In which we talk to Andreea Iorga-Curpăn and Alex Liță about electoralism and differences between different types of elections going on right now, both in the USA and in Romania.
- Colectiva Urzica
- România - Țara Muncii Ieftine
- Mahala - Comunitatea Muncitorilor Militanți
- Editura Pagini Libere (EPL)
- Program USR-Plus
- Program PSD
- Vot vs Acțiune Directă (broșură), Crimethink. Tradus de EPL.
- Vineland, Thomas Pynchon, Little Brown and Company (1990).
- Libertarian municipalism, Murray Bookchin. Translated by EPL
- About radical municipalism
- Google Murray Bookchin
- Artwork by Vlad Cucu
- Sloth metal riffs by Zomfy
- Intro/Outro song: "Tu vs. Ei (You vs. Them) și Sistem Global" de Pavilionul 32
adina: [00:00:24] You’re listening to the second part of the episode about electoral politics. We are talking about the US elections and the Romanian parliamentarians. In the first part we talked in the same formula especially about participation in the electoral system. Whether there’s a reason to vote or not. How we each position ourselves. Find the episode on our social media pages. Enjoy!
lori: [00:01:28] Good. Let's move on to the US. We are recording on November 9th, theoretically Joe Biden was declared the winner, the count is not over yet, but what matters. And let's see. Trump Vs. Biden, what do we have to say.
anda: [00:01:45] I don't like Biden, and I can't say I was emotional about this election. I don't think there's a big difference between President Trump and President Biden in terms of things that I care about directly. I don't think they can make a universal health care system free and affordable in the States. I don't think he's going to make a minimum wage that really helps the people of the States. That's my perspective on Trump versus Biden.
anda: [00:02:16] Why would the leftists enjoy, why should we enjoy this result . From my point of view, it is because we all recognize that they are super heavy struggles and that it is easier to fight only with capitalism and its effects -- without suggesting that this fight is easy -- than to fight with fascism on top, with the extreme right unleashed. That's the only prospect.
anda: [00:02:44] And I don't think we have the same problem. I think what is happening in the States is less relevant to us than our domestic problems. and here I think we have quite big gaps in terms of knowledge and statistics and data. We do not know exactly what percentage of the population will be affected by the rule of law, what will come.
adina: [00:03:10] Yeah, obviously Biden is sinister, let me start with that. And I don't think it's a cause for joy. At the same time, I think it's good that Trump is leaving. And I was thinking about when Trump was elected and what position I was in when it was all about Hillary. And I realized that then I had a somewhat accelerationist approach. I think you can also be an accelerator in politics. And I was thinking in my head that maybe it's not a bad thing if Trump comes out. That all the mess of the political system will come to the surface. Unlike Hillary. Or how it was with Obama.
adina: [00:04:01] And now I realize I was pretty wrong. I think there are some really nasty things that the Trump presidency did. Among them, one would be that he has greatly normalized far-right discourse. I think it's going to be pretty hard to go back to some visions where it's not acceptable for political leaders -- and not only -- to have speeches that range from the far right and white supremacy to fake news and incitement to hatred and violence.
adina: [00 : 04: 40] So I think these are things that will have repercussions for a long time to come. And the fact that I read more recently that he appointed most of the judges, I think. This means that you will have a lot of people who are from an ultra-conservative area who can no longer be removed from office and who will most likely change the direction of certain decisions in the coming years in matters such as the right to abortion or other topics like this. Which are super important and have been fought for a long time. And now they're back. Plus the things he has done in this area of climate change, I also think that this will continue to have repercussions.
adina: [00:05:37] It's really hard to figure out which one is actually going to be worse. On the one hand, we kind of know what Trump did, we know in which direction he's going. Personally, it's not very clear to me with Biden. It seemed to me that there was a discussion here, which I had not heard so much discussed in left-wing circles on this area of imperialist and military policies. This seems to me to be quite a concern for Biden. This is a very important discussion for me because it affects the lives of people outside the States very much.
ioni: [00:06:26] Yes, it's true. Biden, the man, is a war criminal without a doubt. He supported the war in Iraq. Ray Ramsey has a very interesting video on YouTube about another initiative from the Reagen or Bush father period, when Biden was involved in organizing criminal guerrillas in Colombia, which caused dozens of casualties.
ioni: [00:06:47] On the other hand, it's true. Biden has always been an opportunist. That is, he always migrated to where the political spectrum was and to the opportunities of that moment . It's really funny that video that circulated with him from the '70s or' 80s, when he declares that he as a politician always wanted to prostitute himself politically. And from this point of view, at the moment he practically embraces the liberal consensus. All in all, for some very affected people in society, it's a good thing. That is, it can normalize trans rights. From this point of view, it is a social progress from the direction in which Trump has headed. Especially with the courts and the judges , as you mentioned earlier.
ioni: [00:07:26] And now strictly back to what trumpism meant. I mean, I wouldn't say he's a fascist, but rather a clown fascist, if we take it that way. Which opens up the possibility for someone to come and continue in that direction, and even do real harm. That is, to embrace the idea of trumpism, but even to be pragmatic and put to work. Not to be so easily distracted in all directions. And it's true, Trump didn't start a war. Not quite, not exactly. He is totally incompetent. He searched but failed. At the same time, I don't have exact statistics in front of me, but in his time drone attacks increased six or eight times. Last year was the statistic, compared to [figures] in Obama's time. It's true that the children in the cage are ICE on the border - a program initiated by Biden and Obama -- taken to an obscene extreme by Trump. He said he was withdrawing his troops. Not only did he withdraw them from us, but he also created tense situations. The disaster in Libya aggravated in the last resort. Let's not forget.
ioni: [00:08:22] But what exactly does trumpism mean for Romanians? In the USA, the liberals have a clear cliché that Trump is Putin's man, you will not see this traditional hatred of Putin in our country. They embrace Trump, but pretend they can't hear Putin. Or at the opposite extreme , the few lost Putinists we have are happy. Oh, look! Finally, America has a president who is like our man. I mean, everyone understands how they want this thing.
ioni: [00:08:50] Let's be serious. We'll probably launch the refugee episode before that. If Trump had really succeeded in the war in Iran, we would have had a refugee crisis on the border with Romania, because it is a transit country. For those who do not want to hear about immigration, those isolationists that do not want to hear about foreigners... I mean, come on. I mean, supporting Trump for pragmatic reasons is totally absurd. That means absolutely nothing.
ioni: [00:09:15] And last but not least -- here's an objective gain -- defeating Trump means defeating the wave is very aggressive by ultra-reactionary evangelism. Which, we have seen, practically as they supported Bolsonaro in Brazil, as they supported all kinds of anti-LGBT initiatives in Uganda and which now manifests itself in various forms. I mean, I'm not necessarily saying it's a clear direction, I'm not saying it's a pipeline. But it happens. I mean, of course, there are different pastors who are influenced. We do not yet have data to know if they receive funds or not. But he's still fascinated by Trump and the very, very active and very dangerous evangelists around him.
ioni: [00:09:59] And the last thing, unfortunately -- and I think Adina I heard this from you for the first time and maybe you know more -- the fact that QAnon also appeared in Romania. I mean, there's the QAnon conspiracy. And, yes. In the last US election, Trump lost. But two QAnon members and a neo-Nazi have joined the Senate and Congress. There was a joke online, who will they listen to: Biden or Q? From whom will they take orders.
ioni: [00:10:21] Yes. I do not know. From my point of view, these are the data of the problem and the only conclusion is that there is a lot of work and we still don't know where we are. That is, the next few weeks will be crucial to the way things will change.
robi: [00:10:36] I broadly agree with everything you say. And it seems to me that no matter how you position yourself, they are valid arguments and you have to weigh them. So on the other side of the argument, not to vote with Biden. That's what you mentioned, Adina. It is not clear to me on the side of imperialism how to position itself. It was very expensive now in the last debates how strongly he said so clearly that he would bring America -- in a very imperialist way -- to the center of the universe and that anyone who tried to speak out against America would be punished. He didn't say that, I don't know exactly. But it was very ... So that's thought-provoking. He seems more respectable and seems more progressive liberal. On some things it is not very clear. On racial tensions, maybe the tensions of now will de-escalate -- or as they say -- but practically in terms of improvement in the quality of life, I don't know if it will be very high. On this racial line, in the USA.
robi: [00:11:34] Again, on climate change ... So what's on the agenda, there are still quite a lot and clear all the regulations and things he proposes. The problem is that I have almost zero confidence in what he says. Because his track record, because he's trying to push more toward the Republicans than the left. So for me in a way it will almost be a failure if the US rewrites the Paris Accords. Because the Paris Accords is not even legally binding. So even if it was binding, it would lead to catastrophe. And it's not even binding.
robi: [00:12:07] And in a way it just normalizes or gives the impression that we're doing something; because the US has joined it's a moving thing. It's not clear to me whether it's a positive thing, Biden, for climate change. So Trump is much worse. But I'm talking in four years, eight years. I mean, there are things you can't know anyway, but there are arguments that need to be considered. It is not clear whether a Biden presidency will now be better or worse in the future for more progressive candidates. But it is not clear whether in four years she will be a more progressive candidate, because you cannot expect anything from the Democrats.
robi: [00:12:43] So I'm saying these are things to consider. I don't know if I would have voted with Biden. But in a way I don't even feel like I like to pronounce. That I don't live there and I haven't documented myself enough to tell the truth. Both.
lori: [00:12:59] In principle, the Democratic Party has reaffirmed its gross incompetence and, as Robi said, the fact that it is collaborating with Republicans rather than progressives and what they can.
adina: [00:13:12] But, I wouldn't call it incompetence. Sorry to interrupt. Why do you see it as incompetence?
lori: [00:13:19] Because they're not able to take power from the Republicans. Indeed, they seek a compromise with the Republicans when they sweep the floor with them. I'm just as evil, just as bad, but I'm just not able to impose anything. And I'm just running after the Republicans, as I dictate the policies.
robi: [00:13:41] Someone, I don't know who, you Anda or Adina said, related to Medicare for All. Biden said that if he passed the Senate, he would veto it. So that's level 1. And in any case Pence is an infinitely bigger threat than Trump. Because Trump is a kind of clown for whom in a way it is enough to perform a certain authoritarianism. He often blames punctual things just for being incompetent. But Pence doesn't even seem incompetent and he's infinitely worse. I mean, it's a horror if he's the next candidate in four years, or eight or when. And that has to be taken into account somehow, in the big picture.
adina: [00:14:22] The nasty part seems to me to be that Trump dropped the standards so hard, they were so low anyway, that anything goes on from now on. Plus, obviously, the political spectrum is going more and more to the right and that's hard to imagine how you can recover.
ioni: [00:14:41] From this point of view, Romanian politics is also very Trumpian at the moment. We remember those embarrassing scenes with Dragnea and Iohannis who insisted on going [to meet Trump]. It seems to me that all this attitude from anti-political correctness, grunting and this kind of attitude that curls up with various aspects of the far right, practically. And this very problematic humor, and so on. They were adapted in Romania.
adina: [00:15:09] Yeah, well, the problem doesn't go away. Racism in society -- sexism, classism, all these things -- they do not disappear. Up to a year during the liberal governments, they become less accepted and acceptable in society, but that only means that they lie there until a charismatic fascist or populist leader appears , or as we want to call him, to instrumentalize them for his own gain. What we see is exactly the same thing that has happened in Europe in the last ten years.
robi: [00:15:50] Alex? You also don't know, don't care?
alex: [00:15:56] Yeah, you guessed right. Yes. I don't have much to say about this. I kind of thought about what Adina had said before, but I didn't get a chance to say it. I wanted to say in the discussion about the least evil. That, yes, it is a real privilege to be able to deny this whole system and refuse in one way or another. This thing seems to me to be a privilege.
alex: [00:16:27] And now looking at the US context. I found out that there were elections, in fact, while I was feverish. Yes, I'm very out of step with this thing. For me, the USA is very, very far away, and no ... But I found out that it was the elections, and then what the situation is, while we have a fever and we were isolated at home. So I found nothing else to do but watch what happens in the state election. That otherwise I had exhausted everything.
adina: [00:16:56] The election fever was yours. Okay, I think we've talked enough about Americans. Let's take a look now at what's happening locally. Because as we all know, parliamentary elections are coming. And we hoped this episode will be out before December 5, when the vote would take place. Let's do another round in which we can each say how we position ourselves towards the parliamentarians who will come to Romania. Do we have whom to choose or are all parties the same? The same mess.
lori: [00:17:46] Yes, exactly. They're all the same mess. If it's still an electoral episode, let's mention the local elections a month or so ago. Nah, Robu was awful. I mean, he was both a racist and an elitist. Fritz, on the other hand, is manicured, presentable. He's probably not incompetent either. The biggest problem is that he will not be at all incompetent or at least not as incompetent as Robu in gentrifying neighbourhoods. It's about thousands of displaced people who won't be able to live in those neighborhoods.
lori: [00:18:28] The point is, I almost voted for Fritz, honestly. That I said let them take their administration and leave me alone. But after that it was that phase that was not clearly positioned pro LBTH, and this thing after all is a gamble with the lives of families, after all, which we with the Right to the City try to offer support in times of crisis. And, nah, who am I to make that gamble. I mean, I can't make a decision like that, knowing that this man really has a massive potential to make their lives harder.
lori: [00:19:09] And now about parliamentarians. I read again from the USR programme, and it’s in the classic libertarian strategy and Năsuian language, the right to choose in health, the right to choose in education. Because, obviously, the right to choose on the market is freedom. Like in eMAG, obviously. Not the freedom we really need in education and health. The PNL program is of course not even available, so it is probably the same. And the PSD had that idea with the Development Bank that I found interesting. And God forbid, now we can dissect, but the tone is what it is.
robi: [00:19:57] So on paper, after the election program, it's pretty clear to me that it's PSD voting. Because it's such a centrist program. The USR is on the right, towards libertarian, from my point of view. Beyond that, the PSD also took over this stupidity by lowering payroll taxes. No sign of progressive charging. At PSD there is only one sheet, if I remember correctly, with banalities about the greening of the economy. Photovoltaic financing and do not know what.
robi: [00:20:30] And at USR, their plan is to run on gas, to exploit the Black Sea gas. So shake it. On both sides, there is a downside to the greening of the economy. At USR, the only argument that may have been is that Presadă is a bit ok, although she also had some problematic points. But he finished 6th or so, who didn't know if he had a chance to finish.
lori: [00:20:54] Yeah, she has no chance.
robi: [00:20:56] So I have no argument for voting with USR. The sure question is whether or not it makes sense to vote with PSD. For there on the other hand is the issue of trust. They are incompetent. Although his salaries have risen quite reliably. The minimum wage and pensions have also increased, and that's a plus for them and I suspect they will. So these are my points.
anda: [00:21:20] I think that the salary and pension and social assistance increases that came from PSD were simply formative. Let's not forget that they were in power in some years in which Romania registered a record low growth in Europe. And in which wages and pensions have never kept pace with economic growth. I do not vote and I advise people not to vote in this election. And I'm firmly in that position.
anda: [00:21:52] I don't see a significant difference between what the USR-Plus plus PNL government can do. Which I'm sure we'll have in January. And a potential PSD government -- which I'm sure won't happen -- maybe on paper there are small variations between their proposals. Although you also pointed out that they took over this potato with zero taxes on the minimum wage and avoids a discussion about a progressive tax or something that could have a real impact.
anda: [00:22:26] I find the USR-Plus program super problematic. First and foremost on this issue of privatizing health and education. It seems horrible to me, but I don't think a vote for PSD stops this roll. They may not be declared in the program, but in our experience, what an electoral programme shows is very, very different from the decisions that are made after four years of government. And I think Alex talked a little bit about this thing.
anda: [00:22:58] If I think about 2016, when I saw Gabriela Firea's programme for Bucharest. If I hadn't known what history the PSD has, I would have said, wow, how progressive this program is. What a woman on the left. You have to vote. You had municipal companies there. I know everyone hates them. I thought municipal companies were a great idea. And a lot of social investment. Of which measured at a time with comrades from the point in Demos, halfway through the mandate, and had done 85 percent of the things promised.
anda: [00:23:36] So I have zero confidence in the PSD program. And the return of the wandering son, Grindeanu, does not impress me at all. Alex mentioned this to me earlier about the Social Dialogue Act. Not only Ponta promised it when he ran in 2012. They promised it repeatedly, we talked about it repeatedly. It's the kind of a bait they give to unions.
anda: [00:24:03] I have absolutely zero confidence. I don't think anything significant will change for us if we go to the polls, to put the PSD there to stop the roll of liberalism that will come guaranteed from the PNL and USR-Plus. The USL-Plus program talks about things like the Key Performance Indicator. When you come to treat the public administration -- which does not work for anyone's benefit -- in this logic of capital, this tells me that it means cuts in services, cuts in jobs, privatization of public goods, etc. And that's why I don't think it should be voted on. And I think a very clear signal should be given that all parties are really the same mess.
lori: [00:24:53] I agree with Anda, the PSD does not have the confidence and track record. What a mess at Firea, just to give an example, that she had set up the Municipal Company for Housing Construction. And it did nothing but eat money on unnecessary bureaucracy.
robi: [00:25:13] I don't remember exactly, but I think it's been blocked for a long time by something like paperwork or something.
anda: [00:25:21] It was a trial.
robi: [00:25:23] So, or it was a trial.
lori: [00:25:25] The bad part is that she delegitimized the idea, you know. That it was a really good idea. The classic thing of, if you want to kill an idea, just give it everything it needs and make sure it fails.
anda: [00:25:41] Even so, I have no illusions that they would have used the company. Let's take this as an example of housing construction. I do not trust that Firea would have used this municipal housing company to build social housing for the people we know need it. He has repeatedly stated publicly that these homes are for doctors, they are for civil servants, they are for a class that is already to a certain extent quite privileged.
anda: [00:26:14] That doctors now have the salaries they have, civil servants -- especially those who work in offices -- have relatively decent salaries. There are still many who work on the minimum wage. But again, I don't think these are the civil servants who are targeted by these social apartments that Firea wanted to build. The same applies to you in Timisoara. Because it seems to me Fritz, one of the most problematic candidates in Romania. And that's because of the positioning towards public services. He said it clearly in his program from the beginning. Outsourcing these services to NGOs, which will do them. I'm not saying that NGOs don't know what is needed. I say that they do not have the capacity, that they will never be properly funded, and I say that public services should not be provided by NGOs.
robi: [00:27:03] Also, that it doesn't exist. So there are some good NGOs in Timisoara on certain topics. But it does not exist on all the services that would be needed. Or the state has to offer them. And where they are not, there is no such service.
anda: [00:27:17] Absolutely.
lori: [00:27:17] Yes, and she washes her hands of it. We know a clear example. It was a long-term care center for disadvantaged people. City Hall wanted one of these things. It's been putting in every budget since, I don't know, 2012, or since. When they put it up for auction, there's no one to do it. Because you need capital to start such an NGO. And no one has this capital. The mayor's office would have this capital, if it started it is the municipal company. But obviously it doenn't. Classic disclaimer. I mean, I know very well that, okay, we're going to have money because nobody's going to do it.
lori: [00:27:59] Now I'm going to say something for which I'll be canceled. I honestly hate this language as a middle manager of a corporation more than I hate fascists, honestly. My head hurts when I see management ideology. Actually, I can't anymore. And the most dehumanizing thing ever. It also reaches public policy.
anda: [00:28:23] The USR-Plus program is full of this language. It is full of this treatment of the administration and public services as a company that has to perform. And these are some ideas. Maybe a somewhat self-colonizing comparison. But you don't see them in a public administration in a country where the standard of living is higher.
lori: [00:28:42] Ah, really?
anda: [00:28:43] Absolutely. There is no such thing as trying to reach some key performance indicator. Someone would laugh you out of an office. Anyway, what I have to say about these programs is that they are written by people who have very fixed and very limited ideas. And they are not based on data or experience in public administration. So you have a bunch of corporate people quoting from Reagan. So there’s a quote from Reagan in the USR-Plus program. In 2020. It's absolutely ridiculous .
anda: [00:29:19] In addition to the problematic scenarios from Fritz's program, from Nicusor Dan's program in Bucharest, from the program of these Messiahs sent to the big cities in Romania to save us by USR-Plus. Behind them are the team consultants who join the mayor's office with them. It is not enough to just look at the program. You also have to look at what area these people come from and what they say publicly when asked certain questions.
anda: [00:29:47] Because Fritz was asked at the first press conference, when he launched his program in Timisoara. He was asked exactly about housing and the answer did not come from him. This question about living came from the person who will take care of living in Timisoara. Who replied that we would still try to do some consultations with the private sector, I don't know what. He had no idea what he was going to do, except talk to the privates. That he solves privations somehow. And if this is the strategy for public housing in Timisoara, this says: Yes, you can't vote with this one. At least to me. That's how I relate.
robi: [00:30:23] It seems to me that there is another danger that is not so obvious. Nicusor Dan is a traditional pro-family person. This one from sector 1, Clotilde Armand, is very conservative, very traditional with her family . Fritz comes from this religious area. He refused to position himself, I think the refusal to position clearly shows us where he is shooting. I think it's pretty dangerous. If you vote with them, it also means that you support this quasi-consensus that is being created among elected mayors in the Bucharest, Timisoara area. I don't know, the others.
anda: [00:31:01] Exact. In big cities. And from Brașov. That Alin Coliban, who won in Brasov, came to state publicly about how he made a contract with the consulting firm that surveyed him or something like that, that he asked for in the contract, put a clause in the contract, to his name should not be disclosed. And this thing seemed very normal to him. Both him and his staff. So there was a whole quarrel on Facebook -- a storm in a glass of water shot - about this thing, in which they said it was the right company. Dude, when you're a politician taking orders from a company. You are problematic and I do not vote for you. Point.
ioni: [00:31:40] As an anecdote here, in 2016, maybe even earlier -- I don't know if it was USR or it was still USB at the time -- they were collecting signatures near the University. And somehow Remus Cernea and USR had received the same 5-meter area. I was passing by, and I want to tell you that I have never really seen so much hatred between two groups. How much they could avoid each other. And yes, the people from USR came with us, we saved Bucharest, we defended the family, etc. And they were young, they were very young. Remus Cernea repeats his tired poem that he is a centrist, he takes the Church out of public life. Yes, and that was apparently very outrageous to the world of USB, USR or whatever. So it's not something from yesterday to today, that the left-wing activists fired, in quotes, and suddenly they turned to this ultra-conservative chain. I mean, this thing has been there for a long, long time.
anda: [00:32:33] Exact. And thank you for saying that. Because if I see another alleged leftist on Facebook who declares how to vote for Nicusor Dan, because Firea is soaking wet, so I'm going to go crazy. These people for me are all canceled. In my life, I don't want to work with people who can say that. Not thinking at all about the people he is endangering with this vote.
robi: [00:32:59] It was as if Remus Cernea was saying he was ready to return. Maybe we have someone to vote for in parliament.
ioni: [00:33:06] I admit that then in a hurry I gave him a signature in front of the USR members and I left. I mean, it was such a beautiful moment.
robi: [00:33:13] That's a joke like that.
adina: [00:33:15] Dude, let me die if I don't empathize with the authoritarian left these days.
anda: [00:33:22] And me.
adina: [00:33:23] For the first time ever.
alex: [00:33:25] Yes, why, boss?
adina: [00:33:28] Why?
ioni: [00:33:30] And what's exactly going on here, because it's not very clear to me where the line is drawn. I mean, does the PSD come in?
age: [00:33:35] Psd. I wouldn't. I was thinking directly about the Stalinists. What are you saying.
anda: [00:33:40] I was thinking the same. To nationalize absolutely everything.
adina: [00:33:45] How does COVID manage, and all that privatization stuff. Everything is going in an absolutely sinister direction. We talk about municipalism and stuff. What municipalism when these & ^% &% # ^% # will jump our caps in the next few years. It's hard for me to imagine how you can regain power when the gap has become so big and insurmountable. I just can't conceive.
anda: [00:34:14 ] It's not like you have an alternative. Then, come on, let's give them a vote in PSD. Or at the UDMR. Or at Pro-Romania. Or anyone. To prevent something from this. Not. It's absolutely the same result. The only thing you do is slow down your pace a little . Both. You slowed down.
adina: [00:34:35] Okay, sometimes that matters, you know.
robi: [00:34:37] You said nationalize. I don't know exactly, because I read a lot of things. I mean, I didn't read them, I browsed through them. It was also a PSD government program document , but not this one on the site. It was a document with a lot of text. He said the privatization of state-owned companies. Or further privatization. I don't know exactly. So I couldn't even believe that it was the PSD's program.
ioni: [00:34:58] I don't know what Stalinist party was circulating before the place. From Banat over there, or from Arad, as it were?
anda: [00:35:04] It was the Communist Party.
robi: [00:35:07] From Arad, yes.
ioni: [00:35:07] From Arad, who wanted to encourage entrepreneurship.
anda: [00:35:10] Yes.
alex: [00:35:10] Ador.
anda: [00:35:12] Yes, small entrepreneurs. The Communist Party of Arad.
lori: [00:35:23] Well, that one. Lenin's NEP, after all.
robi: [00:35:24] Where did this discussion end up.
ioni: [00:35:26] It's that huge banner from China at a business rally. It's a huge banner with Mao and he holds a handwritten flag that reads Follow our party -- Start your business.
alex: [00:35:39] Wow.
adina: [00:35:40] But does anyone know anything about what and since when is the Social Democratic Workers' Party?
alex: [00:35:48] The point is, that's historically the name.
anda: [00:35:51] That was at 1800 and something, yes.
alex: [00:35:55] Yes. And it was re-established I don't know exactly when in the '90s. But at one point in 2000, after he was released from prison, Miron Cozma was the president of this party.
adina: [00:36:05] Oh, how interesting.
anda: [00:36:08] Cozma, when was he president?
alex: [00:36:10] In 2000, at one point, when you got out of jail. I don't know exactly where it came from . But in a year or two it became.
adina: [00:36:16] You don't really find information about them, that's interesting. And apply now.
alex: [00:36:20] Well, we vote for PSDMR, that's it.
adina: [00:36:21] That they managed to collect signatures.
anda: [00:36:25] No one manages to collect signatures. They are paid, they are bought, they are databases. Nobody collects signatures. Let's not delude ourselves.
alex: [00:36:34] All right, I suddenly gave up the boycott. I know what you're voting for now.
adina: [00:36:39] With pleasure.
alex: [ 00:36:44] Thanks for the joke.
adina: [00:36:46] Yeah, that's what I want to tell you. That I looked a little curious about the games that are on the list. What seems important to me is that for the first time the New Right is running as the New Right Party in this election. They also ran four years ago, in 2016, but they ran in an alliance called Our Romania Alliance. Where were those from the New Right? Plus, this alliance was made by Marian Munteanu, who was then with the New Right. And they got 60,000 votes in 2016.
alex: [00:37:33] Like a football gallery.
adina: [00:37:34] How much did the Romanian Ecologist Party get. But now that's up for grabs. We are still glad that the far right is small, it has not reached power. But as we enjoy these things, they move. To seize power. And he's starting to see more and more. I mean, I'm looking at the 2016 elections now. One in hand, that there are many more ultra-conservative and extreme right-wing and nationalist parties that have been on the list. That you have PRU, you have PRM, you have Our Alliance Romania. There was also the National Unity Bloc, which had been a far-right coalition attempt.
adina: [00:38:25] And if you sit and count how many votes these people took together, well they took about as much as the PMP, which entered Parliament, 18 seats. It seems that there is quite a lot of initiative in this area to create coalitions and alliances between these parties and movements, just to succeed in reaching Parliament, apparently this year. I was saying that the New Right is running alone. And I'm very curious how long it will take. And it's another funny thing, that in 2014, the president of the New Right, said in an interview that the New Right will never become a party. And after a year , they were part of it. While you're right conservatives and nationalists are înmulţumesc, counter left is maintained only Romanian Socialist Party (PSR) -- which, nah, finally, I was reluctant to comment -- and the SDP, which nobody knew existed. So you can see the massive power imbalance. I do not understand how it is possible for a fairly clear legionary movement, such as those from the New Right, to run for Parliament. It looks like a face identification.
anda: [00:39:56] Yes. With money, with signatures bought or forged, you can apply. I don't think he's going in that direction of unification. I don't see them going in that direction. It seems to me that the fight is still going on between PSD and PNL, and of course USR-Plus. And the others maintain their electorate. The PMP will remain at around 5 percent. Tip, the same. ALDE is kind of on the duke. The UDMR maintains its electorate. That's about my prediction.
robi: [00:40:29] Now that you said, Anda. I think ALDE merged it with Pro-Romania. Mega crossover Ponta - Tariceanu.
anda: [00:40:35] Ponta won 1 percent. That is the relevance of ALDE now.
robi: [00:40:43] Exactly. In Arad, at least there is the Party of Communists. I found their flyer. That was for the locals. That is, only communists can rebuild Romania, vote for position 11. Communist Party, We want good for Arad. And so. Decrease in taxes and fees. Good, sanitary improvement, green spaces, very good. Recycle. Supporting domestic investors through programs and tax exemptions. For local entrepreneurs. The Communist Party. And the last is the reduction in the number of local police officers. That's it, respect.
alex: [00:41:14] ACAB.
anda: [00:41:14] Dubios Communist Party.
alex: [00:41:16] To me, you realize, that it's no surprise about that, that all games are the same mess from the beginning to the end of the podcast. But I wanted to tell a little bit about how I got to read the USR government program. Anda wrote to me one morning and said that, yes, they went crazy. Well, they want to privatize anyway. And I started reading. Complicated with waking up to me. But I got annoyed instantly, I didn't have to wake up to get angry at the government program.
alex: [00:41:44] And I thought as instantly as I got annoyed, that probably if USR and PNL win, and form a coalition, there will be a need for protests against the austerity measures they intend to take at one point or another. As both share ideas on the same film. They're just as fried. I mean, they want to privatize everything. And then I think that maybe a form of direct action could change the positions of power a little.
alex: [00:42:18] But strictly related to the choices. I expect very low turnout. Once because of the pandemic, and another time because people are super unhappy with the semi-quarantine situation we will be in. We still are in today [actually]. That you can't go out after 11 o'clock, that you can't help but know what. It's clear he's just trying to prepare the ground for another quarantine.
alex: [00:42:50] In the same state of fever and malaise, I started reading Iohannis' Facebook, the comments on the post where he said that I was going to close the markets, to close shops at 9 o'clock, etc. I was super amused by the stuff. If people didn't swear at him and said we weren't going to the polls, they would super troll him. I heard I think two ads, of people selling brandy on Iohannis' Facebook. Other people who have trolled him with things like this year I suspect Kevin's family isn't leaving home. With reference to, please, [the movie] Alone at Home. And all sorts of three tablespoons of this super super random.
alex: [00:43:31] But besides the trolling part, this thing of dissatisfaction with restrictions was clear. And that's why I expect a low attendance. Which may mean that PSD has a slightly higher percentage.
adina: [00:43:47] I think the world is still angry with PSD. And he won't vote for them too much.
alex: [00:43:53] What I wanted to keep from all this is to say that protests would be needed if they win and will push the USR and PNL austerity measures.
anda: [00:44:09] Okay.
robi: [00:44:11] Yes, and you said Anda, this point - with which I very much agree - that maybe the best thing for the left would be to have a very, very small presence. And that this is a talking point that we can use.
anda: [00:44:23] Yes. It seems to me that this, of course, helps us in our organization. By the lowest possible presence. But, I don't think it would help so much, as Alex, the PSD, said. It seems to me that the balance has changed a little, and now the low turnout helps the USR and the PNL more. It seems to me that this happened at the premises.
ioni: [00:44:42] Normally in these elections the elderly avoid going out of the house and the crowds. So, I think that the average age will also be ... It is rumored that the PSD voters are old. But even a few years ago the reality was very different, that young people voted for PSD.
adina: [00:44:57] That's what Alex says, with anti-austerity protests, it seems to me that moments like this are among the few that can unite the different factions of the left. It 's definitely a common point of the intersection.
anda: [00:45:17] I think the biggest problem is numbers. Because one is a protest with 60 people and another is a protest with 60,000 people. That we don't even have access to the media and then ... The first protest I went to in Romania shocked me. So when I saw the American flag waving in front of the People's House, I was like what the fuck is this. I was super surprised that the right-wing protest was so entrenched. At that moment, things were being discussed like that law that allowed the Gendarmerie powers ... They could no longer be held accountable for anything. There were a lot of items on the public agenda that were worth protesting about. Well, the protest was anti-corruption. Something with corruption. It was just shouting about corruption. But something else had galvanized. Not a good example, I guess.
adina: [00:46:08] That's what I wanted to say now, because I don't know if we should rely too much on protest as a way to act, because it's smoked. Went. I mean, it seems like what you're saying is more important. To have an effective action you must be disruptive.
alex: [00:46:26] That's what I was thinking when I said protest. There are not many people. That we don't necessarily work on this idea of numbers, that bigger is better . As for things that cause chaos. To feel somehow that super popular dissatisfaction.
robi: [00:46:43] Okay.
ioni: [00:46:43] But you know it was the last Black Lives Matter protest, of course, the discussion of property destruction and you're far from it. And this problem is so relative that whatever you do, the televisions will put in their own light and find some destroyed property. I don't know if you remember in 2012, at the anti-austerity ones, at Unirii -- at the Unirii store in Bucharest -- someone set fire to a trash can. From the one on the street. And the TV crew sat there. You would turn on the TV - I don't know who it was, Reality or which - and it would give you minutes, minutes in a row. And he was a journalist of this two lei. Incredibly forget how Bucharest is burning, what is happening.
alex: [00:47:20] But it burned beautifully, boss.
ioni: [00:47:20] Yeah, and at one point even the guest, I don't remember who he was. “Come on, it's a burning trash can. Until now, the journalists were also extinguished, which is why you are wailing so much. Give scenes of gendarmes beating people.”
ioni: [00:47:33] I don't know. We can talk a lot with tactics. But I had recently seen a study, strictly on America, with the effectiveness of the protests from '68 to the present, they had looked at several movements. And apparently there are three situations. When people gather and when the gendarmes gather and some protest, others stay, nothing happens. Nobody cares. When protesters are violent, public opinion is against protesters. And when pro- testators are portrayed as peaceful and gendarmes as violent, public opinion is the cause of the protesters. So that's why framing is very important in situations like this. That they could make anything seem violent.
robi: [00:48:14 ] I don't know how to say, but you don't want to put a lid on it. Not that I'm bored, but it's about five hours. Maybe we can do a mini-job in this episode.
ioni: [00:48:24] Mini-series, one a week until the election.
anda: [00:48:28] Thank you for agreeing to talk to us. Because it's an effort, even if it's enjoyable.
alex: [00:48:33] Sincerely.
anda: [00:48:34] Thank you very much for the invitation. And an opportunity to advertise for the groups in which they are agitating, Urzica and Romania -- The Land of Cheap Labor.
ioni: [00:48:48] Maybe you really want to say something about collectives. Where do you find more people, where can they be interested.
anda: [00:48:53] Urzica Collective and Romania -- The Land of Cheap Labor are two groups of people who do exactly that, agitation on various political issues. In Romania -- the Land of Cheap Labor is a constant critique of everything that happens at work. From the economic system to the way workers are treated and treated. The activity was super great this year, when so many abuses were exposed to which migrant workers are subjected and subjected. From agriculture, from the meat industry, the food industry. And it somehow comes down to this principle that cross-border workers are the most and most abused and deprived of rights.
anda: [00:49:42] Because you have no support in the country you come from or in the country you are going to. It was a very good example of what happened to asparagus farms in Germany, why it happened among housekeepers in Austria, in the transports that were organized in the middle of the pandemic to get people to continue doing this work. They also showed us a lot about who the key workers are, and how we relate to them. You will find this as topics of agitation and organization at ROTMI, Romania -- The Land of Cheap Labor.
anda: [00:50:20] And at Colectiva Urzica there is a page that talks about what is happening on health, for education, on the social field. On topics that interest us on the left.
ioni: [00:50:33] And Alex, tell us how and where the world can find you.
robi: [00:50:38] If you want.
adina: [00:50:39] Where the world doesn't find you.
alex: [00:50:45] Yes. You can find publications and brochures and the anarchist calendar at Pagini Libere Publishing House, the publishing house I am part of. The site is pagini minus litere dot ro. Speaking of today's discussion, at one point we also translated a brochure on voting versus direct action, which could be useful in today's discussion text.
alex: [00:51:07] Yes, at the Mahala Community of Militant Workers we work on the organization side at work. And the site is the community minus mahala punct ro. Where we tried to help people from various cities who have problems at work and where we have done this for the last few years. And that's it.
anda: [00:51:30] And I'd like to say a few words about the RIGHT for Care. Especially since it's a topic very close to us, it's a companion organization of ours. Of Romanian caregivers in Austria mainly, but with connections to caregivers from other countries. Also, for me at least it is a mega example of organization, which they managed to do in a few months. Or in a few months officially, that they have been in contact for a long time. But they managed to force the Romanian state to provide them with a train, a safer transport than planes at the beginning of the pandemic. Search their page, on Facebook it’s DREPT la Îngrijire. And I really think you should look at what they're doing, because they're a super organization. I have great respect for them.
ioni: [00:52: 39] That’s about it for now, and we hope you've thought about whether or not you want to go to the polls this weekend. You can find us everywhere with the lazy handel, on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple podcasts and probably in other places that I’ve forgotten at the moment.
ioni: [00:53:01] The songs used in this episode are from the repertoire of Pancarta and Pavilion 32. The two bands are no longer active at the moment, but in the description of the episode you will find links to more pieces they have recorded over the years. We thank them a lot for agreeing to let us use these songs that we thought fit like a glove with the theme of the episode.
ioni: [00:53:31] We also used metal sludge riffs from Zomfy and various soundbites and portions of songs from Kevin MacLeod's incompetech site. The art of the episode is the work of Vlad Cucu. Until next time, take care of yourself and all is well.
anda: [00:56:09] Stop me if I talk too much.
robi: [00:56:12] You can talk as much as you want, I'll edit you.
ioni: [00:56:19] The scariest thing Robi can say. I'll edit you.
anda: [00:56:40] It's not raining, wash them. Man, if you've ever seen anything like it.
ioni: [00:56:49] But they cut the trouser leg .
anda: [00:56:52] Now I'm on the roof.
lori: [00:56:56] I tell my therapist from time to time about Lenin.
robi: [00:57:15] Mom, we've been recording for three and a half hours.
adina: [00:57:15] What the hell .
anda: [00:57:17] The political gossip.
adina: [00:57:18] Gossip.
anda: [00:57:21] How nice it would have been to sit at a table and drink something.
alex: [0 0:57:28] Bourgeoisie.