Democracy as form and content

Image: Elyeser Szturm


The ability to kill hunger, provide security and education to the people is what can defeat fascism


“When a significant majority of the population – said Istvàn Mèszáros –, something close to 70% in many countries, turns away with disdain from the 'democratic process' of the electoral ritual, having fought for decades in the past, for the right to vote, this shows a real change of attitude towards the dominant order”, but not always – it is possible to add – does it move away in search of more virtuous territories for the exercise of politics, as evidenced by the recurring return of fascism. So does France, whose left now threatens to be reborn under Mélanchon's national-popular leadership.

The “democratic question”, in a moment of decadence of the liberal-representative order, reduces its importance to define the elections, in the same proportion and measure in which hunger, despair of exclusion and inequality before the law advances. The principles that guide the democratic order and the formation of majorities to govern become, in this period, less convincing as means to improve people's concrete lives and to promote a minimum social cohesion, for the common search for a better life.

The “faith” in democracy begins with the people's recognition of the effectiveness of rights and “equal treatment” by the State for their life issues. Both in the social protection that the State must offer people, and in the recognition of the materiality of rights – by the sovereign exercise of the Judiciary Power – as well as by the provision of services by a Police, non-racist and non-classist, that uses legitimate force moderated by the law. Democracy for the left is, therefore, a form and a content: a legal form that constitutes the State with Law and a concrete content that is expressed in the daily life of the common man. When it is not expressed, fascism advances or the revolution advances and nowadays fascism has advanced.

On January 14, 2022, in Macapá, the President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro publicly warned the country what the year 2022 would be.

the newspaper headline Folha de São Paulo, after the President repeated that “there was fraud” in the 2018 elections and that he “would win in the first round” if that did not happen, he opened up: “Bolsonaro again speaks of fraud in the 2018 elections without presenting evidence”. The coup and fascist dismantling of the electoral assumptions of the democratic process was clear, naturalized by the mainstream media, which – if it did not love these threats – loved the possibility of “liberalizing” reforms in the economy.

It is important to remember this episode recalling the previous article of Sheet of November 6, 2019 (Mercado section A22, 06.11), which celebrated Bolsonaro’s proposal in defense of a “constitutional revolution to tighten spending throughout the country”, referring to “Constitutional amendments” that would limit “expenses from high to down in the Republic and in the Powers”. This would be – according to Minister Paulo Guedes – “a kind of “mini Fiscal Constituent”.

Through a broad political movement supported by “liberal” forces, the voluntarist “spending cap” would be carried out here with the same neoliberal vigor that Pinochet did in Chile, through one of the cruelest Latin American dictatorships established in the 1970s. Only not. The risky choice of most of the Brazilian ruling classes, to continue “supporting” Bolsonaro, achieved important “reforms” for their immediate interests, but corruption and spending culminated in the greater decay of liberal democracy. And more, with the prestige of the country in the capitalist world itself and with the perspectives of political stability and low growth with inflation.

The Chilean dystopia and its barbarism, disseminated in every pore of the country's social and economic life, had in their favor the complete overthrow of democratic institutions, ensured by the strength of the Empire, the slow but inexorable fall in prestige of the Soviet revolutionary experience and the organizational weakness of popular support for democratic, left-wing governments that intended to lift their economies through social reforms “within the order”.

The Chilean impulse had the same meaning as the dystopian revolution of Thatcherism, which landed in Latin America through a combination, hitherto strange to traditional fascist experiences, which united the military dictatorship with radical economic liberalism. This combination was politically viable at the time: economic theory would not need to gain consensus among the popular classes, as they would be subjected to a social discipline – necessary for neoliberalism – by bayonets, just as politics would move from the liberal public space to rituals. barracks disciplines.

These two moments of the “myth” government, between November 2019 and January 2022 – between spending control and alleged electoral fraud – were integrated and split by the political evolution of the crises that harassed his government. Sometimes the moments of the “mini fiscal Constituent” were dominant, with the euphoria of the business classes, sometimes the moments of depression of these same classes were dominant, due to the abandonment of the spending ceiling and the consequent emergence of the “costs” of corruption and inflation. The secret budgets and spending manipulated by the religions of money, with their expensive budgetary tithes, maintained the government's support in the National Congress.

The entire political movement in the country that leads to the election year is marked, therefore, by this succession of episodes that, on the one hand, consolidate alliances and dissolve them within the privileged classes; and, on the other hand, they confuse and torment the life of the popular classes in the ambiguous and planned Bolsonarist game, which ranges from the well-behaved (and false) management of expenses – in the style of neoliberalism – to the successive anti-system games, of a (false) rebel, but a real fascist puppet.

“In many senses – says Roger Martelli, in “New Society” (n. 297, p. 62) “society is neither right-wing nor left-wing, (but) distributes representations and behaviors based on a plurality of possible axes”, which incidentally – I add – are not limited to the condition of class of political subjects, but above all comes from how people understand, at a given moment, the best meaning to give meaning to (their) equality and (their) freedom. The analyst recalls, regarding France today, that the left – which had been losing the electoral bases that had voted for it until 1981, in April 2017 lost 70 to 75% of its voters, who went to the extreme right, thus keeping less than one third of its traditional constituency.

In addition to the option for Democracy and the Republic, which accompany us as an ideology to confront fascism in all fields, the most convincing way to drain fascism from among the people that Lula represents today – as a conviction and past life – is less the defense of democracy in the abstract and the demonstration of our ability to govern with a majority, operating democracy in concrete terms.

It is this capacity of a new government that can interrupt the falsity of the dogmas of fascism: to kill hunger, to provide security and education to the people, to revive the civilizing dimensions of health as a public good – not tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, but today – it will be the historical insurance of the successful anti-fascist policy and the revaluation of true democracy by the exasperated people.

There is a phrase attributed to Carducci and mentioned by Gramsci which says that “Immanuel Kant beheaded God; Maximilien Robespierre the King”. For us, today so far from the French Revolution and from God, but very close to fascist barbarism, it is enough for us to asphyxiate this government with a flood of votes in the next elections, to then show that the authority of God will never be in the mouth of the religions of money . It's little and it's a lot. But apart from that, the next episode will be evil as an ideology of power and fascism as a religion of politics, during an endless night of new tragedies and multiplied misfortunes.

*Tarsus in law he was governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts).

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