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Reform the Constitution?

2023-06-02T09:22:33.789Z

Highlights: The rule of law is the master key for a serious Argentina and not one of cotillion. It is a very serious mistake to install that the solution to our endemic ills is reduced to replacing the Constitution. Let's start by respecting it and then think about changing it.Bernardo Saravia Frías is a lawyer and former Attorney General of the Treasury of the Nation. He says the problem is not a question of changing the Constitution but of complying with it. He claims a philosophy of the everyday, based on one of the most beautiful concepts that is that of habit.


Reform the Constitution?


A problem, by definition, is not true or false; It is right or wrong. And, as Bergson said, when it is well posed it is a solved problem. The reverse can be a catastrophe or a waste of time.

In Argentine politics the logic of impostures replaced the logic of sanity and action. The cause is that the problems are badly posed and, therefore, invite us to follow a path of illusion, which is much worse than that of error, because it creates an ephemeral hope that leads back to the beginning, but in worse conditions, by the shame of the victim of deception.

The most serious thing is that a rivalry for the absurd has been installed from the extremes, ranging from vanity to whining, both wanting to replace the system. They all sponsor magical tangents that forget something fundamental to the system: the law. From those who propose to dollarize and abolish the Central Bank, to those who adopt ridiculous measures such as controlling prices with Stalinist force or taking international financing under opaque conditions, predictably because of the inexplicable. What is at the heart is the constant and blatant violation of the National Constitution.

At this point it is easy to argue that it is a demodé formalism. That great difficulties require great solutions, even at the expense of the law, which is nothing more than instrumental. And here comes the best of the argument: the Constitution must be reformed. For some because it is a device of domination of the nineteenth century that limits, among other things, the maneuvers in ongoing judicial processes; for others because it constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to campaign speeches impracticable in a government.

In both cases nests the dream that one must govern with the legitimacy of the people, bypassing the institutions, to the blow of popular consultations, referendums and why not, polls. Line inaugurated by Napoleon's nephew, called "the little one", with decisionism and direct democracy as foundations, we know how and where it ended, starting with Germany and Italy in the mid-twentieth century.

And this is where you see the bad posing of the problem in all its dimension. It is not a question of changing the Constitution but of complying with it. It is worth remembering Hume and English empiricism: it claims a philosophy of the everyday, based on one of the most beautiful concepts that is that of habit.

What in law is known as custom, the cornerstone of any legal system, because it is what gives it validity. It is understandable why it is no coincidence that the English Magna Carta of 1215 is the foundation of Western constitutionalism: from then until then it is limited to power from a fundamental norm, adapting with jurisprudence and legislative action.

That is what we need to get out of the situation of rupture: to build the belief of a possible country from habit, from respect for the law. It is a very serious mistake to install that the solution to our endemic ills is reduced to replacing the Constitution and not to complying with it. Let's start by respecting it and then think about changing it. The rule of law is the master key for a serious Argentina and not one of cotillion.

Bernardo Saravia Frías is a lawyer. Former Attorney General of the Treasury of the Nation.

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-06-02

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