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“Anticapitalistas” movement: we are neither being born nor dying; we are transforming ourselves

IA dissolves its legal party form and will remain in Podemos

Tuesday 17 February 2015, by Brais Fernandez, Raul Camargo

   Izquierda Anticapitalista held its Second Congress on the weekend of 17 and 18 January. With the support of 82 per cent of the delegates who took part in the vote, we have renounced the juridical electoral form of "party" in order to transform ourselves into a movement,.

Brais Fernandez and Raul Camargo

It was not an easy decision. First, it is obvious that we did not take this decision in an entirely free way, although we were fully aware of its significance.

A sector of Podemos, at present a majority in its leadership, has created a paradoxical situation: while "persecuting" Izquierda Anticapitalista for being a party, it is building a highly vertically party, with a General Secretary, with a faction-brand called Clara que Podemos [1] as a majority in the leading bodies.

Podemos is ending up by building itself as a classic party structure, while the "original party" Izquierda Anticapitalista, is transformed into a movement, seeking to adapt its organizational form to the new times. A Hegelian irony: what appears as new is rapidly aging, while what is allegedly old is renewing itself.

A point of clarification before continuing. Abandoning the legal form does not mean abandoning a coming together based on common ideas. In fact we are becoming more so and we want to organize a broader, more open movement for socialism and democracy.

In this last and at the same time first congress, the fundamental debate focused on revolutionary strategy and on the forms that the real movement of those below is taking on. How can we help to build breaches, possibilities of radical change, starting from the concrete situation?

Our hypothesis is being constructed starting from the real processes of the class struggle. Thus, we find two experiences particularly revealing: the Greek experience, with its dialectic between social struggle in the streets and workplaces, combined with the electoral assault articulated by SYRIZA, and the experience of the 15M movement in the Spanish State, with its innovative forms of self-organization and popular mobilization, which are the structure that inspires the circles (local branches) of Podemos.

In short, our task is to contribute to the electoral victory of Podemos, building Popular Power, that is to say, spaces that make it possible to democratize society, to move forward towards social management of the commons, distributing wealth among those who produce it. This is an exceptional historic moment, one in which talking about change is not an abstraction, but a latent necessity. We also know that the possibilities do not concretize themselves on their own: without an activism that is committed, organized, trained, implanted in the neighborhoods and in the reality of the working class, no transformation is possible; at most, a renewal of elites. Therefore our movement is an activist, militant movement, which seeks to build hegemony, not a normal party or an electoral structure.

There was also an analysis of the limits that we have encountered in recent years. Clearly the broad anti-capitalist party model we built has encountered certain limits that have made us adjust our perspective. First, because the 15M movement generated new forms of politicization, which did not look to the organizations of the radical left (and much less to the institutional left) as a reference.

Then the brutal intensification of capitalist crisis is forcing us to rethink the lines between anti-neoliberalism and anti-capitalism, understanding the processes of rupture involving large social majorities, the elements that are decisive in order to change history, starting from the rejection of austerity and the lack of democracy. To bring the movement up to date in order to adapt it to the political programme that can today open fissures that are irreconcilable with capital; every hypothesis has to be ratified, rectified and retaken, starting from practice.

There are many debates and many battles to explain. We are still on the left, not in a symbolic or identity sense (a word without practice says nothing), but because we learn and we situate ourselves in a political and cultural tradition that was embraced by millions of people, the same people who won the rights are today being taken from us, but without ceasing to be aware that "left", like "communism" (undoubtedly the word that best defines us, if words were not contaminated by history) have often been words used for unworthy interests; Yesterday, sometimes, to justify dictatorships, today sometimes to fragment the left.

We come out of this congress stronger and with more challenges. This is a difference that is characteristic of the times in which we live: our tasks and possibilities are greater than ever, our resources remain insufficient in proportion in order to address them. The next few years will be crucial to see if we are able to compensate for this gap. For now, let us go forward.

Brais Fernandez and Raul Camargo are part of the "Anticapitalistas" movement and participate in Podemos.

Footnotes

[1] Clear that we can - Podemos itself means we can