como un conjunto de clases, donde Vargas Llosa ejerce de profesor y  el lector fungirá de alumno,  asistiendo a las clases de este narrador-profesor, el cual expondrá las ideas de Adam Smith,  José Ortega y Gasset,  Friedrich von Hayek, Karl Popper, Raymond Aron, Isaiah Berlin y Jean-Francois Revel.

El tema central del libro es la influencia de la libertad y la historia para el progreso social. En un extremo, están las personas que piensan que la libertad no juega ningún rol. Son quienes otorgan un peso absoluto a la historia, al pasado. Esta historia es una suerte de fuerza física e impersonal que actúa cual gravedad y determina mecánicamente el presente y futuro. Así, el progreso solamente se alcanza mediante grandes revoluciones. La revolución es vista como el único escape a la dictadura del pasado. Un mejor futuro solo es posible rompiendo radicalmente con las estructuras del pasado. A esta visión, Popper la clasifica como “historicismo”.

Vargas Llosa y estos siete intelectuales rechazan dicha posición extrema. Todos reconocen que el pasado influye en nuestro presente pero coinciden en proporcionarle una mayor importancia a la libertad de los individuos. De esta manera, reconociendo la importancia de la historia pero sin excluir la relevancia de otros factores, como la iniciativa personal (no siempre racional), el camino hacia el progreso consiste en reformas graduales, donde se van introduciendo mejoras de manera paulatina.

Más allá del liberalismo, el mensaje central de esta obra es que no somos plenamente conscientes del poder de las ideas. Tendemos a subestimar su influencia sobre nuestras decisiones cotidianas así como en las más importantes.  Y para tener mejor conciencia de ellas, se puede seguir un consejo que ofrece Berlin: leer a tus rivales. Leer a los que piensan diferente a uno,  ayudará a conocer mejor tus propias ideas, a identificar sus puntos fuertes y débiles.

Vargas Llosa,  destaca al presentar con claridad los aciertos de cada pensador, mas no así al momento de señalar sus desaciertos, aspectos débiles o fallidos (especialmente con Hayek).  Y si bien se mencionan anécdotas y detalles curiosos sobre las vidas de estos intelectuales, estos detalles biográficos aportan poco  y parecen justificar su presencia como una búsqueda por hacer más ligera la lectura del libro.

Sin embargo, el aspecto que más desconcierta del libro es la falta de un capítulo de conclusión. Es difícil imaginar que esto se trate de un error. Para explicar la falta de una conclusión, se me ocurren dos hipótesis (no excluyentes entre sí). La primera es que la ausencia de una conclusión simboliza el hecho de que el pensamiento de Vargas Llosa no ha terminado de evolucionar. La segunda es que, al no tener final, el lector va a sentirse impulsado a buscar ese final en otros libros. En mi caso, ese impulso me ha llevado a conseguir libros de Raymond Aron (“El opio de los intelectuales”) e Isaiah Berlin (“El erizo y el zorro”). Si esta hipótesis fuera cierta, entonces Vargas Llosa es de esos pocos profesores que te plantea un tema, te involucra y te impulsa a profundizar.

Sobre Fernando Fernández
Economista de 30 años, nacido en Lima. Después de vivir en Barcelona, Washington DC, Londres y Paris, ha vuelto al Perú para dedicarse a producir investigaciones académicos y disfrutar buena literatura. Aficionado a la fotografía de la naturaleza.

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