La Jornada – Conservatives and Progressives, Note
In each country, a set of facts can be listed that point to the profound social transformation that has taken place so far this century. In such lists there will be many elements common to all societies and others, of course, of a specific nature.
Every country faces changing conditions in its society and in its relationship with the rest of the world. Despite the crisis of globalization, it will not end, and it will be reshaped in a way that is not clear today. It will be somewhat unstable, with other kinds of alliances and conflicts, some already foretold, and with different power frameworks, both in the Atlantic and Pacific regions and from south to north.
A short list of facts, of course only in an illustrative and undisciplined manner, warns of this social change: the climate and its consequences, recurrent economic crises, the inability of states to protect citizens, weak or highly questionable political leadership, a rigid economic system that does not spread prosperity and widespread poverty and a sense of belonging To ineffective societies, the issue of energy, wars, confrontations, migrations, racism and insecurity.
Faced with this situation, for example, the two candidates to lead the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom and replace Johnson as Prime Minister: Truss and Sunak, openly identify themselves with the Conservative version of Margaret Thatcher who was in government from 1979 until 1990.
In a very schematic way, the doctrine of political conservatism has been formulated in a few principles: individual liberty, limited government, the rule of law, peace achieved through strength, fiscal responsibility, and free markets.
Sure, this version has already shown its exhaustion for more than two decades. The 2008 financial crisis led to the questioning of ultra-liberal, unregulated capitalism, with wage income stagnant and increasingly obvious confrontations.
A notorious feature of conservatism like the Republican Party in the United States is that it is not only expressed in the political and legislative spheres, but has also been judicialized. Procedures and postulates are less flexible.
On the other side of the political spectrum, the progressive one, I refer here to some of the concepts of the Spanish philosopher Daniel Inarretti, who considers that they, as well as their opponents, share the idea that history follows a path that was the first. Would like to travel forward with. Quickly and others – conservatives and reactionaries – want to stop it or even go back to a supposedly better past and become a reference for their proposals and actions.
These political forces, says Innerarity, recognize that there is a course to history and distinguish themselves by putting disaster back or forward in time. He concludes that this makes the ideologies of the right and the left express themselves in the form of haste and nostalgia.
Political discourse and government administration appear in many places as an ideological field in which concepts revealed by progressive and conservative, in certain respects, tend to be confused.
In any case, the open question about the relationship between capitalism and democracy, as well as the increase in inequality and other forms of social hostility of various intensities, led to the return of populism, moreover, to the authoritarian side. In some cases, barbarism is explicitly displayed.
Ideologies seem to consist of bits of idealism, prejudices, myths, pretexts, as well as falsifications. This is presented as formulas for overcoming undesirable situations that end up becoming different expressions of old and new tensions and conflicts. The issue can be seen in public policies, in the management of state administration, in the deterioration of the services they provide. It is also expressed in the spaces available to residents in terms of political openness, transparency, security, greater and real opportunity, luxury and quality of life.
Time and time again, movements, parties, and political leaders present themselves as the embodiment of the only possible path to be followed in society. Political direction: implementation, legislation, administration of justice and implementation of institutional forms to do so is a matter that must be clarified politically and practically and transformed into an instrument of society against the government.
Innerarity points out that democracy, today, is based on the idea of stagnation and not on the disagreement between society’s progress – let alone progress here – and its decline. Change, he claims, manifests as a false movement, an unproductive acceleration (as Gabriel Zeid has long suggested).
This stagnation can only result from subjugation, inefficiency, limitations, distortions, and the growth of the mediocre. It’s a decidedly meager proposition for the population that needs, wants, and deserves more.
The exacerbation of rhetoric and confrontation as a style observed everywhere does not necessarily produce positive change in societies.
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