February 9, 2021
From The Free

Arcadi Oliveres: Yes, (Capitalism should be destroyed) it has to be done and it is urgent because it is a perverse system that kills lives...

..Yes, utopias must be pursued.

by Sílvia Marimon at .ara.cat .. shared with thanks .. translation thefreeonline Monday.February 8, 2021

Arcadi Oliveras portrayed at home. foto..CRISTINA CALDERER

On Thursday last week Arcadi was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with not much time left and, since then, people keep coming to his house. Gone are the nights in the hospital, where he could not receive visits.

Sant Cugat
Arcadi Oliveres (Barcelona, ​​1945) is spending his last days in the summer house that his grandfather built in Sant Cugat, Barcelona, where he has lived for fifteen years.

When we sit down to talk he shows us the drawings of two of his grandchildren. One has drawn the house and the other his grandfather about to speak in public.

Over the years, Oliveres has given thousands of talks on democracy, refugees, capitalism, a culture of peace, climate change, disarmament, responsible consumption …

“These days are happy days, I feel very loved,” he says. He is always surrounded by his wife, Janine.

Former president of Justice and Peace, president of the International University Foundation for Peace and a member of the Catalan Economic Society, Oliveres has given voice and participated in many social movements. He has received awards such as the Gold Medal for Cultural Merit. He has written his political ideas in several books by Angle Editorial. The latest was released this week: ‘Words of Arcadi. What we have learned from the world and how we can act’.

When he retired as a professor of applied economics at the Autonomous Barcelona University (UAB), he estimated that 17,000 students had passed through his classes. He was never a conventional teacher. Among other things, he taught students how to file an income tax return avoiding paying the 6% that is spent on Defense. This week, many people have left messages on the website that the family has opened, so that everyone who wants to can say goodbye.

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When someone asks him to look back, he says he just read a lot, digested it well, and explained it. That he has had a life full of privileges. He goes on to argue that utopias are necessary, that the world needs to change, and that doing so is not only possible, but also necessary and urgent. He only regrets that perhaps the last utopia will not be possible: to meet his granddaughter, Aila, who will be born in May.


You continue to have a very busy schedule, receiving people these days.

  • Receiving no, loving. I’m lucky that people know and love me. This morning I was telling Janine: these are my last days but they are happy. I’ve had moments of everything in life, some happy and some not so happy, like when my son, Marcel, died. But apart from that loss, I consider myself lucky, I can’t complain. The doctor told me I had between two days and two months left. And I have to take advantage of them. I am enjoying all the conversations.

Your latest book begins with a conversation with your grandchildren. They say you always talk a lot and often tell them that the world is very upset.

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  • Yes, that was the idea of ​​the Sea [Mar Valldeoriola, the publisher with whom he made the book]. Pol and Marc spend some weekends here. Marc, who is the big one, is a very early riser in the morning and when he gets up he reads the newspaper from head to toe. And then we talk about it. Reading the newspaper must be inherited from his grandfather.

In many of your books, there is a phrase you often repeat: you say that utopias must be pursued.

  • Yes, utopias must be pursued. I’ve been introduced to them throughout my life. I took part in struggles during the Franco regime, then during the Transition, in democracy with the 15-M …
  • I was able to live a thousand adventures, not political, but social. I have never wanted to be part of institutional politics, I have never had a political party card. I have done political life on the periphery. In part, family and school have been instrumental.
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Arcadi Oliveras taks in Pineda about military spending ..parla a Pineda de la despesa mili

  • My father was a pacifist and a radical Catalanist. And my mother was a militant of the neighborhood associations. I was also lucky enough to study at the Escolapios, which may now look like a busy school but when I went there it wasn’t. Among other teachers I had Lluís Maria Xirinacs. In 1959 I received Marxism and class struggle classes. I’ve always been very lucky.
  • Xirinacs, the forerunner of peaceful disobedience

As I said before, you have always worked from the other side of politics, never from one political party.

  • Yes, it is the path I have chosen. I don’t like the life of political parties, elections, party pacts …

You often talk about freedom, a complex concept. Sometimes, we are not even aware that we are not free. You have chosen your own path.

  • I have two sisters and two brothers. And the sisters always tell me that in life I have always done what I wanted and that no one has ever forced me to do anything. I am the eldest of five brothers and my father died young. I had to take care of the family. And that gave me absolute freedom.
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What has this life brought you, freedom?

  • Free, free, no one is 100% and less in today’s world, but I’ve been able to do what I love. Since I have never followed any militancy or had ties to political parties or religious groups, I have never been censored. No one has ever told me “you shouldn’t say that” or “you shouldn’t do that.”

You never ”bit your tongue”. You argue that capitalism must be destroyed, that the monarchy is a rotten apple that should never have existed, encourage civil disobedience, say that we live in a democracy that is more apparent than real …

  • I always said what I wanted. More than twenty years ago we campaigned against external debt. We held a referendum and the Electoral Board said it was an illegal referendum. The secretary of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Juan José Asenjo, called me. He forbade me to participate as President of Justice and Peace. I ignored him.
  • I’ve had some legal issues with the tax objection, but I’ve just been fined. During the Franco regime, of course, I was also arrested on one occasion and the Court of Public Order tried me in 1968 for organizing an illegal demonstration, but I was acquitted.
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I remember you once explained that every September 26th you slept badly. It was the night Txiki was shot.

  • Yes, those of us who were part of the campaign against the death penalty met at the headquarters of Justice and Peace. We stayed there until three in the morning. We even called the Vatican, on one last attempt. The next morning we met with the lawyers, Marc Palmés and Magda Oranich. They arrived with their faces dislocated and a few bullets in their hands. On the day of the funeral the police charged against everyone. Since that night, I’ve slept badly every September 26th. … The bullets of the last person shot in Catalonia by the Franco regime

You have participated in many social movements. One of the last was on 15-M movement. Do you think it is still alive?

  • Not as a movement but in the goals. Then came what they called tides (mass movements). The tides of pensioners, educational, solidarity. The campaigns continue.

Do you still think that capitalism should be destroyed and that this is possible?

  • Yes, it has to be done and it is urgent because it is a perverse system that kills lives. We need to change our attitude every day. As consumers we can produce change.

For many years you were a university professor. Is it not uncommon for university professors to be involved in social struggles?.

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  • There have always been teachers who have participated in social struggles but it is a minority struggle. During the dictatorship, those who made the revolution or intended to make it were 10%. And now I think it’s the same. For example, the Bologna Education Plan was launched ten years ago. If we were a hundred teachers, only three protested against it.
  • I guess a lot of interests are mixed in, but I didn’t become a teacher or study economics to make those who are already richer, but to lift the poor out of poverty. The university should be an engine of change, an institution paid for with public money cannot repeat such an unjust socio-economic system. The university should be critical, transformative.

Source: https://www.ara.cat/cultura/arcadi-…

Original en Catalan

Arcadi Oliveres: “Són els meus últims dies però són feliços”

Lunes.8 de febrero de 2021

Sílvia Marimon

Sant Cugat

Arcadi Oliveres (Barcelona, 1945) passa els últims dies a la casa d’estiueig que el seu avi va construir a Sant Cugat, on viu des de fa quinze anys. Quan seiem a parlar ens mostra els dibuixos de dos dels seus nets. L’un ha dibuixat la casa i l’altre el seu avi a punt de parlar en públic. I és que Oliveres al llarg dels anys ha fet milers de xerrades sobre democràcia, refugiats, capitalisme, cultura de la pau, canvi climàtic, desarmament, consum responsable… Dijous de la setmana passada li van diagnosticar un càncer de pàncrees que no li donarà gaire temps de descompte i, des d’aleshores, per casa seva no hi para de passar gent. Enrere han quedat les nits a l’hospital, on no podia rebre visites. “Aquests dies són dies feliços, em sento molt estimat”, diu. A prop sempre hi té la seva dona, la Janine.

Expresident de Justícia i Pau, president de la Fundació Universitària Internacional de la Pau i membre de la Societat Catalana d’Economia, Oliveres ha donat veu i ha participat en molts moviments socials. Ha rebut premis com la Medalla d’Or al Mèrit Cultural. Ha deixat escrites les seves idees polítiques en uns quants llibres d’Angle Editorial. L’últim, justament s’ha publicat aquesta setmana: Paraules d’Arcadi.

Què hem après del món i com podem actuar. Quan es va jubilar com a professor d’economia aplicada a la UAB, va calcular que per les seves classes hi havien passat 17.000 alumnes. No va ser mai un professor convencional. Entre altres coses, ensenyava als estudiants a fer la declaració de la renda evitant pagar el 6% que es dedica a Defensa. Aquesta setmana són molts els que li han deixat missatges a la web que ha obert la família perquè tothom qui vulgui se’n pugui acomiadar.

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Quan algú li demana mirar enrere, diu que simplement s’ha limitat a llegir molt, digerir-ho bé i explicar-ho. Que ha tingut una vida plena de privilegis. Continua defensant que les utopies són necessàries, que el món s’ha de canviar i que fer-ho no és només possible, sinó també necessari i urgent. Tan sols lamenta que potser l’última utopia no serà possible: conèixer la seva neta, l’Aila, que naixerà al maig.

Continua tenint l’agenda molt plena, aquests dies va rebent gent.

— Rebent no, estimant. Tinc la sort que la gent em coneix i m’estima. Aquest matí li deia a la Janine: són els meus últims dies però són feliços. A la vida he tingut moments de tot, alguns de feliços i d’altres no tant, com quan es va morir el meu fill, el Marcel. Però a part d’aquesta pèrdua, em considero un afortunat, no em puc queixar. El metge em va dir que em quedaven entre dos dies i dos mesos. I els he d’aprofitar. Estic gaudint de totes les converses.

El seu últim llibre comença amb una conversa amb els seus nets. Diuen que sempre parla molt i els explica sovint que el món està molt revoltat.

— Sí, això va ser idea de la Mar [Mar Valldeoriola, l’editora amb qui ha fet el llibre]. El Pol i el Marc passen aquí alguns caps de setmana. El Marc, que és el gran, és molt matiner i quan es lleva llegeix el diari de cap a peus. I després en parlem. Això de llegir el diari sí que deu ser herència de l’avi.

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En molts dels seus llibres hi ha una frase que repeteix sovint: diu que s’han de perseguir les utopies.

Sí, s’han de perseguir les utopies. A mi se m’han anat presentant al llarg de la vida. Vaig participar en lluites durant el franquisme, després durant la Transició, en democràcia amb el 15-M… He pogut viure mil aventures, no polítiques, sinó socials. Mai he volgut formar part de la política institucional, no he tingut mai cap carnet de partit polític.

He fet vida política a la perifèria. En part, han estat determinants la família i l’escola. El meu pare era un pacifista i un catalanista radical. I la mare era una militant de les associacions de veïns. Vaig tenir, a més, la sort d’estudiar als Escolapis, que ara pot semblar una escola carca però quan jo vaig anar-hi no ho era. Entre altres professors vaig tenir Lluís Maria Xirinacs. El 1959 vaig rebre classes de marxisme i de lluita de classes. He tingut sempre molta sort.
Xirinacs, el precursor de la desobediència pacífica

Com deia abans, sempre ha treballat des de l’altra política, mai des d’un partit polític.

— Sí, és el camí que he triat. No m’agrada la vida dels partits polítics, de les eleccions, dels pactes de partits…

Parla sovint de la llibertat, un concepte complex. A vegades, ni tan sols som conscients que no som lliures. Vostè ha triat el seu propi camí.

— Tinc dues germanes i dos germans. I les germanes sempre em diuen que a la vida he fet sempre el que he volgut i que mai ningú m’ha obligat a res. Soc el més gran dels cinc germans i el meu pare va morir jove. Em vaig haver de fer càrrec de la família. I això em va donar una absoluta llibertat.

Què li ha aportat aquesta llibertat?

— Lliure, lliure, no ho és ningú al 100% i menys en aquest món actual, però he pogut fer el que m’agrada. Com que no he seguit mai cap militància ni he tingut vincles amb partits polítics ni amb grups religiosos, mai he estat censurat. Mai ningú m’ha dit “això no ho ha de dir” o “això no ho has de fer”.

No s’ha mossegat mai la llengua. Defensa que el capitalisme s’ha de destruir, afirma que la monarquia és una poma podrida que no hauria d’haver existit mai, anima a la desobediència civil, diu que vivim una democràcia més aparent que real…

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— Sempre he dit el que he volgut. Fa més de vint anys vam fer una campanya contra el deute extern. Vam fer un referèndum i la Junta Electoral va dir que era un referèndum il·legal. Em va trucar el secretari de la Conferència Episcopal Espanyola, monsenyor Juan José Asenjo. Em va prohibir que hi participés com a president de Justícia i Pau. No li vaig fer cas.

He tingut alguns problemes jurídics per l’objecció fiscal, però han estat multes. Durant el franquisme, esclar, també em van detenir en alguna ocasió i el Tribunal de Orden Público em va jutjar l’any 1968 per haver organitzat una manifestació il·legal, però em van absoldre.

Recordo que una vegada va explicar que cada 26 de setembre dormia malament. Va ser la nit que van afusellar Txiki.

— Sí, els que formàvem part de la campanya contra la pena de mort ens vam reunir a la seu de Justícia i Pau. Ens hi vam estar fins a les tres de la nit. Fins i tot vam trucar al Vaticà, en un últim intent. L’endemà al matí ens vam trobar amb els seus advocats, el Marc Palmés i la Magda Oranich. Van arribar amb la cara desencaixada i unes quantes bales a la mà. El dia del funeral la policia va carregar contra tothom. Des d’aquella nit, cada 26 de setembre he dormit malament.

Les bales de l’últim afusellat a Catalunya pel franquisme

Ha participat en molts moviments socials. Un dels últims va ser el 15-M. Creu que continua viu?

— No com a moviment però sí en els objectius. Després han vingut allò que han anomenat marees. Les marees dels pensionistes, educatives, solidàries. Les reivindicacions continuen.

Continua pensant que el capitalisme s’ha de destruir i que això és possible?

— Sí, s’ha de fer i és urgent perquè és un sistema pervers que mata vides. Cal anar canviant l’actitud cada dia. Com a consumidors podem produir canvis.

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Durant molts anys va ser professor universitari. No és gaire habitual que els professors universitaris participin en les lluites socials.

— Sempre hi ha hagut professors que han participat en les lluites socials però és una lluita minoritària. Durant la dictadura, qui feia la revolució o pretenia fer-la era un 10%. I ara crec que és igual. Per exemple, ara fa deu anys es va posar en marxa el pla Bolonya.

Si érem cent professors, només tres ens hi vam manifestar en contra. Suposo que s’hi barregen molts interessos però no em vaig fer professor ni vaig estudiar econòmiques per fer més rics els que ja ho són, sinó per treure de la pobresa els més pobres. La universitat hauria de ser un motor de canvi, una institució pagada amb diners públics no pot repetir un sistema socioeconòmic tan injust. La universitat hauria de ser crítica, transformadora.

Font: https://www.ara.cat/cultura/arcadi-…

Source: Thefreeonline.wordpress.com