BOGOTA – Permit me to be direct and frank, but also practical. What do we see from the outside when we look at Europe? We see a Europe that is languishing, despondent, self-absorbed and self-satisfied, and to some extent both tired and apathetic.
I know these are words that are both harsh and ugly, but this is how we see things. The Europe of enlightenment, of revolts and revolutions is behind us. Europe's grand universal ideas once moved and enriched the world, and pushed peoples far and near to find hope and mobilize around it.
Democracies without hope and faith are defeated democracies. They are fossilized democracies. Strictly speaking, they are not even democracies. There is no valid democracy based on a rote attachment to decrepit institutions that implement certain rites every three, four or five years, to elect those who will make poor decisions to determine our fates.
On the Left, we all share a more or less common idea of how we have arrived at this situation. Students, academics and political debates have given us a number of interpretive axes around which we have come to understand our lowly situation.
A time for action
But how did we reach this point? We understand that capitalism has, without doubt, acquired an absolute, global, geopolitical sway. It encompasses the world, and the world is becoming one giant assembly line. A radio, a television or a telephone no longer has a manufacturing origin, unless that origin be the world at large. A chip is made in Mexico, its design is German, raw materials are Latin American, workers Asian, packaging North-American and sales are ever more global.
The funeral of Hugo Chavez (Omerta-ve)
The European Left cannot simply diagnose and denounce. Diagnosis and denunciations are good for generating moral indignation, which of course is important, but can never generate the determination to act.
The European Left and the Left elsewhere in the world, must come up with new proposals and initiatives in response to our current state of predatory disorder, inherent to nature and humans, being driven by contemporary capitalism. As members of the Left in Europe and in all parts of the world, we must construct a new common sense.
Political struggle is essentially a struggle for common sense, and for the sum of our judgements and prejudices. It should seek a simple way for people – a student, a professional, a saleswoman, an employee or factory worker – to order the world.
This is common sense. A basic conception of the world with which we may order daily life, and assess what is just, unjust, desirable, possible, impossible or probable. The Left, in Europe and the world, must fight for a new common sense that is progressive, revolutionary and universal in scope.
Do not abandon other peoples and those of us fighting in isolation around the world, in Syria, a little bit in Spain, in Venezuela, Ecuador or Bolivia. We need you, a Europe that will once more light up the destinies of its continent, and our world.