The following article is important to our analysis of participatory democracy because it discusses the very problems caused by politicians who claim to be promoting "democracy". As you read, be aware of the differences between the electoral democracy discussed here and the direct or participatory democracy we demand. -Editor
Democracy and Civil Society in Mexico is the issue that I will, here, develop. It is necessary to point out that these terms have been recently inserted in Mexican politics. During decades, these concepts were practically inactive, in the best of the cases, relegated to second or third level in national politics. Throughout the revolution regime the privileged ideology sustained, an authoritarian Estate instead of democracy. This ideology was based in three main principles: the presidential institution, the official party and the power elite named the revolutionary family. Instead of civil society, what existed was a resistant corporative structure that linked social sectors organized in confederations (labors, peasants and popular) with the Estate by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (respectively the CTM, CNC and CNOP). This kind of structure is similar at extended webs of local organizations in the first floor that are related whit other webs of states organizations in the second floor and, finally, centralized at the top level in the main leaders of the corporations and the Presidency of the PRI.
These structures gave the country political stability and social peace for several decades. But the ways of the old system suffered a process of decay because Mexican politics and civil society opened up to pluralism and democracy. The development of the country produced a notorious differentiation of spheres. Politics, Society, and Economy have become more heterogeneous and more complex. Now a day no one has the possibility to exert hegemonic dominion upon the social body of the country.
It is important to mention that the struggle against authoritarianism took form of electoral vindication. The country has a large tradition of electoral frauds and it was necessary to take out the control of the government over the elections. New political factions entered into the public scene legally recognized for carrying a more equitable and transparent competition for power.
Nevertheless, along with the process of democratization emerged a consistent process of un-governance and the significant increment of social conflict. The old authoritarian order stayed back, however Mexico has not been able to consolidate a new democratic order. The political elite is deeply divided. The conflict originated from the elections of July 2nd makes this is evident, the economic growth doesn’t succeed in including the labor force and Mexican society suffers an abysmal inequality among the rich sectors and the poor mass.
In this essay I’ll try to interpret and explain the paradox of the modern Mexico and I’ll propose a possible way for solution.