The programmatic front

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By TARSUS GENUS*

In favor of building broad movements that stimulate real struggles against this genocidal government

When the word “plague” popped out from somewhere, I immediately linked it, by the invisible threads of memory, to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And also to the book by Camus, The plague, a brilliant parable of the Nazi occupation of France, which killed and humiliated thousands of French people and French Jews in the occupied country during World War II. Camus recalled in this great novel of the 2th century that the plague bacillus does not die and that it always comes back and settles comfortably in our midst. And it remains to remember that there are substitutes for his accursed word, the plague, through war, death and famine.

Old prophetic films and books – rediscovered some time after I saw and read them – cleared my doubts and the few certainties I acquired about the paths to share in the struggles for a reconciled humanity in equality and freedom. The Confession, book by Artur London and film by Costa Gravas (1970), Memoirs of a Revolutionary (Companhia das Letras) – biographical text by the Trotskyist Victor Serge – and the film The war is over (1966), by Alain Resnais with a script by Jorge Semprún, had some weight in the political formation of part of my generation.

Also some letters between enemies, opponents or fellow travelers, among which I highlight the letter from Perry Anderson to Norberto Bobbio, about the success of the latter in his predictions about “real socialism”. I remember Marx's letter to Lincoln, about his electoral victory against slavery, and I remember Lenin's letter to Bukharin and Zinoviev – full of political-moral imprecations – directing them towards alliances at the Conference of the Second International, as documents still alive to better understand the present.

Karl Marx's letter to Lincoln placed great importance on the struggles against slavery and said, in a blunt manner, that the workers of Europe felt "secure that - just as the American War of Independence opened a new era for the ascendancy of the bourgeoisie – the American War against Slavery will do the same for the working classes” (…) because – Marx said – “Abraham Lincoln, honest son of the working class, will guide his country in the incomparable struggle for the salvation of a spurred race and for the reconstruction of a social world.” In fact, a letter that tactically fused, without explanations, the end of slavery for the better development of capitalism, with the future strategic movements – not expressed here – of a Proletarian Revolution.

The proletarian revolutions were not confirmed as the theory predicted. This is the material emptiness that put into crisis the entire view of the left at a time, directly or indirectly present in letters, novels and films, which were averse to the orthodox methods of analysis of official Marxism, which had Stalin as its greatest expert. .

The position that can be read in the correspondence to Comrades Tito and Kardelj (in May 48) on the Yugoslav crisis leaves no doubt: “The underestimation of the experience of the CP (Bolshevik), when it comes to building the basic conditions of socialism in Yugoslavia , contains great political dangers and is inadmissible for Marxists…”. The occupation of Hungary and Czechoslovakia by the Red Army – later – shows how the Soviet CP resolved these Marxist “deviations” during the Cold War.

As Prison Letters of the giant Gramsci, with his dazzling analyzes of Italian politics and culture, made in Mussolini's prisons – mainly about the period from the Renaissance to Fascism – they discuss culture, religion, holiness, political organization in liberal democracy, radio, classes , social groups and refer to central figures in Italian philosophy and politics. They remain a rich source of ideas in the part of the West that still debates what remains of the socialist and social democratic ideas of the last century.

Among the movies, The Confession alerted me to the perverse bureaucratization of the popular democracies of Eastern Europe and – among the books – Memoirs of a Revolutionary I was invited to study the Moscow Processes in some depth. In them, members of the Bolshevik old guard were serially murdered, whose preparation was in ritualized inquiries as “legal”, using methods analogous to those of the worst dictatorships.

History left as one of the legacies of the Russian Revolution – in addition to the extraordinary advances in culture, education and health – the victory against Nazism and as one of its most shameful landmarks the “Moscow Processes”, which showed the fallacy of the so-called “socialist legality”. In these processes, the blood of many of those who made the Revolution splashed in the criminal actions of Attorney Vishinsky, a kind of Sergio Moro of “socialism in one country”, implanted in a predominantly agrarian territory.

The film The war is over I was awakened by the melancholy of the republican defeat in the Civil War in Spain, which I always intuited to have been – in the West – the most evident mark of the reflux of revolutionary humanism in the last century. In this war – under the eyes of the West – Hitler did the dress rehearsal of his attempt to enslave the world and he won.

The end of the invisible romanticization portrayed in the saga of Diego Mora – “professional” linking the Spanish CP in exile with the Madrid cells – in a way consolidated, after the Civil War, the dismantling of expectations of immediate proletarian revolutions in the European space. The socialist utopia would regenerate itself by taking oxygen in the National Liberation Wars, like the one in Vietnam, not by the impulses of the socialist revolution in Europe.

On November 08, 1991, the USSR breaks. The Great October Socialist Revolution collapses shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 09, 1989. The "three Marxist tactics" to land socialism, described by Stanley Moore's simplification - by the indignation of the masses against "increasing poverty" ” in capitalism, by the Soviet victory as a “competing system” superior to the American system and by the “permanent revolution” – were already being put to the test after the Second World War. None of them won.

The formidable material achievements of the Soviet regime and the “space race”, with the USSR at the forefront – in the two decades that followed the defeat of Nazism – deluded that the victory of the USSR (as a superior “competing system”) could peacefully sow the “world model”. Russian”, Africa and Asia inside, at least in the countries that were victorious by arms, in the hard struggles for national independence. The flag went down in the Kremlin, in the windy night of a seething Moscow, the dead illusions withered the utopias of October 1917 and the rediscoveries of May 1968 were silently fading away.

Resnais' film – with a script by Semprún – came to my mind shortly after the fall of the USSR, in Paris, where I was invited to participate in an academic event, which would be followed by another appointment in Madrid. So I decided – out of nostalgia for the clandestinity that Semprún's script had inspired in me – to take Diego Mora's journey. It was a long and painful journey by train that, with the common railway incidents at the time, would last more than 30 hours. And a lifetime. Those hours in Perpignan, in the south of France, echo in my memory to this day, through an incandescent question: where would we go after Madrid?

Changing trains took place at the Spanish border. It was the emblematic place of the dangerous passages of Diego Mora, where suspicious travelers could disappear: some because of concrete suspicions, others as real revolutionaries. Five hours of solitary walking in that historic city of resistance, waiting for the train to Madrid, reminded me of two letters from Engels: the first to Liebknecht, the German social democratic leader – dated July 02, 1877 – through which Engels complained that the newspaper Worwärts (“Avante!”), of the German social democrats, treated the country’s political situation indifferently and “a little lightly”, imagining that the Monarchy would accelerate – without advanced republican forms – the bourgeois illegitimacy to govern.

Another letter also came to mind. This time, Engels' missive addressed to Bernstein (August 27, 1883) where he said that “among us, the first direct result of the revolution cannot and should not be, equally, “nothing different from the Bourgeois Republic”, a political and institutional space that it would be open to the left "to win over the great masses of workers to revolutionary socialism". History can repeat itself as tragedy, as comedy, but also as irony.

The present epoch does not pose the question of the bourgeois Republic, whose concrete forms are – in any case – historically realized. Nor does it raise the real possibility of the left disputing the workers for a “revolutionary socialism”. Socialism today is a regulating moral political idea, not a project that can be visualized by its forms acquired in the very womb of capitalism, as occurred in much of the last century. The important thing, therefore, in Engels' reflections, is the search for “mediations” demanded by the concrete periods of History, alien to metaphysical polarizations of the will without ties with the reality of history.

I suppose that if we replace “Monarchy” with “Fascism”, “Revolutionary Socialism” with “Republic and Democracy of 1988”, we will be able to choose to build broad movements that stimulate real struggles against this genocidal government: movements that have defense as their 'center' of life, the fight against the sanitary plague – political and moral – that we face in the country, to defend it from the darkness, denialism, fascism and necrophilia installed in Brasilia.

For this, we must not and do not want to dissolve our forces in a colorless present, but rather prepare them to lend color to the gray present. The Programmatic Front to lead the country, stitched together from now on by leftist formations, will then take its organic forms. Forms defined from a unitary program, which can only be effective with the political end of the Knight of the Plague, overthrown by a great arch of alliances in defense of life and democracy.

*Tarsus in law is a former Minister of Justice, Education and former Governor of Rio Grande do Sul. Author, among other books, of left in process (Voices).

 

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