free expression. Democratic essence | Always!

This last June 27 we celebrate the sixty-ninth anniversary of Always! Mexican presence, the weekly founded by José Pagés Llergo to affirm freedom of expression as a bastion of democracy, a modern form of exercising public power subject to values, principles and norms. Under the idea of ​​making the exercise of freedom the essential vehicle for its survival and flourishing, a journalistic space emerged for the expression of plural thought with no more constraint than the ethical responsibility for what is written and published.

A photograph and its implications for the collective imagination of the Nation meant that our founder’s resignation from El Mañana was the motivation to broaden free expression and critical reflection in Mexican society at that time -just a few years after the waist of the past century -, for the benefit of times to come.

By safeguarding and guarding freedom of expression and freedom of the press for journalists who made possible the birth of Always!protected and guaranteed the exercise of those rights for future generations of communicators and their contribution to informed thought and deliberation that nurture democratic coexistence in our country.

If the modern State is the political formation committed to the organization of the public power of the community through balanced attention to the values ​​of freedom, equality and justice, the effective possibility of thinking based on access to information and knowledge about ideas and facts, the right to make this thought public and to do so without subjecting the will to more than one’s own conscience, are the essential means to ensure the authentic practice of these values ​​in society and in the face of power.

In the world of freedoms and the rights of people, it cannot be said that one or the other competes, or that one or the other precedes the others. We know that they are interdependent and progressively expanding because human dignity will always drive their expansion and growth. However, the freedoms of thought, information and expression are at the root of the control of public power. Not from organic control -obvious-, but from an immaterial part of their sustenance. They are the source of the social evaluation of public affairs that feeds the reflections and actions of formal controls. His contribution to safeguarding the freedoms of people against the public power and the essential agents of power cannot be underestimated.

when it arises Always! We are facing the defense of freedom of expression, but also of a libertarian exercise to affirm the right to inform and give opinions to form an opinion. It is the moment in which a group of exceptional journalists provided Mexican society with a service that continues to bear fruit.

It is fair to recognize Rosa Castro, José Alvarado, Antonio Arias Bernal, Vicente Ortega Colunga, Francisco Martínez de la Vega, Indalecio Prieto, Antonio Rodríguez, Renato Leduc, Nemesio García Naranjo, Rafael Solana, Vicente Lombardo Toledano, Roberto Blanco Moheno, Gerardo de Isolbi, Álvaro González Mariscal, Hugo A. Díaz, Luis Gutiérrez y González, Manuel Madrigal and Salvador Zapata; a vibrant constellation of the diversity of thought of that time, under the cape of the talent of each one for a collective performance that transcended.

Like all human rights, that of free expression is presented and strengthened by its daily, persevering and tenacious exercise, and by the affirmation of criticism based on the independence of power. In times when the public media of political communication elude plurality and become loudspeakers of the narrative of presidential power, Doña Beatriz Pagés Rebollar honors her lineage and maintains the legacy of exercising freedom of expression to preserve the freedoms of people against to public power.

Freedoms are conquered, exercised, preserved and expanded before those who can violate or even limit them, because as Woodrow Wilson put it in 1912: “Freedom has never come from the government. Freedom has always come from those who are subject to government. The history of freedom is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is the history of the limitations on governmental power, not its increase.”

It is in this spirit that the birth of Always! and his career to the present, which may have been in the mind of Alejandro Arias Bernal to incorporate the figure of Don Quixote on the cover of the first year of the magazine in 1954. He is the defender of an idea against all odds; he is the personification of the imagined ideal, to the degree of making it a reality and directing behavior to achieve it. Thus, the idea of ​​freedom of expression overcomes the temptations and attacks of power, but not as a personal or individual matter but as a contribution to the well-being of the community.

And because there is also a dialectical relationship between freedom of expression and the development of a society of free people: the free circulation of ideas, criticism and opinions strengthens the freedoms of those who make up that community. Thinking freely is the basis for acting freely and acting in the exercise of one’s own freedoms is finding the limit of the freedoms and rights of other people. Freedom of expression is a natural vehicle for the responsible exercise of freedoms of all kinds, but especially political ones.

In the democratic regime, freedom of expression and freedom of the press are areas that safeguard pluralism and the coexistence of different ideas to solve the problems of the community. They are the vehicle to warn authoritarian drives and denounce autocratic and totalitarian leanings. They are freedoms whose exercise makes the practice of arguing, the will to persuade and the purpose of postulating attitudes and actions for citizens, the field of public debate and the ideal arena to politicize issues of public interest that require solution with the vigor of society.

Congratulations on another anniversary of Always! In freedom and for and towards freedoms through free expression.

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