Thursday, June 16, 2011

SPAIN - A signal for all of democratic Europe

Globalization from below is running. The indignation with which the French writer Stéphane Hessel calls the disillusioned youth of the developed world is spreading. Today, the scene of the peaceful struggle for greater democracy, rule of law and justice is nothing other than the Kingdom of Spain. Since May 15, 2011, the "spirit of Tahrir Square" vibrates at the heart of Madrid, the legendary site of the Puerta del Sol.

This week of anger, time of reckoning with the powers that be, could be a milestone in the life of Spanish democracy. And it may also send a signal to the rest of democratic Europe, or post-democratic. Because this movement of May 15 is not a simple protest against the austerity plan designed to Brussels by the minority leader of the Socialist Party (PSOE), Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

The challenge goes beyond it by far the criticism of the government. Anger does not live only cuts in social benefits. We are witnessing in Spain at the beginning of a new form of populism from below. It is free from xenophobia throbbing, especially of Islamophobia with which the representatives of the extreme right so far dominated the scene and poisoned the atmosphere with their populism to counter Wilders [Netherlands] , the Strache [Austria], the Blocher [Switzerland], at Kjærsgaard [Denmark] and Le Pen.

However, as in the populist nationalist, indignation and anger of these protesters have turned against the "system" as a whole: the cons and cons political parties, against the unions, who defend their gains and that the unemployed especially young people deprived of future feel they do not represent them against the banks and their influence on politics, against increasingly large mortgages and contributing to a gloomy outlook, against job insecurity, cons wage pressure on low-skilled, the disaster cons of teaching Spanish, cons the gulf widens between rich and poor, and essential ground, against Corruption, known to all levels of government.

Those who gather in public squares throughout the country have a common enemy: democracy parties and politicians who embodies. In surveys, it ranks third, behind unemployment and the economy, before immigration and terrorism, the list of the biggest concerns of citizens. On this point, the populist right and the left maintain the same stereotypical image of the enemy.

The generation of Twitter and Facebook is not alone in occupying the seats. Are concerned all ages, all types of training. Individuals whose career reflects the many difficulties, often marked by the experience of long-term unemployment. All despise the policies: they would care, they believe that the struggle for power - an end in itself which does not rely on any project.

Many express a personal disillusionment rather than the political outrage that has become the public symbol of these events. Without stable jobs, young people reject the foundation of a home, adult children, after the failure of their career, suddenly returned to their parents, academics senior positions vainly seeking full-time paid: nothing surprising that democracy creates growing doubts.

Spain Will it become the model of the new populism disappointed and left-to-day, as the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria were the defenders of populism and acquired prosperity? The spokesman of the movement intend to continue their action. But otherwise continue in a coordinated, organized and networked.

Globalization from below to continue. Already a dialogue was established with people who share this sense of outrage in other countries, Iceland, Great Britain or even Morocco. We'll see. Besides the political parties, many are hoping that the demonstrators from the Puerta del Sol will soon leave the scene to attend to their business again.

It would be unfortunate. These demonstrators are more than just "angry citizens" driven by a single goal, that "it continues." They could become a counterweight to anti-democratic right-wing, anti-consensus. Who but the indignant flights Stéphane Hessel, may prevent it from slipping permanently into the post-democratic?

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