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The right to dream

Human Rights

© Colin Robson

Who knows how the world will be in 2025! But one thing is certain: if we are still around, all of us will be people of the last century.

However, although we cannot divine the world that will be, we can well imagine the one we would like there to be. The right to dream does not figure in the 30 human rights which the United Nations proclaimed at the end of 1948. But if it were not for this, or for the waters it gives us to drink, the other rights would die of thirst.

Allow me, readers, the madness of inventing the future. The world that is upside down dreams that it lands on its feet:

In the streets, cars will be run-over by dogs.

The air will be free of all the poisons of machines, and there will be no other contamination than that which issues from human fear and human passions.

The television set will stop being the most important member of the family and will be treated like the ironing board or the washing machine.

The boys who don’t want to do military service will not be arrested – those who do will.

People will work to live, not live to work.

No illness will be called mortal, because life itself is mortal.

Economists will not confuse the standard of living with the level of consumption, nor the quality of life with the quantity of things.

Historians will not believe that countries enjoy being invaded.

Politicians will not believe that the poor enjoy eating shit.

Cooks will not believe that lobsters delight in being boiled alive.

Street kids won’t be treated like rubbish, because there won’t be street kids.

Rich kids will not be treated like money, because there won’t be rich kids.

Education will not be the privilege of those who can pay for it.

Police repression will not be the curse of those who cannot buy it.

There will be no ‘legitimate’ offspring and ‘natural’ offspring, because we are all natural.

A black woman will be President of Brazil and another black woman will be President of the United States of America. An Indian woman will govern Guatemala; another will govern Peru.

In Argentina, the crazy women of the Plaza de Mayo will be exemplars of mental health , because they refused to forget in times of amnesia.

The Holy Mother Church will correct a few of the Lord’s mistakes. The sixth commandment, which prohibits the pleasures of sex, will demand: ‘Celebrate the body’. The ninth, which mistrusts desire, will declare it sacred.

The Church will also dictate an eleventh commandment, which God forgot: ‘You will love Nature, to which you belong’.

The ardent man will not be a champion, and the ardent woman will not be a whore, for no-one in the world will be turned off.

Uruguayan poet-historian Eduardo Galeano has written several classics including The Open Veins of Latin America and Memory of Fire. This article first appeared in our July 1995 issue.

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