Early this year, Revolutionary Socialist Media reported about the demonstrations in Romania against the social democratic government led by Sorin Grindeanu. This pseudo-leftist and member of the corrupt: Social Democratic Party (PSD), was removed in June and replaced by another PSD prime minister called Mihai Tudose. This however has not ended the deep mistrust working class Romanians have towards the social democrats. Only 1/3 of the country came to vote during the last general election. It shows the deep mistrust between ordinary people and the politicians of the ruling class. The lack of a true left-wing anti-capitalist party is also the reason why so few vote. Romanian leftists have been marginalized by a corrupt system that portrays the Ceaușescu period as ”Marxist communist” to discredit the democratic ideas of socialism!
Gifts to the capitalist class are typical of conservative, liberal and social democratic governments. Taxation for the rich has been lowered, while workers are told to pay more. This is how the capitalist state is able to finance its spending, by taking more money from ordinary people and demanding less of the wealthy. Romania is no exception, neoliberalism has created a huge gap between the rich and the poor. Before the Romanian Revolution in December 1989, the country was a Stalinist state. Created by the Soviet-Union in the late 1940’s and under control of the Romanian Communist Party. Nicolae Ceaușescu was the last Stalinist leader, who became famous for his cult of personality, nepotism, corruption and nationalist politics. It is very ironic that many who lived under stalinism have positive memories of the Ceaușescu era. Elderly and people in their 60’s speak good of a system that gave them a feeling of belonging. This is lacking in capitalist Romania since 1992, when austerity and mass privatizations led to joblessness and desperation for millions!
In 2015, it was revealed that rural poverty remains a huge problem. ”More than half of all children (51%) under 18 are at risk of poverty, more so than when the Eastern European country joined the EU in 2007” said Eurostat a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Relative poverty means that you are able to survive, but that you lack financial resources to participate in society. 66% of all Romanians have only enough money to keep themselves alive each month. There is very little for entertainment and social activities. People living in the cities are better off as the economy has been growing in the capital of Bucharest. Joining the EU has not ended poverty as revolutionary socialists knew it would not. The social democrats of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) claimed that they wanted increase the middle class, but this has proven to be a propaganda stunt. No Romanian government has ever done anything that would help the poor. Because the capitalist class always dominate politics. This shows why the voter turnout has dropped to 39,44% in 2016. More then 60% of all voters in the country did not choose to vote, proofing the deep mistrust Romanians have towards establishment politicians!
Romanians has two big political parties. The pseudo-leftists of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the nationalist (neo)liberals of the National Liberal Party (PNL). Since 2016, there are two new formations that have won parliamentary seats. One is the Save Romania Union, a liberal centrist party and the only outspoken pro-LGBT party in the country. The other is the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, created in 2015 that mixes populism with (neo)liberalism. Conservatives have united themselves in the People’s Movement Party, also a new party and only three years old. Although the ”Save Romania Union” is supportive of gay rights, it is a capitalist party that supports right-wing economics and is not a force for workers against their capitalist masters!
Politics have been dominated by the PSD and PNL. Both parties however are pro-capitalist and have served only one class. This is why there is little trust in elections and democracy in general. Romanians are looking for a alternative and this is lacking. The only left-wing looking party in Romania is the Romanian Socialist Party, the present name of the old Socialist Alliance Party. These leftist nationalists come from the Socialist Party of Labour, a party founded by the last prime minister of Stalinist Romania in 1990. The Socialist Party of Labour and later Socialist Alliance Party had a positive picture of Romania under the Romanian Communist Party. Because of their support for dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Socialist Party of Labour and Socialist Alliance Party remained marginalized. It never won any seat in parliament and is dominated by people who only know ”socialism” from the days of Ceaușescu. For them the state can solve all problems, which is not what Revolutionary Socialist Media calls socialism!
The leftist nationalists tried to become the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) in 2010. They wanted to continue the line of Ceaușescu’s PCR. However the name change was not accepted by the Bucharest Tribunal and they were forced to keep the name: Socialist Alliance Party. Five years later another leftist party called the Romanian Socialist Party (PSR) dissolved itself. The Socialist Alliance Party decided to take the name of this dissolved socialist party. Since the first PSR was disbanded, the Bucharest Tribunal accepted the name change. The supporters of Ceaușescu are now the Romanian Socialist Party (PSR). The ruling class and their media outlets have always used the pro-Ceaușescu attitude of the Socialist Party of Labour to portray Marxism as a ”totalitarian” idea. They follow the western propaganda myth that communism ruled in Romania, that Ceaușescu was a ”communist dictator”. This has worked as many Romanians (wrongfully) think that socialism is what they had in the past!
Despite being on the left-wing, the leftist nationalist PSR is not a actual anti-capitalist party. They want a classic social democratic model with a strong welfare system, but a capitalist market economy. The PSR does not oppose capitalism, it only wants to limit its greed and power. Thereby they are not Marxist internationalists, more like reformist-leftists in love with Romania. It is sad that the only true leftist party in Romania is a mixture of stalinists, leftist nationalists, classic social democrats and moderate socialists. How do we know that the party is nationalist? We see the Romanian flag at all of their meetings. They display the tricolor always next to their party flag and some-times even the EU flag is seen. This shows that the PSR is not even so anti-EU. Romanian workers need a party that is not nationalist but internationalist. Nationalism is a poison used to divide the working class!
Reducing the flat income tax to 10% is one of the many gifts the social democratic government has for the ruling class in Romania. This means that the government will lose up to three billion euros in income. No genuine leftist government would ever lower taxes for the rich, but in Romania the Social Democratic Party behaves like all establishment parties. Their logic is that with lower income taxes, capitalist companies can raise the salaries of workers. But there is no proof that the owners of businesses will do that. They will use their tax cuts to benefit themselves, not the people they hire to do the work. For workers earning minimum wages the fiscal reforms are just slightly beneficial. They will see their income going up to 250 euros a month. Minimum pensions will also go up to 138 euros. But this cannot end poverty as wages remain too low for millions. Still this is how the PSD wins the vote of the poor. By raising their incomes just a little to secure their votes!
As long as there is no mass party for workers, poor and young, the social democrats can play the leftist card. They are after all the only party portrayed by the capitalist media as left-wing. Despite the fact that the Social Democratic Party is cutting taxes for the rich and supporting neoliberal economics. The Romanian media knows that they need to keep this illusion alive, that the PSD is a ”people’s party” and leftist. Because this is how the capitalists stay in power. Both the national liberals and social democrats are part of the same capitalist coin. They must be rejected and voted out office. A workers party must be created to show the Romanians that there is a alternative to the forces of greed and exploitation.
Only 1/3 of Romania trusts political parties and politicians. 60% of all voters (11 million people) choose not to vote during last elections. Among the elderly and 60+ there is nostalgia for the days when dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu gave people a (false) sense of security, patriotism and the feeling that they were living in a ”socialist nation”. After the Romanian Revolution it was ”everybody for him/herself”. The common good was gone, replaced by individualist greed. Few profited and far too many lost. Although the politicians of PSD and PNL portray their country as modern and developing, Romania is not a model for the future of Europe!