The tendency of civilization, in politics, goes from personal to institutional power, from absolute to limited, from concentrated to distributed. That inexorable historical current can stop, divert and even go backwards, but it is the sign of human progress. The route of modernity is that of institutionality.

Institutions, whether created and managed by the state or initiated by individuals, are organizations that last over time for the common good and social recognition for the trust they earn. In our country, just as private institutions are recognizable, it is clear that it has cost us much more to develop public institutions.

One of the most significant data of the depersonalized power characteristic of the institutionality, is the overcoming of nepotism which is, as Borja notes, “the preference that a ruler or public official gives to the members of his family in the occupation of public office, state concessions, contracts or in the enjoyment of privileges linked to the administration of the State, with disregard of the merit of other people.” The phenomenon, obviously pre-democratic and even pre-constitutional, dates back to Greek and Roman antiquity, it appeared in the medieval and Renaissance churches and had a classic case in Bonapartism, since Napoleon was once a revolutionary military man, victorious general and emperor of France placed his brothers as kings, José in Spain, Luis in Holland, Jerome in Westphalia, Carolina in Naples and Elisa in Tuscany. In China he is three thousand years old.

A sign of underdevelopment, nepotism implies weak institutions, personal and patrimonial power, and corruption. In Franco’s Spain, a lot of power was attributed to Doña Carmen Polo de Franco and they called the Marquis of Villaverde, Duke Consort of Franco and Grandee of Spain, “El Yernísimo”. Evita became the popular myth that is due to her influence in Peronist Argentina. In socialist Romania Elena Ceausescu, she was Deputy Prime Minister and Vice President of the communist party. But perhaps the harshest case is that of Iraqi Saddam Hussein with a half-brother ambassador to the UN and the other minister of the interior, his cousin commander of the Republican Guard, his son head of intelligence, his two sons-in-law, one minister and the other chief. of the presidential guard

Vestiges of the monarchical or authoritarian past that it is up to the institutionality to overcome, with effective equality before the law.

The entry Institutionalize was first published in Últimas Noticias.


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