‘Vamos Lentos Porque Vamos Lejos’: Towards a dialogical understanding of Spain’s 15Ms




Ouziel, Pablo

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Four years ago, on May 15th 2011, we witnessed in the Spanish State ‘something’ that was quickly and popularly referred to as 15M or the Indignados. Since that day, 15M has had a tremendous impact on the way a large part of the Spanish population understands itself and its response-abilities and rights. In addition, 15M has affected the way in which a large part of the Spanish population understands its environment and those living-beings with whom said environment is co-created and co-inhabited. In this essay I immerse myself in an on-going non-disciplinary, multi-traditional multilogue with individuals being 15M. What I witness, feels and looks like a complex; mutating and dialogic; collective and cooperative; agonistic and transformative 'climate' that many refer to as el clima 15M (15m climate). Allowing different 15M wisdoms to frame the research, I envision this essay as an attempt at gaining a dialogical understanding of what it is that we might be speaking of when referring to 15M. Through this exploration, I seek to place my work within the sketched parameters of what James Tully refers to as public philosophy. The essay engages with individuals being 15M and with the vast literature in Spain around 15M and party-movement Podemos by academics and participants, and the European literature around populism, horizontality and Podemos grounded in Antonio Gramsci. It also draws on reciprocal elucidation literature in theory and in participatory, community-based social science. Moreover, the essay enters into dialogue with a whole body of literature on instrumental versus constitutive means-ends views of political change going back to Mahatma Gandhi and forward to Aldous Huxley, Richard Gregg, Hannah Arendt, Robert Young, Gene Sharp and Cesar Chavez. By giving ‘perspicuous representation’ or thick description of 15M by means of reciprocal elucidation, I am able to make a unique contribution to the theoretical literature on reciprocal elucidation and public philosophy. I am also able to disclose the field of 15M (the phenomenon) in a way that shows it to be different from the way 15M appears in other theoretical frames. Finally, the use of this method of reciprocal elucidation makes a unique contribution to community-based and engaged forms of social scientific research.



15M, Public Philosophy, reciprocal elucidation, James Tully, dialogical, power-over, power-with, Spain, Indignados, collective presence, 15M climate, Horizontality, Podemos, Antonio Gramsci, Hannah Arendt, Multilogue