Liberal democracy in crisis

Blanca Alaníz, Quadrados series, digital photography and photomontage based on the work Untitled by Alfredo Volpi, Brasilia, 2016.


The left has been fooled by the liberal democratic view of the supposed greater interest of republicanism and constitutionalism.

No thought, political practice or ideology can escape the encounter with history, which demands the effective demonstration of its truths and mistakes, the triumph of its objectives or the permanent continuity of illusions that, apparently, never seem to have an end, once they become the notions of democracy, rights and abstract freedoms recur, which dissimulate and hide their true links with capital and its imperatives of production and accumulation.

Since the XNUMXth century, the classic currents of political economy (David Ricardo and Adam Smith) have defended, each in their own way, a “world market” freedom as a condition for the construction of a “universal citizen”, known more for the idea of construction of the “citizenship” of the individual, with full rights of free will. This would be the possible way to forge, increasingly, formal equality and freedom, which assumes centrality in the bourgeois ideology that, from the liberal utopia posed by Smith, in his work, The wealth of nations[I], brought a strong influence to contemporary economic, political and ideological thought.

The starting point of this thought has always been focused on the existence of an economic system driven by the free market on a national and global scale of a supposedly “open” and free society for the full realization of capital's circle of rotation; in Marx's work conceived as an insatiable social relationship that expropriates the social force of labor and plunders natural resources to the point of exhaustion. Condition sine qua non of life or death so that capital feeds itself to generate more-value and more-work and reproduces itself continuously and uninterruptedly, to transform individuals, human beings only, into supports of its logic of accumulation.

At a theoretical and philosophical level, such social and economic relations have always relied on enormous efforts to camouflage their true essence by idealist rationalism and humanist and Renaissance anthropocentrism. It is in this sense that, in the XNUMXth century, the totalizing narrative of the bourgeois world thrives, this time with Hegel who, starting from Smith's premise about the existence of a plurality of market forces, moved by private interests governed by capital, builds - from of his rational dialectic – the idea that the anarchy of the market is a creative, regenerating source of ethical, moral values, because, according to him, to the extent that individuals, through their selfishness, act, they come to realize that their particularity is only realized in the universal, that is, with the realization of the private interests of others, intertwined by their bonds of totality.[ii].

Thus, the will of individuals, based on the particularity of their private interests – safeguarded by the legal and institutional norms of liberal democracy – would be responsible for the dynamics of the capitalist economy and the production of wealth created by the initiatives, wills and competences of each individual. According to neoliberal authors, such as Ludwig Mises and Friederich Hayek, the market, in addition to being conceived for its self-determination of development and balance, is also considered as a subjective factor and for the formation of the conscience of social subjects and individuals captured by ideology and neoliberal rationality; prepared today to convert themselves not into “citizens” based on the legal conception of the bourgeois State, but rather, in a cold and hard way, into a competitive being above all and all, whose only goal is to value its strength of work to enrich and ascend socially. We are therefore facing the development of a sociability where individuals are prepared as an isolated unit, becoming beings trapped in an ultra individualistic life horizon, insensitive to social dramas and immersed in a devastating reality of a shared, dichotomous being. . On the one hand, he is independent, self-confident in his performance, on the other hand, he also sees himself, alone, besieged by the competition that surrounds his individual plans, which can lead him to unemployment, failure, depression, anxieties, suicide and drugs.

Marx's critique of Hegel's notion of right[iii], which provides arguments for the liberal notion of citizenship, points out that the intentionality of this rationality and ideology of transforming social subjects and individuals into the driving force of the system ends up converting them into implacable and insensitive competitive beings, who face social problems and the crises from their particularity and immediate interest, above the social and effective solidarity. Rights and formal equality are subtracted or reconfigured to meet the new objective needs of the productive forces and social relations of the capitalist system, leading human beings to profound social degradation, dragging those who live from formal, temporary and precarious work to a reality of scorched earth. What confirms the continuity of the founding and contradictory nonsense between capital and work and that it was not overcome by financial capitalism and did not undo the false veil of the concept of citizenship, under the guise of political participation, through the “universal vote” in certain periods.

The problem here is not in the individual, but in his social relations, in the terrifying form of the characteristics of economic development, where the impulses arising from this dynamic produce a morbid reality of genocidal actions, commanded by capital and the governments on duty, which embody their interests consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, it is not so difficult to see that, even though millions of human beings die, due to the crisis of capital and the pandemic in capitalist societies, the economy cannot stop, as if it suddenly discovered – through a tragic opera – that work is the key to material and immaterial production and, for this reason, it cannot be dispensed with in order to guarantee capital appreciation.

For this reason, those who live from work, in this society threatened by the pandemic, must continue their work, no matter if everyone is being taken to the pandemic's slaughterhouse. Worse still, the acceptance of the death of millions of human beings, in Brazil and in the capitalist world in the context of the pandemic, caused by the covid-19 virus and its variants, which is added to other pandemics in the history of capitalist societies, did not change the position of the dominant classes and the system in their determinations responsible for devastating phenomena in the form of viruses, bacteria, soil poisoning, crops, processed foods, destruction of forests and pollution of the very air we breathe.

Therefore, such facts should not be seen as strange phenomena to the human condition in capitalist society; they are intrinsic to the form of sociability of relations in bourgeois society, their irrational and instrumental foundations that are laid bare, demonstrating that there is no way to reconcile life and nature. Under these conditions, the social consciousness that emerges from this economic system and its hypercommodified and objectified social relations develops in a terrain of instability and growing irrationality of the reproduction of capital, determining a process of development that is always provisional and disposable, whether of the economy or of society. life.

Here, neither formal equality nor rational and abstract universality solves this dilemma, because it is part of the essence and dynamics of how capital is produced, irrationally revolutionizing its technical and scientific conditions, as well as the social conditions of life and work relations , in order to raise accumulation and profit rates. For this very reason, it matters little whether it is through rent seeking, financial speculation or production. Because, one way or another, it ends up encouraging everyone to favor the provisional, mutable and erratic paths of the fictitious form of accumulation of capital values, in its destructive stage.

In this way, the state of affairs that we are experiencing in this pandemic cannot be understood as an “accident”, the product of chance or essentially natural, biological, molecular determinations and of indefinite or indecipherable viral explosions, but rather as the result of a sustained totality by the sociability marked by antagonistic private interests that generate these deep social ills, destructive to the human condition and nature. Therefore, for the management of the set of problems in which humanity is plunged, only provisional solutions can be presented, since the eradication of human dramas and despair, within the capitalist social reality, will not be possible. As long as we carry the burden of its foundations, the determinations of this form of sociability resting on a logic of production and accumulation as an end in itself, which exists only to sustain the creation of value for capital, there will be no future, but a Darwinism social genocide and barbarism.

Even so, liberal ideologues continue to repeat: the market is the only and definitive economic and social alternative – a legitimate expression of the reality and reason of the world. At the same time, propaganda against the State, its presence in the economy, continues as a discourse made up of fallacies, in its form and essence. This is because they are unable to annul their historical function, which exists and is nourished through the contradictory relations between public and private life and the dichotomy between social production and the private appropriation of goods. Furthermore, because the State has the role of guaranteeing its national-territorial base of exploitation, domination, relations of dependence and hegemony, on a world scale.

It is under these conditions that ultraliberalism – to compensate for the fragility of its arguments and rational convictions – produces the ideology of “entrepreneurship”, which appears as an agenda to reinforce bourgeois hegemony in society, transforming individuals who live from work into beings obedient to the market project of contemporary capitalism, left to their own devices and without institutional bonds of work, rights, education, health and housing.

This is how the basis of the notion of liberal plurality is configured, of supposedly open opportunities that can be taken advantage of and used in a free, efficient and competent manner by those dispossessed of the means of production. Ideology, here, cannot hide its own impudence and displacement from the concrete social reality of the uncontrollable growth of social inequality, the widening gap between wealth and poverty, the growing reduction in income of the majority of the population, which starts to lose hope of a better future life. In this way, the only function of this ideology is to reinforce the ultraliberal corporate and market hegemony of wanting, with this, to annul or deny the reality of the class struggle and the existence of antagonistic social and economic interests.

The intentionality of the ideology of “entrepreneurship”, without an effective basis in the economic relations of reality, is yet another misleading element in the narrative of a civilizing process that already had historical precedents of intellectual efforts in classical philosophy, which formulated the possible construction of understandings guided by a supposed moral “ought to be” of men and, through the “perpetual peace” between nations and peoples, the freedom of individuals, stability and social cohesion of interests would be achieved for the definitive triumph of capitalism (Emaunel Kant, The Practical Reason)[iv]. Likewise, the intellectual horizon of some philosophers, heirs of the Frankfurt School, like J. Habermas is not very different from this idealism.[v], who did not escape the circle of liberal illusions of discursive and neo-idealist formalism, to propose a way out of the class struggle through an “acting” of “communicative reason”. A concept that expresses the definition of a path of change through a dialogical process in which social subjects, in possession of arguments, would carry out rational “public discussions” of general interest to reach a progressive consensus of ethical-legal norms, instead of direct and open confrontation between antagonistic material interests.

On the political level, there is no doubt that this is a philosophical formulation that surrenders to liberal democracy and renounces a program based on a revolutionary strategy. Indeed, this position paves the way for policies of class coalition and abandonment of the counter-hegemonic struggle, with radical reforms capable of reaching capital, its interests and, finally, building a new social project based on a conception of democracy and freedom that coincide with the true emancipation of work and the end of its alienation.

Those who reject these universal aspirations of struggle for power and transformations of the social order from the workers axis versus bourgeoisie pushed the ideas of democratic liberalism and neo-idealist theories – which seek to reconcile men in the unequal social world -, towards the conscience of a left adapted to the political and life horizons of bourgeois societies. These are theoretical and ideological influences that will lead us nowhere, except for the political impotence of socialist action in the moral pragmatics of Kantian ethics, founded on the subjectivism and idealism of its practical reason, which transcends social relations and their systemic structures, as well as historical determinations of facts and reality.

Deep down, it concerns theories that are nothing more than justifications that seek to produce excuses to create an explanatory rationality that, on the one hand, defends the permeability of the system that would be able to open new spaces and incorporate multiple forms of life and their particularities in a world of fragmented, formal pluralities, which takes place within the framework of bourgeois institutions. On the other hand, it is supported by the old formal liberal concept of law and equality in the world of “opportunities” promoted by the market and by the possibility of multiple political and cultural expressions, considered as free and by the chance of social ascension.

It is in this political plot that the ideology of democratic liberalism rests, which excludes any legitimacy for contesting this social order, since the vaunted pluralism of this capitalist democracy, far from including the majority of the population in the generation of wealth produced by society, segregates those who produce the material, social and cultural conditions of our world. It is a fact that, according to Mészáros, confirms the “class substance”[vi] of false democratic liberalism and the market which, depending on the worsening of its crises and capital being under threat, may grant spaces and support to authoritarian political forces in unimaginable degrees of violence, such as those witnessed by history: fascism and the Nazism that emerged from the entrails of capitalism in crisis and from inter-imperialist disputes. Or as happened in 2016 in Brazil, when the various fractions of the bourgeoisie, in collusion with imperialism, came together to forge a political, legal, media coup, under military tutelage, to put an end to a social-liberal left government and bring an extreme right-wing government to power.

This happened with the Nazi-fascist tyrannical regimes that were established in Europe, with the support of large capitalist companies and the complacency of liberals who were willing to sacrifice democracy in conditions of crisis and crush their historical enemies: the working class, Marxism and communism. . This same behavior of the dominant classes was observed in Latin America in the 1970s, which was engulfed by military coups and the implementation of civil-military dictatorships with broad support from powerful business segments and US imperialism. What cannot be seen as mere phenomena of the past, but rather solutions to which the ruling classes can resort again, if necessary, to guarantee the defense of capital's interest.

This is because the alternation between forms of more or less authoritarian regimes or those combined with institutional elements with a democratic façade stems from needs intrinsic to the logic of reproduction of capital itself, in specific conjunctures. But none of this is static, it is permeated by a dialectical movement between the needs of the monopolies that advance in an overwhelming process of concentration and centralization, on the one hand, and on the other, the various interests of competing capitals that require – in economic and favorable and “normal” national policies - political arrangements for a greater institutional and social legitimation base for their hegemonic forms of domination.

It is in these conjunctural conditions, of possible tensions between the bourgeois fractions that dispute a greater share of advantages within the crisis, that policies of “broad democratic front” tend to emerge, detached from economic and social issues, at the same time that economic and political claims arise denatured from their class political and ideological character. It is a path typical of class coalition strategies that tend to lead the left to defeats through the old tricks of the center-right and center-left fractions, which allow themselves to be deceived by the liberal-democratic vision of the supposed greater interest of republicanism e constitutionalism, as well as by hope in the impartiality of the courts and their judges and ministers. A position that leaves aside the abundant historical examples of how the bourgeoisie or fractions of it act when they are threatened and need to maintain power to restore their profit rate margins.

In the conjuncture, this political behavior results from the fact that certain leftist parties and leaders have already assimilated important components of the dominant ideology at the theoretical, political and practical level in relation to the State, in distancing or abandoning the class reference. By withdrawing from the role of a central element in guiding political resolutions in terms of tactics and strategy, as well as defining political tasks for this specific moment in which the extreme right and the traditional right are on the rise, they are forced to pay a high political price in wear and tear and discredit among the working masses.

In this way, the left that refuses to carry out strategic tasks of combat and organization to avoid further failures, ends up submitting to the current social order and adopts defensive positions in the field of the political program and actions in the context, to confront the social and political forces of the right and extreme right in the country. In fact, behind these positions is the abandonment of a socialist horizon, the political-strategic practice of building counter-hegemony and a program that allows generating subjective conditions for changes in the correlation of forces, politicization and growth of social awareness. class. Contrary to this political perspective, what we see is an option that ends up within the framework of “liberal democracy”, seeking to avoid – as if it were possible – its “deforming excesses” or a harder and crueler version of the economic and social order of capital. in its overwhelming stage of an accelerated valorization process.

For this reason, political representations committed to the hegemonic interests of financial capital –without any ideological or political constraints – tend to converge in electoral alliances to deepen the cruel reforms of neoliberalism and criminalize the political and social actions of those who live from work and find themselves in awkward situations of social discrimination. All this to grant fictitious capital the advantages of profits with lowered wages and without rights, high rents and financial taxes above the real valuation of capital, that is, a fictitious valuation above and ahead of the real valuation resulting from the relations of production of commodities. and services. For this very reason, when there is no longer any way to cover the demands of this financial orgy, with the possibility of liquidity, the moment comes for the deepening of the increasingly serious economic, social and political crisis, such as the one of 2008 and the one of this moment, triggered by the pandemic. from covid19. Under these circumstances, the liberal discourse emerges in a more radicalized, brutal and cynical way, enlisting all right and extreme right forces, conservatives and fundamentalisms of all kinds, to impose ultraliberal dogmatic reforms with fire and iron.

The illusion of an enchanted world, in which freedom, democracy, equality, well-being and the humanism of bourgeois modernity, which seem to reign in society, at least formally, are now despised, attacked and watched. Therefore, the fetish of democracy, as a necessary appearance to build a consent of the way of life created by capital, which leaves the relations of social inequality and power untouched, in order to safely preserve and safeguard capitalist reproduction. All of this opens up more and more unavoidable contradictions, which lay bare the very ghostly form of political relations and freedom of democracies in capitalist society.

Even worse, the current crisis puts both democracy and the economy at risk, which, from the point of view of their capacity for integration and social cohesion, around the need and logic that determines the way of life of “citizens”, have become precarious, making the convincing power of bourgeois hegemony more unstable, through the consent or passive relationship of classes and the various oppressed segments of society. Among other causes, because the role of the State as a mediator between civil society and economic interests has become more difficult in the new phase of rigid “austerity”, which expresses, in a cold and direct way, the requirements and requirements of accumulation and expansion of “markets”. These, acting as national and international institutions obedient to the dictates of financial capital, transform States into mere agencies or debt collectors at the service and in favor of the national and global financial oligarchy. Meanwhile, in the midst of the ongoing crisis, the majority of the population finds itself completely unprotected to meet their basic demands, such as: health, education, housing, employment and other rights.

The consequences of these transformations, for the State and civil society, which have taken place since 1980, have implied a severe erosion of the political and social space of liberal democracy, hijacked by policies of privatization of public services, reduction of constitutional rights and elimination of laws or creating obstacles to prevent the more significant presence of representatives of left or center-left parties in parliament. Therefore, the restriction of democratic spaces and political freedoms and expression grows, due to the new pattern of capital accumulation, which redefines its form of political power and model of sociability centered on financialization and exacerbated individualism, in complete contempt for the human condition, even in the sense of modern humanism.

In order to understand this phenomenon, it is necessary to consider that the evolution of capitalism and its universal expansion have converted all territories, nature, work and the various dimensions of the social and human being into merchandise subsumed into a single process of production and accumulation. And it is in the midst of this development that capitalism, as a product of competition, ends up creating structures and social and economic relations that, objectively, crush the functionality of the much praised “free competition” and bourgeois liberal democracy. Because, behind the ideology of free competition, monopolies, trusts, cartels and industrial and financial conglomerates rose, on a national and global scale, where capital starts to collide with the initial dynamics of competitive capitalism and with the central nucleus of its own ideology: the free circulation of capital and effective democratic succession of power in bourgeois societies.

By operating this process, capital imposes a mode of reproduction that, instead of ensuring the plurality of the market, the alternation of political power and the universality of interests based on private individual motivations – as a driving factor of the economy, production and exchange – has evolved subordinate to the monopolies and corporations that control production and market prices, as well as controlling all financial transactions. Articulating this dynamic to an overwhelming process of concentration and centralization of capital that advances through speculative and parasitic relations in economic and social relations. In effect, the material bases of relations of economic pluralities in the market and of a supposed “universal citizen”, full of rights – formulated by the classical liberal utopia – did not materialize, they fell apart in the wake of their own contradictions.

From this situation – in the real world of political practice – not even the bourgeois ideology of universal suffrage passed unscathed, because, regardless of which bourgeois fraction, social-liberal or reformist political forces are in government, it is the financial oligarchy that calls the shots. and directs the economic and political affairs of the State. Bourgeois democracy, which concealed its concrete particularity of private interests and domination, began to convert itself into a plutocracy of financial capital, in which rights and freedoms are no longer in line with the functioning of the system, with its new form of production and reproduction dominated by financial capital, which lives on economic rent, fiscal favoritism and the privatization of oil, mineral extraction and all energy sources and advanced technologies, through monopolies on a world scale and of all activities previously managed by the state. It is in these economic and power relations that the real confrontation takes place between classes, class fractions and between nations that fight each other, to internationalize rentier capitalism in a process of global financialization of all goods, services that were previously thought to be activities State-specific policies to enable greater economic and social security for the people of each nation.

At this point, it is necessary to ask: where did the liberals go wrong in their economic, social and political projections of their utopia? In the first place, the ideological propagation of a possible “positive” nature of the form of system development and of a consensus in favor of the bourgeois social order, the model of life and society, through the legitimation of liberal democracy, is no longer present. as a necessary and final solution; it weakened and passed – even if still as a hegemonic force – to a phase of increasing loss of legitimacy. Secondly, this prognosis, first of all, is not supported by a merely doctrinal and ideological point of view, but above all by deepening the contradictions that express the current crisis of capital, which can lead to a growing process of social barbarization, marked by astonishing insensitivity and cynicism, in view of the neglect of the preservation of life, the denial of knowledge, science and the weakening of solidarity and the absence of a sense of common interests in society.

Restrictions to the very freedoms of capitalist democracy are, more and more, intense and broad, in a form of sociability that tends to reinforce its coercive and authoritarian dimension in order to increase social inequality, exploitation, hunger, misery, poverty , the devastation of nature and warlike conflicts that threaten the preservation of humanity. But, far from being realities resulting from inconsequential or incompetent government management, it actually expresses the very contradictions between the productive forces and the social relations of production. This tendency, paradoxically, has been taking place in a period in which the productive forces of the system have shown themselves capable of developing material and social conditions unparalleled in the history of capitalist societies, which could allow social well-being and meet the demands of a broad spectrum. of the population worldwide. But this does not happen, because the monopolization of the economy and financialization tend to exacerbate the immanent tendencies of capitalist production, making the narrowness of the private limits of the socialization process absolutely explicit, revealing the characteristic traits of a structure that is in deep transformation. , with open historical possibilities of changes and ruptures.

Likewise, the State, in relation to the economy and society, previously with its more covert relationships, masked by an abstract universality, is today faced with the unavoidable imperatives of capital that demands a more rigid intervention from its historical functions, using wide mechanisms of manipulation, control and surveillance of social conscience and actions to contain the reactions of those who resist the social conditions that are being imposed. And, as the crisis continues to present difficulties in stabilizing itself, the State is forced to impose severe forms of “austerity” on the working masses and the majority of the population, in the sphere of economic, social and labor relations.

Therefore, to put into practice and operationalize the macroeconomic neoliberal measures and principles, the State, the parliament, the judiciary and coercive power are used as intrinsic instances of control, domination and hegemony. Implying, obviously, greater curtailment of freedoms and civil rights as necessary measures to guarantee the new metabolic social form of development of capitalism and maintenance of the social order. Now, no longer as trends, but as radicalizing realities, the classical liberal utopia, linked to the political economy that expressed, at the end of the XNUMXth century, the historical emergence of the world free market and the bourgeois spirit that it was beginning to build, according to Marx , the world, its own image and likeness.

In the period, the intention of the liberals was not only to explain the reality of their time, but to theoretically anticipate a possible horizon of a society that was born from a critical reason of its historical reality to give way to a civilizing process governed by the aegis of capital , where the rules, conditions and possibilities of economic transactions would be determined by the market and consumption itself, capable of promoting balance between nation-states, generating prosperity, well-being and human happiness.

However, the evolution of capitalism and the sharpening of its contradictions will reveal enormous weaknesses for the utopia of liberal universality and its notion of market plurality. During the first four decades of the twentieth century, capitalist societies, on the one hand, lived from enthusiasm with short periods of “progress”, through conservative and authoritarian modernizations and, on the other hand, plunged into devastating economic and political crises, which, as always, characterized by a falling rate of profit and low levels of growth and stagnation, as well as overproduction. At the same time, social inequality, mass unemployment and greater social discontent and political and ideological polarization were also growing.

After the second great imperialist war, in the face of the destruction of the productive forces in Western economies, and a new framework of hegemonic geostrategic and political-ideological dispute, resort was made, without any attachment, to classical liberal principles, to state intervention guided by the principles economic Keynesians, with the objective of defeating, on the one hand, its great adversary, the Soviet Union, and, on the other hand, to place the State as a political protagonist and of economic resources to leverage the resumption of growth and that would be able to counteract the factors of decline in profit rates and capitalist profitability of production, within a general framework of stagnation. The objective was to give a new impetus to the economy and regulate the market of irrationality and anarchy of capital in its dynamics of accumulation and profit.

It is from that moment on that the propositions of Keynesianism came to be seen, by the governments of the capitalist world and their international economic and financial institutions, as the only viable solution to leverage the capitalist economy destroyed by the war carried out by imperialism and Nazi-fascism. The “golden age” of the development of the capitalist economy, which comes from this new period, later revealed itself as just a interregnum between a phase of expansion of an accumulation pattern for a new crisis that would emerge in the whole world, from the 1970s onwards.

Once again, the bourgeois conscience faces a mental breakdown of its own economic theory, founded on the myth of a supposed functionality of the system, in which its dynamics have to guard against internal and external enemies and seek to restrict, limit prosperity, with market control and regulation. Therefore, it resorts to the construction of an ideology that deepens the contradictions of its own classic myths with a euphemism: “neoliberalism”, which has become the central element of the financial ideology that hegemonizes the consciousness of the dominant classes.

In the same way that the liberals failed in their thesis of “free market” relations and in the later attempt, in the post-war period, to want to control the “irrationality of capital” with Keynesian policies, today, the bourgeoisie has once and for all taken on this very undisguised irrationality, playing the leading role in this crude game of how to face the crisis without setting limits or barriers to its reproduction. We are facing the well-known “save yourself who can”, because nothing else is sacred, untouchable, ethical or moral that is capable of preventing the march of capital reproduction. As a result, resorting to lies, wars, infamy, manipulation, hunger, selective assassinations of opponents and enemies with the right to watch in real time has moved from fiction to the “natural”, “normal” and real plane of the perception of reality. In the same way, it is also possible to undo or empty the powers – without the slightest scruples – of the legal institutions, civil parliamentarians of the State to maintain the power of the hegemonic dominant class fractions and to establish the dictatorship of the capital, disguised in the form of liberal democracy in crisis.

It is a fact, therefore, that the capitalist economies, the capital crisis itself and the solutions found through the elaborate form of defense, neoliberalism, makes the contradictions become more violent, accelerated and with enormous difficulties to be stopped, stabilized. In this way, the crisis of capital and its social ills become the very modus vivendi of the “normality” of capitalist societies, institutionalizing states of emergency and increasing authoritarian mechanisms of social and political life as ways to avoid increasingly convulsive realities. But if this is possible, at least provisionally, it becomes unsustainable to continue indefinitely with the power that the State has to create money or transfer public funds to finance these emergency actions.

Because, as the economy and society function today through the filter and criterion of profitability and the financialization of everything that is produced or invested, the State – as it also depends on the appreciation of capital – cannot ignore this dynamic. In this sense, the question arises again: how will it be possible to produce our lives and finance the costs of society without being suffocated by the self-devouring logic of value creation that gives reason for being and existing to the current social order?

Here, the word continues with workers and all social segments that are oppressed and live on the margins of the system; these must create the conditions to get rid of the powerful mechanisms of domination that reduce everything to abstract and fictitious riches or merchandise, which assumes fetishistic forms that alienate, corrode the character of individuals and obstruct the development of the consciousness of the class that lives from work and of the oppressed.

* Eliziário Andrade is a professor of history at UNEB.


[I] SMITH, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. Trans. Luiz João Baraúna, São Paulo: Abril Cultural, 1st ed., 1983.

[ii] HEGEL, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Principles of the philosophy of law. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1997.

[iii] Karl Marx. Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Sao Paulo: Boitempo, 2005.

[iv] KANT, Immanuel. Critique of Practical Reason. Trans. Valerio Rohden. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2008.

[v] Habermas, Jurgen. Theory of communicative action. Madrid, Atlea, Taurus, Alfaquara, 1987.

[vi]Istvan, Meszaros. The power of ideology. Sao Paulo, 2004.

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