Wednesday, August 10

The listening process and the reconstruction of the left

“Nature is governed by obeying it”


The Vice President of the Government and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, has announced that she will soon begin her listening process, something that has been announced and then postponed for various reasons, both external and internal, over the last few months. A question of calculation, surely, but a delay that may also be due to the difficulty of the task and internal resistance, among other reasons.

It is assured that the meeting with the citizens will be the first part of the sum project, to leave for a later moment, already in the year 2023, the articulation of the political forces that currently exist to the left of the PSOE.

An initiative that would be even more compelling due to the current dynamics of electoral decline of the Podemos formula in successive regional elections, first in the context of the pandemic, and now even in the exit stretch due to the most recent experience of the division with Adelante Andalucía. and the subsequent mess in the elaboration of the candidacy of ‘For Andalusia’. As a consequence, everything indicates that its result will deepen the crisis of representation of the left, in the maintenance of the conservative government in Andalusia and in a greater weakness within the coalition government.

The underlying argument for postponing the meeting of the parties to that of the citizens is the discrediting of politics and the image of the parties in the polls, and therefore, of the need for an alternative project and platform that generates a new illusion on the left. A loss of prestige that has gone hand in hand with that of all mediating organizations and institutions in society, more than liquid, gaseous, of digital consumption. In fact, from these sectors the party form is practically considered amortized. The question is whether the eviction extends to the rest of the democratic organizations and institutions that have suffered for years from the same crisis derived from social unrest and mistrust in politics. Recently we have been able to verify it in the crisis of representation of the carriers.

The problem is that this reconsideration of the system has already been tested recently with Podemos and Ciudadanos, which although they were able to capitalize on the outrage of 15M electorally, they have not even pointed out an organization or an alternative policy. Neither the social movement model nor the mechanisms of direct democracy as alternatives to representative democracy have borne fruit. Quite the contrary, they have been degraded as fast or faster than what they aspired to replace, so that the only alternative has ended up being the autocratic drift represented by the parties of the extreme right, the governments of the so-called ‘demoduras’ and the illiberal regimes. . However, not even the frustration caused by the shortcomings arising from the administration of the government, as well as from its diminished electoral results, have so far provoked minimal self-criticism as an indicator of the will to rectify the project.

The only publicly known explanation, both internally and externally, has been the harassment of the deep state against the project, which added to the continuity of the PSOE has resulted in the demobilization of the left and the consequent advance of the feeling of social grievance, cultural and territorial. However, the populist identity and charismatic leadership are not in question. On the contrary, the French example is used to revitalize the idea of ​​surprise and the hegemony of the antagonistic project in the face of dissatisfaction with the reforms. Nor is it analyzed that the loss of prestige of politics and of the parties does not affect today the right as well as the left or all political parties.

Thus, current Spanish politics and parties are the politics and parties of the time of populism. A mixture to a different degree of the remains of the electoral analog party and the digital personalist party. The latest changes in the direction of the right and its strategy in Andalusia testify to this.

On the one hand, the parties of bipartisanship, and in particular the right, have installed themselves in a hegemonic position that allows them to articulate the new bi-frontism in a continuous key, and on the other hand, the extreme right has become the anti-political and anti-democratic party of the new populism, unstable but functional for the construction of government majorities. Vox represents a caricature that takes the deformation of the populist model to the extreme: a military leadership, messages as simple as they are false, political polarization and hatred of those who are different, and candidates anointed by appointment of the chief.

In this sense, among the main errors of Podemos are its Adanist project of denying the legacy of the left, the populist strategy that today monopolizes the extreme right and the personalist party model. On the contrary, its successes have occurred only when reality has imposed a return to the origins of the interrupted left consisting of the commitment to representative democracy, the alliance of the different lefts, participation in the Government and the policy of reforms , fruit of the recognition of the limits of reality, mutual recognition, political dialogue and social agreement. That is, when democratic thinking has replaced populist thinking, showing that although it was postponed, it has not been eradicated.

The danger is therefore to return to the primacy of media leadership, movement and populism over the political project and the organization of the ideas of the left. Fleeing from the party concept does not help but rather sterilises the left’s ability to transform itself into a democracy. The alternative to the party is non-existent today, but not the different alternatives within the party form.

This does not mean giving primacy to the old populist parties, but joining the listening process to the democratic regeneration, opening, programmatic renewal and conceptual reorientation of the existing parties. In short, the reconstruction of the political left is an urgency that cannot be postponed. On the other hand, if the best practices turn out to have been the reforms carried out by the government, it is also about continuing and reinforcing dialogue, with agreement and positive management of differences, abandoning public confrontation and the insecurity that the management of the government coalition and the current parliamentary majority. The discrepancy cannot mean stridency or instability.

It is about stabilizing a centripetal and non-centrifugal dynamic of all the actors of the political system that must naturally resemble the society they represent, which is plural and does not tend, except in times of dominance of inequality, to the frontist division. The poles of democracy, essential for health and democratic change, have to be oriented towards centrality to make the conquest of social advances viable, as has occurred in the pandemic and in labor reform, for example. On the other hand, if the scheduled arduous schedule is carried out, it would mean leaving aside the next regional and municipal elections, the true basis of listening and of any political project with roots among citizens.

In addition, the regional and municipal elections in May are going to be, whether you like it or not, the pre-campaign and even the electoral campaign for the general elections. A new failure, even if it were considered something foreign, would result in discouragement and can be lethal for the progress of the listening process. It is better to get involved.

Ultimately, nature is governed by obeying it, not ignoring it.