The Soviets of the Mayor in Madrid

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

 

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In Spain are started to happen serious matters: The Mayor of Madrid, Mrs. Manuela Carmena, representative of the party ‘Ahora Madrid’, a local wing to the populist party ‘Podemos’, has decided to implement in the city capital of Spain an administrative model in the purest ‘soviet’ style, or as the nearest Chavista model in Venezuela. To that end, the Mayor of Madrid will create an administrative and police structure which would work in parallel to the existing police. Mrs. Carmena, despite of her past as a Judge, has no doubts about submitting this proposal at City Hall, which is frontal colliding with the Spanish judiciary and legal system.

But, what is a ‘soviet’?  For the Russian Revolution’ scholars, the word will not surely sound any odd.  ‘Soviet’ means literally an assembly of the workers, or a workers’ council. Contrary to the popular belief, the soviets were not born in the wake of the Russian’ 1917 Revolution but a decade earlier. They were originally workers’ associations, who rose up against the Tsarist and the Russian ruling class’ privileges, in order to express the discomfort of most of the population. Those ignited the flame of proletarian Russia, sick of the serious social and economic differences that the Russian society historically lived.

Soviets were introduced in 1917 as soldiers and workers’ assemblies. Lenin described them as the basis for a “superior form of democracy” based on “the participation for the construction of a new society“. They were organized at the local level, and then successively up in higher committees which led to the Supreme Soviet. Once created, this governance’s system from the bottom-up, was perverted so that allowed the exercise of power from up to down.

In the real life, those were committees to fight against the Revolution’ enemies and to ensure the social control over the entire population. The Communist Party in the Soviet Union ruled until 1991 through the soviets’ system. Their eyes and commands reached to every corner. The model has been repeated with the ‘Committees for the Defense of the Revolution’ in Cuba and the ‘Bolivarian Circles’ in Venezuela. The base of the soviets is thus, usurping the functions of the State by a political party. It is a parallel structure to the state led by the ruling party, through which the real power is executed. It is, so to speak, the  perfect method to be perpetuated in power,  because its structure is confused with the state.

The new Mayor’s project aims to establish a Neighborhood’ Political Police, a Local Jury, and a “Community Manager” in charge of energizing the citizen participation. These are three of the figures which the Mayor intends to launch in the capital of Spain’s 121 districts, like of the district’ soviets controlling the police and the justice in the Soviet Union, and still continuing in Cuba to do so. The Neighborhood’ Manager, will be the head of the new security policy that the Mayor is trying to launch: it is a genuine ‘political commissar’ figure, and will be appointed directly by the Mayor. The creation of the ‘community policing’, is based on the claiming that still are several neighborhood’ groups who feel animosity toward the police presence.

The Mayor also aims to create a Neighborhood’ Jury.  The main purpose is to gather together offenders and the victims and give them “the opportunity to meet the social environment where the offense was committed, acknowledging their guilt, and jointly agreeing about some ways to restore the damage done to the community.”

This model totally collides with the current prevailing legal and judiciary system, since the safety in Madrid depends on the police. And of course, the criminal offenses depend on the justice. The Mayor, who has been a Judge in the past, should be aware about this small detail.

The proposed model  reminds the ‘participatory models of Venezuela’, ie, following the Soviet ideology. We’ve all ever heard the statement: “This cannot happen in Spain“, in the sense that our country could never endure some Chavista or Bolshevik model. Make no mistake, of course it could happen in Spain.

 

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