Stop the subordination to social democracy, we must move to opposition with a consistent left program!
Podemos’s leaders have the strategic commitment to be a part of a future coalition government with the PSOE of Pedro Sánchez. To try to make it happen, they are taking shocking steps, abandoning programmatic approaches that were their hallmarks when they stormed the 2014 European elections, and putting "State issues" before the defense of democratic and social rights that have been severely attacked in these past years. The last of these concessions is despicable: they definitively renounce defending the legitimate right to decide of the Catalan people (right to self-determination), aligning themselves without reservations with the defenders of article 155*, the repression, the imprisonment of the catalan independence leaders and the farce trial orchestrated against them.
In public declarations, the spokesmen of Unidas Podemos promise loyalty to a Government headed by the PSOE and insist on not questioning it from within. "We assume that they demand us guarantees and that we can’t oppose the Government on Catalonia or foreign policy (...) we are willing to assume PSOE's strategy in matters of State as sensitive as Catalonia or foreing policy". (El País, 8-7-19).
Not only do they sign a blank check to the neo-Francoist state apparatus against the movement for the Catalan republic, the leaders of Podemos are willing to endorse PSOE when it bows to US imperialism by supporting the coup leader Guaidó in Venezuela, and will stay quiet about the good relations that the Government of Sanchez maintains with the regimes of Saudi Arabia and Morocco, champions in atrocities and violations of human rights against their peoples and many others.
This support for the policies of a PSOE that has not broken any ties with the austerity program, has other consequences of scope such as whitewashing the agenda they share with the rest of the EU leaders to raise a legal and police wall against tens of thousands of refugees and immigrants who are desperately struggling to access Europe, and who are thrown to a certain death in the Mediterranean Sea
The direction of the purple formation continues moving away from its social base, resigning to any position that can serve to revert the serious social cuts and in rights that we have suffered, and turn their backs tin a most regrettable way (for a couple armchairs in the Council of Ministers) to what the 15M movement aspired, to the great Marches of Dignity, to the general strikes and the great social mobilizations, from the 8M to the struggle of the pensioners.
Intoxicated by parliamentary cretinism, they abandon the class struggle and settle comfortably in the parliamentary game until they become indistinguishable from traditional social democracy, from its values and practices. A disaster that has ideological reasons and causes: their aristocratic disdain for the program of Marxism and the socialist transformation, has led them to blend with those who have acted as solid pillars of the 78 regime and the market economy for decades, and it will convert them, if this course is definitively imposed, into accomplices of counter-reforms, of social cuts and attacks on democratic rights.
Is this the way to guarantee a government that carries out a policy of the left?
In this historical period of organic crisis of capitalism, this turn-coat approach will serve for nothing: a reformism without reforms, frustrated and impotent against the great economic powers.
Pablo Iglesias is supposed to have intelligence and a certain ability. But when he says that, with ministers in the Government of Sanchez, Podemos can guarantee a left policy and that their pressure in deliberations will prevent the Executive from yielding to the pressures that it will receive from the State apparatus, from the big businessmen, big banks, European institutions and the IMF, it seems that he has learned nothing from historical experience. And he makes this utopian approach while justifying his concessions to the demands of the PSOE, with the excuse of Podemos’s parliamentary weakness!
If Pablo Iglesias considers the negotiating position of Podemos to be weak, why would his entry into the PSOE government force Pedro Sánchez and his "socialist" ministers to make a policy in defense of the interests of the workers and confront the wishes of the capitalists? The argument put forward by the direction of Podemos to justify this new resignation is absurd and absolutely false.
From the leadership of PSOE with Pedro Sánchez in the helm, a prioritary goal has been set: to get a stable government,strong enough to implement the policy that big bankers and businessmen need to continue increasing their profits, all in a period of where a new recession is expected.
The management carried out by the "socialist" Executive constituted after the no-confidence motion that made Rajoy’s Government ofall, leaves no room for doubt. Beyond feminist poses, gestures, words and empty declarations, the fundamental reality is that the policy of the Government of Pedro Sánchez has been a continuation of the one carried out by the PP party.
After the last general elections, the PSOE has clearly shown this is the way they will keep acting. The Acting Economy Minister, Nadia Calviño, affirmed on May 30 (now definitely) that the PSOE Government will not repeal the labor reform. Likewise, the "Gag Law" will also continue in force, as the LOMCE** and pension counter-reforms. The same can be said about the scandalous sentence of the Supreme Court that prevents the exhumation of Franco's mummy. What has Pedro Sánchez done to confront this? Absolutely nothing, besides respectfully respecting the Francoist decision of the court.
Will a future PSOE government hesitate to implement the policy of cuts (Brussels requires the Spanish state a budget adjustment of 15,000 million euros in two years) and structural counter-reforms that capitalists and their economic institutions (EU, IMF, etc. .) demand? Of course not. They have never done it before and have never promised to correct it, that is why they are completely determined to seek the support of formations such as Ciudadanos when necessary.
So, by what miraculous means will two or three ministers of Podemos change the will of the majority of Sanchez's Cabinet when the moment of truth arrives and we have to do what the EU and the great business powers will demand?
Here we must respond to an ambiguity that capitalist propaganda has always tried to hide. The essential issues in bourgeois politics are not decided in the governments. These only give them the legal form of decrees and laws and put them to a vote in the Parliament. Transcendental decisions are made in other types of "government" councils; in the management boards of banks and multinationals, of the big investment funds, of the Major States, which have thousands of links, visible and invisible, that allow them to quickly access the tables of the ministers so that their demands are met punctually. Only the class struggle can interfere in these plans. But that does not depend on the rhetoric ability manifested around a polished wooden table in the Moncloa Palace***, but on the capacity of social mobilization, of the working class and youth, to break them, This is the only real driving force to achieve a profound social change and end the oppression of the "free market" and its institutions.
Only the mobilization of millions of workers will be able to impose a left policy
No deep social transformation, not even major reforms, have been possible without the mobilization of the working class and youth on the streets, without a direct struggle against the bourgeoisie, and its servants, who will always resist any change that question their privileges and their power.
The only way to force the PSOE to apply a left policy or, in case they won’t, unmask them before the population and its social base as false progressives and professional tricksters, would be putting on the table a program that would pick up the basic aspirations of millions of voters on the left:
- Immediate repeal of all reactionary laws approved by the PP (labor reform, pensions, Gag law, LOMCE ...) and reversal of all social cuts.
- Immediate refund by the Bank of the more than 60,000 million euros given by the State.
- Drastic increase of public health and education items in the next budgets.
- Prohibition by law of the evictions and a shock plan to create a public park of two million houses with affordable social rents in four years.
- Immediate nationalization of large electricity and energy companies to end energy poverty and protect the environment
- Increase of minimum wage and minimum pension to 1,200 euros/month.
- Ejection of all fascists from the State apparatus, police, army and judiciary. For a political, social and economic reparation of the victims of the Franco regime.
- Fight with all material and human resources against sexist violence and patriarchal justice.
- Recognition of the right to self-determination and annulment of the trial of Catalan political prisoners.
This program is the one that Pablo Iglesias and the direction of Podemos should publicly defend, and call the broadest and most forceful social mobilization to make it a reality. But instead, what we witness every day is an unfortunate spectacle of begging ministerial positions.
Podemos once concentrated the attention of the entire left, hundreds of thousands of young people, militants with years of struggle behind their backs and many others who had just joined political activity in the heat of social rebellion after 15M . Expectations in Podemos were immense, because millions considered it as the most useful tool to deliver a decisive blow to the PP and a social democracy in decline and accomplice to the counter-reforms. Aspects of the programme with which Podemos participated in the 2014 European elections (non-recognition of the debt, end of evictions, guaranteed basic income for the entire population, end of cuts, etc.), fueled that enthusiasm.
The fundamental factor that led to the abrupt rise of Podemos was the delegitimization of the entire institutional apparatus of the bourgeoisie, and the need for a revolutionary solution to the economic, social and political crisis, which demanded a large majority of workers, youth and the impoverished middle layers. Podemos picked up part of that atmosphere of rebellion, enthused millions of people and made all the alarms ring in the offices of the board of directors of the big companies, the true owners of the country.
Regrettably, the policy of Podemos has gradually moved away from the aspirations of that social rebellion that gave them form, strength and identity.
The conclusion is clear: if the goal is not to transform capitalism from top to bottom, not to end this unfair system by relying on the mobilization and democratic participation of the majority of the population, but only to manage it, to manage it better than others, then the adaptation to the system, as has happened in so many cases of history, is inevitable.
There is only one way to avoid being devoured by this dissolving dynamic: defend and fight to make a reality the program of the socialist transformation of society.
The lessons of this period are clear. We can not take the heavens by storm by changing the streets for the offices, or renouncing to fight the "caste" assuming the arguments of the regime of 78 and its Constitution. To transform society we need a combative and revolutionary left. There is no other way.
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**Article 155 is the article in the Transition constitution that allows governments to forcefully repress the democratic rights of the oppressed nations
**LOMCE- the”education” law passed by PP which imposed a series of anti public education and anti-working class measures, like the francoist “revalidas”
***Moncloa Palace- the official residence of Spain’s Prime minister, like 10 Downing Street or the White House.