…Our journal continues to come out once a year. We are suffering from the same paralysis which affects the rest of the population in dealing with the crisis. In my opinion, the generalized awareness of the gravity of the crisis has left people perplexed and paralyzed. There are also positions on the left which deny the gravity of the crisis and attribute it to a deliberate exaggeration by the government in order to frighten the population. Without denying an element of truth in this, this attitude expresses a resistance to accepting the reality of the crisis.
Underlying this attitude is the consciousness which says, in spite of everything, “we are doing OK” or that we can tighten our belts without the conditions of life undergoing a dramatic deterioration–which is the case for a fair number of people. Thus the people most affected are the lowest strata of the wage-labor population and, particularly, the immigrants, who were attracted to Spain by the growth of the past fifteen years and who, like so many Spaniards, fell into the trap of mortgages to buy places that they now cannot afford.
Many of them already have to rely on food banks and public assistance to survive, but on the whole, at least for now, the situation is not dramatic. The family structure, moreover, is a safety cushion for young people, and the state has mechanisms of containment (social assistance, subsidies) which, however miserable they are, also keep the deterioration of living conditions under control. With this margin of maneuver, the government is reckoning it can maintain social peace.
The so-called majority unions, the CCOO and UGT (Comisiones Obreras and Union General de Trabajo, loosely tied to the (Stalinist) “United Left” and the Social Party respectively) are totally institutionalized and their negotiations have as their sole purpose the maintenance of their position inside the state apparatus, at the expense of demands on behalf of all workers. In fact, the reform of the labor law, which has dominated public debate in recent months, is of scant importance, if we keep in mind the profound changes in the labor market, and is something that was worked out years ago with the consent of the unions.
The so-called alternative unions have neither power nor any perspective; they are trapped in a narrow vision of trade unionism at a time when the current situation has gone beyond the possibilities of any ordinary trade-union response.
…The political situation of the workers’ movement in Mexico is zero or less than zero. Mexico is undergoing, politically and socially, a very deep collective depression, whose outcome I can’t foresee: either toward the collapse of any alternative and an indefinite lapse into barbarism, (the usual thesis of the ICC—International Communist Current—which would seem to be gaining plausibility; for example, yesterday two men, hung and mutilated, turned up under a bridge near where I was walking in Cuernavaca, which used to be the paradise of American artists and retired people) or else towards a chaotic explosion (which is also already underway).
Whatever else you hear from other Mexicans, to the effect that the situation in Mexico is not so bad, (like that imbecile who told you that the 2006 elections were not stolen), is nothing but farce. Mexico has sunk into fear, simulation and escape from its reality, and the intellectuals (who are they?) are nothing more than the most pestilent and putrefied part of this collapse.
What happened at Cananea [Editor’s note: the three-and-a-half-year copper strike in northern Mexico crushed by a police and army assault early this summer] is unbelievable. IT HAS NOT BEEN COVERED OR FOLLOWED UP BY ANYONE: FORGET ABOUT THE TRADITIONAL NEWSPAPERS, NOT EVEN BY THE ‘ALTERNATIVE’ PAPERS OR MEDIA. This is the reality.
According to the latest news I have, it seems that a judge has ruled in favor of the strikers, saying that they can re-enter the premises…I don’t understand what is happening…
Yesterday I received the bulletin of the dissident fraction of the ICC on the fucking “proletarian political milieu” and on the eternal and useless discussion of whether or not the ICC or other groups could be salvaged. NOT ONE SINGLE MENTION OF THE CANANEA MINERS.
- Grupo Mexico controls Cananea, union fights on (reuters.com)