Don’t be afraid to be free of your mind

In December 2011 I published an article called “Pedro Nuno, o malvado”. It was a reaction to the attacks that he aimed at because he had the courage to think in his own head, criticize German banks, and defend as the highest heresy an alternative to the prevailing neoliberal dogma.

He was accused of populism and the comfortable columns put him down. The orientation of the PS felt that this was not favorable. The outside people were of the opinion that this young man, who still has no political weight, could pose the risk of leading the PS on a left-wing project. It would help to make him State Secretary for Parliamentary Affairs in the negotiations for “Geringonça”. I could have thought about a well mannered career. But at the last Congress, he went on the podium to defend a left-wing motion that was also signed by Duarte Cordeiro. Accused again of populism, he overturned the congressmen and I remember how it ended: “This is not populism, this is socialism.”

There were those who concluded that this was a challenge for the Secretary General, who said yes, that he had not yet submitted the papers for reform.

Now Pedro Nuno (PN) supported Ana Gomes, criticized the lack of the PS in the presidential election and warned of the temptation to return to centrism, which has weakened the democratic left and created space for the growth of the extreme right across Europe. recalled the mistake of the French socialists for underestimating Jean Marie Le Pen and underlined the urgency to unite the left and tackle the causes that anger people about the system.

It should be borne in mind that most PS leaders dream of centrism. He used “Geringonça” as a tactical means of maintaining the government. But it is also necessary to rethink the left: a consistent progressive perspective requires serious debate so that convergence is not limited to budget negotiations.

Even so, PN expressed its position autonomously. He exercised his right of opinion and criticism and pointed to a political path. As Francisco Assis did in a different sense. In a party of democratic culture, everything is normal if we have not lived in a time of “respect” when the habit and tastes of political debate seem lost and when it is risky to have ideas.

Monolithism is not socialist. It was born in 1903 when Lenine imposed “democratic centralism” on the Russian Social Democratic Party at the London Congress. A concept that the socialists have always fought against, from Martov to Léon Blum’s break with the Communist International to the PS’s fight against Stalinism. Monolithism doesn’t rhyme with PS. Although some of your tics can be contagious. It’s kind of a posthumous victory for Stalinism. Careerism badly coexists with the freedom to think. More than just agreeing or disagreeing with PN, it’s about freedom.

I also supported Ana Gomes. And I don’t accept the stupid explanation that the election of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (MRS) was a victory for the PS. The choice of MRS is a victory of its own, personal and indivisible. The PS lost the presidential election due to a lack of participation. And it was thanks to Ana Gomes that the right-wing extremist candidate did not take second place.

But see, a simple article disturbs the detainees. They’ll say it’s not cheap (it never is). And which PN intends to run for general secretary. And then? Nobody is allowed to think and part. Still to apply for a position in the PS. António Costa was also not banned from playing against António José Seguro. You will also use the primary argument: the pandemic, the economic and social crisis. And? Freedom is not suspended. It is most accurate in the most difficult moments. No political project makes sense without freedom. I remember the sentence of Mário Soares that made me join the PS: “Freedom is a revolutionary value in itself”. Freedom that will always be the freedom to think differently, said Rosa Luxemburg. More than ever there is a need for people who are not afraid to be free.