Campaigning for Democratic Europe

Blog readers following this website’s twitter account may have already noticed the favorable penchant of the author of The Provoked Economy for Podemos, the political movement that was formed in Spain in early 2014. In a recent post titled “Hay que apoyar a Podemos”, Fabian Muniesa is calling explicitly for a vote for Podemos for Sunday’s general elections. Translation to English:

Arguments about Podemos in the context of the call for general elections in Spain on 20 December 2015 revolve mainly around topics of relevance to the country’s situation today: morality in public life, social inequality, institutional frame of the state, economic policy. But the opportunity represented by Podemos, the political force that emerged last year as a consequence of the popular movement known as “15-M”, needs to be understood and defended from a wider, global angle: that of the role that Podemos can have in order to counter the catastrophic evolution of the political fabric of Europe, and its reverberation worldwide.

Europe becomes today a politically unbreathable place. The call for ideals of national identity intermingles with the dismantling of welfare policies, opening the path to an openly belligerent strengthening of the notion of border and to the justification of more or less permanent states of  competition, segregation and exception. The inhuman tide that is now visible in the Mediterranean is, at least in part, a consequence of this European syndrome. After the failure of the alternative represented by Syriza a few months ago, Europe and the world surrounding it is in need of a political movement that can serve as a massive and effective vehicle for an idea of open and international democracy. Podemos may be the only way available today.

Of course, other options are immediately available, options that news from France illustrate at best. After the ideological catastrophe orchestrated by the former government headed by Nicolas Sarkozy and the current one presided by François Hollande (with constant reference to so-called “republican values”, which are apparently “French”, filled up at best with phantasmal content, and requiring more and more, in order to make sense, the idea of an “enemy from within”), a vast portion of people has opted, naturally, for what Marine Le Pen would justly call “the original version”. The Front National is, under her leadership, the first political party of the French Republic after this month’s regional elections. None of the main alternative political forces is capable of explaining clearly and convincingly why people should not vote for the Front National, preferring simply preventing them to do so. This is what there is, and this is what can be expected for Europe in general, with the consequences that can follow.

This is what there is, unless another message occupies this political space that has been left void, as people very well see, between the two most daunting European political hallucinations: technocracy on the one hand and nation on the other. With Podemos, Spain can build this alternative space: not only though the leverage that this country has for the definition of what Europe and the Mediterranean should consist of, but also through a transformation of international democratic institutions, starting with the European Parliament. It is possible to occupy this space from Podemos in order to transform it. To back Podemos is to prepare a breathable Europe.

For this reason, on December 20th I will vote for Podemos.

— Fabian Muniesa