The co-author of “The Black Book of the New Left” and author of “The Cultural Battle”, the Argentinian Agustín Laje, was in our entity to meet and talk with anyone who was interested in learning about his proposal for the construction of a new right.
A defender of life from its conception, a staunch opponent of the so-called gender ideology, he considers that the great achievement of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is not having any opposition.
Optimistic, he points out that the new leftist governments in Latin America have disappointed their governed as soon as they take office.
Pulse spoke with the author and this he told us.
– Pulse: We are seeing a turn to the left at the continental level, Colombia, Chile and probably in Brazil Lula will return, what can this return to the left be due to?
– Laje: Well there are several factors. The most important that I conceive is the failure of centrism and of what is usually known as the center right. For example, if we take Peru as a reference, those that failed were a succession of center governments. If we take Chile as a reference, we have that what failed was the center-right of Sebastián Piñera, if we take Argentina, the center-right of Macri failed. They are technocratic options that conceive of the State as if it were a company, anti-political or rather apolitical options that surround themselves with experts and technicians. It is true that they try to put the State’s accounts in order, many times they succeed, many times they do it well, but they neglect a whole cultural field in which they do not get involved.
For example, who has set the political narrative in Chile? The left; Who has set the political narrative in Argentina? Kirchnerism. Who has set the political narrative in this country? Brunette.
So what I believe is that there have been two ways of conceiving politics in Latin America. One has been the technocratic option and another has been the strictly political option and politics has won over technique.
Likewise, voters have become enthusiastic about the idea of a change. With the idea of giving the opportunity to someone who has not yet had the opportunity to put their policies into practice.
That is why a guy like Pedro Castillo arrives in Peru, a person who was practically unknown to everyone, even linked to Maoism, and wins the elections in the second round. Or, for example, a guy like Gabriel Boric arrives, the youngest president in Chilean history, a guy who is practically my age. And well, the second round is chosen for him, we can even think of the Mexican case, López Obrador trying, failing, trying, failing until it happens.
It is a vote of confidence that is wagered under the banner of change.
Change versus continuity, people are a bit tired of continuity and they have opted for change and they have opted for the shift to the left, however, in many cases the repentance has been almost automatic.
Castillo’s approval in Peru has been falling steadily since the first day of government. It is below 30% and in Chile the same thing happened, so much so that this Sunday they said no to the new constitution with 62% of the votes, in the Argentine case the approval of the current government is around 30% with which disenchantment is widespread.
– Pulse: In this sense, Mexico would attract attention, right? López Obrador has over 50% acceptance and there are even some pollsters who give him 62% despite the poor results this government has had.
– Laje: Yes, and despite the poor results, this is explained by the absence of a real opposition in Mexico. Who is the opposition in Mexico? Is it the PAN that ended up allying itself with its historical enemy; with the PRD? Is the PRI discredited after so many years in power in the 20th century and that it was sunk in front of public opinion? Who are the political leaders who oppose López Obrador? I believe that the success of López Obrador in Mexico is not having any real adversary.
– Pulse: In addition to the fact that it has co-opted politicians from other forces, ex-priistas are now morenistas.
– Laja: Of course! Because you see that it is the most concrete way to stay in power.
In addition, López Obrador recently made an interesting maneuver that was to request the approval or rejection of his government. He made all this feint, if they don’t want me I’ll go, of course because Mexico has a very long system of government. It’s six years. In the region in general there are not six years of government, there are four and those are enough for you to more or less carry out a government project where you don’t wear yourself out so much. Knowing that six years is a long time and wear and tear is inevitable at three years old, he makes the cut and calls this popular choice parody.
So I think he has made very smart moves in order to maintain his popularity.
– Pulse: There is a tendency to establish a single discourse, a single truth. Do you perceive it that way?
– Laje: Without a doubt. So much so that everything that begins to go against the grain of that single story begins to qualify as hate speech. If one has the slightest bit of common sense and assumes, for example, that a man is a man and a woman is a woman and that the State has no legitimate power to force me to perceive anything other than that, one becomes in a person with hate speech and hate speech must be fought, by whom? For those who define what hate speech is. Those who are in the State.
There is persecution against people who dissent, but this persecution, where in the last century totalitarianism did it in the name of a specific political project, where totalitarianism did it in the name of the workers’ revolution, in the name of the race , in the name of action, today they do it in the name of love.
That is why today it sells, that is why today we fail to connect it with past experiences. What we are experiencing today is called censorship to impose the single act. This is a power strategy that is disguised in different ways. Today he dressed up in multicolor.
– Pulse: What are the proposals that you present in The Cultural Battle.
– Laje: I am a writer who is characterized by his political ideas. I do not intend to write outside the political struggle, nor play to be neutral. I am not outside the ideological disputes, no, I have a political position. I consider myself a right-wing person and I have been warning for a long time that the right is embarrassing, that it ran towards the center, that the right, what we call center-right today, is hardly distinguishable today from the left, it is practically the same.
Let’s look at the Chilean case, which is very fresh. The center-right after 62% of the Chilean people said no to the new text of the constitution, instead of saying we have to call a consultation to find out if they really want a constitution or not, what does it say? No, now we have to prepare another constitutional text, take another year so that the entire machinery of the State, monetarily speaking, has to endure this process, although the people may have repented and no longer want it. We will have to do it all over again, write a new constitution for a new plebiscite like the one we just saw a few hours ago within a year.
The center-left says the same thing, and the left says the same thing. They march for the same speech.
The proposal of this book is to put together a new right, which already exists. I am not a creator of anything, there are already presentations that go along this line. For example, Vox in Spain, which goes along this line, is a right that is not ashamed to be. José Antonio Kast in Chile, Javier Milei in Argentina, are some examples of people who have right-wing discourses and who begin to generate a double effect: on the one hand, they present ideas to society that are new because they were not on the political agenda They were not in dispute.
– Pulse: And that they go against the politically correct…
– Laje: They attack what is politically correct and the social discourse is enriched because it is no longer a single discourse and a different discourse appears. You may like it or you may not like it, but it is a matter for each person.
Now from the political point of view it exerts another type of effect. And it is that the center-right that had moved towards the center-left and that each time was looking like it, has to turn towards the center-right because if it does not begin to drain votes from the right, from disenchanted people because it no longer it can distinguish between the center-left and the center-right and it goes to the right with a party such as Vox in Spain.
The right really plays a very important role in democratic politics. It pluralizes the discourse and stabilizes the political actors in their traditional positions.