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The new PRI

As the classic said, “he knows how to do it”:

Unlike Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, who failed in his attempt to “democratize the PRI” and in 1988 crashed his presidential aspiration against Manuel Bartlett Díaz and his long and twisted political fang, Andrés Manuel López Obrador opted for the short route of pragmatism and simply He recruited him. To him and other distinguished gentlemen of “revolutionary nationalism.”

Unlike Vicente Fox, who in 2006 resorted to political verbiage as the spearhead of a “state election” that was barely able to tip the electoral results in favor of Felipe Calderón, AMLO rebuilt a formidable political machinery that delivers constant money and is able to reach more than 60 million people. And in passing, buys surveys in bulk.

Nobody – not Duverger, not Cosió Villegas; Come on, not even Paz–, avoid recognizing their astonishment and certain admiration at the efficiency of the bag of cheats created, from power, by Plutarco Elías Calles and later modernized by Lázaro Cárdenas. That steamroller that guaranteed the country seven decades of political continuity and, according to them, “prosperity and social peace.”

Condemned to irrelevance – almost as much as that PPS, “whose entire militancy fits inside an elevator” -, only rubble remains of that old PRI (and very few exceptions of real talent). Theirs is a story of real achievements and unbridled corruption. A balance of limited social mobility and “soft authoritarianism.”

As coherent as the very concept of an “institutionalized revolution”, what today is the “continuity of transformation.” At a historical moment in which three of the last four presidential elections majorities have given victory to the opposition, today we preach that the ruling party represents “change.” And there are those who want to believe it.

In fact, Morena’s first six-year term will come to an end with mixed results: Macroeconomics, good (like the neoliberals); security, evil (like neoliberals); health, evil (like the neoliberals). Even in the field of public opinion, the polls say more or less the same thing that they said, at the time, about Salinas, Fox or Calderón. Among other reasons, because the same companies are hired.

Did the Fourth Transformation eradicate poverty? Has inequality decreased? Fundamentally, no. Although it must be recognized, there are differences: Martita’s children are replaced by Andrés Manuel’s children, for example.

Self-proclaimed as the historical leader of a great social movement, AMLO can probably claim as his greatest achievement having replaced the corporate electoral machinery of the old PRI with the clientelist apparatus of Morena. Which, of course, is no small feat. Morena is the new PRI and the old opposition, PAN members and PRD members, have not been able to prosecute him.

But it must be said: the new “Mexican moment” occurs within a very particular context: when the ghosts of populism and nationalism once again dominate large regions of the planet; when the winds of hatred and polarization are blowing again in many countries, almost shouting, announcing the approach of a new great global war. What is not clear to me is whether the conflagration will be Nuclear (Russia against the others), it will be economic (the others against China), or if the deep internal contradictions and structural fractures of savage capitalism itself will lead us to ecocide and a new great wave of extinction.

In the Mexican case, I believe, contrary to what almost everyone around me proclaims, that on June 3 we will not wake up either in paradise or in hell. What we have and will have is a gatopardismo with a lot of marketing.

What I cannot imagine is how, without the leader in the Palace, the 4T could grow its power or even maintain ad nauseam, neither the intra-national tensions nor the extreme polarization.

As she herself says, Claudia Sheinbaum is not López Obrador. Not even Andrés Manuel is Calles; nor Mexico, Venezuela. A political system designed around the figure of a single person is necessarily ephemeral.

True, the old PRI achieved it for 70 years and my naivety is not enough to convince me that the people of today are wiser than the people of then (or vice versa). But I also do not forget that Cardenism itself had to bow to the force of reality and ended up opening the doors of power to the other PRI, that of the corrupt and evil.

Without a doubt, I believe in the power of citizens. In the votes. And unlike what I did not accept for a long time, today I am fully convinced of that “there is no illness that lasts a hundred years… nor sick person that can endure them.”

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