Politics should be the Struggle for the Happiness of All.

José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano was born 20 May 1935 and was the 40th President of Uruguay between 2010 and 2015.

The World’s Poorest President Is Here To Explain Why We Need To Kick Rich People Out Of Politics.
Addicted 2 the chains | December 13, 2015

Do you love money and want to control the world? Then you’re not going to like what former Uruguayan President José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano has to say about the wealthy in politics.

We invented this thing called representative democracy, where we say the majority is who decides,” President Mujica said in the interview. “So it seems to me that we [heads of state] should live like the majority and not like the minority.”

President Mujica became popular worldwide after the BBC circulated a piece dubbing him the “World’s Poorest President.” The story reported that he donated 90% of his salary to charity during his time as president and, instead of living in a presidential palace, he opted instead to live on his modest farm with his wife and drive his two-door beater of a car.

Now, he’s lashing out at politicians who only care about themselves and their wealthy donors. And he may have a point. Today, the average member of congress has a net worth of a million dollars and corporations give huge amounts of money to Super PACs without having to disclose their donations.

The red carpet, people who play — those things,” Mujica said, mimicking a person playing a cornet. “All those things are feudal leftovers. And the staff that surrounds the president are like the old court.”

I can hear the cries of “socialist” already, but Mujica denies that he has any problems with rich people. He just doesn’t think they do an especially good job of doing the business of a nation.

I’m not against people who have money, who like money, who go crazy for money,” Mujica said. “But in politics we have to separate them. We have to run people who love money too much out of politics, they’re a danger in politics… People who love money should dedicate themselves to industry, to commerce, to multiply wealth. But politics is the struggle for the happiness of all.

When asked why rich people make bad representatives for poor people, Mujica pulled no punches.

They tend to view the world through their perspective, which is the perspective of money. Even when operating with good intentions, the perspective they have of the world, of life, of their decisions, is informed by wealth. If we live in a world where the majority is supposed to govern, we have to try to root our perspective in that of the majority, not the minority.

The tie is a useless rag that constrains your neck,” Mujica said during the interview. “I’m an enemy of consumerism. Because of this hyperconsumerism, we’re forgetting about fundamental things and wasting human strength on frivolities that have little to do with human happiness.”

Today, he continues to live on a farm on the outskirts of Montevideo with his wife, Senator Lucia Topolansky. SOURCE

Uploaded by Al Jazeera English

A Note From The Gull

Thank you, José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano.

Memorable quotes:

On his being described as being poor.
1:47 - My definition of poor are those who need too much. Because those who need too much are never satisfied. I am frugal, not poor. Frugal, with a light suitcase. I live with little, just what's necessary, not too tied down to material things.

On freedom.
2:30 - Freedom is having time to live.

On the war against drugs. Why enforcement is not enough. Why drug use should not be clandestine.
6:41 - Because worse than drugs is drug trafficking. Drugs are a disease and I don't think that there are good drugs or that marijuana is good, nor cigarettes. No addiction is good. I include alcohol. The only good addiction is love. Forget everything else.

On his eleven years of solitary confinement in prison.
7:41 - I lived many years in solitude and I had to find refuge within myself to resist. Man is a strong animal when he has convictions. Maybe I am a bit primitive. Maybe I have a primitive strength, the product of my ancestors, of my peasant childhood.

On Pope Francis.
12:46 - We have to admit that this Pope is quite something. There is a lot to him and I think he is trying to modernise the last royal court of the modern world: the Church. He talks of returning to basics, of humility, of commitment. So as a person, I have tremendous respect for the Pope. On the other hand, it is true, I am an atheist but I admire the Catholic Church because I am a Latin American and we Latin Americans have two things in common: language and the history of the Church in this continent. So I give it importance, although my country is the most secular in the region. But in the Caribbean, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, people are profoundly Catholic and I don't want to be divorced from my people.

On the power of the Church.
14:45 - Whatever a parish priest says on a Sunday during his sermon is important in the opinions of the people. The Church has ways of communicating things at a popular level that aren't said at the top. It can help develop an attitude of peace in a country made sick by war.

On consumption and waste.
15:59 - I don't oppose consumption, I am against waste....If every powerful person has three, four, five cars and needs 400 square metres to live and a house at the beach and an airplane to go here and there, there isn't enough for everyone. What does modern science tell us? It tells us indisputable facts. If the current world population aspired to consume like the average American we would need three planet earths.

...because we complain about global warming while we assault nature by producing so much waste. We are mortgaging the futures of the next generations

On what he hopes to accomplish.
19:08 - My goal is to achieve a little less injustice in Uruguay, to help the most vulnerable and to leave behind a political way of thinking, a way of looking at the future that will be passed on and used to move forward. There's nothing short-term, no victory around the corner. I will not achieve paradise or anything like that. What I want is to fight for the common good to progress. Life slips by. The way to prolong it is for others to continue your work.

On the reluctance of presidents to leave office.
20:34 - I am a republican. Republics exist to demonstrate that no one is better than anyone else. A president is a high-level official who is elected to carry out a function. He is not a king, not a God. He is not the witch doctor of the tribe who knows everything. He is a civil servant. As such he must leave and be replaced. I am against re-election. There are feudal systems that have survived within our republics so we lay down red carpets, the kind of things used by kings. I don't like those things. I think the ideal way of living is to live like the vast majority of people whom we attempt to serve and represent.

On why the USA has been spying on foes and allies.
22:01 - Because it is afraid. Very afraid. Because it has played the role of policeman and has made many enemies in its history. And he who has many enemies naturally is very afraid. All that. It's a mix.

On what is the USA and a prediction.
22:28 - But I don't put all the United States in the same bag. There are many United States. Luckily the number of Latin Americans grows. The United States will become a bilingual nation very quickly. The wombs of Latin American women will conquer it little by little. They are stronger for love.  So they have children and establish changes in the U.S. society. But it will take time.

On the secret for happiness.
23:21 - To live in accordance with how one thinks. To talk to the man you carry inside. It's the companion we carry to our grave. Be yourself and don't try to impose your criteria on the rest. Let's see...I don't expect others to live like me. I want to respect people's freedom but I defend my freedom. And that comes with having the courage to say what you think even if sometimes others don't share those views

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!