Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist) CPM (ML)
The elections of July 6 of the present year ended with a regrouping of the political forces in Mexico, in which social democracy surmounted a difficult situation due to its defeat in 1994; today it has built itself up into the third national political force.
The PRD won the governorship of the Federal District and will govern with its eyes set on the presidential election which will be held in the year 2000.
The present analysis utilized the Program of the PRD published in 1993 by the Institute of Studies of the Democratic Revolution, Secretariat of Studies and the Program of the PRD, a draft which was finally adopted. Its editors are "prestigious members" of the PRD, at the head of which were: Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, Mariclaire Acosta, Rosa Albina Garavito, Iván García Solís, Pablo Gómez, Cristina Laurell, Gilberto López y Rivas, Jesús Martín del Campo, Ifigenia Martínez, Arnolo Martínez Verdugo, Carlos Monsiváis, Gerardo Unzueta, Ricardo Valeta, José Woldenberg and Nuria Fernández.
And what does it offer us? Nothing less than the restructuring of the system under the guidelines of the efficiency of public administration, the "socialization of political power," in conjunction with the principles of old liberalism, and a very well-polished nationalism of the petty-bourgeoisie at the service of the monopolies.
Everything reduces itself to the fact that a clique of politicians has seized Power and is making "bad use of it." These are the evils [that it sees]: a vertical hierarchy in the exercise of power, the centralization and concentration of power in the hands of an elite, corporatism, the existence of a State party and corruption. From here it seeks the solution in the Reform of the State in which "the essential question is the division and distribution of public power conforming to constitutional norms, the decisive strengthening of political autonomy and the irrevocable guarantee of human rights: a plan for a nation defined and defended by its citizens and a public order which promotes the exercise of all freedoms." (Program of the PRD).
And the "new" State which will arise from this reform, cloaked by the social democrats as a "Democratic Revolution," must be "capable, effective and responsible" to ensure "the future of the country under the unbribable mandate of just laws respected by all." (op. cit., p. 6).
This is the catechism of bourgeois liberalism adopted by social democracy. Let us proceed to a detailed analysis.
The social democrats cling to the constitutional precept of sovereignty which states: "Article 39. National sovereignty resides essentially and primarily in the people. Every public power springs from the people and is instituted for their benefit. The people have at all times the inalienable right to alter or modify the form of their government."
Fine, but if the people do not possess effective instruments to enforce this precept, what is stated in the Constitution becomes just so many words, since furthermore the "democratic game" established by the above Constitution makes it impossible for the people to fully enforce its concept of sovereignty, since we are dealing with a Constitution that binds us in a strict legalism and leaves us at the mercy of the enemy.
This is the reason why even neo-liberalism does not protest against article 39 of the Constitution, since that article remains in the abstract, without instruments or means to enforce it.
Along with the neo-liberals, the social democrats, although they deny it, prevent popular sovereignty from being the "foundation of constitutionality" as they themselves say; because they also maintain that sovereignty is exercised by means of the "Federal powers and those of the states and municipalities, through the local governments," that is to say, through the same organs that prevent it. And every change in the apparatus is made to depend on the organs established by the Constitution, which is in contradiction with the above-mentioned concept of sovereignty, since first it is accepted that the people may change their form of government whenever and however they please, but afterwards it places the condition that this change must take place by through the established organs.
It is this vulgar republicanism of unrestricted fondness for laws that destroys any possibility of popular sovereignty. The social democrats have fallen into the absurdity that, according to them, we will arrive at sovereignty by means of laws which restrict every act of sovereignty.
What is the origin of these errors? Social democracy maintains the class view of the bourgeoisie that the Constitution represents the people "in general" and that the problem is that it is not respected consistently. All this is profoundly erroneous; the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico is the legal basis of the existing social relations of production, of private property and all its consequences; it represents the interests of the bourgeoisie. The state is testimony to the fact that it watches over the class struggle (subjugating the people). Every constitution represents an established order, it supports it and guarantees it. To pretend that this same Constitution can actually defend popular sovereignty is nonsense, the product either of the imagination or of hidden interests.
How is it possible for the people to exercise supreme authority when the Constitution itself concedes all privileges to the exploiting class, when it guarantees an authoritarian power in the President of the Republic? What authority can a people have when they do not have economic power? What supreme authority can our people have to determine the development of our country in all spheres if those who decide what to do with the economy, its industries, the banks, the land, transport, are their owners, the same ones who never heed the interests of the people but rather the dictates of commercial production, of capital, paying attention to the source of profits which, as is well-known, is in opposition to what the people demand? Under these conditions, the people can not exercise the most minimal supreme authority.
The Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico suffers from the same evil as all bourgeois constitutions, defending with dry formulas the rights of the in general, and reducing them to the realm of the impossible in the concrete. This truth has been made evident with special clarity by the genius of Marx in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte when he said: "The inevitable general staff of the liberties of 1848, personal liberty, liberty of the press, of speech, of association, of assembly, of education and religion, etc., received a constitutional uniform, which made them invulnerable. For each of these liberties is proclaimed as the absolute right of the French citoyen [citizen], but always with the marginal note that it is unlimited so far as it is not limited by the 'equal rights of others and the public safety' or by 'laws' which are intended to mediate just this harmony of the individual liberties with one another and with the public safety... The Constitution, therefore, constantly refers to future organic laws, which are to put into effect those marginal notes and regulate the enjoyment of these unrestricted liberties in such a manner that they will conflict neither with one another nor with the public safety. And later, these organic laws were brought into being by the friends of order [whose descendants are the neo-liberals; see what similarity there is to the present time, with bourgeois politics in pursuit of these reforms], and all those liberties regulated in such a manner that the bourgeoisie finds itself unhampered in its enjoyment of them by the equal rights of the other classes. Where it forbids these liberties entirely to 'others' or permits enjoyment of them under conditions that are just so many police traps, this always happens solely in the interest of 'public safety,' that is, the safety of the bourgeoisie, as the Constitution prescribes. [Exactly! The Constitution itself grants the bourgeoisie the right to violate its own Constitution by placing restrictions on itself. This point deserves to be emphasized, since it is already known that the social democrats guard themselves from the "violation" of the Constitution by the neo-liberals, proclaiming that the Constitution's unrestricted fulfillment is the means of salvation from the calamities which are afflicting the regime, making a great noise about the deviation from the constitutional road - author's note] Consequently, both sides appeal with complete justice to the Constitution: the friends of order, who abrogated all these liberties, as well as the democrats, who demanded all of them. For each paragraph of the Constitution contains its own antithesis, its own Upper and Lower House, namely, liberty in the general text, abrogation of liberty in the marginal note."
Is this an imperfection in the Constitution? Definitely not. Its contradictions correspond to other contradictions in the social relations of production, they are the reflection of class antagonisms and differences. In this sense, the Constitution is precise, and its contradictions or variability in its interpretation correspond to the need for adaptability of bourgeois politics to specific conditions that arise, to the need to legitimize their methods of domination.
Let us continue. According to the social democrats, what are the conditions for the full exercise of popular sovereignty?
Free and impartial elections.
In the Program of the PRD it is maintained that "The first condition for any political transformation is the guarantee of free, universal and effective suffrage by means of genuine elections, in the framework of clear legal authority, credible lists of voters and independent and impartial electoral authorities who deserve the trust of the citizens and make possible the restoration of republican legality." (p. 8).
In the resolutions of their Third Congress "The electoral struggle, the participation in federal and local elections, constitutes the chief front of struggle by which the PRD can actually advance towards the conquest of political power and thus confirm its social presence."
And a little further in the same document, counting on the agreed-upon transition to "the establishment in the country of an electoral system that is really competitive, in which the following two prerequisites must be fulfilled: autonomy of the electoral organs and impartiality in the electoral campaign."
This is an impossibility for the bourgeois interests and for the very characteristics of the capitalist system in Mexico. For even putting this aside impartiality transforms itself into its opposite if one takes into account the fact that in Mexico very different parties compete, that some will inevitably have greater privileges than others. This is in reality an advantage to the PRD and its two principal rivals, the PRI and the PAN, which will be favored in economic and propaganda resources, etc. In reality, the so-called impartiality does not have bases for its existence, it is a matter in itself of monopolizing the elections by three parties; moreover the bourgeoisie will inevitably support one or another party, based on the particularities of the moment and the effectiveness of one or another of the alternatives offered, disposing furthermore of its economic power, its coercive instruments, that is to say the State and its institutions.
Now, despite everything, let us suppose that the elections could be held so democratically, so fairly, with equality of conditions leading to a supposed impartiality, as our unlucky PRDists say. And let us also suppose that the PRD would win the presidential elections, for example (this is not impossible), and the consequences that would result from putting into effect the Program of the PRD would not change the situation for the working masses.
Without going any farther, let us say that the PRD agrees to take part in the bourgeois electoral game, that is, it agrees not to try to do anything against the bourgeois interests, which is the first requirement for taking part in the elections; the PRD declares that it will unconditionally defend the bourgeois constitution, bourgeois power, bourgeois private property, especially the large property, about which they constantly call on the people to distrust the neo-liberals, and to pay attention to their economic proposals. Consequently, if we analyze these two points, we will see that the PRD is against the people.
Maintaining their thesis that free elections are the means of salvation, the PRDists assure us that "The exercise of popular sovereignty demands the suppression of the system of the State party, which dominates the electoral processes, and demands the establishment of a multi-party government which will restore to the citizens their decision-making power and which will permit them to gain access, by means of the vote, to all levels of political representation"... "The extreme presidential power and the symbiosis between the government and the party have been shown, for decades, to be the two fundamental and complimentary axes on which Mexican authoritarianism rests." (Program of the Democratic Revolution, p. 12).
The question of the single party is the object of criticism by the social democrats, who see it as an anti-natural phenomenon in comparison to the "pluralist" proposition. They are not the only ones who reject the single party without considering which class it represents; the Zapatistas and many other groups of the left also attack this. Although the attack has its basis in the present situation in which one single political party dominates the State, we can not make an abstraction of its class content. The clearest in their proposal to "dissolve" the "State party" are the social democrats, who demand that a multi-party government or "State system" be established, in which various political parties are incorporated. This proposal represents the multitude of big bourgeois tendencies in the monopoly capitalism of the State and their desire to form a government, that is to say that these tendencies or groupings would be able to establish themselves in an "independent" form, preserving the group in the form of coalitions, fusing with all or some of the existing groupings, in virtue of their force, their perspectives, their possibilities and capabilities, as opposed to the other tendency to maintain a single hegemony within the bourgeoisie itself, personified as a single party. Therefore, to simply demand their incorporation into the state apparatus without taking into account the above-mentioned elements, heeding the good will of the opponents and the infallibility of the reforms, simply transforms itself into a chimera and a genuine support to the oligarchs and the present fascist tendencies.
Leninism teaches us that parties always represent classes, that in the bourgeois State there can exist not only one but various parties which represent different sections of the bourgeoisie. But for the social democrats the truth of this thesis means little; what interests them is their effectiveness in winning followers, using the sentiments of the people to serve the interests of the bourgeoisie, which can accept the coalition of the parties in power that will better safeguard their interests.
In these points on pluralism is implicit the proposal of electoral reform, which circumscribes the legalism that Cárdenas and his followers proclaim: "the circle of the politically privileged among the propertied class itself was to be widened and the exclusive domination of the financial aristocracy overthrown." (K. Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte) No more, no less. Further explanations are unnecessary.
The social democrats of the PRD have decided to stand up against presidential power. Will they be successful? We shall see, for we have seen how firm is their alternative of sovereignty and pluralism.
2. The Reform of the State and the "new" constitutionalism.
Consider the following passage from the Program of the PRD: "The reform of the State that our country needs demands the reevaluation of the public function, the strengthening of social participation, the deconcentration of authority and the establishment of clear boundaries between state and private interests, which would eliminate the patrimonial character of public power, dissolve the monopolies and free the productive energies of the nation."
They speak to us of strengthening social participation, but with what objective if one continues to permit the means of production to be private property? Social participation without the means and fruits of production is a phrase lacking in meaning for the masses, but it is very necessary for the exploiters in raising the tempo of production and in the reduction of bureaucracy, utilizing the masses to administer the enterprises (by enterprises we mean both work-places as well as public administration); the masses require social participation to repress their masters, to exercise their power, which means simply to strike the bourgeoisie, a thing which is punished by the Constitution. Remember the sacred principle: "Do not affect third parties."
The deconcentration of authority is nothing more than the idyllic democratization of bourgeois authority that is constantly subjected to bureaucratization and parasitism, which are its characteristics.
To eliminate the patrimonial character of the bourgeois State is to try to deny that this same State defends one class in particular. In this sense the bourgeois State is the patrimony of the bourgeois class, and as such it will always be the defender of its heritage, which is the role of protector of the class which has established it for its exclusive use.
To dissolve the monopolies, as paradoxical as it may seem, is to condemn the country to ruin; to free the "productive energies of the nation" requires instead dissolving the social relations which obstruct them. Although the anti-monopoly principle is sanctioned by the Constitution, this is impossible to maintain in modern bourgeois society given the high concentration of production and the need to maintain high tempos of productivity, which are incompatible with small and medium-sized enterprises. The profound development of the capitalist system demands the necessary existence of large monopolies for the better exploitation of labor power.
Further... "Let us reject the authoritarian, centralized State with tentacles; we wish that power be exercised by the greatest number of Mexicans and that it be distributed fairly. We seek to strengthen above all the power of the citizens. We do not wish the State to drown individual and collective initiative; nor that it substitute itself for the producers of wealth [that is, not to socialize the means of production - author's note], except for the obligations that the law determines in strategic and priority areas. We propose that the democratic power should increase its governing power to regulate economic activity in conformity with the national interest and should dispose of the necessary resources to expand its infrastructure and guarantee social development." (Program of the PRD).
For the social democrats, everything reduces itself to the idea that the evils come from corruption, authoritarianism, a vertical hierarchy in public institutions and presidential power.
Balance of powers
According to the PRDists, "what is essential in the struggle is to achieve the division and distribution of power according to constitutional norms, the decisive strengthening of political autonomy and the irrevocable guarantee of human rights." (Program of the PRD).
The question of the division of powers "according to constitutional norms" is the center of the policy of social democracy, which is up to its neck in bourgeois republicanism. In the heart of the mass movement this represents the most abject reformism and opportunism. It is not pure verbiage, nor is its objective to eliminate presidential power. Its objective is to safeguard it, for which, according to its conception, it is necessary to "limit it," "restrict it," to hide its worn-out parts from the anger of the masses, to conjure away the revolution and to redesign a more efficient, "democratic" state apparatus in the service of the monopolies.
After declaring its repudiation of presidential power, it ends up by accepting it. Social democracy has unleashed a deafening campaign against presidential power, but the campaign is a bluff. The social democrats imagine that presidential power is a deviation from the bourgeois republican road, an aberration that is not suitable to the parliamentary system, a correctable error, they see or think they see presidential power as a thing in itself, not related to the dynamic of capitalist development.
To what is its propaganda on this point reduced? To elaborating formulas to temper the activity of the President of the Republic, formulas which do not fundamentally affect it and thus lead to a refined presidential power, that is to say a "European style" presidential power, which in reality has nothing to do with the American continent. Here it is necessary to point out that besides the desire to moderate presidential power at all costs, there exists the second aim of strengthening their positions in parliament by this act.
The social democratic formulas of combating presidential power consist in "revising," "opposing," "documenting," "demanding," "watching over," "carrying out motions of censure," "soliciting removals," "soliciting the appearance of the President and his cronies before Congress," etc. They reduce all fight against presidential power to this, and it cannot be otherwise since social democracy does not proceed against the central point which engenders the presidential power sanctioned in the constitution. This center is in the capitalist system; in the need to lead the regime of private property in the only manner in which it can be led, by the election of a supreme chief who concentrates in himself the fundamental decisions to maintain the system; in the anarchic character of the system even in the "most advanced democracies" and the need to "lead" that anarchy, taking as an example and guide the capitalist enterprise itself and its forms of authoritarian leadership; in the type and level of development reached (in capitalist terms, in the particularities of the historic character, the level of concentration and centralization of capital, "cultural" development, and in the forms that cover up bureaucracy).
But the social democratic pride seeks to dominate society with its infallible laws and reforms, although the truth is that, without playing down the role of laws, the base of society dominates the social democratic jurist. This is affirmed by the science of political economy: "Truly, one must be destitute of all historical knowledge not to know that it is the sovereigns who in all ages have been subject to economic conditions, but they have never dictated laws to them. Legislation, whether political or civil, never does more than proclaim, express in words, the will of economic relations." (K. Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy)
The Constitution does no more than sanction in the best manner possible this fact, distinction or characteristic, which should be extended to all bourgeois constitutions. According to Karl Marx in his work The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, a work of essential importance to understanding bourgeois law, the problem of presidential power is found not outside, but within the constitution. We cite a quote from this work which, although it is rather long, is very useful in clarifying the problem:
"…this Constitution, made inviolable in so ingenious a manner, was nevertheless, like Achilles, vulnerable in one point, not in the heel, but in the head, or rather in the two heads where it ended up -- the Legislative Assembly, on the one hand, the President, on the other. Glance through the Constitution and you will find that only the paragraphs in which the relationship of the President to the Legislative Assembly is defined are absolute, positive, non-contradictory, and cannot be distorted. For here it was a question of the bourgeois republicans safeguarding themselves. The articles… are so worded that the National Assembly can remove the President constitutionally, whereas the President can only remove the National Assembly unconstitutionally, by setting aside the Constitution itself. Here, therefore, it provokes its forcible destruction. It not only sanctifies the division of powers, like the Charter of 1830, it widens it into an intolerable contradiction. The game of the constitutional powers… On one side are 750 representatives of the people, elected by universal suffrage and eligible for re-election; they form an uncontrollable, indissoluble, indivisible National Assembly, a National Assembly that enjoys legislative omnipotence, decides in the last instance on war, peace and commercial treaties, that alone possesses the right of amnesty and, by its permanence, perpetually holds the front of the stage. On the other side is the President, with all the attributes of royal power, with authority to appoint and dismiss his ministers independently of the National Assembly, with all the resources of executive power in his hands, bestowing all posts and deciding thereby on the livelihood of at least 1.5 million people in France, for that is how many depend on the 500,000 officials and officers of every rank. He has the whole of the armed forces behind him. He enjoys the privilege of pardoning individual criminals, of suspending National Guards, of discharging, with the concurrence of the Council of State, general, cantonal and municipal councils elected by the citizens themselves. Initiative and direction are reserved to him in all treaties with foreign countries. While the Assembly constantly performs on the boards and is exposed to daily public criticism, he leads a secluded life in the Elysian Fields, and that with Article 45 of the Constitution before his eyes and in his heart, crying to him daily: Frere, il faut mourir! [Brother, death is near!] Your power ceases…! Then your glory is at an end, there won't be a repeat performance and if you have debts, look to it in the meantime…! Thus, whereas the Constitution assigns actual power to the President, it seeks to secure moral power for the National Assembly. Apart from the fact that it is impossible to create a moral power by paragraphs of law, the Constitution here abrogates itself once more by having the President elected by all Frenchmen through direct suffrage. While the votes of France are split up among the 750 members of the National Assembly, they are here, on the contrary, concentrated on a single individual. While each separate representative of the people represents only this or that party, this or that town… he is the nation's choice and the act of his election is the trump that the sovereign people plays once every four years. The elected National Assembly stands in a metaphysical relation, but the elected President in a personal relation, to the nation. The National Assembly, indeed, exhibits in its individual representatives the manifold aspects of the national spirit, but in the President this national spirit finds its incarnation. In contrast with the Assembly, he possesses a sort of divine right; he is President by the grace of the people."
To confirm this analysis it is sufficient to glance at the privileges that our Constitution grants to the President of the Republic. The President of Mexico promulgates laws which must pass by the legislature "for their approval"; he freely names and removes members of his cabinet and other federal employees; he names the chiefs of the armed forces; he disposes of the totality of the armed forces; he appoints the Attorney General of the Republic; he conducts foreign policy and signs international treaties, "submitting them" to the Senate for approval, with the provision that the Senate is obliged to approve them; he grants pardons; he oversees secret accounts; he is elected by the people, etc. (see the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico, article 89). Aren't these powers sufficient to crush the remaining branches of authority and especially the only one which confronts it in a more "aggressive" manner? As can be seen, presidential power is very well sanctioned in the Constitution, and is not the product of contempt for the Constitution.
What has been expressed above shows us that the President, in exercising these powers, possesses an immense force which grants him other powers if hew wishes to fulfill his task, to resist which the legislative Power remains impotent.
Whatever obstacles parliament tries to impose on the President, even if these are sanctioned by the Constitution, they can not do away with the presidential power (they can only diminish it temporarily, and for this reforms of the Constitution are not necessary, what is written is sufficient). The proof is in the fact that whatever obstacles he finds in his path, he nullifies them. All these social democratic measures are insufficient; the President can and is empowered to break these rules. This is not to say that when extremely strong contradictions arise between the bourgeoisie and the President, the bourgeoisie does not pull strings so that, in the only legal manner, mobilizing the legislative chambers, it can remove the President and/or his cronies from office; it can do this, but the presidential power remains unharmed.
Marx continues: "This executive power with its enormous bureaucratic and military organization, with its vast and ingenious state machinery, with a host of officials numbering half a million, besides an army of another half million, this appalling parasitic body, which enmeshes the body of French society and chokes all its pores, sprang up in the days of the absolute monarchy, with the decay of the feudal system, which it helped to accelerate. The lordly privileges of the landowners and towns became transformed into so many attributes of the state power, the feudal dignitaries into paid officials and the motley pattern of conflicting mediaeval plenary powers into the regulated plan of a state authority whose work is divided and centralized as in a factory… Finally, in its struggle against the revolution, the parliamentary republic found itself compelled to strengthen, with repressive measures, the resources and centralization of governmental power. All [bourgeois] revolutions perfected this machine instead of smashing it. The parties that contended in turn for domination regarded the possession of this huge state edifice as the principal spoils of the victor." (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte).
From what has been said above it can clearly be seen that to do away with the presidential power one must eliminate the position of President and presidential elections, do away with the division of powers, fuse the powers into a single one. The bourgeoisie makes this impossible precisely by being a parasitic class, for which the existence of the President is indispensable (note that the main social democratic proposal for a "more prudent" presidential power based on a "rotation [of parties] in power" would safeguard this valuable treasure). In order to fight the epidemics of "democracy" to which parliament is not exempt, which in periods of upsurge of the revolutionary movement can be invaded by the genuine representatives of the working class and the people in general. Here the role of presidential power is based on neutralizing these rash attempts of the underdogs. On the other hand the presidential power is indispensable to them in defense of their interests, for the definition of actions before the possible debates in parliament and given this diversity of representations of the "national spirit," and to unify the bourgeoisie into a "homogenous" whole in defense of its interests and in the struggle against the revolution.
In regard to parliament, in essence it is the backbone of bourgeois democracy, but at the same time it is the stage on which bourgeois contradictions are played out.
Only the people, the workers and peasants are in a position to create a state apparatus free from the bourgeois division of powers; of a higher character, in the form of councils which would gather together all the powers and would be directly linked to the masses, that is, soviets or councils.
In the same way that the social democrats protest against the presidential power while afterwards they fall into its arms, there is the "struggle" against centralism, which also makes use of the Constitution:
"Strict respect for the Constitution would be enough for every federal entity to form their own governments according to the mandate of popular sovereignty." (Program of the PRD).
Here it can be seen that social democracy is not against centralism, it is against it in the form maintained by the neo-liberals. But if one digs a little into our Constitution, one will find that behind its federalist and anti-centralist facade, centralism is sanctioned. Where? In the powers granted to the President, the legislature and the judiciary at the central level, to which States and municipalities must accede together with the whole society, in the definition of a general "and harmonious development of the national economy." The attack should have been aimed at bureaucracy, but this also would not resolve the problem if power remains in the hands of the bourgeoisie and while the question of the social relations of production is "resolved" in favor of the bourgeoisie.
On the other hand, to be against centralism is, whether one wants it or not, to be in favor of disarray and consequently of anarchy.
Thus it seems that centralism in its purest neo-liberal style has taken the social democrats to the edge of anarchy, but no, rather they take advantage of this influence in the heart of the masses and of the ruin caused by the PRI and Government's type of centralism to link them to their policy of "respect for the laws," replacing the worn-out centralism with a "more prudent" one.
Finally, the social democrats say that they want the economic development of the country (in capitalist terms); with this they have placed a noose around their neck, since for economic development (still capitalist) it will be necessary to centralize their actions, to define their policies on a central level. The experience of all capitalist countries shows that they must pass through the "hated" centralism.
Now it is clearer that the fight is over superficialities and not basics.
A State of law
"The construction of a new political system which based on a profound reform of the state that establishes the constitutional principles of a democratic State of law. In this new political order, there must be guaranteed the full respect for human dignity, pluralism, rotation in power, the autonomous organization of society and the limitation of presidential authority, the strengthening of the regions and municipalities, the full and constitutional recognition of the rights of the indigenous peoples to regional and cultural autonomy and to traditional forms of government, as well as honesty and responsibility in public service, the democratization of the means of communication and an electoral legislation which guarantees clean and democratic elections." (Resolution of the III national Congress of the PRD).
This is the ideal State, the ideal bourgeois democracy, pure, efficient and without corruption in the service of the monopolies, whose work "for the good of the people" will consist in carrying out plans and social programs without touching the fundamental problems.
This kind of State of law seeks to cover up the relations between social classes and the State, its very class nature. Therefore it is not by chance that at this time both neo-liberals as well as social democrats defend the State of law, seeing in it an efficient arm against the revolution, although both have notions that are somewhat different in this sense. The concept of the State of law is supposedly one of a free, sovereign, modern State and other such lofty ideals. But let us not forget that the actual law that rules us is a bourgeois law, the right to oppress, pillage, plunder and exploit the masses. Thus the dream of a State for all evaporates and there remains the class State.
The most "modern" conception of social democracy of a State "for all" succumbs, as do other such things, to the implacable logic of Lenin on the class nature of the State. Since this teacher of the world proletariat developed the Marxist theory of the State, barrels of ink, tons of paper and the efforts of the "learned" social democratic theoreticians have been useless in tearing down this theory. Here is how Lenin exposed bourgeois obscurantism on the question of the State:
"This question has been so confused and complicated because it affects the interests of the ruling classes more than any other… The doctrine of the state serves as a justification of social privilege, a justification of the existence of exploitation, a justification of the existence of capitalism… in the theory of the state… you will always discern the mutual struggle of different classes… all were equal before the law. The law protects everybody equally; it protects the property of those who have it from attack by the masses who, possess… no property…" (Lenin, The State).
This is the explanation advanced by that mournful cry of Muñoz Ledo: "If we are not careful, the end of this century will be one of xenophobia, of social struggles…" (Daily newspaper "La Jornada," February 3, 1995). Therefore they demand the reform of the State and the constitution of their famous State of law.
3. Society and democracy
They tell us that "Democratization is a cultural phenomenon."
Very well, but every cultural phenomenon requires specific conditions for its existence and effectiveness, requires that firm bases exist. According to them "Demand a new concept of authority, the greater the social demand the higher the quality of participation. Demand the regeneration of social relations, beginning with the family and school; maturity in language and civic conduct, tolerance and respect for the rights of others, authenticity of leadership and ability to conciliate; assumption of responsibilities by persons, communities, enterprises and social institutions. This is the only possible road to modernity and the very basis of development." (Program of the PRD).
Water could not be clearer. The respect for the rights of others says everything.
Vain constitutional illusions, but a genuine treason against the interests of the people is how social democratic politics can be summed up. For in agreement with Lenin, "in fact the more democratic it [the bourgeois republic] is the cruder and more cynical is the rule of capitalism." (The State).
Their utopian "participatory" "civil society" is revealed here as a consistent bourgeois policy of defense of determined class privileges. This becomes clearer the more mud is thrown on the theory of class struggle and the more the avaricious interests of the bourgeoisie are covered up with phraseology about pure democracy.
Stalin reminds us that: "... The theory of 'pure' democracy is the theory of the upper stratum of the working class, which has been broken in and is being fed by the imperialist robbers. It was brought into being for the purpose of concealing the ulcers of capitalism, of embellishing imperialism and lending it moral strength in the struggle against the exploited masses. Under capitalism there are no real 'liberties' for the exploited, nor can there be, if for no other reason than that the premises, printing plants, paper supplies, etc., indispensable for the enjoyment of 'liberties' are the privilege of the exploiters. Under capitalism the exploited masses do not, nor can they ever, really participate in governing the country, if for no other reason than that, even under the most democratic regime, under conditions of capitalism, governments are not set up by the people but by the Rothschilds and Stinneses, the Rockefellers and Morgans. Democracy under capitalism is capitalist democracy, the democracy of the exploiting minority, based on the restriction of the rights of the exploited majority and directed against this majority." (J. Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism)
4. Democratic transition
The democratic transition is nothing but the possible change from the method of open violence of bourgeois domination to the method of hidden violence of that same class with respect to the exploited masses. In this sense, we are assimilating the Spanish experience: "…the constitution is a key piece, not of an authentic process of democratization, but of a process of continuism in a situation where 'something must change' so that everything can remain the same and where a democratic and constitutional mask is worn…" (Elena Odena, Writings on the transition).
The social democrats have defined themselves; they are a bourgeois current, whose ideals are the defense of the bourgeois world by legal, constitutional methods; their principal means of 'struggle' are the elections, and their method of putting into effect their proposals is reformism.
Thus they have affirmed "The PRD proposes to the nation an agreed-upon peaceful and constitutional transition towards democracy…" (Resolution of the III national Congress of the PRD).
In this arena, the social democrats feel themselves at home, they consider themselves omnipotent not because reason is on their side, but because the laws "are on their side." There is no other party that is more conceited than the social democrats, and at the same time, there is no party more committed to its reformist and peaceful line than the social democrats.
"To a reformist," says Stalin, "reforms are everything, while revolutionary work is something incidental, something just to talk about, mere eyewash. That is why, with reformist tactics under the conditions of bourgeois rule, reforms are inevitably transformed into an instrument for strengthening that rule, an instrument for disintegrating the revolution." (J. Stalin, op. cit.).
It is the class essence of reformist politics to sabotage the revolution, to postpone it, hearkening to the defense of order, putting the masses to sleep with the illusion that "something has to change."
The more devoted they are to this task, heedless of the dialectics of capitalist development, the more obsolete this tactic becomes, and the more they find themselves at the mercy of their ultra-right rivals. Thus one of the consequences of reformist politics is precisely the accession of fascism to power, because this politics weakens and destroys the revolutionary organization of the masses, it suffocates their revolutionary spirit.
It is necessary to remember the eternal role of bourgeois reforms, the eternal fate of the reformers: "It is totally impossible to reconstitute society on the basis of what is merely an embellished shadow of it. In proportion as this shadow takes on substance again, we perceive that this substance, far from being the transfiguration dreamt of, is the actual body of existing society." (K. Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy)
The social democratic position is reduced to this, designing a "new society" that we already have in essence, but going no farther. Whoever wishes to go farther has to root out the source of the evils, the contradictions of the capitalist mode of production.
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