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Who destroys and why?


by Christian Antoine 
Journalist / Academic 

  A social network user said it a few days ago: “What we had in Balmaceda Park . What we have today. We need to rebuild and for that we must eradicate violence without a goal. And no, it's not factual. It is civilization against barbarism . Bring the city back to life”. The photo that accompanied his post was quite eloquent.

   It is not just about destroying statues and defacing monuments. What we have seen is a direct attack on the city and what it represents. It is the city that is in danger. I am not referring to a particular city, but to its idea as a step towards civilization.

And no, it's not factual. It is civilization against barbarism.

   A reflection on the contribution of culture to the quality of life of city dwellers might seem redundant. This is because by all accounts it seems quite evident, and therefore it would not require further verification, the collective benefits that being able to access the enjoyment and enjoyment of the goods produced by the development of human talent brings to the community. It is undeniable that culture and the arts, by extension, generate a type of social good valued collectively and that is seen as desirable to achieve in the understanding of a society concerned with human development and social progress. From there comes its consideration as an essential human right and the justification that states find for the maintenance, charged to general treasury taxes, of museums, libraries, archives, cultural centers, theater companies, orchestras, film studios, etc. publishers and all other variations that could be found in the category of organizations producing cultural goods and services.

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   Quality of life is a phenomenon that today is conceived as a post-material value, a product of overcoming the basic needs of people and the transition to a society that increasingly yearns for the satisfaction of needs tending to esteem, social valuation and, in general, definitive as proposed by A. Maslow (1972), to human self-realization.
This social phenomenon is rooted in modern societies, but without a doubt, it has found its greatest hold in current societies.

   In the latter -highly complex societies- the concept of quality of life, in addition to clinging to the collective imagination and frequently used in everyday conversations, is manifested as a desired good, the condition that most citizens would like to be deposited. Even the concept is used as a synonym for well-being and happiness.


Who does not agree with these ideas? To whom, if not someone animated by incurable resentment, finds the well-disposed, livable, harmonious city offensive, repugnant and oppressive?


We have here a problem of profound implications. But more serious is the silence of those called to protect it, to study it and maintain it. Why does it seem that there is no one in the mayor's offices, governor's offices, school of architecture, association of architects, etc, campaigning for resources to be allocated to recover the damage that our cities have suffered?



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