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After the European elections: reassembling an ecosocialist project

Statement by Anticapitalistas

Tuesday 11 June 2024, by Anticapitalistas

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The results of the European elections are a snapshot of the balance of forces and the current situation: the extreme right is advancing on a European scale, the parties of the extreme centre continue to retreat, but maintain their relative positions, the left remains in last place. After the rise and capitulation of the forces of the anti-neoliberal left that emerged after the 2008 anti-crisis mobilizations, the pendulum has swung and a situation of reaction is emerging.

These European elections have been marked by the rise of militarism and the EU’s support for genocide in Palestine. Undoubtedly, there have been strong mobilizations in support of the resistance of the Palestinian people. These are encouraging, but what predominates politically is the re-articulation of a strong neo-colonial consciousness.

The extreme right is growing on the basis of the policies of closed borders, racism that divide the working class from above, unifying the identity-based reaction in Europe. Between the war in the East and the fear of what comes from the South, Europe is retreating into a second-class imperialist policy and the constant degradation of living conditions and partial freedoms within the states. This preventive counter-revolution is the product of the failure of the left forces, which set the dynamic in the previous cycle. Let us not forget this: if we forget it, we will believe that this situation is inevitable. It is a difficult situation, but it is a product of politics: it is not magic.

The Spanish state is no stranger to this dynamic, albeit with a number of particularities. On the one hand, the restoration of the two-party system “with crutches” on the right and left is confirmed: the hegemony of the PSOE on the left, the consolidation of the PP on the right. Vox remains, but it has competition on its right, the platform “Se acabó la fiesta” of Alvise, a small neo-fascist gremlin, capable of combining hatred of migrants and misogyny, with the cult of figures like little Nicolás.

The left, subordinate to the PSOE but not part of it, lost hundreds of thousands of votes: Sumar won three seats and Podemos won two, albeit with percentages that a few years ago would have been considered, by those who celebrate them today, as synonymous with marginality.

Having briefly outlined the map, we at Anticapitalistas would like to raise some questions for debate:

 The rise of the extreme right is resisted by fighting the material, cultural and political factors that make it possible for these ideas to spread, not by adapting to them. But ideas are not fought with ideas alone: they are fought with social force. In these elections, the abstention rate was 50%, which partly indicates the disaffection of an important sector of the population with the political system. It is not a question of measuring everything in electoral terms: it is the absence of the most exploited and oppressed sectors from the political scene, including people of migrant origin, that determines this situation. Without “depassivising” the political situation and generating organizations that serve as fertile soil to seed a new situation, the far right will continue to use the systemic interstices to advance.

 The extreme right does not propose a change of political model, a break with the liberal regime, but rather the radicalization of its most harmful features for the popular classes. In this sense, the extreme right-extreme centre binomial feeds this dynamic in which the middle classes and their moral panics impose a political dynamic based on the downward defence of their relative positions in the world system in crisis. However monstrous and eccentric its ideological forms may be, this is at the heart of all reactionary politics.

 Social democracy, in the Spanish state, but also in other countries where it governs such as Germany, has encouraged, like most others, the war and border regime in which we are immersed. Without a real redistributive policy or major reforms to offer, its formal defence of liberties proves impotent or complicit in the face of fundamental democratic and social setbacks. In the Spanish state we know this well, first with the PSOE-Unidas Podemos government, now with Sumar: they have not been able to repeal the gag law, the racist policy continues, the legal and defensive frameworks of the working class have not been strengthened, public money is transferred to big business, relations with the genocidal state of Israel have not been broken.

 The big absentee in the public debate in these elections, at the programmatic level, has been the question of the destructive exhaustion of the capitalist system expressed through the ecological crisis. Green reformism seems exhausted, both in its alleged aesthetic freshness and at the ideological level, since its main task is to mediate between civil society and business in the field of capital accumulation. The left that denounces the most harmful effects of capitalism does so with the superficiality of those who refuse to explain the root causes of the enormous crisis underway. The construction of an ecosocialist political force is an imperative necessity in order to have an in-depth programme that denounces war, colonialism and the degradation of liberal “democracies” and, at the same time, allows us to provide ourselves with an alternative to the whole system, even if it is a minority today.

 The so-called Spanish left has disappointed many people with its results. From our point of view, electoral results are important, but they are not the central issue. The point is that they no longer represent any focus for radical change and transformation, they are groups whose methods, programmes and interests are alien to any proposal for profound change. Without a militant proposal aimed at building struggles and structures of popular organisation, they limit themselves to being propagandists for their electoral apparatuses, with the sole aim of governing with the PSOE. Without a programmatic horizon aiming at the ultimate goal of systemic change, their reformism is impotent and sterile. Without the honesty to engage in self-criticism, the effects of its policies are the spread of cynicism, sectarianism and weariness. And it burns many honest people who see them as a lesser evil and live trapped in the despair and impotence of politics without a horizon.

 Our priority is to continue and deepen the work of militant recomposition, implementation and promotion of struggles, reassembling our political project from an ecosocialist perspective, always open to collaboration with other sectors or sensibilities with which we share perspectives and objectives. Of course, from our point of view, elections are an important moment of political struggle and it is a real problem that there are no electoral options linked to forces that aspire to be revolutionary, internationalist, ecosocialist, feminist and anti-capitalist. We will not give up on tackling this task if the conditions are right. That said, in the short and medium term, we take on a series of tasks for the next phase, linked to further strengthening our organisation and popular movements.

 In the short term, it is necessary to continue to keep alive the pro-Palestinian mobilization, which has been on the streets for months with demonstrations, encampments, actions, etc. Because an electoralist and opportunist left, which only uses tragedies for election campaigns but does not commit itself in a militant way, building and sustaining broad movements, can get a few MPs, but will never be able to contribute decisively to the liberation of the working class and the oppressed. Palestine must remain our priority.

 Continue to work to build a big movement against war and capitalist austerity, putting militarization, colonialism and border closures at the centre of public debate. We seek to bind ourselves to the task of rebuilding grassroots movements, breaking with electoral parasitism and the logic of delegation, seeking the broadest unity in the field of trade union, neighbourhood and territorial struggle, from political independence, but without sectarianism of any kind, maintaining the balance between the firmness of principles and openness towards our class and its real expressions, seeking partial victories but fighting with the horizon of the ecosocialist revolution always present.

 Our aim is to build an ecosocialist and confederalist force capable of tackling the electoral question, and we believe that territorial experiences must be strengthened in this sense. No more big speeches about “winning”, we refuse to do it through personalist models or grandiloquent speeches without ambition, which only feed our own interests. We are in a moment of fight back and we must be able to nurture programmatic clarity and firmness. Projects that can be minority projects (although now, despite their self-promotion, the whole of the left to the left of the PSOE is also a minority), that are not subject to electoralist logic, totally independent of the official left, but open to people who want to fight a on all terrains against the ideology and programme of capital and that address the whole of the working classes. They should be a focus of resistance to a system guilty of genocide, misery and fear, whose only way out is to maintain itself on ecological disaster, authoritarianism and war.

Despite the current impasse, the global eco-social crisis will continue; to group together and fight, to discuss strategically, not to give in. That is why our analysis ends with Gramsci’s well-known, but no less necessary, phrase: “Organize yourselves because we’ll need all your strength.”

11 June 2024

Translated by International Viewpoint from Anticapitalistas.


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