Archival image of concentration during movement 15M.- EFE
Whenever I wrote about 15M, I did it from the authorities in the streets and networks. Sometimes they find it, sometimes they remember it. I also did this for elements that updated or gave momentum to the event. Last year the same newspaper published a special edition of the decade in which I was kindly invited to participate, and frankly I don’t think I can add anything more to what I wrote a year ago.
What I have never spent much time on is talking about what has happened on the other side in these 11 years, in a political and social territory that has become the opposite of what was born in the squares.
On September 15, 2011, the state began to prepare for something and change around this something. The state closed in on itself and became vertical. This was done through various forms of exceptions. The most profound was the constitutional change sanctioned by the bipartisanship; the most mundane was the gag law that convicted two journalists from the Asturian media outlet Nortes this week for covering a police charge.
These two devices legitimized austerity and how austerity was going to bring order, the constant economic suppression of movements (especially the housing movement) and the entities that left – or rather created – the norm.
In the area of institutional policy, various paths have been tried. One that we might call gatopardista (the operation of an elite with a regenerative appearance), whose maximum was Ciudadanos and which is in its lowest hours today. The other line would be a kind of “retardism” in the form of calls for a grand coalition and drawing up some kind of second transition as a remake of the 1978 consensus. The third of these paths is purely authoritarian and the one linked to the explosion of right-wing extremists around the world. In Spain, we could say that its greatest success has been to create an image of rigidity and disruption for a political project that differs very little from the popular party of the 1990s. The arrival of Vox succeeded in almost completely realigning the two axes of 78 politics: center-periphery relations and recombining imaginary Spanish nationalism and, of course, the left-right axis.
These paths of institutional policy have been transferred to the instances that depend on them or are associated with them and which are traditionally much more reactionary. This explains the blockade of the renewal of judicial institutions; this explains the right wing of the monarchical institution; this explains the autonomy of the security and control sectors of the state; This, of course, explains the espionage. Elements of order, which today are rather elements of destabilization, blocking the possibility of further expansion of the scope of the possible.
In the media, this is perhaps the area where restructuring around the issues raised by the 15M has been most threatened. In the field of television media, it is almost impossible to find any example of a format that tries to broadcast or highlight issues that are outside the norm (with the honorable exception of PlayZ, which, under the leadership of digital and youth, opened a window for discussion and ways to do this, as well as some selected programs of regional TV channels, which, of course, are not in Madrid). The normalization of the extreme right as a reasonable alternative to the barbarism represented first by the squares and then by Podemos and municipal authorities is understandable if we remember the horror experienced in 2011 by the number of journalists who realized that they had no way to name a reality that was already able to name myself. Another axis of media recomposition will be the spread of fake news. Not so much in terms of spreading lies, which already have a very long tradition in the Spanish press (the most outspoken would be M11 and it is over 20 years old), but because of the creation of a fictional universe, a kind of daily entertainment that sets itself goals (usually , although not exclusively civil servants subjected to all sorts of harassment), themes (moralization of politics, securitization, constant panic) and enemies (migrants, women, etc.), and also provides moral support for violence, which then occurs much more chaotically.
All of this ties in with the last fundamental element for understanding the transformations that have taken place over the last 11 years. In my opinion, the most serious and the one that needs to be dealt with most urgently. Almost complete dismemberment of the field of technopolitics. The web today is a space that can be perfectly summed up with a few verses from Nacho Vegas’ latest album: “We did a lot of things at the same time, but not one fucking thing together.” 15M is a union of bodies, minds and technological communications. Without synchrony between bodies, minds, and politics, there is a kind of stimulus bombardment that hits the mind and is passed on to the body as stress or exhaustion (as if they weren’t two sides of the same thing). Without synchronicity, there is no autonomous public sphere of communication, no shared meanings, and there remains an absolute centrality of falsehood, trivialization and hatred.
It is not true, for example, that there are no different social initiatives, there is no common field that gives them a common meaning. From last Saturday until today, only in Madrid, I think about taking over the new social center in the city and evicting it, about the violent demonstration of the School Rebellion and, of course, about the strike in the health service.
This text does not account for defeat. But rather about the titanic efforts to contain the popular uprising. Efforts that are partially successful in some areas and not very successful in others. Efforts that have not been able to stop the renewal and mutation of struggles and desires, but which have created a political field of reaction and threat. The next ten years depend precisely on how hard we fight this threat and how much we can fight for other things that are much more important than this threat, starting with climate change.
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