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What is the status quo?

We explain what the status quo and the origin of the term. In addition, its different meanings and what it refers to.

  1. What is the status quo?

Statu quo,  commonly pronounced  and status  cúo  (adding the   final s ), is a term from Latin used as a synonym for the “state of things” at a given time.

It comes from a more extensive Latin address:  status quo ante  bellum , which literally means “the state of things before the war” and refers to the return of the troops in an armed conflict, returning to the starting point before the unleashed violence without gaining or losing territory, which amounts to a sort of “tie” between the sides. It is a principle used in international treaties on the subject.

This term is used to refer to the current situation of a particular moment in a nation, system or historical moment, particularly in the political or sociological field.

When talking about the status quo, then, there is reference to the balance of powers in force at a time , or the system prevailing in a society , or the way things are.

In this way, the agents, processes or arguments that favor the status quo are those considered conservative: they value the way things are and do not understand that there is a need for change, that is, they are the opposite of the revolutionaries or avant-garde. The latter, on the other hand, advocate a new order, a different one, and if they succeed, they will become pro status quo.

Therefore, the term can be used for a wide variety of situations or contexts , but always referring to the “way things are” or, in the same way, to tradition , to inherited values ​​and the way in which ” things have always been done. ”

This specific term should not be confused with the name of the British rock band Status quo (with s at the end of the first word), formed in 1962 and initially called The Scorpions, The Spectres and Traffic Jam.

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