La globalización de la política de masas

La globalización ha tomado una nueva forma: la política de masas global. Claro que las protestas políticas han sido globales desde hace décadas, como lo han demostrado las manifestaciones en contra de la guerra de Vietnam, las armas nucleares y la globalización misma. Las revoluciones de 1989 y 1991 en Europa del Este y la ex Unión Soviética cundieron en una región enorme en cuestión de meses. Pero las protestas en contra de la guerra en Iraq revelan una nueva dinámica. Alrededor de 10 millones de manifestantes en unos 60 países y 600 ciudades salieron a las calles en un día acordado, el 15 de febrero, lo que demuestra que ahora la política de masas se puede emprender globalmente.

Las comunicaciones y los medios masivos han permitido los efectos de "imitación" (las manifestaciones en un lugar generan acciones similares en otra parte) desde hace mucho. El derrocamiento del Rey Luis Felipe de Francia en 1848 fue acelerado por la llegada del telégrafo desde Alemania, lo que encendió la revolución. Las imágenes televisadas de la caída del Muro de Berlín estimularon cambios revolucionarios en todo el exbloque soviético. En otras ocasiones, manifestaciones como las del Día del Trabajo se convirtieron en movilizaciones sociales generalizadas, como sucedió en Francia el 1 de mayo de 1968.

Lo que distingue a las recientes protestas masivas en contra de los planes de EU para emprender una guerra contra Iraq es que el evento del 15 de febrero fue planeado con anterioridad, con poco tiempo, para una fecha específica y con una meta explícita a escala global. La decisión de que el 15 de febrero fuese un día de protestas masivas aparentemente se tomó durante una reunión de activistas en el Foro Social Europeo que se llevó a cabo en Florencia en noviembre del año pasado. En noventa días, esos organizadores movilizaron a más de 5 millones de manifestantes en todo el mundo.

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