Science without opposition

Last Friday several reforms to the general statute of CIDE (Center for Economic Research and Education) were approved. The aim was to eliminate the collegial body governing the center – the Academic Council – to centralize power in the figure of the Director-General. If before the CIDE Academic Council participated – with voice and voice – in the decision-making that affected the academic community, now it will be only an “advisory” body; An ornament reminiscent of the times when teachers were involved in central decisions, when there were counterweights and collective spaces for deliberation and decision-making. But if making it simply an “advisory” body wasn’t enough, the reforms also ensured that there was a compliant advisory body, with members primarily appointed by the director.

CIDE is a center of excellence, recognized worldwide for the research produced by its researchers and for its educational programs. It has been able to become so because it has selection processes for its students and professors who pass through the collegiate bodies of the institution. Recruitment, appraisals, and appointments are, for the most part, decided through deliberative and competitive procedures. They are not perfect mechanisms, but they are neither discretionary nor a one-person decision. The changes the government is making to CIDE today weaken, if not completely destroy, these mechanisms. In this way, they dilute the possibility of a continued existence of a think tank of excellence to transfer to another government agency, whose members are determined by their affinity with the regime or their friendship with the person responsible in turn. The new law and technology proposal also notes that this is only the first step in ensuring that public centers do not produce information that makes energy inconvenient.

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I will not use this space to defend the importance of CIDE as a quality public university. Nor will I write about the undemocratic, vindictive and capricious attitude of the Conacyt director, who promotes these changes. On the other hand, I would like to point out the similarities between what CIDE is doing today and what this government has done – and is still doing – in other areas of government: centralizing decision-making, removing counterweights, opening the door to the free use of power. This happened with militarization and reform of the electoral system or the educational system. Reforms—often illegal—were approved to give more power to a few and capture spaces likely to detract from resolve, guarantors of transparency or a tool for collective participation.

Moreover, all this is done with deception. The militarization of civilian space is not militarization, it is the disappearance of the military. Electoral reform and the weakening of the Independent Electoral Commission aims to improve democracy. Wouldn’t there be a collegial body with decision-making functions in CIDE? We promote community participation.

Perhaps the most surprising – and frightening – thing about the authoritarian coup we are witnessing is its short-term. Like those before them, those of today seem to forget that power does not last forever, that one day they will once again be the opposition, navigating a system built to crush dissent.

Look at the columns From Hidalgo criterion

Myrtle Frost

"Reader. Evil problem solver. Typical analyst. Unapologetic internet ninja."

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