Mexico: A necessary debate

"Authentic democracy" and the perspective of the socialists

October 05, 2012

By Pablo Oprinari

By LTS-CC, Mexico

With the decision of the Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF), that legitimizes Peña Nieto’s victory and his fraudulent maneuvers, the true face of the "democratic" institutions, the same ones that endorsed the 2006 fraud, has been shown before the eyes of thousands. As in the old era of rule by the PRI, today politicians from the PAN and the PRI have the guarantee of the "justice" system to promote their plans against the people.

This is a new blow at the illusion that the alternating parties would bring more democracy. It was "make up" to deceive the people and preserve capitalist domination. Instead of the advent of "democracy," day by day, we suffer militarization and the measures of Calderón and the Congress of the Union against the people. That is the essence of this democracy for the rich.

The utopia of democratizing the institutions

This shows that no favorable change will come out of reforms from above. That it will not be through "perfecting" the institutions that the aspirations of young people in the streets will be resolved, since those institutions are for preserving exploitation and oppression. Thus, every reform will be cosmetic and for asserting control over the people, just as the "democratic transition" was.

We socialists of the LTS believe that there must be a debate about the demand for "authentic democracy" that the communiqués of #YoSoy132 propose, and that there is no way of resolving the aspirations of the young without confronting "democracy for the rich," nor that majorities will decide society’s course without overthrowing the regime, an apparatus of domination by the capitalists.

Although for thousands, the demand for "authentic democracy" means the decision to confront the imposition of Peña Nieto, it involves the dangerous illusion that "democracy" will be obtained in the framework of current institutions and of capitalism.

From the LTS and the young people of Contracorriente, we have been participating on the frontline of the mobilization against the imposition, and on the frontline of #YoSoy132, proposing to fight for Down with the IFE and the Trife! For nationalization, under workers’ control, of the television and printed press monopolies! Down with the regime of alternating parties!

Moreover, we think it is necessary to go further. Bourgeois democracy, as Lenin used to say, is the best cover for the domination of capital, under which it is impossible to obtain the demands of the masses of the people and the young, and, in times of capitalist offensive, as at present, basic freedoms get trampled on. Nor does it even guarantee what its laws proclaim, like the right to vote and "impartial" elections. Against what is advocated by López Obrador and the PRD, it is impossible to democratize this degraded democracy.

We socialists maintain that only a government of the workers, next to the campesinos and the poor people, will guarantee the resolution of the aspirations of the majorities. A workers’ and popular government, based on expropriation of the capitalists and of the transnational corporations, and on breaking with imperialism, that will begin the socialist transformation of society.

And where economic and political decisions will be made democratically by the organizations of the workers, the exploited and oppressed. In view of capitalist democracy, where a handful of politicians, serving the big businessmen, make decisions, and in which "democracy" is a fiction repeated every 3 years, we socialists have a proposal for struggle to reorganize society: the seizure of power by the workers and their allies from the countryside and the city, to expropriate the expropriators, and planning based on the organizations of direct democracy of the majorities.

This takes up again the best experiences of struggle in the last 160 years of working-class history (like Soviet democracy before the Stalinist counter-revolution). With this perspective, we want to put in place a new generation of workers, young people and students that will not only challenge the anti-democracy, but will acquire a strategy to win.

From the LTS, during the recent mobilizations, we proposed, to those who do not yet share the socialist perspective, but want to fight against anti-democracy, promoting a free and sovereign Constituent Assembly, where all the groups will present their candidates, with full access to the communications media and with representatives elected from one national district alone. In this Constituent Assembly, much more democratic than the current capitalist democracy, any worker or student could present his demands. In fact, although it is not a central theme of our program, every individual or organization could propose holding new elections. It is obvious that a Constituent Assembly with these characteristics will not be called by the institutions of this anti-democratic regime. To impose the Constituent Assembly, a big mobilization in the streets, with the broadest democratic organization, where the working class and its organizations would take charge, would be necessary.

September 16, 2012