Spanish State

Anticapitalistas: statement in advance of the Podemos Citizen Assembly

The following statement is from Anticapitalistas, an organization of revolutionary socialists who helped initiate the Podemos political party in the Spanish state. Over the past six years, Anticapitalistas has maintained a rocky but constructive relationship with Podemos’ central leaders, including the Pablo Iglesias, who recently accepted the post of Second Deputy Minister and Minister of Social Rights. Iglesias’ decision to join a new social democratic government, led by a party long committed to neoliberalism, has raised the question of whether or not Anticapitalistas will remain with Podemos or move in a new direction. This statement was originally published at Anticapitalistas, translated by No Borders News.

1) The decisions made by Podemos during the last months point in a direction that we do not share. The entry of five Unidas Podemos ministers to a progressive-neoliberal government dominated by the center-left Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), in which that party controls the main levers of power. In our view, far from weakening the current political regime of the Spanish state, participating in this government means integrating Podemos into it and attempting to manage it as the only possible horizon. Anticapitalistas proposal to vote in parliament in favor of establishing a PSOE-led government and move immediately into opposition in order to continue the fight to build a project aimed at developing a constituent majority (a social majority that can challenge the status quo) has been ruled out by the currently existing Podemos leadership. Furthermore, we do not share the policy of forming a political pact, nor that of achieving a social consensus, both of which renounce confronting the great economic powers. In that sense, we find a huge difference between the objectives of the Podemos that we contributed to initiating six years ago and the current organization’s drift, a policy which originally determined to challenge the political class and economic elites but has now allied with the former without laying a hand on the privileges of the latter.

2) At the same time, we understand that a large percentage of left-wing people are relieved by the formation of government. The fear of the extreme right and fatigue after years of mobilization make this position understandable and we understand and respect this thinking. However, we believe that the objectives of this government are less than ambitious, even if we accept that they are limited within the margins of the system. Therefore, our immediate task is to attempt to promote a new cycle of struggle that prevents the movements from abandoning the street: on March 8, we will organize for feminist advances, we will demand the repeal of labor reforms, the regulation of rents, closing the Foreigner Detention Centers (CIEs), prohibit layoffs in companies that receive state subsidies, stop evictions, and break with article 135 of the Constitution that mandates a balanced budget. Without organized popular pressure, there will be no progress. If there are no gains that deserve to be defended, ones that distribute wealth and power in favor ordinary people, a dangerous breeding ground can be generated in which the extreme right can promote its macho, racist, and authoritarian demagogy all at the service of rich.

3) Given this framework, without analyzing the slow bleed that Podemos has suffered as an organization in recent years, and without a sufficient process of prior political deliberation, the Citizen Assembly appears merely as a ratification of the Podemos leadership and of the strategy adopted of subordinating itself to the PSOE.

4) Therefore, Anticapitalistas has decided not to participate in the next State Assembly of Podemos and to, instead, focus our discussions on deciding our definite relationship with Podemos, a project that we contributed to founding and to which we have dedicated so much effort. Our internal debate process will culminate on March 28 with a conference in which we will announce our final decision. We wish, without a hesitation, the best of luck to people who decide to participate in the Podemos assembly. We are certain that we will continue to cooperate and work together with them in many areas.

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