It’s true that we’re indignant. But not just that. If it were just indignation that brought us together in the streets and squares of our cities, the movement would have less force. Once the moment of excitement had passed we would have gone home. That is not what is happening. After the demonstrations, groups – some larger, some smaller – have camped in the squares and after being evicted, have returned again and again. This shows a will to be heard which goes far beyond mere indignation, a will which is opening up new means of doing politics on the basis of the idea that “politics” is not only nor principally a profession – the “business” of the so-called political class – but rather that politics is the only way we have to resolve problems collectively. The capture of politics by those professionals who have turned it into their exclusive terrain, reducing it to a matter of representation and exercising it against the interests of a large part of the population, takes out of our hands those tools without which we are doomed to savage competition amongst ourselves, war between the poor.
The increasing intensity of the crisis has made this model of politics blow up. It has shown clearly that the current politicians use the legitimacy which the voting box grants them in order to make citizens ever more impotent against the demands and requirements of a global capitalist class which the politicians either do not know how to or do not want to tame. No one said things were easy. What we are saying is that we need the tools of politics, of a new kind of politics, in order to find solutions to the current situation.
The partial movements that have emerged recently give us hints in this direction. All of them, from platforms like “Victims of Mortgages”, “Real Democracy Now”, “Youth with no Future”, to the offices of social rights, the social centers, and the assemblies of the unemployed as well as many others have shown a tremendous capacity to oppose the measures imposed by the public administration, to construct partial alternatives and to attempt to disrupt the privatization measures and impoverishment which are underway.
So here we have a social Left which does not coincide with the political “Left.” The latter has been absorbed by economic elites to such an extent that it is difficult to distinguish between the recommendations of the big business groups and the decisions of the politicians. The narrow filter of party democracy impedes meaningful participation. This is why it is now time to get our imagination rolling and seek new forms of articulation which reinvent the political community, putting our collective intelligence to the test. The internet networks are at work; they give shape to the new virtual political space. But we need more: popular citizen assemblies, open encounters, public discussions, institutions which supervise and control the political parties… it is our future, this is our moment.