After the big protests, people go home. It’s obvious. And nothing happens. Or: no essential and lasting change, desired by the protesters, occurs. So: why protest?
Actually, people want at least a correct justice, the corrupt leaders be punished, therefore a certain respect of democratic laws and forms. They do not want anything else. Because they are educated to think that capitalism is “the best possible world” and only the corrupt officials harm the normal/decent welfare of all capitalism would suppose.
They are educated to think that at least this be realized, that their voice is important only to change the leading groups competing for power. Equally obvious, they are used by these groups.
In present, in Romania the government and the parliamentary majority is social democrat.
As we know – and the voting of war credits in order to wage war, as the whole social democratic behaviour during the First World War has decisively demonstrated on international level – social democracy is, at best, “yellow”, viz. deceiving the working masses that the social reforms within the capitalist system of exploitation and oppression are possible and will lead to a welfare society, so it’s no need of revolution. In fact, social democracy has represented the interests of some strata of working men and supported by some petty bourgeois intellectuals in search of their own celebrity, within the Western Core capitalist countries where the capitalist elite made some concessions to those strata in order to avoid strikes and opposition which would have hurt the productive processes and profit. Social democracy has not only promised to the other parts of the masses of their countries a successive policy of reforms, thus peacefully transforming capitalism into a social democratic system, but also, and especially, it did not consider the other countries, the working people from other countries. This is the reason it has approved – and approves – the capitalist wars and the colonialist gripe: for on the expense of the domination of other peoples are these ones able to inexpensively sell their raw materials, and the international market open to buy the Western production, thus assuring the internal welfare.
Social democracy has followed and reflected the logic of capitalism and the interests of capitalist owners in the capitalist supply and demand economy: when, after the Second World War and the proof of the win of the communist principles, the ruling groups have supported the demand through social policies, then fuelling the internal consume and profits in the Western countries, this entire politics of welfare was assumed by social democracy as its own triumph – and without saying a word about the price paid by the peoples bombarded in Africa and Asia and massacred in Latin America at the same time with the Western welfare –; from several decades now, when, because of the huge international economic competition the available market for Western goods has shrunk, and the Western capital in search for cheap labour force has entered its transnational phase, delocalizing many of its industries in peripheral type countries, thus deregulating the former social policies, on the basis of the rise of labour force competition in its own Core countries, social democracy has never protested against this capitalist politics: on the contrary, it supported with the same arguments of the capital, that the workers must accept the disruption of the labour force price because otherwise they will not have job at all; and the social democrat messages – not changing their former logic – became a mix of nationalistic blame of foreigners (as worker competitors) and the illusion that the former welfare state may be revived: all of theses through the support of militarization and wars.
The Romanian social democracy is not an exception. It has promoted enthusiastically the dismantling of the former socialist welfare state, the savage privatization of public property and goods, the power of NATO, the wars of the Western powers (and the Biggest) for keeping world hegemony, and the reduction of real wages and pension, as well al the taxes of the capital: generating the same hysteria against those who oppose the imperialistic hegemony, the same nationalistic blame of foreigners and threat of the workers that if they do not accept all of these, the foreign investors will depart from the country and the workers will lose their jobs.
The ruling circles are formed of low quality, mediocre and fraudulent personages: certainly, because the social democrats have governed most of the time of these 28 years after the fall of the socialist system, the low quality seems to be most visible in their ranks; but, unfortunately, this is the case in all the parties, and highly probably in many, if not most countries. All the members of the ruling circles are both competing and intertwined in the complicity of thieves: internally and internationally.
Consequently, may a sound person consider that the solution against this cobweb of corrupt personages and relations – between corrupt state/political officials and private, internal and foreign “investors” – could be the substitution of some political puppets with other ones but keeping the capitalist system intact? Is the model of Alexander the Great in front of the Gordian knot not the only logical solution, the abolishment of capitalism?
But the population was educated from 28 years on that capitalism is good: and so strong that it is no longer possible to change it. Therefore, it would be healthier to be silent and accept everything, hoping that through elections and the interests of the elites struggling for power, as well as the personal struggle for living, one will two ends meet. But the atomization of population – the destruction of the left organizations and ideas, of the trade-unions which/whose leaders openly became partners of the capital – has led to a deep pessimism of this population regarding its future and the destiny of the country: there are many polls which illustrate this pessimism.
We must not ignore the social structure: as everywhere, there are the bureaucratic layers with huge salaries and special pensions (judges, public prosecutors, officers in the army and the many secret services, the clergy, members of parliament and political officials, university professors and the Academies) who use the state and the public wealth as their own property, and ardently endorse “the West”, capitalism and – because Romania is a former socialist country and this unity between the high bureaucracy and the capital owners wants to keep their acquisitions by all means – every conservative institution and idea that could divert the former conscience of social equality: as the monarchy, officially celebrated and materially maintained as if Romania would not be republic.
And in this, there was no difference between the explicit right wing parties and the social democrats. Is the general pessimism not explainable?
And although the young people are optimistic, they are no longer, concerning Romania and their own situation and future. As one year ago when especially they have protested against the implementation of a law accepting the corruption of political officials as normal (thus annulling the punishing of proved corruption), now, in January 2018, they were the main content of the tens of thousand marching against the same type of laws.
As I said before, the population and these young people are used, as manoeuvre mass, by all the parties. Those who have protested now are certainly influenced by the right-wing ideology, and concretely by the liberal party (in opposition now). In other words, the message of this right is: the social democratic party is the left (but the social democrats too have always insisted and insist that they are left-wing), this left is – obviously, and not only for the liberals – bad, and corrupt; the bearer of corruption is the social democratic party and thus, it must leave the political helm.
Unfortunately again, the bearers of corruption are all the parties: not only because capitalism means corruption as a means of achieving profits, and the use/the subordination of the state is a “normal” means, but concretely, there were and are high right-wing political representatives condemned for corruption. Then, the liberal party has no an alternative political programme, because it wants to capitalise on the misrule of social democrats and because if it would have, the programme would contain explicit right-wing policies which are not appreciated by the majority of the population.
Thus, the liberals play the anti-corruption card and, in present, also the one of explicit defence of the big, inherently foreign capital operating in Romania, that was taxed in the last autumn a little more than before, in the attempt of the government to catch more money; this fiscal measure was met with an indignant protest of the voices of this capital, as if the European Union and the USA would not intend to protect their economies; but be quiet, the fiscal measures of Romania are contradictory; how could they harm the masters who endorse the Romanian ruling class, and how could they go mischief to the Romanian capitalists and their cicisbei ? Yet, the liberal point of view empoisons the mind of many people: it is absurd, since it is against the progressive taxation of the capital and the wealth, while complaining that people do not buy as much as it wants and critiquing the government that it does not solve the underfunding of culture, schools and hospitals. Anyway, the economic policies of all the parties are neo-liberal, excluding both the idea of social solidarity and precautionary treatment of the natural resources: and opposed, but in a contradictory, illogic and inefficient manner, by the majority of people.
The support of young people for this second point of the protests shows bots that they idealise the West and consider it a “warrant for the successful modernisation of the country and its democratic advance”, and that they are afraid that if the big companies leave the country they will lose their jobs. Here is the political thinking of the youth educated in the savage post-1989 anticommunism and adulation of capitalism: they are humbled and discouraged, and integrated within the logic of capitalism.
The shameless of the leaders of the social democrat party is, indeed, generator of an exasperation that could lead to undesirable facts for the Romanian people. But how can be characterised the laws made for the legalisation of their own corruption and thievery, how can be characterised the behaviour of any politician who consider himself/herself as invulnerable and infallible, and how can be characterised the critique of protests – as a calamitous many times minister of Education, a proved plagiarist and accused of corruption lady did after the end of protests – as harming the image of the country: as if the performance of the politicians and the disastrous results of their governing would have given a bright image, would have it?
What is/will be the result of the protests? Actually, the protests were a certificate of the victory of the
Conversely, all the people, upholding or not the protesters, will feel themselves as more vulnerable, as weaker and defeated. The young people will be more desperate, because they have understood that they have no power, not even for protesting. Their situation is because they have not acted independently from the liberal objectives of the protests: they have not learned that they are all (intellectual and non-intellectual) proletarians and need to promote in their action their class independence. Consequently, they could not be the force of the abolition of capitalism. They acted as a collective personage in the spectacle of the promotion of capitalism: see only the “mute protests” from Sibiu, becoming a model for protests in other countries from Central Europe. And thus, these protests – which, emphasising their pointlessness, signal to the people not the necessity of revolution, but the imperiousness of submission – were both a manner to fatigue people’s disposability for activism and a means to channel people’s opposition toward the assumption of the right-wing prejudices.
The Romanian example is not singular. We all remember the anti-war protests in 2003, related to the imminent aggression of Iraq? So what? After the protests, people went home, and the aggression followed. We all remember the referendum in Greece against the right-wing policies of austerity, as well as the strikes and protests after the betrayal of Syriza and new and new deepening of austerity. So what? Last week, another set of austerity measures and another strike. So what? How can “finally, the workers wake up” otherwise than making a radical transformation of the social system?
And how can the people fight otherwise than considering the capitalist world system and the common interests of the working masses all over the world? How can we protest against the austerity we face and not manifest against the present wars and tragedies they entail? How can we think that a revival of the former welfare state would be possible within the present capitalism in system crisis? How can we think “first, we focus on us, at all costs”? Do the others not think in the same way, then we all paving the road to war and world destruction? And how can we think in a so fragmentary manner as to separate our well-being, the internal policies, the international capitalist policies and relations, the world warfare and the deep destruction of the natural environment? How can the parties which declare that they are at the left of social democracy not to unite in order to commonly adopt the model of Alexander the Great in front of the Gordian knot? What do they wait for? Why do they all, and why do we all not learn from our protests, letting the dominant strata to learn and pre-emptively act?
Indeed, an old question in the political philosophy was: why do they not protest? Nowadays, we have experienced that protests are no longer efficient, but on the contrary, even though there is a permanent opposition of the ruling strata to stop and forbid the protests. Therefore, the watchword is activism in order to prepare the revolution!