The prestigious sociologist Manuel Castells, who left the portfolio of universities a few months ago, has recently published a book in which he recounts historical moments in which he participated throughout his career and which are somewhat connected to reality. The professor, who reappears in public with the presentation of this text, Testimonio (Alianza Editorial), in a paper presentation in Madrid, addressed personal relationships as the cement of transformative politics and warned of the opposite danger. Left reconstruction. “If ideological conflicts become personal, there is no way to resolve them”
“I do not take open positions in the book, but everyone knows that my position is to support Yolanda Díaz,” said Castells at the presentation of the book, at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, attended by the vice president and other ministers, such as Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlasca, Inclusion, José Luis Escriva or former Socialist President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The former head of universities reviewed the last chapter of the book, which talks about being in government, to send a message about the current situation that the left is experiencing, full of tension between Díaz and Podemos due to the reconfiguration of this space. In light of the general elections.
Castells warned that if ideological battles become somewhat personal, it can make them intractable. “I do not believe in the current debate, which can destroy the left-wing and most progressive coalition government in Europe, based on personal rivalries,” the former minister said in his speech. “I refuse to believe it, we’ll drink wine and cry if it happens,” he said, reducing what’s currently happening on the left to “political maneuvering.”
“Personal relations have political significance. I made very good friends and for me it was fundamental because I felt very comfortable. You can’t change the world if you don’t change your personal relationships with those who do politics,” added the sociologist, one of the most quoted in the world.
Castells, after his political stage, reviewed the achievements of a government that was born from social movements and that “was able to institutionalize these movements without losing their energy.” “This government, as well as United We Can, was clear from the beginning that it was not about immediate political transformation. “Not in one year, but transformation, yes,” he said.
In this sense, he appreciated the strength of social movements, which, before politics, are the true “crossroads” of transformations. “Social movements are the pillars of cultural change. The second is articulation. Politics is necessary, but the engine of change begins in social movements,” he said in May 1968, reviewing the experience in Paris. “Everyone said it failed because [el expresidente francés Charles] De Gaulle called a referendum and won. But the ideas were filtered, from there many social movements emerged, which permeated political activity,” he counters.
However, Castells said that the importance of this step is institutional. “Social movements are the engine, but then there is a move towards institutionalism. The transition to the institution is key, and who and how makes this transition to political practice is the main part of the matter,” he said after citing the recent experience of the Gabriel Borich government in Chile and the constituent process. In the first attempt, he failed to get the support of the population and that, in this second case, the vote of the congregation piloting him is dominated by the far-right.
Source: El Diario