October 8, 1980

Recently I have been reconnecting with my friends who were Peronists before the coup. For many years politics had driven a wedge between us. I have never been a Leftist. Immediately after the coup, I had been relieved, my friends were concerned and skeptical of the new regime. I assumed the best intentions of the Junta, so it was difficult for me to believe some of the early stories. Of course, eventually, the violence became undeniable. For me, the scale of the repression diminishes the importance of political orientation. Some of my old friends still bear a grudge against the person that I was before the Junta. Since I criticized the Peronists and praised the free market they believe that I am in some way compliant with this brutal reality that we are now living in. To me, the repression eliminates political distinctions. The axis of Left and right is inadequate when we are actually seeing an axis of humanity and inhumanity. Regardless of any sympathy I may have with the economic orientation of the regime, it is not difficult for me to distinguish between myself and the regime. The critical difference is my regard for human life. My belief in human rights defines me, my political orientation does not. At the University I believed it was more significant, and sometimes political arguments I had with friends became personal ones. The heartlessness of the regime has granted me a greater moral clarity. All of us who are repressed and attacked but remain compassionate and empathetic are engaged in a struggle with violent oppressors. That is what politics means in 1980.

1 thought on “October 8, 1980

  1. ssvolk says:

    At the end of the day, it is this moral orientation, and not one’s political affiliations, that are most important.

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