The year that ends without crisis

I was a bit surprised (I said a little) that in her interview with Carlos Alazraki and Tere Vale, the writer Sabina Berman (December 14) asserted or slipped the idea that President López is a socialist, that is, a man of the left. In addition, he distinguished the authoritarian left, such as those of Cuba and Venezuela, with the social democratic left of some European countries and related the current government of Mexico with these last forms of socialism. Tremendous historical leap. Faced with questions about these readings, the playwright replied that it was necessary to take AMLO’s movement in its entirety, not in some parts, where it clearly comes out badly. I hope I have not misunderstood Berman’s interventions.

By the way, some other people with whom you can talk without having hats and who support AMLO’s, let’s say project, give similar opinions. They also claim the validity of the purposes that the president has set for himself and share a good part of the diagnoses he has about the immediate past. End inequality, support the poorest, eliminate impunity, achieve growth with justice, medicines and health care for all, leave corruption behind, etc. All of these are commendable purposes and as far as we know they are common to the old project of the PRI and of all the parties. I do not believe that anyone, except those who achieved abusive privileges and earnings in the past, is opposed to them.

I will say a truism: the problem is the results obtained so far, not the intentions. Indeed, sometimes to be fair you don’t have to look at the parts of a government but rather at the objectives and results in their entirety. If we take a look at the latter, the truth is that the president’s political intentions do not resemble those of the social democratic left, which are varied, but have common denominators: respect for institutions, distribution of power, clear support for private initiative , creation of productive jobs, respect for freedom of expression, clear rules and consolidation of democracy. None of this is seen in the political practice of the president. Their expressions, attacks and polarization are more like the ways of the Cuban or Venezuelan regime that are always seeing plots, sabotage and enemies of the “revolution” (or transformation).

As for the results, these are very far from the drawing that López Obrador makes us daily. Looking at his government as a whole, and not judging it by parts, is a disaster. Security, economy, education, health, environment, human rights, lack of support, fight against corruption, etc., all speak of a setback, with the aggravation of militarization, patronage, concentration of power and destruction of social organizations. Far from being a social democratic left, its way of governing is that of a populist conservative.

Let’s take a very important topic of the many that there are, that of the economy. A couple of months ago there was still optimism that pointed to a probable growth of up to 6.3% this year. Now, near the end of 2021, the calculations have dropped to less than 6 and some point it to as much as 5.4% due to factors such as inflation, low fixed investment, capital outflows and the decisions of the current government. For next year, Banco de México’s calculations of growing at 3.2% have been exceeded and now several economists place it between 2 and 2.5% as a maximum. The most pessimistic believe that it will not even reach that 2%. At the end of the six-year term, it is very likely that the country will grow practically nothing or be less than the average 2.1% of the previous six-year terms, so mediocre, according to the president’s words.

However, the country is not in crisis for several reasons: the growth of the North American economy, remittances, the growth of informality and the money that comes from illegal activities, which in many places is essential. Of course, the social support that the federal government is giving in opacity has also helped.

In contrast, the oppositions exist and move, but they are blurred. If tomorrow, by magic, they were given power, I wonder how they would get the country out of the situation it is in. There are many short-term oppositional speeches and that is fine, it has to be done, but it is also necessary to offer viable medium-term plans in the economy, education, security, etc., plans without promises of great results in a short time. This I do not see. Gaining power also involves preparing for power and the oppositions are preparing only to resist the authoritarian onslaught. They do not seem to believe in their possibility of success.

We are not in crisis, but we are walking on the edge of the abyss. Thus ends the third year of a government that promised much and achieved little.

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