The Left and Democracy

Image: Alexander Zvir


Democracy is a value that has always been at the heart of socialist thinking in the world

It is a fact that the socialist revolutions that occurred in the XNUMXth century led to societies that cannot be considered democratic, and this is a reality that critics of socialism will always use to link the left to authoritarian regimes. It is evident that the term democracy is much broader than periodic elections within a system where capital prevails over popular power. The so-called bourgeois democracy, or dictatorship of the bourgeoisie for Marxists, is not even close to a perfect democracy. However, in fact, there is more democracy in the US than in China, and this is a complex reality to understand.

First, in liberal democracy economic power imposes very strict restrictions on electorally constituted political power. This fact alone, which highlights the incompatibility between capitalism and democracy, already undermines the idea that democracy is truly the model of governance in North American and European countries, for example. Economic power not only finances candidates, but controls prices in the financial market, owns the land, controls the mass media and subordinates the armies of any capitalist country, whether central or peripheral, to its will. Therefore, democracy is an ideal to be achieved, and has the capitalist system itself as an obstacle.

What most of the socialist revolutions of the XNUMXth century have in common was their profoundly democratic beginning, through the decision-making power of soviets, committees and unions, followed by a progressive closure of the regime, until reaching an authoritarian regime stage. This is mainly due to the fact that all socialist countries have suffered heavy sieges from the core capitalist countries that have tried to overthrow the local counter-hegemonic regime through military threats, economic blockades, intelligence infiltration in the local government, psychological and media operations, among others. others.

The only way to survive such external and internal attacks (since the local bourgeoisie would never give up on retaking power) was to live in a constant state of defense and siege. Brazil itself, if it suffered attacks of this type, would declare a State of Defense and later a State of Siege, which would lead to severe restrictions on freedom of movement, press and expression, in the same way that occurred in these socialist countries of the XNUMXth century, and in the USA during the Cold War. Even in Europe, during periods of war, what we saw were more closed regimes and the rise of dictatorships in several countries that today are examples of democracy in the West. The difference is that the USA and Europe no longer live in this state of war, but the socialist countries of today's world still do.

The pressure for the opening of regimes in China and Cuba is not due to a concern for world democracy on the part of the US and the European Union. If that were the case, we would see the same struggle with dictatorial NATO-aligned countries. The intention of the central countries of global capitalism is to loosen the current socialist regimes in the world to weaken them with the entry of their capital, and consequently their economic power and the opening of internet, radio and TV networks to promote color revolutions and operations of hybrid war. The clear intention of the central capitalist countries is to maintain the current system that places them at the center of the system and with the power to decide the course of humanity.

In this way, the expected consequence of any socialist revolution in a country that is not a global power, and therefore does not have the political, military and economic capacity to protect its national sovereignty without promoting a regime closure, would be an imperialist siege that would lead to or the fall of the socialist government or its regime closure to maintain its sovereignty.

It is for this reason, among others, that a socialist revolution in Brazil today would have everything to end in tragedy. Most likely, if Brazil were a socialist country, it would live under attack from the central capitalist countries and, if its regime had not been overthrown, it would live under an authoritarian government where all major decisions would be taken by a reigning class, belonging to the single party in power, that would replace the bourgeois class of our current reality. A democratic government in a state of war will always tend to adopt hierarchical means of social organization, exactly as is the governance model of the Armed Forces of any country in the world. There is no democracy in barracks.

Democracy is a value that has always been at the heart of socialist thought around the world, but its practical implementation depends on a material reality and a correlation of force and power that allows its full realization. It is a fact that full democracy is only possible in socialism, but in a world controlled by capitalist countries, and consequently imperialists, socialism became the previous stage to the rise of authoritarian regimes.

It should be borne in mind, however, that while the left fights to replace the property class with the working class in control of the nation's direction, the right will continue to fight to maintain the prevalence of property over life and social hierarchy over social equality. . And so it is unreasonable to expect a practical defense of right-wing thought democracy. However, looking at the long term, the history of humanity has been showing signs that capitalism and bourgeois democracy will give way to socialism and popular democracy, we just don't know exactly how or when.

*Bruno Machado is an engineer.

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