Hace ya unos meses que terminé el libro pero me tomó trabajo hacer la selección de párrafos que me interesaron…
El libro es recomendable para leer entero, produce goce intelectual ver cómo Popper va exponiendo argumentos y analizando y refutando otros.
Van las citas que me parecieron más interesantes. Van en inglés, porque si me tomaba el tiempo para traducirlas iba a tardar dos meses más en publicar esto (las negritas a través de todo el texto son mías):
This individualism, united with altruism, has become the basis of our western civilization. It is the central doctrine of Christianity (‘love your neighbour’, say the Scriptures, not ‘love your tribe’); and it is the core of all ethical doctrines which have grown from our civilization and stimulated it. It is also, for instance, Kant’s central practical doctrine (‘always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as mere means to your ends’). There is no other thought which has been so powerful in the moral development of man. 
Este primer párrafo habla sobre el comportamiento de grupo, y el clásico “nosotros contra ellos”. Me sorprende que salga con el cristianismo, aunque está claro que toma sus sentencias desde un punto de vista cultural y no religioso.
What do we demand from a state? What do we propose to consider as the legitimate aim of state activity? And in order to find out what our fundamental political demands are, we may ask: Why do we prefer living in a well-ordered state to living without a state, i.e. in anarchy? (…)
Now if we ask our question in this way, the reply of the humanitarian will be: What I demand from the state is protection; not only for myself, but for others too. I demand protection for my own freedom and for other people’s. I do not wish to live at the mercy of anybody who has the larger fists or the bigger guns. In other words, I wish to be protected against aggression from other men. I want the difference between aggression and defence to be recognized, and defence to be supported by the organized power of the state. (The defence is one of a status quo, and the principle proposed amounts to this—that the status quo should not be changed by violent means, but only according to law, by compromise or arbitration, except where there is no legal procedure for its revision.) I am perfectly ready to see my own freedom of action somewhat curtailed by the state, provided I can obtain protection of that freedom which remains, since I know that some limitations of my freedom are necessary; for instance, I must give up my ‘freedom’ to attack, if I want the state to support defence against any attack. But I demand that the fundamental purpose of the state should not be lost sight of; I mean, the protection of that freedom which does not harm other citizens. Thus I demand that the state must limit the freedom of the citizens as equally as possible, and not beyond what is necessary for achieving an equal limitation of freedom. Something like this will be the demand of the humanitarian, of the equalitarian, of the individualist. It is a demand which permits the social technologist to approach political problems rationally, i.e. from the point of view of a fairly clear and definite aim. [114-115]
Está bueno este planteo como punto de partida para una sociedad sana, en la que los conflictos tradicionales de intervencionismo-liberalismo y luchas de poder varias se pueden dar de un modo pacífico y a través de prueba y error.
Creo que todavía necesitamos más ciencia en la política, más experimentos mensurables, para tener una idea de cuándo una política funciona y cuándo no. También es cierto que con algunas políticas se dificulta más el proceso, cuando su impacto se ve en generaciones posteriores (por ejemplo, muchos cambios en el sistema educativo).
But the attempt to control circumstances, to foresee what might happen and to provide for it, must lead here, as everywhere, to the abandonment of a purely personalist solution, and to its replacement by an institutional one. As already stated, the attempt to plan for the future must always lead to institutionalism. 
Acá está el valor de las instituciones, la necesidad de planear para el futuro y la famosa “previsibilidad” de la que hablan los diarios. La necesidad de tener un marco que se sostenga en el tiempo para que los cambios operen dentro de él.
The Utopian engineer will of course claim that mechanical engineers sometimes plan even very complicated machinery as a whole, and that their blueprints may cover, and plan in advance, not only a certain kind of machinery, but even the whole factory which produces this machinery. My reply would be that the mechanical engineer can do all this because he has sufficient experience at his disposal, i.e. theories developed by trial and error. But this means that he can plan because he has made all kinds of mistakes already; or in other words, because he relies on experience which he has gained by applying piecemeal methods. His new machinery is the result of a great many small improvements. He usually has a model first, and only after a great number of piecemeal adjustments to its various parts does he proceed to a stage where he could draw up his final plans for the production. Similarly, his plan for the production of his machine incorporates a great number of experiences, namely, of piecemeal improvements made in older factories. The wholesale or large-scale method works only where the piecemeal method has furnished us first with a great number of detailed experiences, and even then only within the realm of these experiences. Few manufacturers would be prepared to proceed to the production of a new engine on the basis of a blueprint alone, even if it were drawn up by the greatest expert, without first making a model and ‘developing’ it by little adjustments as far as possible. 
Popper insiste con los “piecemeal methods” para mejorar, es decir, los cambios pequeños y progresivos, en oposición a los cambios radicales. Creo que esto tiene mucho que ver con su actitud científica de que para poder saber qué funciona y qué no, hay que separar las variables, y modificándolas de a una es la mejor forma de verificar cómo se altera un sistema en su totalidad.
(…) in an open society, many members strive to rise socially, and to take the places of other members. This may lead, for example, to such an important social phenomenon as class struggle. We cannot find anything like class struggle in an organism. The cells or tissues of an organism, which are sometimes said to correspond to the members of a state, may perhaps compete for food; but there is no inherent tendency on the part of the legs to become the brain, or of other members of the body to become the belly. Since there is nothing in the organism to correspond to one of the most important characteristics of the open society, competition for status among its members, the so-called organic theory of the state is based on a false analogy. The closed society, on the other hand, does not know much of such tendencies. Its institutions, including its castes, are sacrosanct—taboo. The organic theory does not fit so badly here. It is therefore not surprising to find that most attempts to apply the organic theory to our society are veiled forms of propaganda for a return to tribalism 
Acá habla de lo falso que es usar la analogía de la sociedad como un cuerpo, como un organismo vivo, y pone como ejemplo la lucha de clases, lucha que no se da en el cuerpo, y, convenientemente, tampoco se da en las sociedades totalitarias. Al final reflexiona que muchas veces, cuando se trata de imponer esta analogía, es porque se pretende de forma encubierta una sociedad de castas o tribal. Así que mucha atención cuando escuchen a un político hablar sobre el “cáncer de la sociedad” y otras analogías.
Democritus: ‘I would rather find a single causal law than be the king of Persia!’ 
Nada, simplemente me gustó la cita…
It is an issue which we must face squarely, hard though it may be for us to do so. If we dream of a return to our childhood, if we are tempted to rely on others and so be happy, if we shrink from the task of carrying our cross, the cross of humaneness, of reason, of responsibility, if we lose courage and flinch from the strain, then we must try to fortify ourselves with a clear understanding of the simple decision before us. We can return to the beasts. But if we wish to remain human, then there is only one way, the way into the open society. We must go on into the unknown, the uncertain and insecure, using what reason we may have to plan as well as we can for both security and freedom. 
Me encanta esta “llamada a las armas”, esta demostración de dureza. Igual, de nuevo, “carrying our cross”, ¿Es necesario seguir con la cuestión cristiana?
I shall briefly describe a theory which is widely held but which assumes what I consider the very opposite of the true aim of the social sciences; I call it the ‘conspiracy theory of society’. It is the view that an explanation of a social phenomenon consists in the discovery of the men or groups who are interested in the occurrence of this phenomenon (sometimes it is a hidden interest which has first to be revealed), and who have planned and conspired to bring it about. This view of the aims of the social sciences arises, of course from the mistaken theory that, whatever happens in society—especially happenings such as war, unemployment, poverty, shortages, which people as a rule dislike—is the result of direct design by some powerful individuals and groups. This theory is widely held; it is older even than historicism (which, as shown by its primitive theistic form, is a derivative of the conspiracy theory). In its modern forms it is, like modern historicism, and a certain modern attitude towards ‘natural laws’, a typical result of the secularization of a religious superstition. The belief in the Homeric gods whose conspiracies explain the history of the Trojan War is gone. The gods are abandoned. But their place is filled by powerful men or groups—sinister pressure groups whose wickedness is responsible for all the evils we suffer from—such as the Learned Elders of Zion, or the monopolists, or the capitalists, or the imperialists.
Ya Popper hablaba sobre las teorías conspirativas, ¡y encima diciendo que son más viejas que el historicismo!
I do not wish to imply that conspiracies never happen. On the contrary, they are typical social phenomena. They become important, for example, whenever people who believe in the conspiracy theory get into power. And people who sincerely believe that they know how to make heaven on earth are most likely to adopt the conspiracy theory, and to get involved in a counter-conspiracy against non-existing conspirators. For the only explanation of their failure to produce their heaven is the evil intention of the Devil, who has a vested interest in hell. 
This, however, is only a minor example of the danger of overstressing economism. Often it is sweepingly interpreted as the doctrine that all social development depends upon that of economic conditions, and especially upon the development of the physical means of production. But such a doctrine is palpably false. There is an interaction between economic conditions and ideas, and not simply a unilateral dependence of the latter on the former. If anything, we might even assert that certain ‘ideas’, those which constitute our knowledge, are more fundamental than the more complex material means of production, as may be seen from the following consideration. Imagine that our economic system, including all machinery and all social organizations, was destroyed one day, but that technical and scientific knowledge was preserved. In such a case it might conceivably not take very long before it was reconstructed (on a smaller scale, and after many had starved). But imagine all knowledge of these matters to disappear, while the material things were preserved. This would be tantamount to what would happen if a savage tribe occupied a highly industrialized but deserted country. It would soon lead to the complete disappearance of all the material relics of civilization. 
Esta idea rima con el concepto de “Sociedad del Conocimiento”, donde es más importante lo que sabemos que lo que tenemos.
What have we to say to Marx’s analysis? Are we to believe that politics, or the framework of legal institutions, are intrinsically impotent to remedy such a situation, and that only a complete social revolution, a complete change of the ‘social system’, can help? Or are we to believe the defenders of an unrestrained ‘capitalist’ system who emphasize (rightly, I think) the tremendous benefit to be derived from the mechanism of free markets, and who conclude from this that a truly free labour market would be of the greatest benefit to all concerned?
Acá plantea la dicotomía entre el socialismo y el capitalismo más extremos, con la revolución por un lado y el libre mercado por el otro.
I believe that the injustice and inhumanity of the unrestrained ‘capitalist system’ described by Marx cannot be questioned; but it can be interpreted in terms of what we called, in a previous chapter, the paradox of freedom. Freedom, we have seen, defeats itself, if it is unlimited. Unlimited freedom means that a strong man is free to bully one who is weak and to rob him of his freedom. This is why we demand that the state should limit freedom to a certain extent, so that everyone’s freedom is protected by law. Nobody should be at the mercy of others, but all should have a right to be protected by the state. (…) Now I believe that these considerations, originally meant to apply to the realm of brute-force, of physical intimidation, must be applied to the economic realm also. Even if the state protects its citizens from being bullied by physical violence (as it does, in principle, under the system of unrestrained capitalism), it may defeat our ends by its failure to protect them from the misuse of economic power. In such a state, the economically strong is still free to bully one who is economically weak, and to rob him of his freedom. Under these circumstances, unlimited economic freedom can be just as self-defeating as unlimited physical freedom, and economic power may be nearly as dangerous as physical violence; for those who possess a surplus of food can force those who are starving into a ‘freely’ accepted servitude without using violence. And assuming that the state limits its activities to the suppression of violence (and to the protection of property), a minority which is economically strong may in this way exploit the majority of those who are economically weak.
Marco en negritas el concepto central de la perspectiva que está en contra del liberalismo extremo. Creo que lo importante en las sociedades (y lo que buscan continuamente) es ese equilibrio entre las libertades otorgadas y la protección a los más débiles.
If this analysis is correct, then the nature of the remedy is clear. It must be a political remedy—a remedy similar to the one which we use against physical violence. We must construct social institutions, enforced by the power of the state, for the protection of the economically weak from the economically strong. The state must see to it that nobody need enter into an inequitable arrangement out of fear of starvation, or economic ruin.
This, of course, means that the principle of non-intervention, of an unrestrained economic system, has to be given up; if we wish freedom to be safeguarded, then we must demand that the policy of unlimited economic freedom be replaced by the planned economic intervention of the state. We must demand that unrestrained capitalism give way to an economic interventionism. And this is precisely what has happened. The economic system described and criticized by Marx has everywhere ceased to exist. It has been replaced, not by a system in which the state begins to lose its functions and consequently ‘shows signs of withering away’, but by various interventionist systems, in which the functions of the state in the economic realm are extended far beyond the protection of property and of free contracts’. 
Y acá aclara que este Estado teórico en el que no hay restricciones al libre mercado de capitales y trabajo ya no existe en las sociedades democráticas (acá podría pensar algunos contraejemplos, igualmente…).
(…) the obvious policy of preferring where possible the institutional method is far from being generally accepted. The failure to accept it is, I suppose, due to different reasons. One is that it needs a certain detachment to embark on the long-term task of re-designing the ‘legal framework’. But governments live from hand to mouth, and discretionary powers belong to this style of living—quite apart from the fact that rulers are inclined to love those powers for their own sake. But the most important reason is, undoubtedly, that the significance of the distinction between the two methods is not understood. The way to its understanding is blocked to the followers of Plato, Hegel, and Marx. They will never see that the old question ‘Who shall be the rulers?’ must be superseded by the more real one ‘How can we tame them?’ 
Elocuente justificación de la necesidad de institucionalidad gubernamental.
Democracy provides an invaluable battle-ground for any reasonable reform, since it permits reform without violence. But if the preservation of democracy is not made the first consideration in any particular battle fought out on this battle-ground, then the latent anti-democratic tendencies which are always present (and which appeal to those who suffer the strain of civilization, as we called it in chapter 10) may bring about a breakdown of democracy. If an understanding of these principles is not yet developed, its development must be fought for. The opposite policy may prove fatal; it may bring about the loss of the most important battle, the battle for democracy itself. 
Acá habla sobre lo que todos los lugares políticos deben tener en común, su defensa de la democracia. Es esencial que todos estemos de acuerdo en usar estas reglas antes de hablar del resto de los temas.
It is high time for us to learn that the question ‘who is to wield the power in the state?’ matters only little as compared with the question ‘how is the power wielded?’ and ‘how much power is wielded?’ We must learn that in the long run, all political problems are institutional problems, problems of the legal framework rather than of persons, and that progress towards more equality can be safeguarded only by the institutional control of power. 
Acá vemos de nuevo esta cuestión de que no importa tanto quién detenta el poder, si no cómo y hasta qué punto, cuánto es el poder que tiene y cómo se lo controla.
This is the theory and the Communists acted accordingly. At first they support the workers in their fight to improve their lot. But, contrary to all expectations and prophecies, the fight is successful. The demands are granted. Obviously, the reason is that they had been too modest. Therefore one must demand more. But the demands are granted again. And as misery decreases, the workers become less embittered, more ready to bargain for wages than to plot for revolution. Now the Communists find that their policy must be reversed. Something must be done to bring the law of increasing misery into operation. For instance, colonial unrest must be stirred up (even where there is no chance of a successful revolution), and with the general purpose of counteracting the bourgeoisification of the workers, a policy fomenting catastrophes of all sorts must be adopted. But this new policy destroys the confidence of the workers. The Communists lose their members, with the exception of those who are inexperienced in real political fights. They lose exactly those whom they describe as the ‘vanguard of the working class’; their tacitly implied principle: ‘The worse things are, the better they are, since misery must precipitate revolution’, makes the workers suspicious—the better the application of this principle, the worse are the suspicions entertained by the workers. For they are realists; to obtain their confidence, one must work to improve their lot.
Thus the policy must be reversed again: one is forced to fight for the immediate betterment of the workers’ lot and to hope at the same time for the opposite.
With this, the ‘inner contradictions’ of the theory produce the last stage of confusion. It is the stage when it is hard to know who is the traitor, since treachery may be faithfulness and faithfulness treachery. It is the stage when those who followed the party not simply because it appeared to them (rightly, I am afraid) as the only vigorous movement with humanitarian ends, but especially because it was a movement based on a scientific theory, must either leave it, or sacrifice their intellectual integrity; for they must now learn to believe blindly in some authority. Ultimately, they must become mystics—hostile to reasonable argument.
It seems that it is not only capitalism which is labouring under inner contradictions that threaten to bring about its downfall … 
Esta es una historia reducida y algo elemental del comunismo y sus consecuencias. Los defensores del comunismo necesitan que sus reclamos sean desoídos lo más posible para que se junte suficiente masa crítica como para hacer posible la revolución. Finalmente aparecen las contradicciones del comunismo, que hacen perder la honestidad intelectual a sus defensores.
(…) we all take many things as self-evident, that we accept them uncritically and even with the naive and cocksure belief that criticism is quite unnecessary; and scientists are no exception to this rule, even though they may have superficially purged themselves from some of their prejudices in their particular field. But they have not purged themselves by socio-analysis or any similar method; they have not attempted to climb to a higher plane from which they can understand, socio-analyse, and expurgate their ideological follies. For by making their minds more ‘objective’ they could not possibly attain to what we call ‘scientific objectivity’. No, what we usually mean by this term rests on different grounds. It is a matter of scientific method. And, ironically enough, objectivity is closely bound up with the social aspect of scientific method, with the fact that science and scientific objectivity do not (and cannot) result from the attempts of an individual scientist to be ‘objective’, but from the friendly-hostile co-operation of many scientists. Scientific objectivity can be described as the inter-subjectivity of scientific method. But this social aspect of science is almost entirely neglected by those who call themselves sociologists of knowledge. 
According to our view, however, we not only owe our reason to others, but we can never excel others in our reasonableness in a way that would establish a claim to authority; authoritarianism and rationalism in our sense cannot be reconciled, since argument, which includes criticism, is the basis of reasonableness. Thus rationalism in our sense is diametrically opposed to all those modern Platonic dreams of brave new worlds in which the growth of reason would be controlled or ‘planned’ by some superior reason. Reason, like science, grows by way of mutual criticism; the only possible way of ‘planning’ its growth is to develop those institutions that safeguard the freedom of this criticism, that is to say, the freedom of thought.
My way of using the term ‘rationalism’ may become a little clearer, perhaps, if we distinguish between a true rationalism and a false or a pseudo-rationalism. What I shall call the ‘true rationalism’ is the rationalism of Socrates. It is the awareness of one’s limitations, the intellectual modesty of those who know how often they err, and how much they depend on others even for this knowledge. It is the realization that we must not expect too much from reason; that argument rarely settles a question, although it is the only means for learning—not to see clearly, but to see more clearly than before. 
Acá habla sobre la objetividad, incluida la objetividad pretendida de los científicos, que muchos intentamos lograr como una especie de nirvana. Aclara que tal cosa es imposible de lograr… la ciencia funciona gracias a la interacción y la crítica entre varios científicos con visiones diferentes, analizando la evidencia. Y la razón humana funciona como estas ciencias, gracias a la crítica libre y los consensos que emergen de las posiciones enfrentadas y la emergencia de la verdad.
The political demand for piecemeal (as opposed to Utopian) methods corresponds to the decision that the fight against suffering must be considered a duty, while the right to care for the happiness of others must be considered a privilege confined to the close circle of their friends. In their case, we may perhaps have a certain right to try to impose our scale of values—our preferences regarding music, for example. (And we may even feel it our duty to open to them a world of values which, we trust, can so much contribute to their happiness.) This right of ours exists only if, and because, they can get rid of us; because friendships can be ended. But the use of political means for imposing our scale of values upon others is a very different matter. Pain, suffering, injustice, and their prevention, these are the eternal problems of public morals, the ‘agenda’ of public policy (as Bentham would have said). The ‘higher’ values should very largely be considered as ‘non-agenda’, and should be left to the realm of laissez faire. Thus we might say: help your enemies; assist those in distress, even if they hate you; but love only your friends. 
Dolor, sufrimiento, injusticia y su prevención son los problemas, son la “agenda”. O deberían serlo. Todo lo demás, debería ser dejado al laissez faire. Esta es la posición de Russell. No estoy tan seguro de que deba ser así, o por lo menos es difícil definir la línea que divide la imposición de valores de la resolución de problemas.
This is only part of the case against irrationalism, and of the consequences which induce me to adopt the opposite attitude, that is, a critical rationalism. This latter attitude with its emphasis upon argument and experience, with its device ‘I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort we may get nearer to the truth’, is, as mentioned before, closely akin to the scientific attitude. It is bound up with the idea that everybody is liable to make mistakes, which may be found out by himself, or by others, or by himself with the assistance of the criticism of others. It therefore suggests the idea that nobody should be his own judge, and it suggests the idea of impartiality. (This is closely related to the idea of ‘scientific objectivity’ as analysed in the previous chapter.) Its faith in reason is not only a faith in our own reason, but also—and even more—in that of others. Thus a rationalist, even if he believes himself to be intellectually superior to others, will reject all claims to authority since he is aware that, if his intelligence is superior to that of others (which is hard for him to judge), it is so only in so far as he is capable of learning from criticism as well as from his own and other people’s mistakes, and that one can learn in this sense only if one takes others and their arguments seriously. Rationalism is therefore bound up with the idea that the other fellow has a right to be heard, and to defend his arguments. It thus implies the recognition of the claim to tolerance, at least of all those who are not intolerant themselves. 
Nada que comentar acá, es todo importante este párrafo.
Instead of posing as prophets we must become the makers of our fate. We must learn to do things as well as we can, and to look out for our mistakes. And when we have dropped the idea that the history of power will be our judge, when we have given up worrying whether or not history will justify us, then one day perhaps we may succeed in getting power under control. In this way we may even justify history, in our turn. It badly needs a justification. 
Y así termina el libro de Popper. Se hace denso por momentos estar leyendo sobre un mismo tema una y otra vez, pero lo compensa escribiendo de forma clarísima y con un lenguaje llano.
Uff… ¡Por fin terminé!