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Toward a Postindustrial Left in Spain: Political Parties and Social Movements Facing the Collapse of Civilization


Industrial civilization is headed for a collapse due to an energy crash. Are the social movements and the new political parties in Spain aware of this serious predicament? The author takes a look at recent political developments in Spain since the emergence of the Indignados Movement and the subsequent creation of the Podemos political party. He asks whether they are basing their analysis and proposals on a business-as-usual world that is no longer feasible, or on account of the collapse. If the answer is the latter, then they must re-invent themselves as a “post-industrial left.” The author also highlights the central role that ecofeminism plays in this renovation, along with some recent steps taken by various Spanish political parties and leaders in that direction.


  • 15M
  • Collapse
  • Degrowth
  • Ecofeminism
  • Energy
  • Indignados
  • Industrial civilization (collapse of)
  • Peak oil
  • Podemos
  • Political parties

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-19435-2_9
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  1. 1.

    I have further developed the ideas you will find in this text in A esquerda ante o colapso da civilización industrial, which has been published in Spanish, too (see Bibliography).

  2. 2.

    The Last Call manifesto has been translated to several languages, including English (“Last Call”).

  3. 3.

    “Collapse” means here a deep and abrupt reduction of the level of complexity of a society. “Industrial civilization” is the predominant model of civilization in current societies, characterized by the central role of modern industries in the articulation of the economy and of society.

  4. 4.

    See Naredo as an example.

  5. 5.

    See, for example, Ramón Fernández Durán and Luis González Reyes; Xoán Ramón Doldán García (Guía); Emilio Santiago Muiño; Richard Heinberg; Ugo Bardi; Roberto Bermejo; and Tariel Mórrígan.

  6. 6.

    See “Hubbert peak theory.”

  7. 7.

    I have specifically addressed this issue in my essay Nosotros, los detritívoros. There are several versions, including translations into several languages, available at

  8. 8.

    Emergy is the useful energy (exergy) that has been used directly or indirectly in the generation of a product or service.

  9. 9.

    Internationally better known with the significant name of the Indignados Movement.

  10. 10.

    I have analyzed these false conceptions of the crisis in “Á procura dunha estratexia.” For the analyses of political parties and unions see my A esquerda ante o colapso.

  11. 11.

    See Evans Pim (“Um 15M rural”). See also Fleming about the idea that indignation is a typically urban political attitude or emotion. Indignation seeks for others to take action, while those directly involved close their eyes to their own responsibility in the situations that are the cause of the outrage.

  12. 12.

    About this metaphor, see Casal Lodeiro (“The Strawberry Strategy”).

  13. 13.

    The concept of “happy degrowth” is especially useful because it tries to counteract the negative and harsh connotations that degrowth has; that is, it is a helpful concept to avoid the frontal clash with a culture that always wants to think positive (see García Camarero).

  14. 14.

    The reader will find his most important work about this topic in the bibliography (En defensa del decrecimiento). Thanks to translations, another primary author in Spain is Latouche (see La apuesta por el decrecimiento).

  15. 15.

    Indeed, Latouche believes that it is the only movement capable of doing that (see “Can the Left Escape Economism?”).

  16. 16.

    For a more complete analysis, see Kallis.

  17. 17.

    Anova – Nationalist Brotherhood (ANOVA – Irmandade Nacionalista, Anova); Galician Alternative of the Left (Alternativa Galega de Esquerda, AGE); En Marea is a political alliance in which the Podemos party is integrated.

  18. 18.

    The Jevons paradox states that ‘an improvement in energy efficiency ends up generating an increase in energy consumption’ (Doldán García “A necesidade dun novo modelo” 39).

  19. 19.

    See his personal website (

  20. 20.

    The expansion of the Integral Cooperatives Network (Red de Cooperativas Integrales) can be checked on their website (

  21. 21.

    Check for more information.

  22. 22.

    See Trainer.

  23. 23.

    For more information about this transition model, check .

  24. 24.

    See his personal website (

  25. 25.

    From the point of view of an ecologically based anthropology, culture—including hegemonic values and morality—emerges from the relationship between human beings and their ecosystems.

  26. 26.

    See Odum and Odum.

  27. 27.

    You can check for more information.

  28. 28.

    See Evans Pim (“Mancomunidade”).

  29. 29.

    See Moure (22–23).

  30. 30.

    Since June 2015, Noriega is the mayor of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, with a program that proposes that the city ‘leads a transition towards a post-petroleum society’ (Casdeiro “Análise do programa”).

  31. 31.

    Gaspar Llamazares was the General Coordinator of IU from 2001 to 2008.

  32. 32.

    See Casdeiro (“Anova recolle”).

  33. 33.

    More information available at , including a directory of training documents. The proposals of this group have also been published in book form (see Iniciatives per al Decreixement in the bibliography).

  34. 34.

    Equo (Q) is a green political party founded in 2010.

  35. 35.

    Galician Nationalist Bloc (Bloque Nacionalista Galego, BNG).

  36. 36.

    Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español, PSOE).

  37. 37.

    See Garzón (“Curso virtual sobre economía”), where he adds a section on ecological economics in a course devoted to heterodox economics.

  38. 38.

    See Taibo (“¿Por qué no he firmado el manifiesto Ultima llamada?”).

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Correspondence to Manuel Casal-Lodeiro .

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Casal-Lodeiro, M. (2019). Toward a Postindustrial Left in Spain: Political Parties and Social Movements Facing the Collapse of Civilization. In: Pereira-Zazo, Ó., Torres, S. (eds) Spain After the Indignados/15M Movement. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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