Julián Gómez del Castillo – Self-management of the people (1998)

[Julián Gómez del Castillo: founder of the anti-Franquist Tú magazine (alongside Guillermo Rovirosa), socialist, Catholic, militant of the HOAC in Spain (Hermandad Obrera de Accion Catolica), co-founder of the Movimiento Cultural Cristiano.]

Lately, there have been numerous books and articles which have as their central theme DEMOCRACY. Even President Clinton, model of imperialism, has permitted himself, after securing democracy in America, to stroll across Africa to speak of the same thing, and underneath the table, launching a replica of France’s strategy to occupy the [primary place] in the continent. It’s clear that this objective today demands a political plan acceptable to the public opinion of the world and this plan is that of democracy. What felicity, the whole world in democracy!

But whether we observe the events or whether we meditate on a great deal of what is written, we become aware that the tiger has not become a vegetarian. The clearest definition of democracy is the most classic: “Power of the people, by the people, and for the people.” That is to say, SELF-MANAGEMENT [AUTOGESTIÓN]. Power OF, BY, and FOR the people, not participation. When I was 11 years old capitalism summoned me to participate in the economy by taking me out of school and putting me to work; that participation not only did not make democracy, but it destroyed my life.

This is the democracy that is now offered by financial capitalism. Everyone participates, even the children, even if you have to enslave them, but in no way does anyone manage. Participate, yes; manage, NO. This is the offer that Clinton has taken to Africa after having planted it in Asia and America. The people are thus led to the participation that oppresses, not to the management that liberates. 

We sound the alarm. The democracy of participation generates, if needed, even fascisms, both for the right and the left. This we know from history and it can be repeated.

Only the SELF-MANAGEMENT of the people impedes fascisms, both of the rich and the poor. Only this will make democracy be a power of, for, and by the people.

[“Autogestión”: Autogestión , nº 24 junio de 1998]