Monday, October 25

Democracy, social change and populism

First, it is about sharpening the contradictions as repeated in Marxist theory. Surely a tweet or a statement does not allow to expand and go into nuances, but in this case it is important. Surely the political conflict, also the social and economic are the engines of change. Of any change, because to the extent that the contradictions are curled up, the different social agents, classes, groups, associations or parties are placed, and it forces them to position themselves before the different alternatives; that in the end, they are reduced to two: the “us and them”; “Those above and below”; “The caste and the people”

Second, it is the engine of change. True, of any change, also of reactionary changes that seek to return to past situations. This is something that Trump perfectly mastered, and he continues to play to position people between those who consider the recent US elections legitimate, and those who consider them fraudulent.

Third, change is not necessarily progress, as is often implied. Taking for granted that history has a linear and progressive character – as the Leninist theory claims – of progress in democracy, in civilization, or in human fulfillment is still a presupposition. History has shown, many times, to resolve contradictions by taking refuge in the protagonists and social agents in responses from the past, which may imply more security for many people, but which do not solve the most serious situations. In history, in moments of crisis, people take refuge in what is known, in what apparently offers them more security. Francoism is a clear example of what I say, and the same Soviet regime established by Lenin is another.

The political conflict is not unique. Society is defined by the relationships between individuals and groups, between classes and social forces, and these interrelationships, to a greater or lesser degree, in one way or another, are one of domination, exploitation or hegemony. Ultimately, the political forces, also UP, try to exacerbate political conflicts and regroup the unsatisfied demands to make society progress or evolve, according to their interests. Political conflicts are multiple and varied and can be the engine of democracy, but also that of reaction, that is why it is essential in the direction of a political organization to establish objectives and priorities.

Let me explain: for example, the dilemma between monarchy or republic. It is clear that the monarchy is a system of the old regime, with a dynastic legitimacy that few today share, and it can be agreed that the republic would be a breakthrough. Centering the contradiction – the work of certain political leaders – and polarizing Spanish society between monarchy or republic is irresponsible recklessness. First, because a democratic change to the republican political system is absolutely unfeasible, today and here, based on the constitutional reform procedure. Therefore, focusing on that contradiction will lead to the antagonism that all political forces position themselves for or against the monarchy; for and against the Constitution as it is, but it will not achieve a constitutional change, and therefore the only apparent objective is to mark the differences with its partner in government with a view to the Catalan elections. It is sharpening a contradiction -a political conflict-, very sensitive for much of Spanish society, with an unpredictable outcome. The Popular Party and Vox do the same, polarizing between public and private education, knowing that they will have to accept the Celáa Law. The perspective is also to mobilize and contest the Spanish electorate in the Catalan elections.

Populism and the theories of Ernesto Laclau inspire many of these actions. While the continental left sought its reflection in the schools of London, Frankfurt or Budapest. Populisms, including those on the right, were inspired by Latin American post-Marxists.

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