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For a constituent initiative in Europe

Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa, ein konstituierender Wind weht aus dem Süden. Mit dem Wahlsieg der griechischen Linkspartei Syriza, dem kommunalen Erfolg von bewegungsnahen Bündnissen in Barcelona und Madrid  sowie dem Aufstieg von Podemos in Spanien verdichtet sich eine lang schon erwartete Entwicklung neuer linker Parteien. Dieser konstituierende Prozess geht allerdings weit über klassische Parteigründungen hinaus, er ist aus den sozialen Bewegungen der Krisenjahre entstanden und kristallisiert sich in einer Vielzahl von mikropolitischen Praxen bis zur Regierungsbildung.

Antonio Negri und Rául Sanchez Cedillo intervenieren mit ihren zwischen Februar und April 2015 geschriebenen Texten nicht nur in die Brennpunkte des Wahljahres 2015, sondern in den gesamten europäischen Raum. Sie plädieren mit der Begrifflichkeit des konstituierenden Prozesses nicht für einen linken Populismus neuer Parteien, sondern für ein soziales und demokratisches Europa, für eine neue Form des europäischen Föderalismus von unten.


The system of constitutional democracy in the most recent postwar era in Europe was organized around a model of rotating the exercise of government between left and right in all countries (and, after 1978, also in Spain, complemented by the nationalist and/or independentist forces). This took place within the framework of a capitalist system in evolution that was subject to reforms – but not subject to discussion of fundamental issues. The terms were those of Yalta. This model is in crisis. In fact, third forces have already emerged in the electoral fields of many European countries that disrupt this dual scheme. In this regard we must ask ourselves if the construction of the new constitutional structure of the European Union did not begin precisely from the moment of foreseeing the crisis of the postwar constitutional model – and, at any rate, from the moment of perceiving incontinence already visible in the classical democratic model.

Antonio Negri / Raúl Sánchez Cedillo 27 04 15

The comrades who have given life to Podemos say: we have managed to move past the limits of the horizontality of the movement, so rich yet often ineffective. We managed to do this with a political gesture of self-constitution, organization and representation. We had the intelligence to understand that the space between the municipal and the general elections, between May and the end of the year, was our only chance to “break the lock of ‘78”: during election periods the adversary is forced to spread out into the territory; constitutional guarantees work better than under other conditions and thus become possible zones of rupture of the current regime, so deeply discredited and divided. Moreover, at the end of 2015 the capitalist front will perhaps be busy preparing its attack, regrouping after having responded to, and possibly demolished, viciously, our resistance. Such would the historic window of opportunity again be closed for a long time.

Antonio Negri / Raúl Sánchez Cedillo 27 03 15

Well, then, keynesianism or post-keynesianism? Once we have recognised the reactionary nature of ordoliberalism and the same constitution of the ECB under the command of the Bundesbank, what economic and business framework should be favoured? And who should be the fundamental actor of this economic revival, which is at the same time a democratic one? The problem is difficult, and this is because it is new.

Antonio Negri / Raúl Sánchez Cedillo 20 03 15

“A spectre is haunting Europe”. The Italian newspaper Il Manifesto used this headline a few days ago for its homepage, commenting on the visits of Tsipras and Varoufakis to European governments. A real nightmare for the ordoliberal Germans, a Geisterfahrer, to be precise, a suicidal conductor looking to collide with the European bus, as Der Spiegel described on its front page. Imagine what could happen with the victory of Podemos in Spain: what a magnificent spectre would then be seen lurking about, a real monster created by the exploited and the productive forces of the fourth European economy!

Antonio Negri / Raúl Sánchez Cedillo 22 02 15