“The recent populist rise could perhaps be a desperate attempt to conceal, once again, or to turn one’s back on, the true depth of the conceptual abyss at the political level that accompanies the closure of metaphysics. It may perhaps be suggested that the rise itself is the nihilist manifestation and actualization of will to power. On the other hand deconstruction is not just conscious of such nihilism; it rather attempts to traverse it and to effectuate in the act of thinking a turn in a direction other than dominant nihilism” (Gareth Williams, “¿Qué es el populismo?” 20).
Spain’s New Populist Left: An Impossible Hegemony. Lecture at U of Michigan Center for European Studies, February 2018. (First Draft Version.) By Alberto Moreiras.
I am grateful to the Center for European Studies, my host, for this invitation. Let me tell you briefly that, really, all I want to do here today is to gloss my epigraph, which comes from a recent yet unpublished text by Gareth Williams. Let me read it to you. But, in order to gloss it adequately, I will have to unpack it first or to show its context. I am also anxious to tell you about a trend of thought I am only starting to explore, which is a sort of political Lacanianism of a non-Hegelian vein, Heideggerian is more like it, that is being articulated by Latin American scholars such as Jorge Alemán, Nora Merlin, Gibrán Larrauri, and others. I think there is a lot of promise for political thought coming from that direction.
I will divide my remarks, which will be brief, into two parts. The first part will focus on what I think are the main features of the present political situation in Spain and will suggest an analysis, almost a narratological analysis of possible open options for political development. In Spain, that is. But all through that first part I will keep a secret card hidden up my sleeve, which I will only play in the second part. It is the card of what I have been calling posthegemony together with some of my friends, including Gareth Williams himself of course, and Sergio Villalobos, and a couple of other people in the audience, to rather little avail.
My posthegemony is the reason why I have subtitled this paper “An Impossible Hegemony.” It is not that I do not believe in hegemony. I think hegemony exists, I think societies are hegemonized by a dominant sector, I think some actors under some circumstances are able to challenge a given hegemonic situation and propose or even act upon hegemony from a counterhegemonic position that, in some cases, changes the coordinates of the situation. I will not contest any of that. What I would like to maintain, really (rats, I am already showing you my secret card), is that, if hegemony means domination through persuasion, if hegemony designates always and in every case a voluntary servitude towards the dominant, and if a hegemonic change signals a change of valence, from minus to plus, for non-hegemonic social groups, then hegemony is a rather banal political phenomenon that will solve nothing. In other words, and insofar as politics has a particular dignity that should never be reduced to the servicing of the goods, to use the Lacanian expression, the real political problem starts after hegemony has been established, or even when it is still ambivalent, undecided, uncertain, in flux. The political problem is always in every case a posthegemonic problem, since a change of hegemony by itself guarantees nothing: say, in the Spanish political situation today, blocked, paralyzed as it is, since the 2015 elections, an independentist hegemony in Catalonia would solve nothing in the same way a constitutionalist hegemony would solve nothing; a popular hegemony in Madrid would not by itself restitute equality against the casta hijackers or guarantee an effective redistribution of economic, social, and political resources. In every case a lot more than the political implementation of hegemonic change through the application of a program is needed if the goal is to do something other than the servicing of the goods.
Hegemony is an inflated idea in its conventional use—yes, there is an unconventional use of it that I will comment on later—, and it is time to relegate it to its proper worth. The left cannot afford to continue to think that taking power, that is, that constituting a hegemony led by it, leading hegemonic change, is all there is or should be to the political struggle. Democracy is not best served by dreams of majority rule, which really is all the idea of hegemony, as traditionally understood, can offer. To that extent, continuing with Jacques Lacan’s vocabulary, hegemony, as conventionally understood, is indistinguishable from capitalist discourse and its principle of general equivalence, which forecloses the subject’s enjoyment or throws it into a perverse enjoyment having to do with will-to-power and the technical accumulation of resources, or lack thereof.
Of course you may think that the proper end of politics has nothing to do with capitalist discourse or general equivalence; that those two concepts belong elsewhere, in philosophy perhaps, or in political psychoanalysis, but have nothing useful to contribute to everyday and even not so everyday political practice within liberal-democratic or parliamentarian systems. We will see later that some economists think our major political problem today is social inequality, which can only be fixed with adequate redistribution, which is certainly a good form of servicing the goods. But is that our major political problem, or is that problem only a symptom of a much vaster, deeper, certainly more hidden configuration of affairs, as Gareth Williams intimates? I do not necessarily want to pontificate along those latter lines here, or to convince you of anything in particular. My interest is much more modest. I notice that the name of your series at the Center for European Studies is Conversation on Europe. Perhaps my contribution could simply be to hint at the notion that a conversation on Europe today must transcend conventional political vocabulary and look for a discursive outside Europe seems to have lost (although some thinkers are trying to bring her, Europe, that is, back to her senses.) Are European politics today totally caught up within capitalist discourse and the principle of general equivalence, to such an extent that even left populist options can do nothing but helplessly accommodate themselves to them, and repeat them? This is the question for me: is contemporary populism yet another form of servicing the goods? Is European populism, or Spain’s left populism, a new direction for politics or is it rather a terminal phenomenon testifying to political exhaustion at a civilizational level? Can politics in fact survive, and challenge, capitalist discourse? This seems to be the question Williams asks.
More on that later. Let me now start with my Part One.
Only last week the Center for Sociological Investigations, which is a semi-official organism in charge of running polls on political and social issues in Spain, published the results of the latest research on voting intentions. As we are only concerned on this occasion with the populist left, I will spare you the general analysis and will only comment on the fact that Podemos, the left-populist party that broke into Spanish politics in January 2014, fell from second to fourth place, out of four places, within only one year, and in fact from first place to fourth place if we start the count from the Spring of 2104, when Podemos won the polls in the wake of enthusiastic expectation, until this winter of 2018. Podemos seems to be registering a catastrophic loss of energy and popularity that has brought it from a genuine possibility of taking over the government of Spain and reaching the power of rule to what seems now to be stabilizing itself into a rather marginal political position, still very important for a national party, but a position that will doom it to be a perpetual sidekick, or a lonely and functional antagonist, since, at this point, nothing seems to indicate that any of the other three parties would want to seek a serious alliance with the Podemos leadership.
I am sure you have your own ideas, but for me this, even if predictable in hindsight, perhaps, is also very bad news. And it is very bad news because we have a certain number of signs not just in Spain but in Europe in general, and also elsewhere, including the United States, although it all started in Latin America years ago, that the historical cycle of neoliberalism is probably coming to its demise and that a new politics for a new political and perhaps even economic epoch will have to be developed. The harbinger of this situation beyond Latin America was of course the economic crisis of 2007 that hit Europe a little later, starting in 2008. Ten years later the feeling of political exhaustion is still with us, or has increased. And the traditional parties seem incapable of offering any kind of relief whatsoever, and certainly no democratic invention. If populism does not offer it, then who will? You may argue that populism has always been around, it is nothing new, and you would be right; but there is also a case to be made that this new populism, post-2008 and, in Spain, post-15M 2011, that is, a populism that rose in the wake of a substantive popular revolt that took the major squares of Spanish cities in 2011 by storm and terrified the political class, there is also a case to be made that this populism was the condition of possibility for a new democratic invention, that is, for a reinvention of Spanish democracy, for a new democratic promise.
And yet, now, just a few years into it, such new populism may have ceased to offer it, by reverting to the same old tired leftist attitudes that have not produced much success over the last thirty or forty years in Europe, and, more importantly, perhaps have not deserved any success. We have to abandon the annoying idea that leftism is still good as some kind of bastion of essences that looks back to the early 20th century for its inspiration. That historical moment is dead and gone. Some of us thought only a few years ago that something else was clearly developing for the future. Were we wrong? Spain is only, in this sense, a particular case. The political question goes beyond Spain and affects or may affect the entire West.
The political question, it seems to me, has a lot to do with what an important Spanish economist, Antón Costas, has called the establishment of a “new social contract.” This means the old social contract has broken down and is no longer effective. Politics runs the risk of evolving into civil war, which, in the case of Spain, has emerged as a phantom possibility, clearly radically symptomatic, in Cataluña; I am not suggesting that there could be civil war in Spain—I am rather saying there is one already, a low intensity one, non-lethal yet, bloodless yet, which only emphasizes the radical urgency of a situation for which we need to find anticipatory solutions before it becomes all too seriously too late. And yet, so that you see the depth of the problem, the self-identified populist party, Podemos, and its conjunctural ally in Catalonia, En Comú, only received votes for 8 deputies out of 135 in the Catalan Parliament in the December 2017 elections. Eight deputies out of 135 for the party who claimed to have a radical solution to the Catalan situation—not a good result, not a hopeful result. (It could and probably should be claimed that the pro-independence coalitions and parties are radically populist options, but they have offered nothing so far in terms of new democratic invention and have instead played a radically old Machiavellian and illiberal politics for the last five years: they also promise a paradise provided they become free from Spanish interference, but who is to believe them who is not already deluded by their enmity towards Spain, which is the only ascertainable element in the game? Catalan populism, as it has been orchestrated by the Catalan government with full use of governance resources over the last several decades, is also, one should be clear about this, a populism from above, a populism of the dominant, in Ernesto Laclau’s characterization, no matter the relative popular support it may also gather.)
So, a new social contract: on what should it be premised? That same economist, Costas, has insisted quite effectively that the problem in Spain is equality, that is, inequality, and the solution is redistribution. As I have suggested, I do not think inequality and redistribution mark the beginning and the end of the problem, but let us play with this idea for a few minutes. The breach of the old social contract—in Spain, the social contract known as the Regime of 1978, in reference to the constituent process that took place after Franco’s death; the idea being that the Regime of 1978 reached its exhaustion with the economic crisis of 2008 and is surviving on toxic fumes only—is a breach because it has elevated to an intolerable height the levels of economic inequality among Spanish citizens, it has created unemployment and poverty for many, precariousness for many more, and insecurity for yet many others even if the 15% richer has continued to flourish to unprecedented levels of wealth; it has devastated an entire generation and it has endangered, structurally endangered, the remnants of the social democratic welfare state the Regime of 78 attempted to put in place by reducing expectations that social security can be maintained at adequate levels in retirement pensions, unemployment subsidies, education financing, medical coverage. A new social contract is needed, with or without a constituent process, but redistribution must be promised and implemented. For Costas there is no doubt this must happen, so the question for him remains: who will do it, and how? Let me suggest that Costas’ proposals are a minimal condition of political reconstitution: they are economic measures that must be decided and politically implemented, but they attempt no particular change at what we could call the ideological level of the social. We could call Costas’s proposals something like a zero-degree structural adjustment, the creation of a new social contract based on redistribution: a technical measure or set of measures for which political energy and indeed political power must be found. I think to that extent we should all agree with him. Costas is recommending the best possible servicing of the goods—not that he is not worried about something more than redistribution. The fear and insecurity, the anxiety he attributes to a population radically uncertain about their future prospects for life, given the ongoing thorough technification of the economy, is for him one of the most egregious issues—trans-class, also—in the current climate.
Costas identifies what he calls “the four types of social contract” that are currently competing, not just in Spain, rather in the entire West, so definitely also in Spain. He says they are “the cosmopolitan [social contract], the right-populist, the left-populist, and the Europeanist liberal-social-democratic” (Final del desconcierto 33). The “cosmopolitan” social contract is the neoliberal one, which for Costas is still contending, not yet completely out of steam, indeed apparently triumphant or still in power in many places. It calls for, as you know, unrestricted globalization; an uneven European integration; free market; low taxes; no redistribution; and a reduction of state intervention (Costas, Final del desconcierto 314-15). And yet this is the model that catastrophically collapsed in 2007 and brought on the largest financial and economic crisis to the West since 1929. The solution to the problems created by the cosmopolitan social contract is not going to be found in more cosmopolitanism, it must rather be found somewhere else, it seems.
The Trump presidency in the United States incorporates features of this neoliberal social contract, but also features of right-populism, which would include antiglobalization and nationalism, identity politics, an illiberal democratic structure willing to sacrifice minority rights and willing to undo the separation of powers, and political authoritarianism, among other perhaps less defining features (Costas, Final del desconcierto 315).
Both of the previous models would have little interest in redistribution—they are models based on so-called trickle-down assumptions. Against trickle-down, that is, in favor of redistribution, we have what Costas rather awkwardly calls “liberal social democracy,” characterized by a compensated globalization, a balanced European integration, a belief in free enterprise and the self-regulating virtues of the market and of economic competition; a personalized, that is, not based on identity-defined social groupings welfare state; and the development of the state in the direction of higher institutional density in order to secure the parameters for a stronger economic redistribution (Costas, Final del desconcierto 315-16). But also against trickle-down we have the last of the social contract figures, namely, the left-populist one, which consists partially of not so attractive positions in the face of them, such as antiglobalization, a definite reluctance to trust the market, entrepreneurial competition, or private enterprise, interventionism at every level of the economy, high taxes and high public expenditure, even authoritarianism at all levels and a low institutional density, but all of this is to be radically compensated by a strong commitment to equality and a universal welfare state (Costas, Final del desconcierto 315).
The question, again, is: what social contract would you aim for, or how would you propose to get there? Is it not the case that the liberal social-democratic social contract has had its chance already, in fact an extraordinary chance over the last three quarters of a century? Can we trust a model that ran out of steam and yielded its terrain to neoliberalism and so-called cosmopolitan globalization? Are there genuine second chances in history or in life? Would we not be better off rejecting all failed historical solutions, including by the way the communist one that called for a total or quasi-total socialization of the means of production? But, if so, then left-populism seems to be, perhaps not the final candidate, but at least the way to go, that is, the way to start going, let us start there, at least that way we can move on towards something new, a new invention, new developments, in the wake of social mobilization and democratic energy, that we could later correct if proven inadequate. Let us move toward a new social contract for social and political redistribution, since only social and political redistribution will generate economic redistribution. And let us do it through supporting, indeed, through constituting a left-populist option for power in Spain. And that was the idea for Podemos and its supporters, starting in January 2014, when the party was first convoked.
We have been talking about four models, and I confess that my intention was to guide you towards the understanding that only the left-populist one should be left standing as a possibility, that is, unless we want to hold on to the old, to the pre-crisis situation, and go into a mood of political salvaging rather than one of democratic invention. Or perhaps I am being too cruel to so-called liberal social democracy; the problem is, it is the old PSOE that would be in charge of implementing the liberal social-democratic new social contract, if they can find the newness of it; or perhaps it would be given to or gained by another new party, Ciudadanos, the winner–in the sense of the most voted party–in the December elections in Catalonia and the winner of all recent polls on voting intentions at a national level. It is certainly not a solution that should be discarded, although my impression is that, as a solution, it is hardly seen even by the very people on whose shoulders the implementation would rest: the PSOE seems quite out of anything but their old routines, and Ciudadanos has only proposed vague liberal social-democratic enticements of too smooth and imprecise a kind. The truth is, disappointing as the trip may have been, it has proved quite difficult to sustain political fascination for anything but Podemos over the last four years of Spanish political life. I do not quite see how that could change.
Let us admit, then, that we are caught, in terms of producing a new social contract capable of a redistribution (economic, social, political) that would restitute equality, at least a measure of equality, between the left-populist and the liberal social-democratic option, persuaded by neither, skeptical about both, but at the same time certain that the solution, if there is to be one, will come from no other quarter. So now I would like to propose that there are three main narratives that deal with precisely that situation of doubt and anxiety: we cannot trust them, and yet we must. Not good. Three narratives, that is, unless you would prefer to add to them and propose a serious denarrativization in the wake of the Catalan situation: it is possible that the Catalan separatists, together with whatever errors their antagonists may commit, may cause, in a not too far-off eventuality, the destruction of the Spanish state, which will certainly put an end both to the three narratives and even to the idea of a new social contract, as there will be other urgencies. Although, to tell you the truth, there is another possible denarrativization from the left, which would be a fifth option: we could assume, we could think, we could advance the thought that the three narratives I am about to describe in a summary form are self-cancelling and will never result in a leftist exit to the situation at hand, will not result in the production of any new social contract whatsoever. This is not a narrative, but what remains as default, in the absence of any narrative: the situation will stagnate into a political stasis, in the wake of the Catalan conflict and its promise of long duration; the Popular Party will keep its relative simple majority and will continue to govern Spain as they do; that is, Spain or whatever may be left of it for the foreseeable future. This is a rather desperate option, as far as political life goes, that can only base its projections on an exit from politics altogether. And yet . . . Is an exit from capitalist discourse not necessarily an exit from politics, or at least from epochal politics?
But let us not overrun ourselves. Let us hold off on denarrativizations. We still have those three positive narratives. They are variations of the same function. For the first one, we would have gone from the exhaustion of the old, Regime of 78 social contract to a populist eruption that is now in reflux and will continue to evolve and adjust until it finds its truth in a federal republicanism. This is a narrative that calls for more institutionalization, for more democratic procedure, for an adequate redress to whatever excesses the populist mobilization may have promoted. It hails and welcomes the populist rise but only in order to hope for its end, but from the inside, as it were. In other words, it wants to break through to a non-populist formula from an initially populist configuration of the social. There is an important segment in Podemos that seems to think this way.[i]
For the second one, we would have gone from the relative exhaustion of the political field given a structural economic crisis that had a powerful but not terminal impact to the hijacking of the popular field by a sort of Leninist populism that has now vanished to the fringes of political life, hence producing in its very wake the chance for a restitution of the social contract as a variation of the liberal social democracy that was the basis of the Regime of 78. This narrative considers the negative impact of populism—the fear it has caused—as in fact salutary, and tends to think that the best populism is a past or dead populism, provided it has in fact taken place even if only phantasmatically. It has cleared the air and created a new playing field. This could in fact be, or would be, the general position of the Ciudadanos political party, but it is in no way limited to them only. Segments of the PSOE are also invested in it, but again: not them only.
And the third narrative says that we have indeed moved from the collapse of neoliberal democracy to a populism that has not yet found its maturity but will—the solution will not come from a riptide of populism that clears the flotsam and the jetsam, as in the second narrative, and it will not be a growing out of it into popular democracy as federal republicanism, as in the first option; rather it can only be more populism, a new and better chain of equivalences that will hegemonically control the social towards the production not of a new social contract but rather of a permanent mobilization that will offer, for the first time since the early days of the Spanish Civil War, but now in conditions of peace, the return of popular democracy so long lost in Spain.
The first and the third of these narratives come from the Podemos ranks—certainly not from the same people in Podemos, rather from different factions within it. The second comes from sectors of the older left, of the older social democracy, from people like Antón Costas himself, and from a large part of the intelligentsia and the Spanish establishment. Which are certainly not grounds to dismiss it. In any case, which narrative do you prefer? Which narrative do you think adjusts better to the historical real and is less driven by ideology? I think these questions are the questions that we should discuss, as they are the essential questions in today’s situation, certainly for Spain. But this brings me to the second part of what I wanted to share with you today, and to invite you to discuss with me. Bear with me for a few more minutes, I promise I won´t be long.
But I suspect that, in spite of what I already said at the beginning of my talk, and whatever you think of the three narratives, whether you favor more institutionalization or more mobilization and direct democracy linked to a passionate attachment to the leader, whether you favor the ongoing rule of populism or its role as a vanishing mediator for a better dispensation of the political, I suspect you are pretty much still stuck in hegemony discourse, whether you know it or not, and are still of the opinion that, hey, whatever your ideology is, at the end of the day political rule has to do with being on the side of hegemony, holding hegemonic power, that is, in every case, being on the side of the dominant, even if you have had to change the dominant and you are now occupying a position that never belonged to you until you managed to access it—through some successful counterhegemonic maneuvers of course. Hegemony means power and power means hegemony, and no amount of theorization will change that fact, because a fact is a fact. Right? But what if we were to say that there may already be a problem at the core of that conventional understanding that could be expressed with the notion that either you go for hegemony or you go for power, but you cannot do both. Yes, either hegemony or power, they are two different things. Power is on the side of the social mass, on the side of the majority, on the side of capitalist discourse and its potent apparatus of control. Hegemony, however, provided we change its conventional understanding, is in every case a leftist procedure for political invention, and a radical one at that. Does that make sense?
As I said earlier, my name for it is not hegemony, conventional or unconventional, but posthegemony. Let me proceed with some care to make sure I do not lose you, which would be my fault. I think it is a simple idea, but it is a bit counterintuitive. Posthegemony is the supposition that, at the political level, the real problem starts once a given hegemony is constituted as power, once hegemony has abandoned its constituent force and has moved on to constitute a given configuration of rule, which happens in every case, which is unavoidable except when there is nothing but failure. I could put it this way: posthegemony loves hegemonic failure, the failure of hegemony; posthegemony thrives through hegemonic practices insofar as they give rise to failure, but not insofar as they give rise to constituted power. Put that way, it may already be clear to you that posthegemony would be a fairly happy party, under some conditions, to any of the three narratives proposed above. Posthegemony cannot love populist hegemonic success, but it would be comfortable with hegemony’s failure as registered in options one and two, both of them understood as responses to failure, and it would be equally comfortable with an ongoing mobilization organized precisely through an impossibility of arrest, that is, through the very failure of stasis.
I must now make a quick reference—obviously to be developed: I promise it will not be so quick in the longer version of this paper—to some Lacanian thinkers whose work I have recently started to become familiar with. I am talking in particular about Jorge Alemán and Nora Merlin, both of them from Argentina.[ii] Both of them were close friends of Ernesto Laclau’s, and both of them take off from his work but, as Jorge Alemán puts it somewhere, “using Laclau against Laclau.” The contender is the notion of hegemony. I will admit—they have almost fully persuaded me—that Laclau’s notion of hegemony accepts a reading that is thoroughly non-conventional, that is, a reading that puts hegemony against the leader, hence also against the mass, against power, hence against accumulation, against equivalences understood along the lines of a principle of total exchangeability, and against the people as the subject of history. I am not sure how effectively Alemán and Merlin deploy that new, revisionist notion of hegemony against the conventional one, or how much they rely—illegitimately, in my view—on the non-ambivalent, older rhetorical effect of a signifier that they themselves have made ambivalent. But the fact is, their theory of hegemony revolutionizes, in my opinion, any contemporary thinking of politics. From their oppositions—let us say, the people against the mass, hegemony against power, subjective destitution against capitalist subjectivity, and, finally, the Lacanian saint against the psychotic master of total jouissance—one can formulate a correction to populism that will guarantee, if nothing else, the latter’s impossible self-justification in the name of the power of the leader and everything that entails.
Alemán, and Merlin, make of an “emancipation from capital” the banner of their political position, hence moving well away from politics as servicing of the goods. In Alemán’s words:
The power of capital is not hegemonic. I am conscious this paradoxical proposal departs from the classic theorization of hegemony. But hegemony in its logical articulation requires in the first place, at its very point of departure, heterogeneity, difference, an always-already failed subject and an always-already failed representation. Different from the ruling homogenization in the order of capital, the political articulation of hegemony can only be instituted from the irreducible difference between the demands that institutions cannot satisfy, where their heterogeneity becomes ineliminable. Hence the fragility and unstability of the equivalences that in a contingent manner can come together in a collective will. The equivalences between the different demands never turn the space of hegemony into homogeneity. This is a key distinction. (“Capitalismo” 3)
And it is key for me too. For Alemán “without a hegemonic operation there is no popular field and there is only ‘mass psychology,’ that is, the voluntary servitude of mass individualism in the technical epoch” (“Capitalismo” 4). Except that I would call such “hegemonic operation” a posthegemonic operation, to dissolve the ambiguity.
Finally, all I want to propose is that, were we to take a posthegemonic position vis-á-vis the three narratives presented above—remember, the federal-republicanist, the liberal social-democratic, and the popular-populist—there might be a reason for hope: a reason not to want to move into the desperate denarrativization of politics that would also mark a possible exit from capitalist discourse, but not one of a collective nature.
Texas A&M University
Alemán, Jorge. “Capitalismo y hegemonía: una distinción clave.” http://www.eldiario.es/zonacritica/Capitalismo-hegemonia-distincion-clave_6_385721477.html
—. En la frontera. Sujeto y capitalismo. Conversaciones con María Victoria Gimbel. Barcelona: Gedisa, 2014.
—. Para una izquierda lacaniana. Intervenciones y textos. Buenos Aires: Grama, 2009.
—. Soledad: Común. Buenos Aires: Capital intelectual, 2012.
Costas, Antón. El final del desconcierto. Un nuevo contrato social para que España funcione. Barcelona: Península, 2017.
Merlin, Nora. Colonización de la subjetividad. Buenos Aires: Letra viva, 2014.
—. Populismo y psicoanálisis. Barcelona: Letra viva, 2015.
Villacañas, José Luis. El lento aprendizaje de Podemos. Historia del presente. Madrid: Catarata, 2017.
Williams, Gareth. “¿Qué es el populismo? Nosotros, ¿verdad?.” Unpublished Typescript.
[i] For what will probably become the classic formulation of this position see José Luis Villacañas, El lento aprendizaje.
[ii] See https://infrapolitica.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/el-pensamiento-de-jorge-aleman/. For Alemán, see Común, En la frontera, and Para una izquierda lacaniana among other books where he presents his radical version of Lacanian politics, from which we have a lot to learn. For Merlin, see her two essential books, Populismo and Colonización. I am aware of the summary treatment given to these two authors, and promise a more extensive one for the full version of this essay.