The Adventure of Emancipation

Image: George Desipris


Gradually, hope seems to move from an exploration colony to a settlement, even late

The neo-fascist movement became ill-accustomed after the impeachment which resulted from the collusion between the corporate media, the venal Legislative to perpetuate the classic pattern of command and obedience in the service of the powerful, and the Judiciary subservient to the numerous illegalities of Lava Jatistas. For Jessé Souza, among the discontented, “the attack on all types of individual guarantees and on the legal process was legitimized by the Court (read the Supreme Court) that would need to defend the Constitution”.

The coup devised by President Jair Bolsonaro, with the help of the aide-de-camp and massive support in agribusiness, involved senior army officers trained at the Academia Militar de Agulhas Negras and sectors of finance and business that see the country as a commercial warehouse for the great powers. .

The Rastaquera nobility shared the detachment from democracy and popular sovereignty in a Republic, given the fatal attraction for the promises of the laissez-faire and by social inequality as a desirable vector of collectivity. The racist, sexist and homophobic agenda in customs was the hook prepared to catch the fear of changing roles in the patriarchal family.

It was imagined that the anti-democratic fashion could be replaced by the truculence of the barracks, acclaimed by zombies. If Donald Trump had been re-elected in the United States, the undertaking would have come out of the conspirators' WhatsApp. With Joe Biden's imperial approval of Lula da Silva's victory for the Presidency in the electronic ballot box, the Armed Forces curbed the coup temptation and frustrated the patriots of the June festivities and the many lawyers of the Stock Exchange ciranda. With the vandalism of the headquarters of the three powers, the resentful appeal for the crowds to take to the streets did not happen.

There, the recovery of the meaning of politics under the democratic rule of law began: a regime capable of dealing with social conflicts in an environment where opponents are seen as adversaries, rather than enemies against whom symbolic elimination would be justified. and physics. The obtuse logic of war, wielded by the extreme right, was defeated by the habitus parliamentary side of cabinet negotiations and for a complementary modality of link between the governed and the governing. For example, with the Participatory Pluriannual Plan put into practice by the government.

The Participatory PPA contributes to reinventing collective action by channeling federated decisions to the federal budget. Something that presupposes the debate on state priorities, projects for the construction of an authentic nation and the distribution of resources to face the serious problems. “This implies a radical transformation of the current relationship between economics and politics”. The first must be subordinate to the second. In other words, “the economy should serve people and not the other way around”, stresses Rafael Valim, in State of exception: the legal form of neoliberalism. The revaluation of politics presupposes the valorization of human rights, in the broadest sense. Chaos mentors divide the themes, by conceiving democracy as the sum of formal procedures.

Without consolidating civil, social, and political rights, it is impossible to elevate democratic society to a post-capitalist level, transcending narrow objections to neoliberal politics and neoliberal economics. The fundamental fight is against the “neoliberal society”, in total, whose tentacles invade intimacy and affect the way in which each person defines and recognizes himself, based on the introjection of the lexicon derived from companies (productivity, profitability, performance). No wonder Margaret Thatcher said that the “rationality of existence changes the soul and the heart”. The seductive effects of commodity fetishism are contained, in embryo, in the very mode of economic production.

Totalitarianism is the fate of the Washington Consensus. “We must clarify that the system is all the more resistant as it exceeds the mercantile and financial sphere in which capital reigns, producing 'accounting' subjectivity by creating systematic competition between individuals”, emphasize Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, in La nouvelle raison du monde: Essai sur la société neoliberale. Therefore, competitiveness must be opposed by active solidarity. To austerity, the mantra of financialization in the hosts of a pseudo-modernizing governance, it is up to propose a State of Social Welfare.


The dictatorship of the markets is the crux of the matter. In the country, this dictatorship is expressed in the boycott of the Central Bank controlled by financial rentier subsidiaries, which maintain stratospheric interest rates (13,75%) to prevent the reindustrialization of the Brazilian productive park. The brazen and repeated boycott is not a sign of the rotten occult powers' vitality, but rather the weakness of a model that has already been rejected, despite the assault on the treasury (R$ 300 billion) in the genocide's electoral campaign. “High interest rates not only made the public debt grow, but also caused a credit crisis that not only broke Lojas Americanas, but is also producing recession and unemployment”, emphasizes Luiz Estrella Faria, in the article “Lula and his four fronts of battle” (Grifo Magazine, Jun/July 2023).

The indisputable merit of the Lula government is in highlighting the crisis of neoliberal governance. The measures implemented by chicago boy, with liquidationist privatizations and outsourcing to legitimize the wage squeeze, brought back hunger, discouragement and death. Only the rich without empathy with the suffering of the people and averse to carrying out a national-popular development project benefited. Economist interpretations tend to hijack humanitarian content.

The ongoing government public policies empower the minimum wage, retirement; they guarantee housing, education from kindergarten to university; they increase the formalization of work, institutional reinforcement of struggles for equality of gender, race and sexual identity. Important: they affect the population's conscience by stimulating a non-defeating dialectical perception in common sense. What's more, they immunize the citizenry against the fake news on digital platforms and the algorithms of big tech, which deflate the concept of freedom by manipulating the desires of consumers.

The state apparatus with the welcoming nature of the God of Second Testament, unlike the Leviathan guardian of real inequalities behind appearances, puts on stage a pedagogy that dialogues with progressive flags of the international situation. Namely: the environmentalism of the young activist Greta Thunberg, which denialists classify as a “brat”, to reject ecological ideals; the heroic resilience of indigenous and African ethnic groups to European ethnocentrism; and the feminist fight against misogyny and femicides on the rise. In the specific case, there were 3,9 homicides (intentional) throughout 2022, an increase of 2,6% over the previous year.

Going against the current, socio-political articulations of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) and the experiences of Solidarity Economy, in addition to specific demands, provide the conviviality of alienation between participants, as Paul Singer already highlighted in the 1980s. XNUMX, in the wake of György Lukács. Initiatives in favor of communitarianism present the socialist utopia, on a small scale. This is what left-wing parties are looking for in intra-party treatment, when breaking barriers of schooling, prestige or income in the sphere of militancy. With the rule of Jacobin egalitarianism, they anticipate the future with universal predicates.

In the Gramscian tradition, the formula to understand the construction of hegemony in a historical block is “State + civil society = Extended State”. When civil society constitutes a network of social movements and entities and, by majority will, establishes an advanced government (anti-neofascist, anti-neoliberal, anti-neoconservative) in the Executive, another civilizational paradigm takes shape. See current Brazil. Despite the limitations, a counter-hegemonic moral and intellectual leadership initiates the reconfiguration of the various dimensions of social life. With the cultural residues of ancestors who survived predatory and extractive colonialism, a new horizon opens up.

Gradually, hope seems to move from an exploration colony to a settlement, even late. In this perspective, the organization of workers builds the adventure of emancipation by confronting the system of domination, in the ideological epic that has necropolitics, on the one hand, and, on the other, the exercise of democracy in a “regulated society” (socialism). Who stays, who goes?

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.

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