Liberation Road

Bury Neoliberalism in the Ballot Box

La Jornada, 31 de Mayo de 2021

John M. Ackerman is one of Mexico´s leading public intellectuals, writing bi-weekly columns at both La Jornada and Proceso magazine. He is a Professor at the Institute for Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has published numerous books and scholarly articles in English, Spanish and French on the Mexican political system. This article is translated from the original Spanish in LaJornada, May 31, 2021. Enterrar al neoliberalismo en las urnas

The renewed attack of the international financial press against Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government on the eve of the elections on Sunday June 6, is a reminder that the present government is one of the main opponents to the global political hegemony of the transnational companies and financial capital.

The ongoing legal warfare carried on by the majority of the electoral councilmen from the National Electoral Institute against the presidency of the republic and the Morena party, confirms that the continuation of the “4th Transformation” threatens the fake democracy and institutionalized hypocrisy of the supposed “democratic transition” carried out by the PRI and the PAN during the first years of the 21st century.

The constant lies and calumnies promoted by the united parties of the old regime, under the wing of the national oligarchy represented by Claudio X. Gonzales, show that the López Obrador government is firm in its commitment to end the privileges of the elites and to orient the national budget toward meeting the needs of the most marginalized.

Neoliberalism is not only the imposition of a package of “pro-market” economic policies invented by the University of Chicago, but is a scheme to subordinate the public interest to private interests. Neoliberalism implies the structural corruption of the state apparatus subordinated to the interests of the national oligarchy and the international financial capital. Neoliberalism means the loss of democratic processes and of national sovereignty, by leaving public policy in the hands of technocrats who serve private banking and corporate interests. Neoliberalism also implies the promotion of individualism, competition, consumerism, machismo, racism and treachery.  The neoliberal cultural project seeds fear and social division in order to destroy communitarian bonds and democratic traditions, which are the medium for critical consciousness and popular resistance.

In 2018 the Mexican people arose against the neoliberal hydra with an overwhelming vote in favor of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. With this historic act, 30 million people defeated the monster of  false democracy, authoritarian neoliberalism and the neo-colonial submission that characterized the government for so many decades.

This June 6 we have the opportunity to bury this beast of inequality and corruption once and for all. If Morena can win two thirds of the House of Representatives and a dozen governorships, this will mean México can consolidate the 4th Transformation. If not, we will empower the old parties of privilege to block and obstruct Lopez Obrador’s projects.

Those who promote the “useful vote” against Morena, supposedly to increase political choices, are lying. If the PRI, PAN and PRD really defended expansion of choice, each of them would compete separately and defend their political platform with clear and robust proposals. But instead of promoting the diversity of viewpoints and ideas, these three parties decided to completely discard their different ideologies and historic trajectories, in order to unite in a vile coalition to challenge López Obrador’s power.

The negative campaigns and the dirty war carried out by the PRIANRD demonstrate that these political institutions are full of hate and resentment. They are fighting to get lucrative positions and their hands on the budget; they are not discussing the important problems facing our nation.

In a paradoxical way the true democratic plurality is inside Morena. Inside this party there are different interests represented: socialist and liberal, nationalist and globalist, urban and agrarian, populist and bourgeois, student and labor, feminist and anti-racist, all of them united by the common will to finally bury the old and build something truly new, that includes everybody.

A vote for Morena is, therefore, a vote against the neoliberal system.  It’s placing a bet for a truly inclusive, pluralist, and democratic future.