The political front and the program

Image_Marcio Costa

By Ricardo Gebrim*

In the last two months, the controversy between a broad front, contemplating and attracting bourgeois fractions, or a popular front made up of left-wing organizations, has been the expression of strategic divergences that are not directly faced

Almost always, the great strategic debates are shown in apparently minor polemics, which can lead the unwary to consider that they are just false divergences.

In the last two months, the controversy between a broad front, contemplating and attracting bourgeois fractions, or a popular front made up of left-wing organizations, has been the expression of strategic divergences that are not directly faced.

Both the advocates of the Frente Ampla and those who support the Frente Popular evoke the campaign for direct elections (1984/1985), drawing different conclusions from the divergent positions adopted by the left in those years, demonstrating the depth of the divergence and how it has remained present for so many years. after.

The interesting thing is that such a debate, extremely important in the fight against Bolsonaro, despite generating countless lives, involving the whole of popular militancy, it practically does not pass through the concrete experiences of unity of the forces of the left, that is, the Frente Brasil Popular and the Frente Povo Sem Medo.

The important unity building initiatives of the popular forces have always avoided theoretical discussions between the component organizations. There is a common sense that joint action is only possible around practicalism, rejecting or making secondary all efforts to theorize about reality. Such a path may be valid in certain circumstances, but it represents a serious limit at the present time. After all, without a theoretical-historical analysis of reality, the controversies end up revolving around candidacy projects or subjectivist readings that confuse desires with reality.

It is true that the method of limiting oneself to joint activism, avoiding debates, played an important role in several initiatives that sought to rebuild forces after the impact on the correlation of world forces, determined by the end of the USSR and other experiences of socialist transition in the Eastern Europe, as well as the consequent neoliberal offensive we faced in the 90s.

However, it no longer responds to the current moment, since the strategic defeat that had its apex with the 2016 coup.

An alliance between several organizations only becomes a political front when a program is built that translates a minimum strategy. Currently this will not advance if we do not face the strategic debate. Each election dismantles the whole accumulation of organizational construction of the unit, converting the dispute for candidacies into an immediate debate, determined by polls of electoral preference or compliance with the impositions of the legislation.

The price of maintaining the tenuous unity is not facing such debates and keeping only in calendars of joint struggles.

Only a Popular Front can assume the necessary program.

I have argued that we should bet on a popular or left-wing front as some prefer to call it. Evidently, a broad coalition is needed around the specific fight for Bolsonaro’s removal. But, this should not be considered as a political front. It is about fighting together with sectors of the discontented bourgeoisie around the removal of Bolsonaro and the defense of democratic rights. Without the struggles incorporating these points, no alliance should be made, under penalty of falling back into a subordinate alliance.

It's not just a naming issue. The nature of the alliance with sectors of the bourgeoisie is not the same as that of the alliance on the popular front. The first is circumstantial, the second is strategic.

The decision has a fundamental tactical and strategic basis. Since the 80s, when the struggle against the dictatorship gained social strength, the Brazilian left represented the working classes. The coherent confrontation of the dictatorship, the firm posture in defense of Direct now and a program that translated this representation sane the causes that almost led Lula to victory in the first presidential election after the dictatorship in 1989 and remained in the following decades.

The scenario has changed since before the 2016 coup.

Today, rebuilding the capacity for political representation of the working classes must be at the heart of the tactics of the left forces, under the risk of remaining out of the political game. Many initiatives are underway, but there is one that is an essential assumption: the question of the program.

This is not a mere program of emergency measures which, in addition to fulfilling an important role, is always a necessary starting point.

A program of clear rupture with neoliberalism is needed, with anti-monopoly, anti-landlordism and anti-imperialist measures. That it translates into a broad, profound tax reform that burdens capital and taxes large fortunes. That he clearly propose the nationalization of the large private banks, free public education and an effective agrarian reform.

Evidently, this program will not be tolerated by any bourgeois faction, limiting the room for maneuver for any alliance that is not punctual, such as Bolsonaro’s removal.

The unity of popular forces is fundamental to propagate and build this program. This requires a lot of capacity to face the necessary theoretical debates and not take refuge in immediate activism, always necessary, but impotent to overcome profound defeats.

*Ricardo Gebrim is a lawyer and member of the National Board of Popular Consultation

Originally published in Brazil of Fact





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