By Clase contra Clase (Spain)
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
All women and all men to the demonstrations and protests against Rajoy’s government, like those that will take place Thursday, July 18, in front of the PP headquarters!
Not even two weeks. That is how long the former treasurer of the PP Luis Bárcenas waited to “let the cat out of the bag” after he entered prison. The inability of the government and the PP to prevent this judicial decision convinced him to begin his cold vengeance through leaking new documents that directly implicate Rajoy in collecting excess pay and the sms between Rajoy and Bárcenas, up to March 2013. In these communications, the close friendly relationship between them both, the government’s backing of the most corrupt man in recent history, and the threats from Bárcenas, when he began to find himself abandoned by the PP, are proven.
Furthermore, in Bárcenas’ most recent statements before the judge, he admitted nothing more, nothing less than that he hand delivered to Rajoy and Cospedal envelopes with at least 50,000 euros in cash, that the PP received undeclared income from businessmen, in exchange for awarding projects and that the Presidents and General Secretaries knew about this conspiracy.
We are facing a big crisis of Rajoy’s government, in the middle of an historic economic crisis that is harshly battering the entire working class and groups of the poor. A profound crisis that is touching all the institutions of the Regime of 1978, after several conspiracies of corruption that are affecting even the Royal Family.
Behind the corruption: A state and a legal system at the service of the capitalists
With the publication of Bárcenas’ first papers in January, the close relationship between the political caste of this Regime and big businesses was proven. The construction firms that benefited from the 1997 Ground Law, from the awarding of public works and the gigantic Spanish real-estate bubble, were the main creditors of the PP slush fund, from which envelopes regularly went out to please Deputies, Ministers and highly-placed officials of the PP. A practice so habitual that it explains why the cases of corruption of public officials opened in Spain now exceed 800. And, paraphrasing Marx, the government of the bourgeois state never ceased to be the Administrative Council of the common interests of the great fortunes of a country.
This new batch of documents demolishes another one of the Regime’s big lies, that the legal system is independent and the same for everyone. In fact, in Bárcenas’ statements now, he admitted that both before and after his entering prison, he got proposals from the PP for arriving at an agreement and getting the proceedings nullified, on the condition that he would keep his mouth shut, and, if he did, they would hand over, in exchange, the head of Justice Minister Gallardón.
Up to the last minute, Rajoy tried to use his position as President of the government and control of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to prevent his friend and former treasurer from going to prison. He could not do it, because the political cost for the Regime and its institutions was going to be too high, although he has managed to postpone it since 2009. But he did indeed recently assure that Miguel Blesa, the former Chairman of Caja Madrid, would remain at liberty, and that a new judge, more to the taste of his defense, would be assigned to him. He also managed, with the Public Prosecutor’s Office and through the request of the Royal Family, that the Infanta would no longer be charged in the Noos case.
Even the Vice President of the government herself admits the partiality of the legal system, aligned with one or another group from the Regime, when she presents as proof that there was no negotiation with Bárcenas, the fact that he is now in prison. Assuming as given that if they had wanted, – or, rather, if the correlation of forces within the Regime had allowed them – they would have prevented it. Or the statements of the government’s Delegate in Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, that she views the exchange of messages between Bárcenas and Rajoy as “normal.” Or another PP Deputy, who, in statements to El País complains that they lost control of the case, that the Public Prosecutor’s Office no longer obeys them, as the call to Dolores de Cospedal to testify, shows.
The fact that now “one of theirs” is sleeping behind bars does not mean that the legal system has become impartial and the same for everyone. Rather, it shows the weakness of the government and the Regime, in being able with act with the customary normality – by protecting, shielding or pardoning “their own people” in the middle of the growing fatigue, caused by their policy of anti-worker and anti-popular attacks, and the scandals of corruption, as well as that of the Regime of 1978 in general, It also shows the harsh internal confrontation within the PP.
No party of this Regime for the rich can be an alternative to the political crisis
The PSOE and other parties of the opposition, like the IU, are trying to capitalize on the Bárcenas scandal. Rubalcaba and Cayo Lara first asked for Rajoy’s resignation, and on Tuesday the PSOE already announced that if Rajoy does not agree in the Cortes, it will present a motion of censure. The leaders of the CiU are being more prudent in their demand for explanations, and it is because they must “show gratitude for” some past favors, like the reprieve for two highly-placed officials of Unió at the end of 2012.
The truth is that none of them can pontificate against corruption, since all the parties of the Regime are implicated in various cases of corruption. The best-known case from the CiU is the Palau Case, although it has several open scandals. But the PSOE is also a leading figure in big scandals, like that of the ERE of the government of Andalucía, in which a long list of public officials feathered their nests with 150 million euros, earmarked for fighting unemployment in the region. The IU, now a partner in the government of Andalucía, is part of the defensive barrier, so that this case will go unpunished, by opposing new parliamentary investigations or supporting the idea that the government of Andalucía should pay the expenses of the defense of the highly-placed officials that have been charged.
We cannot expect, then, that the end of corruption will come from any of these parties of the Regime of 1978, thoroughly imbued with all the customary practices of trades, tricks and corrupt activities, between public officials at all levels and big businessmen. Some parties that are part of a caste increasingly repudiated by workers and groups of the poor.
It is not corruption; it is capitalism. For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly
Although in his statements, Rajoy insists on the stability of his absolute majority, social rejection of the PP government is increasing, and its continued fall in the surveys of voting intentions and assessment are a reflection of that. Also, the chants for Rajoy’s resignation, that are already customary in almost all the demonstrations against the cutbacks and layoffs. This discontent, however, has been systematically contained by parties like the IU, that are intervening in the social movements, in order to try to channel the outrage behind a reformist electoral project. And, above all, by the union bureaucracy of the CCOO and the UGT, that, after a 2012 when we began to see the working class in action – general strikes, a miners’ strike, protests by public-sector workers, etc. – have been doing their utmost in 2013 to prevent the working class from again going out to the street with its own methods, which is causing real fatigue among many of the young people and groups of the poor, that have been mobilizing since March 15 .
For that reason, it is necessary to condemn the criminal policy of Toxo and Méndez, that are allowing the loss of dozens of conquests, allowing hundreds of agreements to fall… at the expense of preventing the workers from going out onto the scene, that would put the government and the Regime of 1978 in serious predicaments. For its part, the IU is calling for demonstrations… but it is postponing them until after the summer. If we really want to put an end to the government through mobilization, demonstrations that let weeks pass after the most serious acts will not be enough. We must demand the end of the union bureaucracy’s policy of containment, that the IU is playing along with, and the calling of a general strike and a plan of struggle against Rajoy and his measures, that will force the fall of the PP government.
But overthrowing the PP, in order to make way for the PSOE or a PSOE-IU government, would not be any solution for ending corruption and the big social problems that we are now suffering. The alliance between the dominant political class and the financial elite, that benefited from the big deals of these years, is opposed to the most minimal reform of the Regime. There is even talk that a three-party agreement – the PP, PSOE and Zarzuela – is underway, with the aim of reducing to a controllable dimension the size of the three scandals, each of which, by itself, could destroy the Regime: the Bárcenas case, the affair of the Andalusian ERE, and the nightmare of the son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarín.
For that reason, to avoid another “replacement” government, that will change nothing, we must aim, not only at the PP government, but at the whole Regime of 1978 and its parties. Through the mobilization of the working class and the rest of the groups of the poor, we must strive to achieve the imposition of a revolutionary constituent process on the ruins of this democracy for the rich.
A constituent process that will put an end to the political system of the capitalists and all their reactionary institutions, like the Senate and the Congress, the Supreme Court, the National Court, and the Constitutional Court, the Presidency of the government, the Crown. A process that will retake the most advanced forms of democracy that the working class has achieved, and that were set forth in the experience of the Paris Commune. Where voting will be expanded to all those over 15 years old, native-born or foreigners; a single chamber with legislative and executive powers will be chosen, elected proportionally in a single constituency, where the Deputies can be recalled and will earn the same as a public school teacher; where trials by jury will be generalized, and the judges will also be elected by universal suffrage.
A constituent process with these characteristics would lay the foundation for being able to resolve other fundamental democratic matters, like the right of the nationalities to self-determination, and the big problems of unemployment, housing, poverty, that are only growing worse, by advancing over the interests of the big capitalists, in order to distribute work, improve wages and pensions, healthcare and education.
From Clase contra Clase, we consider that the fight to overthrow this government and the Regime of 1978 can only be carried out through the broadest social mobilization, with the workers in front. In the course of this fight, we will have to forge the institutions of self-organization needed for the struggle, that will be the basis for being able to impose a provisional government of the workers and of the groups of the poor, against the governments of bosses and bankers, that we are now enduring. Only such a government, based on these institutions, will be able to guarantee a constituent process that will settle our democratic and social demands completely.
All women and all men to the demonstrations in front of the PP headquarters, on July 18!
For a general strike and a plan of struggle to overthrow Rajoy’s government!
Down with the Regime of 1978! For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!
Translated by Yosef M.