The News
Thursday 20 of June 2024

From citizens to users

Anti-system beliefs are gaining momentum

“Under the epidermis of the normal, we are part of seemingly silent changes.”

One of the manifestations of politics these times is society’s disenchantment with the status quo. It is like a wave that is happening throughout Europe and America, specifically in Mexico. More than a social humor dominated by dissatisfaction, anger and skepticism, we are approaching a new way of being. That is, the demands imposed by today’s society to politics are not cyclical. Rather, they presage a change deeper and more transcendent than only seeing some features, which has a transformative potential beyond conventional forms of politics, such as alternation, debate and competitive power.

In varying degrees, the order of things has deteriorated in the public esteem. No longer a paradox, at least for Mexico, because now that democracy has gained a certificate of naturalization and has lived for decades in economic stability, it is odd that the people’s rejection toward and what they ask from many of the institutions that create functional democracy and economy is greater. The problem is not dissent, opposition or even radicalism; the important matter should be that you can’t move to a better future amid distrust and imagined or reasoned bitterness. Not only have we lost appreciation for many present positive things, but we have also diluted the spirit of hope.

Anti-system beliefs are gaining momentum, it’s fashionable. This is true, but not because of the proposals these beliefs make, but because of the feeling of revenge that accompanies them. In Mexico, independent candidates and the emergence of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party are two of these expressions. And as I wrote before, this is not only happening in Mexco. In Spain, there are two new parties, Ciudadanos and Podemos, which, with the votes they have managed to obtain, have led Spain to the uncertainty of government for lack of parliamentary majority. In many parts of the world, there is a resurgent nationalism, some of it of a hostile conservatism, such as the one of the Republican Party of the United States.

I am among those who believe that traditional ways of communication will not perish, but will be forced to adapt and to live with the enemy. I say “enemy” because the new threatens the old if it doesn’t adapt. Political advertising is still heavily present on conventional media. It is even excessive, if we consider its real impact and especially what the future is shaping up to be. However, the world of cyberspace is gaining strength and both digital and conventional media are enhanced when they interact with each other. But they are different. Digital media is horizontal, interactive, discretionary and operates in immediacy, in real time. Conventional media such as books or newspapers has the strength to leave a trace and transcend the precarious existence of the digital, including radio and television.

In Mexico, the crisis of confidence is not temporary. Neither does it refer to a particular character, office, political party or event. The so-called social humor is the starting point for assessing authority and voting intentions. It is no coincidence that in the 2015 elections the three major parties had a severe setback, lesser in the case of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), because it anticipated alliances and because when the votes against it were fragmented, it was favorable to the party. It’s the same thing that happened in Spain with the People’s Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE). In the United States, anti-systemic beliefs are bearing fruit within the two major parties and their finest expressions are Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, more clearly the first than the latter.

Mexico will go through the change of 12 governors this year. Each state will maintain its own dynamic. However, the common denominator the participants of this process will have to consider is the crisis of the existing paradigm, which favors the fragmentation of voting intentions. The emergence of independent candidates is not related to the credibility or strength of each character or their proposals. It is related to the ability to muster an alternative project to the ruling party and to the entire political and representation system. This applies to the coming elections, and also to the communication of governments.