PORTUGAL: The crisis in Portugal from a Portuguese anarchist’s point of view
23.03.2013 by David Franco
As we are all aware, all of the world is suffering from this crisis, which, according to the media, can only be compared to the crisis of the 1930s.
It is important to understand that this crisis is not limited to any nation or to set of nations, it is a crisis of the capitalist system. This is a fact some people I know ignore.
In Portugal the crisis has been going on for some time. It is even possible to say that we have been in crisis since any of us can remember, but this one is having a bigger impact than any other that came after the April revolution.
To explain the situation in Portugal I must first explain how our political parties are. There are three center parties: PS, PSD, and CDS-PP. The PS (Partido Socialista/Socialist Party) had the majority in parlaiment before the elections of 2011, and they are mainly social-democrats. The PSD (Partido Social-Democrata/Social-Democratic Party) now has the majority in parlaiment, and I can only define their ideology as neo-liberal. The CDS (Centro Democrático Social/democratic social center) coalitions with whatever party has the majority, thus giving them absolute majority in parlaiment, and they are right-wing conservatives.
The PS and the PSD are the biggest parties, and so power alternates between them, with the CDS coalitioning with whoever happens to have the majority at the moment.
Some people now blame the PS, and their social-democratic program, for having placed the country in debt, and causing the crisis. Those people could not be more wrong. This debt is not ours, it is the banker’s! The PSD-CDS coalition government follows the program of the troika in order to give money to the big capitalists, and they do not care if we must all live in misery because of it.
The PS makes themselves look like the oposition. They say they are a left-wing party, and that they would renegotiate the terms with the troika. It is a lie! If they were in power everything would be exactly the same!
These three center parties help each other mutualy, they all serve the capitalists.
As a result of this there are many demonstrations in the country. All of them want the rejection of the austerity measures. The biggest one yet was in 2 of March (2013), where 1.5 million people went outside to protest against the austerity measures and demand the resignation of the PSD-CDS government. Our population is only of 10 million.
Meanwhile the revolutionary left, the communists, have been very quiet. The communist parties, the PCP, the BE, and the MRPP, have not been gaining as much popularity as one would expect in this country poisoned by capitalism. There is, however, one movement that is gaining popularity, the MAS (Movimento Socialista Alternativo/Alternative Socialist Movement), leninists, they are growing with the crisis, and their presence was very noticeable in the great demonstration of 2 of March.
Most people consider communism to be an old ideology that has proven to result in dictatorship of the communist party. They want something new. Now it seems like their biggest desire is direct democracy.
This has made anarchism very popular with the youth. It is the new thing they were looking for. Direct democracy and the end of capitalism at the same time. The anarchist presence is most felt around schools. The big problem with this growing anarchist movement is the lack of organization we have. We, anarchists, know each other, yet we do not form organizations. If we begin to form our own organizations we can grow larger than any communist movement.
The solution is teaching anarchism. Telling people that it is not about the inexistance of rules, it is about self-management and direct democracy.
There is a great potential for the anarchist movement to grow in Portugal. Together, through revolution we can end the state and capitalism, create the direct democracy the people dream of today.