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By Jesús González Pazos
Well, from the opportunity, and a certain legitimacy, that comes from being part of an organization of solidarity and international cooperation, we try to add to this line of reflection on where this world is going when we have just changed the calendar.
In a previous article we exposed the consideration of having entered, possibly, the end of the neoliberal cycle and how this has manifested itself with more evidence in 2016, although it comes from a little further afield. Affirmation based on facts such as the political and social revolts that took place against this system, especially in the first decade of the current century in Latin America and that, deeply questioning its bases of domination, opened new and possible paths that are still under theoretical construction today. and practice (no one said this was going to be easy, right). This affirmation is also based, and in more recent years, in the successive protests chained in the countries of southern Europe, as they suffer the harshest consequences of the crisis of that dominant model, consequences not only economic, but also political, social and ideological. But this assertion of the end of the neoliberal cycle was also based on the actions of the silent majorities in the last year, those who do not take to the streets, but who have been suffering for years the rigors of this system that, we can now call that of the globalization of inequality. Well, that boredom is shown by those silent majorities in votes and referendums that, beyond breaking polls, reflect the breakdown of the passive conformism to which they have been induced and the fatigue against the established economic and political elites (the establishment) that today control different countries.
From here, the immediate future opens up to diametrically opposite options. Or we advance towards the construction of more just societies, where the unequal distribution of wealth and its most direct consequence, the brutal breakdown of societies due to inequality, is a forgotten nightmare; or, on the contrary, they opt for neo-fascist solutions that deepen this path, as the generalized rise of the extreme right and the extreme right seems to assure us. But, taking all this into account, let's focus now on that announced review of the situation that we mentioned at the beginning as the objective of this writing.
Brexit in Great Britain, the referendum in Italy, the election of Mr. Trump in the United States, and some other “scare” have been news loaded with the past that put into question the same structures of the political and social system and that have staggered in 2016. Protectionist measures begin to recover previously lost spaces, while criticism of the free market and its absolute power increases; the state regains ground in the face of neoliberal orthodoxy. Thus, what was recently presented to us as the panacea for economic growth, which were the innumerable free trade agreements that the transnationals dictated to the governments, today are beginning to be questioned by even a part of those same elites. And in all this situation of challenge and dispute to the foundations of the system, although we try to hide and minimize, the different societies have played an enormous role. Huge mobilizations like they had not been in for many years (against brutal austerity and for a dignified life in Greece, against those same free trade agreements that we mentioned before throughout Europe, etc.) have returned to the streets and have recovered much of dignity spoiled by neoliberalism. Although they have not always been transformed into political victories, they have provided important elements for the essential questions, for the necessary criticism, to advance in the generation of alternatives to the model.
But in this analysis of the situation, other realities that were invisible in 2016 must also be brought into review. The wars in Syria, Palestine, Iraq ... continue to challenge hidden responsibilities, especially on the part of the European and US "authorities". Those same ones that build great proclamations in favor of democracy and for the human rights of all people, but continue to ignore, and in many cases condemn to death, thousands of human beings who die at the gates of old Europe or in the largest mass grave in history that the Mediterranean Sea has become. And all this while hiding their responsibilities in those same wars; They continue to profit from the sale of weapons to all kinds of contenders, they continue to fuel the confrontations and they continue to repress solidarity.
Invisible realities are also other wars in Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Congo ... and since we are here, let's mention the invisibility of an entire continent such as Africa. Where western transnationals, with the firm backing of their governments, continue to plunder and fuel wars to achieve only and exclusively increased profits.
However, there is a positive side to this balance which, in turn, represents an optimistic basis for the times to come. We have already pointed out the large mobilizations in Europe that have questioned the model, but it will be necessary to underline and be proud of the solidarity and demand for rights that the majority of the population of this old continent expresses daily by that population on the march to Europe since the expulsion of their territories by wars or entrenched impoverishment. It is true that the rise of the extreme right is undeniable and can lead us to very difficult times, but various social movements have also strengthened in 2016 that show a certain revitalization of our societies. Some, like the feminist, have stood up to the mirage of women's equality in this same Europe, they have clearly said that equity is not yet real and, above all, they proclaim every day that machismo and machistas murder women and that we must end one and the other, thus deconstructing this patriarchal society.
On the other hand, and crossing oceans, it is necessary to recover from the interested party the fact that Latin America and its great majorities, today, continue to build different theories and practices that seek the paths towards more just societies. That put old and new concepts to discussion such as Good Living, community economics, the recovery of the role of the state in the economy or the fact that there are other models of possible states that surpass the traditional nation-state, etc. But even in countries as central as the US, despite the dark ages that may come with D. Trump, hopes are raised for new approaches such as, at least, Bernie Sanders' renovating speech as a possible Democratic candidate and what it aroused around him. For all this and much more that remains in the pipeline, we can say that there are options, that there are possibilities for 2017 to be interesting.
And if someone is tempted to read this article to its easy disqualification by pointing out that it oozes ideology superseded by history, we save you the effort. Of course, this text overturns ideology in itself, one that seeks equality and social justice, true democracy in which more and more people take an active part, that of real respect for all rights for all and all, not just for some. few. Many thought only two decades ago that the end of ideologies had arrived and they in turn proclaimed the end of history, underlining that from that moment there would be no more ideological struggle. They were the happy years of the triumph, it was thought absolute, of neoliberalism. Today, just a few decades later, we discuss its dark immediate future. But, we also maintain that today the risk is precisely in the de-ideologization that some claim so that neo-fascism, with multiple faces, can once again rule the world in this year that we have just begun. For all this, we wish you a good year, that we know how to load it with ideology.